Lee Jong-hyun

Last updated

Lee Jong-hyun
Lee Jong-hyun at MOKO, Mong Kok, HK (3).jpg
Lee at MOKO
Born (1990-05-15) May 15, 1990 (age 28)
Busan, South Korea
  • Guitarist
  • musician
  • singer
  • songwriter
  • actor
Musical career
Years active2009–2018
Labels FNC
Associated acts CNBLUE
Website fncent.com
Korean name
Revised Romanization I Jong-hyeon
McCune–Reischauer Yi Jonghyŏn

Lee Jong-hyun (May 15, 1990) is a South Korean musician, singer-songwriter and actor. He is the lead guitarist and vocalist of South Korean rock band CNBLUE.

South Korea Republic in East Asia

South Korea, officially the Republic of Korea (ROK), is a country in East Asia, constituting the southern part of the Korean Peninsula. The name Korea is derived from Goguryeo which was one of the great powers in East Asia during its time, ruling most of the Korean Peninsula, Manchuria, parts of the Russian Far East and Inner Mongolia under Gwanggaeto the Great. Its capital, Seoul, is a major global city and half of South Korea's 51 million people live in the Seoul Capital Area, the fourth largest metropolitan economy in the world.

CNBLUE South Korean rock band

CNBLUE is a South Korean pop rock band formed in 2009. The band consisted of Jung Yong-hwa, Lee Jong-hyun, Kang Min-hyuk (drums), and Lee Jung-shin (bass). First bassist Kwon Kwang-jin left the band after they released their debut Japanese extended play Now or Never in 2009, and was replaced by Lee Jung-shin.


He made his acting debut in an omnibus movie Acoustic in 2010, followed by his television debut in the Korean drama A Gentleman's Dignity in 2012. He appeared in television dramas Orange Marmalade (2015), Lingerie Girls’ Generation (2017) and Evergreen (2018).

An anthology film is a subgenre of films consisting of several different short films, often tied together by only a single theme, premise, or brief interlocking event. Sometimes each one is directed by a different director. These differ from "revue films" such as Paramount on Parade (1930)—which were common in Hollywood in the early sound film era to show off their stars and related vaudeville-style acts—composite films, and compilation films.

<i>Acoustic</i> (film) 2010 South Korean omnibus film

Acoustic is a 2010 South Korean omnibus film depicting stories of love, hope, and music among twenty-somethings - all set within the Hongdae area of Seoul.

<i>A Gentlemans Dignity</i> television series

A Gentleman's Dignity is a 2012 South Korean romantic comedy television series starring Jang Dong-gun, Kim Ha-neul, Kim Su-ro, Kim Min-jong, and Lee Jong-hyuk. It aired on SBS from May 26 to August 12, 2012 on Saturdays and Sundays at 21:55 for 20 episodes.

Life and career

Early life

Lee Jong-hyun was born on May 15, 1990, [1] in Busan, South Korea. His family consists of his parents and two older sisters. He lived in Busan before his family moved to Japan when he was four years old. His family moved back to Busan and he finished his elementary school and middle school there.

Busan Metropolitan City in Yeongnam, South Korea

Busan, formerly known as Pusan and now officially Busan Metropolitan City, is South Korea's second most-populous city after Seoul, with a population of over 3.5 million inhabitants. It is the economic, cultural and educational center of southeastern Korea, with its port—Korea's busiest and the fifth-busiest in the world —only about 120 miles (190 km) from the Japanese islands of Kyushu and Honshu. The surrounding "Southeast Economic Zone" is now South Korea's largest industrial area.

He was an ulzzang at "BESTNINE" alongside Mblaq's Lee Joon, fellow member Jung Yong-hwa, and Block B's Jaehyo before debut.

Ulzzang, also spelled as eoljjang, is a popular South Korean term literally meaning "best face" or "good-looking". A person desiring ulzzang status would gain popularity on the internet through entering contests where their photos are judged and chosen by voters. The trend is unisex and is practised by both males and females.

Jung Yong-hwa South Korean singer and actor

Jung Yong-hwa is a South Korean musician, singer-songwriter, record producer and actor. He is the leader, lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist of the rock band CNBLUE. Jung made his television debut in You're Beautiful (2009), and has since starred in television dramas Heartstrings (2011), Marry Him If You Dare (2013), The Three Musketeers (2014) and The Package (2017). On the music front, Jung also made his solo debut with the album One Fine Day in 2015.

The talent scouter from FNC Music (currently known as FNC Entertainment) who visited Busan to see Jung, came across Lee in the street, and suggested him to audition at the company. On his way to his audition, he met his current fellow CNBLUE member Jung at the Seoul Station. They then met Kang Min-hyuk, also a current fellow member of CNBLUE, at FNC Music where they auditioned. Eventually, only the three of them passed the auditions and Lee began training in bass technology at FNC Academy.

FNC Entertainment South Korean company

FNC Entertainment is a South Korean entertainment company established in 2006 by South Korean singer and record producer Han Seong-ho. The label operates as a record label, talent agency, music production company, event management and concert production company, and music publishing house. The label previously known as FNC Music, which only managing musicians and later changed its name to FNC Entertainment in 2012 and began to broaden their business field of entertainment. It has since January 2012, been based in its own company offices in Cheongdam-dong.

Kang Min-hyuk South Korean musician

Kang Min-hyuk is a South Korean musician, singer-songwriter, and actor. He is the drummer of South Korean rock band CNBLUE.

Before Lee embarked on his musical career, he was a judo athlete who won a gold medal in a judo championship amongst athletes in his hometown when he was in high school. However, he decided to give up on sports upon realizing that this was not the field that he would excel in after losing in a match in just a few seconds. He then started to focus on music. At first, he learned singing, then piano. Then, upon watching English singer-songwriter and guitarist Eric Clapton playing the guitar, he was inspired to learn to play the guitar.

Eric Clapton English musician, singer, songwriter, and guitarist

Eric Patrick Clapton, is an English rock and blues guitarist, singer, and songwriter. He is the only three-time inductee to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: once as a solo artist and separately as a member of the Yardbirds and of Cream. Clapton has been referred to as one of the most important and influential guitarists of all time. Clapton ranked second in Rolling Stone magazine's list of the "100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time" and fourth in Gibson's "Top 50 Guitarists of All Time". He was also named number five in Time magazine's list of "The 10 Best Electric Guitar Players" in 2009.

Music career

Lee debuted with CNBLUE in South Korea on January 14, 2010 with their lead single "I'm a Loner". Before their Korean debut, they debuted as an indie band, with Lee being the leader, in Japan in August 2009. Jung Yong-hwa then took over his place following the band's Korean debut. They made their major debut in Japan in October 2011.

Lee, together with Jung, composed many of the band's released songs, such as "Blind Love", "Lie", "Rain of Blessing", "Kimio", "My Miracle", "Come On", "No More", "These Days" etc., which all gained positive feedback. "Come On" ranked number 5 on Oricon's Weekly singles chart while "Blind Love" ranked number 4. "Get Away", one of his compositions, was used as the ending theme song for the Japanese broadcast of American TV series Gossip Girl . [2]

Lee released his first solo single "My Love" in 2012, as part of the soundtrack for SBS drama A Gentleman's Dignity , which he starred in. The song was written by Lee himself. "My Love" debuted at number four on the Gaon Digital Chart. [3] It eventually became the 34th best-selling song in South Korea that year with 2,187,150 digital downloads. [4] The song earned Lee five award nominations, ultimately winning "Best OST" at the 2013 Seoul Music Awards. [5]

In December 2013, Lee and his fellow label-mate Juniel formed a duo called "Romantic J" and released a digital single album titled "Love Falls". [6] Inspired by the movie Music and Lyrics , the song was compose by Lee, with lyrics written by Juniel. The single peaked at #27 on the Melon Chart. The duo subsequently promoted the song through Mnet's M Countdown and SBS MTV's The Show .

On August 2, 2015, Lee held his first solo fan meeting in Japan at the Tokyo International Forum and met with 10,000 fans.

Lee made his solo debut in July 2016, with the studio album Sparkling Night . The album debuted at number seven on the weekly Oricon Albums Chart [7] and number nine on Billboard Japan magazine's Hot Albums, [8] eventually selling 13,529 copies. [9] Lee then embarked on the "Welcome to Sparkling Night" tour, his first series of solo concerts. The first two concerts took place from August 9–10 at the Osaka International Convention Center in Osaka, followed by a concert on August 13 at the Nagoya Congress Center in Aichi, and two final concerts from August 17–18 at the Tokyo International Forum in Tokyo. [10] [11]

Acting career

In 2010, Lee made his acting debut in the omnibus film Acoustic alongside fellow member Kang Min-hyuk. [12]

On May 27, 2012, Lee made his small screen debut in SBS weekend drama A Gentleman's Dignity . [13] [14] He earned positive reception for his debut role and won the "New Star" award at the year-end SBS Drama Awards. [15]

In May 2015, Lee starred in the fantasy high-school drama Orange Marmalade , alongside labelmate Seolhyun from AOA, where he plays a vampire. [16] He also joined the fourth season of the Korean reality show We Got Married , pairing with actress Gong Seung-yeon. [17] [18] [19] Shortly after, he reunited with Gong in the youth historical drama My Only Love Song . [20]

In 2017, he starred in the teen drama Lingerie Girls’ Generation in which he played a former gangster of Daegu who turned to be a kindhearted local handy man. [21] The same year, he was cast in the Japanese film Ikiru Machi, which is about the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011. [22]

In 2018, Lee starred in the fantasy romance drama That Man Oh Soo opposite Kim So-eun. [23] [24]


Inside trading of stocks

In June 2016, Lee and fellow CNBLUE member Jung Yong-hwa were accused of insider trading of FNC stocks based on information that their label, (FNC Entertainment), was signing popular comedian, host, and television personality Yoo Jae-suk. While Jung was acquitted of all charges, Lee was fined. Lee apologized and stated that he bought the stocks without verifying the information, but once he realized legal issues could result from the purchase, he held onto the stocks. [25]

Group chat rooms

On March 12, 2019 Lee's agency issued a statement that Lee was not connected to alleged chat rooms and sexual activities, which Jung Joon-young was part of. [26] However, on March 14, it was reported that Lee was involved in the Burning Sun scandal with Jung in a one-to-one chatroom where Jung had shared sexual hidden camera footages of himself as Lee engaged in "inappropriate sexual conversations, and inappropriate conversations degrading women". [27] [28] [29] On March 15, 2019, Lee admitted that he watched sex videos shared by Jung and he had made disparaging remarks about the women filmed. Investigation is still ongoing. [30]


The proceeds collected from "LEE JONG HYUN Solo Concert in Japan - METROPOLIS" which was held in June 2018 were donated for the Great East Japan Earthquake and the Kumamoto Earthquake through the Japanese Red Cross Society. [31]

Mandatory Military Service

Lee enlisted in his military service in August 2018. [32] [33]


Television series

2012 SBS A Gentleman's Dignity Collin Black
2013 KBS2 Drama Special – Adolescence Medley Yang Yeong-woongCameo, Ep 2-3
2014LINE TV One Sunny Day Couple guyCameo, Ep 4 & 8
2015 KBS2 Orange Marmalade Han Si-hoo
2017 NAVER TVcast, Netflix My Only Love Song On Dal
KBS2 Lingerie Girls’ Generation Joo Young-choon
2018 OCN That Man Oh Soo Oh Soo


2010 Acoustic Kim Seong-wonsegment: Bakery Attack
2018 Ikiru Machi Do-Hyun

Variety show

2015 We Got Married MBC Cast member (with Gong Seung-yeon)
Fluttering India KBS Cast member (with Changmin, Kyuhyun, Min-ho, Suho and Sung-kyu) [34]
Cool Kiz on the BlockKBSEp.125: The Tenth Sport, Judo (2015.10.20)
2016Battle tripKBSEp.10: "The Real Men's Trip" with Joonyoung & Taejoon,
2017 King of Mask Singer MBC Contestant as "All Together Cube One Wheel" (Episodes 101–102) [35]
Law of the Jungle SBS Season 34, Cook Islands with Kim Byung-man, JB (Got7), Solbin (Laboum) [36]



TitleAlbum detailsPeak chart positionsSales
Sparkling Night 7
  • JPN: 13,529 [9]
  • Released: January 24, 2018
  • Label: Warner Music Japan
  • Formats: CD, digital download


YearTitlePeak positionsSalesAlbum


2010"High Fly" (with Kang Min-hyuk)102 Acoustic OST
2012내 사랑아 ("My Love")42
  • KOR (DL): 2,187,150+
A Gentleman's Dignity OST 2
2013사랑이 내려 ("Love Falls") (with Juniel)2752
  • KOR (DL): 112,735+
Romantic J: Winter Special Digital Single Album
2014사실은 말야 ("Young Love") (with Melody Day)76 [41]
  • KOR (DL): 52,666+
Digital Single
"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released in that region.
Note – Billboard K-Pop Hot 100 Chart was established in August 2011. Releases before this date have no chart data. [42]

Video albums

TitleAlbum detailsPeak chart positionsSales


1st Solo Concert in Japan ~Welcome to SPARKLING NIGHT~ Live at Tokyo International Forum1324

Song writing and production credits

List of songwriting and production credits for Lee Jong-hyun
Year ReleasedArtistTitleAlbumRoleNotes
2016 CNBLUE "Be My Love" Puzzle Co-composer, Lyricist
"The Seasons" Blueming Co-composer, Co-lyricist
2015 Ailee "Fill Your Glass" [46] Vivid Co-composer, Co-lyricist
CNBLUE "Footsteps"2getherCo-composer, Lyricist, Co-arranger
"Drunken night"2getherCo-composer, Lyricist
"Hero" [47] 2getherCo-composer, Lyricist
"Lucid dream"colorsCo-composer, Lyricist
"Irony"White, colorsComposer, co-lyricist
"White"White, colorsCo-composer, co-lyricist
2014Nam Young-joo"Fragile and Kind"Fragile and KindCo-composer, co-lyricist
CNBLUE "Foxy" Wave Co-composer, co-lyricist
"Paradise" Wave Co-composer, lyricist
"How awesome" Wave Co-composer, lyricist
"Monster" Go Your Way Co-composer, lyricist
"Heart Song" (English version) / "Footsteps" (Korean version) Truth (English version) / 2gether(Korean version)Co-composer, lyricist, co-arranger (Korean version)
"Sleepless Night..." Can't Stop Co-composer, co-lyricist
2013Romantic J (Lee Jong-hyun and Juniel)"Love Falls"Love Falls(Digital Single Release)Co-composer
CNBLUE "I Can't Believe" What Turns You On? (English version), Present(Korean version)Co-composer, lyricist (English version) / Co-lyricist (Korean version)
"Crying Out" What Turns You On? Co-composer, lyricist
"With Your Eyes" Blind Love, What Turns You On? Composer, lyricist [48] Charted at #3 (Japan Recochoku K-Pop weekly Asia chart)
"Blind Love" Blind Love, What Turns You On? (Japanese version), Present(Korean version)Co-composer, lyricist (Japanese version) / Co-lyricist (Korean version), co-arranger [48] Charted at #1 (Japan Recochoku K-Pop weekly Asia chart), #4 (Japan Oricon), #7 (Japan Billboard Hot 100), #4 (Japan Billboard Hot Single Sales)
""Na Geudaeboda" (나 그대보다; "Myself More Than You")" Re:Blue Co-composerCharted at #41 (Korea Gaon), #48 (Korea Billboard), #6 (Taiwan KK Box)
2012"Starlit Night" Robot, What Turns You On? Composer, lyricist
"These Days" Code Name Blue ComposerUnreleased Korean version first performed at Blue Night Concert in Seoul (2012)
"No More" Code Name Blue Co-composer
"My Miracle" Come On , PresentCo-composer
"Come On" Come On , Code Name Blue Composer#5 (Japan Oricon), #8 (Japan Billboard Hot 100), #5 (Japan Billboard Hot Single Sales)
"Get Away" Where You Are , Code Name Blue Co-composerUnreleased Korean version first performed at Blue Night Concert in Seoul (2012)
2011"Rain of Blessing" In My Head Co-composer
"Illusion" 392 Composer, co-lyricist
"Coward" 392 Co-composer, co-arranger
"Kimio" (Japanese Version)/"Yes" (Korean Version) 392 (Japanese Version), First Step +1 Thank You (Korean Version)Composer, co-lyricist (Korean Version)#102 (Korea Gaon) (Korean Version)
"Wanna Be Like You" (Korean Version) First Step (Korean Version)Co-lyricist (Korean Version)Charted at #73 (Korea Gaon) (Korean Version)
"Lie" 392 (Japanese Version), First Step (Korean Version)Co-composerCharted at #52 (Korea Gaon) (Korean Version)
"Eclipse" (Japanese Version)/ "Love Follows the Rain" (Korean Version)(previously released in single "The Way" in 2010 as Part 3), 392 (Japanese Version), First Step (Korean Version)Co-composerCharted at #39 (Korea Gaon) (Korean Version)
"A.Ri.Ga.Tou" (Japanese Version) / "Thank You" (고마워요) (Korean Version) Thank U (Japanese Version), First Step (Korean Version)Composer, co-lyricist (Korean Version)Charted at #69 (Korea Gaon) (Korean Version)
2009"Never Too Late"Voice, Thank U Co-composer

Awards and nominations

YearAwardCategoryNominated workResultRef
20125th Korea Drama Awards Best OST"My Love" ( A Gentleman's Dignity OST)Nominated [49]
14th Mnet Asian Music Awards Nominated [50]
4th MelOn Music Awards TStore Best SongNominated [51]
Best OSTNominated [52]
SBS Drama Awards New Star Award A Gentleman's Dignity Won [53]
2013 22nd Seoul Music Awards Best OST"My Love" ( A Gentleman's Dignity OST)Won [5]

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