Choi Soo-young

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Choi Soo-young (born February 10, 1990), professionally known as Sooyoung, is a South Korean singer, actress and songwriter. She was a member of the short-lived Korean-Japanese singing duo Route 0 during 2002 in Japan. After returning to South Korea in 2004, Sooyoung eventually became a member of girl group Girls' Generation in 2007, which went on to become one of the best-selling artists in South Korea and one of South Korea's most popular girl groups worldwide. Apart from her group's activities, Sooyoung has also starred in various television dramas such as The Third Hospital (2012), Dating Agency: Cyrano (2013), My Spring Days (2014), Squad 38 (2016), Man in the Kitchen (2017–2018), and most recently Tell Me What You Saw (2020).

Choi Soo-young
Choi Soo-young at AmieMarket on February 23, 2018 (2).jpg
Choi in February 2018
Choi Soo-young

(1990-02-10) February 10, 1990 (age 30)
Gwangju, Gyeonggi, South Korea
Alma materChung-Ang University
  • Singer
  • actress
  • songwriter
AgentSaram Entertainment
Musical career
Years active2002–present
Associated actsGirls' Generation
Korean name
Revised RomanizationChoe Su-yeong
McCune–ReischauerCh'oe Suyŏng

In October 2017, Sooyoung left SM Entertainment although she remains as a member of Girls' Generation. She joined Echo Global Group and released her first solo single "Winter Breath" in 2018, before moving to Saram Entertainment in 2019.

Life and careerEdit

1990–2007: Early life and career beginningsEdit

Sooyoung was born in Gwangju, Gyeonggi, South Korea, on February 10, 1990.[1] She is the younger sister of Choi Soo-jin, who is a musical theatre actress.[2] Sooyoung was initially discovered through an SM Entertainment Open Audition when she was in fifth grade.[3] She later won first place at the 2002 Korea-Japan Ultra Idol Duo Audition and debuted in Japan as a member of Route 0.[4] The duo released three singles before disbanding in 2003.[5]

Sooyoung returned to SM Entertainment and eventually debuted in South Korea as a member of the girl group Girls' Generation in August 2007. The group gained significant popularity with the release of their hit single "Gee" in 2009.[6] Sooyoung has said in an interview that she was also interested in acting before debuting as a singer and had failed more than 70 auditions during her pre-debut days.[7]

2008–2016: Acting roles and lyrics writingEdit

Choi performing in July 2015

Aside from Girls' Generation's activities, Sooyoung has participated in various music and acting projects. In the early days, her acting work mostly involved several small roles and guest appearances—these include KBS2's sitcom Unstoppable Marriage (2007),[8] romantic comedy film Hello, Schoolgirl (2008),[9] SBS's drama Oh! My Lady (2010),[10] SBS's Paradise Ranch (2011) and SBS's A Gentleman's Dignity (2012).[11][12] During this period, musically, she recorded two songs—one trot song titled "KKok" with Girls' Generation member Yuri for the SBS' drama Working Mom, while the other one, "Feeling Only You", was a collaboration with Girls' Generation member Tiffany and South Korean duo The Blue.[13][14]

Throughout her career, besides contributing her vocal to Girls' Generation's songs, Sooyoung has explored into lyrics writing. She penned the lyrics for three songs: "How Great is Your Love" (2011),[15] "What Do I Do" (2016),[16] and "Sailing (0805)" (2016),[17] while co-writing the song "Baby Maybe" (2013).[18] In September 2012, she landed her first major acting role in tvN's medical drama The Third Hospital.[19][20] She was praised by both co-actors Oh Ji Ho and Kim Seung-woo and the viewers were drawn to her emotional scene due to her natural display of emotion.[21][22][23] In May 2013, Sooyoung was cast in tvN's romantic comedy drama, Dating Agency: Cyrano. It was a spin-off of the 2010 movie Cyrano Agency. She played a dating expert who works at a dating agency helping people to find their love.[24] Park Ju-yeon from the Hankook Ilbo praised Sooyoung for her lively character portrayal and said that there was not any "overdone emotions commonly appear in acting newcomers".[25]

In September 2014, Sooyoung scored a lead role in MBC's melodrama, My Spring Days. Her character is a terminally ill patient who gets a heart transplant; and meets her donor's husband, played by Kam Woo-sung.[26] This was a breakthrough performance for Sooyoung as she won the "Best Actress in a Miniseries" award at the 2014 MBC Drama Awards and the "Excellence Award for Actress" at the 2015 Korea Drama Awards.[26][27] She contributed a song to its soundtrack, titled "Wind Flower".[28] In 2015, Sooyoung starred as the female lead in KBS2's special drama Perfect Sense, which was produced by Samsung Fire & Marine Insurance to help raise public understanding of the disabled. She played a teacher named Ah-yeon who is visually impaired.[29][30] In June 2016, Sooyoung starred as the female lead alongside Ma Dong-seok and Seo In-guk in the OCN crime drama Squad 38.[31][32]

2017–present: Departure from SM Entertainment and solo activitiesEdit

In early August 2017, Sooyoung starred as television producer in the JTBC web drama Someone You Might Know.[33] Later in August, she played the female lead in the MBC drama series Man in the Kitchen.[34] In November 2017, Sooyoung joined Echo Global Group after her contract with SM Entertainment ended. With a change of label, her future activities with Girls' Generation remain in discussion.[35][36]

In 2018, Sooyoung was cast in the Korean-Japanese film Memories of a Dead End,[37][38] the action comedy film Girl Cops,[39] and the romantic comedy television series So I Married an Anti-fan, based on the manhwa of the same name, alongside Choi Tae-joon.[40]

In December 2018, Sooyoung released her solo single, "Winter Breath," which is her first song to be released since her departure from SM Entertainment, with the song's music video made available online on the same day. Sooyoung launched her official Twitter and YouTube accounts to commemorate the single's release.[41][42]

In May 2019, Sooyoung signed with new agency Saram Entertainment.[43] In February 2020, Sooyoung starred in the OCN drama Tell Me What You Saw.[44]

Personal lifeEdit

Since 2015, Sooyoung has held an annual charity auction event called "Beaming Effect", to raise money for finding a cure for retinitis pigmentosa, a disease that her father suffers from.[45][46][47]

Sooyoung graduated from JeongShin Women's High School in 2009.[48] She went on to major in film studies and graduated from Chung-Ang University in February 2016, receiving a lifetime achievement award at the graduation ceremony. Her fellow Girls' Generation member Kwon Yuri attended the same university.[49]

Sooyoung has been dating Jung Kyung-ho since 2013.[50]



Year Album Song Duration Artist
2005 Inuyasha OST "I Am" (Korean Version) 01:24 Solo
2008 Working Mom OST "KKok" 03:24 Duet with Kwon Yuri
2009 The First Memories "Feeling Only You" 03:26 The Blue (feat. Tiffany and Sooyoung)
2014 My Spring Days OST "Wind Flower" 03:29 Solo
2018 The Light "Let's Get Away" 03:57 James Lee (feat. Sooyoung)
Winter Breath "Winter Breath" 03:51 Solo



Year Title Role Notes Ref.
2003 Silmido Soo Young Supporting role
2008 Hello, Schoolgirl Jeong Da-jeong [9]
2012 I AM. Herself Biographical film of SM Town [51]
2015 SMTown: The Stage Herself Documentary film of SM Town [52]
2019 The Poem, My Old Mother Narration Main role
Memories of a Dead End Yumi Lead role [37]
Girl Cops Jang-mi Supporting role [39]
A Little Princess Adult Gongju Special appearance [53]

Television seriesEdit

Year Title Network Role Notes Ref.
2008 Unstoppable Marriage KBS Choi Soo-young Supporting role [8]
2010 Oh! My Lady SBS Herself Guest appearance; episode 7 [10]
2011 Paradise Ranch Miss Soo Guest appearance; episode 3 [11]
2012 A Gentleman's Dignity Herself Guest appearance; episode 5 [12]
The Third Hospital tvN Lee Eui-jin Lead role [19]
2013 Dating Agency: Cyrano Gong Min-young [24]
2014 My Spring Days MBC Lee Bom-yi [26]
2016 Perfect Sense KBS Jung Ah-yeon [30]
Squad 38 OCN Cheon Sung-hee [32]
2017–2018 Man in the Kitchen MBC Lee Roo-ri [34]
2020 Tell Me What You Saw OCN Cha Soo-young [44]
TBA So I Married an Anti-fan Lee Geun-young [40]
2020 Run On JTBC Seo Dan-Ah

Web seriesEdit

Year Title Network Role Notes Ref.
2017 Someone You Might Know JTBC Lee Ahn Lead role [33]

Variety showEdit

Year Title Network Role Ref.
2010 Haha Mong Show: Pilot SBS Regular Member
2012–2014 TV Entertainment Tonight SBS Presenter [54]
2017 Saturday Night Live Korea: Season 9 tvN Host [55]
2018 Born 1990 Choi Soo-young Dingo Studio Host [56]

Awards and nominationsEdit

Year Award Category Work Result Ref.
2012 Mnet 20's Choice Awards Best 20's Style N/A Nominated
KBS Music Awards Best Female Group Member N/A Nominated
2013 6th Korea Drama Awards Best New Actress Dating Agency: Cyrano Nominated
6th Style Icon Awards Best K-Style Award N/A Won [57]
SBS Entertainment Awards New Rookie Award (MC Category) TV Entertainment Tonight Won [58]
2014 2014 MBC Drama Awards Excellence Award, Actress in a Miniseries My Spring Days Won [59]
Best Couple Award Nominated [60]
2015 8th Korea Drama Awards Excellence Award, Actress Won [27]
2017 2017 MBC Drama Awards Excellence Award, Actress Man in the Kitchen Nominated [61]
2019 15th Jecheon International Music & Film Festival Discovery of the Year Award Memories of a Dead End Won [62]
40th Blue Dragon Film Awards Best New Actress Miss & Mrs. Cops Nominated [63]


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External linksEdit