Jung Eun-ji is a well-known South Korean singer, songwriter and actress. She is the lead vocalist of the girl band ‘Apink’. She was one of the leads in the hit drama, ‘Reply 1997’, which became wildly famous in 2012. She has worked in three films since then, namely, ‘That Winter, the Wind Blows’, ‘Cheer Up!’, and ‘Trot Lovers’. She has sung numerous tracks individually and with Apink, and garnered a huge fan following since the band’s debut in 2011. Her most popular singles such as ‘Hopefully Sky’, ‘The Space’ and, ‘The Spring’, were smashing hits and ranked in the local top 10 lists for weeks. The multi-talented singer-songwriter has penned many of her own songs. She released her first album as a solo artist in April 2016, titled ‘Dream’. Her duet ‘All for You’ with her ‘Reply 1997’ co-star Seo In-guk, was an origin soundtrack and topped the charts in 2012. Eun-ji is known for her marvellous voice range and charming personality.
Childhood & Early Life
Jung Eun-ji was born on August 18, 1993, in Busan, South Korea. Her birth name was Jung Hye-rim. Her father, Jung Won-gil, is known to be working overseas. Her mother’s name is Kim Mi-jung. Eun-ji has a younger brother, Jung Min-ki.
Eun-ji attended the Hapdo Kindergarten and Shinjae Elementary School. She later enrolled at Jaesong Girls Middle School and graduated from Hyehwa Girls High School.
Jung initially wanted to become a detective or a vocal trainer, before she decided to pursue a career in singing.
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Jung started her career by winning the first prize in the KBS Network’s ‘Exciting Day, Enjoyable Day’ in 2004, when she was just 11. She later qualified the auditions for the K-pop band ‘Apink’ in 2010.
She was announced as the fourth member and lead singer for Apink in 2011 through a cover video of ‘Love You I Do’. She later joined the group for training and Apink News before their debut in 2011. Jung sang two songs in the band’s debut performance on M Countdown, titled ‘Wishlist’ and ‘Mollayo’.
The following year, she focused on releasing several singles, collaborating with notable names of the K-pop industry, such as Yang Yo-seb and Seo In-guk. The year 2012 was a great one for Jung as she made her acting debut, starring in the first season of the ‘Reply’ series which became wildly popular.
Jung was one of the main leads in ‘Reply 1997’, a dramedy that explored two timelines of the same characters simultaneously. It became the highest-rated series on the Korean network and was appreciated by critics for recreating the atmosphere of the 1990s perfectly. Jung played the role of an 18-year-old diehard H.O.T fan who later goes on to write television dramas.
She was also a part of the stage production of ‘Legally Blonde’, playing the protagonist, Elle Woods. The play ran for five months, from November 2012 to March 2013.
In 2013, she sang a duet ‘Short hair’ with Huh Gak and ‘Break Up to Make Up’ in 2014. Her first solo track was for the original soundtrack of ‘Three Days’ titled ‘It’s You’. Jung was cast in the melodrama ‘That Winter, the Wind Blows’ in 2013, as a supporting character. She also voiced the role of ‘Shiny’ in the Korean version of the 2013 animated film, Saving Santa.
The year 2014 saw her in a musical ‘Full House’, a stage adaptation of the famous series. Subsequently, she also played the lead role in the movie ‘Trot Lovers’, which saw her take up the mantle of a struggling trot singer.
In 2015, she essayed the role of an academically poor young girl in the high-school drama ‘Cheer Up!’ also known as ‘Sassy Go-Go’. The 12-episode series emphasized the importance of love, loyalty, and friendship.
Jung released her first album ‘Dream’ in August 2016, which became an instant hit. Her most popular song was ‘Hopefully Sky’ which she wrote herself based on her memories of her time with her father. The album sold a whopping 30,000 copies and the songs were amongst the top 10 in the local music charts.
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She released her second mini-album ‘The Space’ immediately next year, in April 2017. ‘The Spring’ was the main track of the album and its music video garnered positive reviews. Sung was then cast in the forthcoming drama ‘Untouchable’.
Jung Eun-ji came into the spotlight with her introduction as the lead vocalist for Apink. The girl band gave several hits together and developed a substantial fan following.
Her next major work was in ‘Reply 1997’ which catapulted her to stardom. She sang two OST’s for the season with her co-star Seo In-guk, namely, ‘All For You’ and ‘Just the Way We Love’. From 2012 to 2014, she collaborated with various artists for the ‘A Cube for Season’ song series.
Jung wrote the lyrics for her two albums and ‘Promise U’ for Apink’s ‘Pink Memory’. She held her first solo concert in June 2017 during the promotion of her albums.
Jung has made several appearances on TV Shows such as ‘Flower Crew: Season 1’, ‘Abnormal Summit: Season 1’, ‘Barefooted Friends’, and ‘Running Man’.
Awards & Achievements
Jung Eun-ji won the Rising Star Award for her work in ‘Reply 1997’ at the 1st K-Drama Star Awards. She additionally won Best Couple, Best OST, and Top 10 Style Icon Awards with her co-star Seo In-guk in 2012.
She won the Best Performance Award at the 2nd APAN Star Awards for her role in That Wind the Winter Blows and Best New Actress at the SBS Drama Awards. Eun-ji was also awarded as the Best New TV Actress at the 49th Baeksang Arts Awards in 2013.
She was nominated for Best OST at the 16th Seoul International Youth Film Festival in 2014 and won Best Actress for ‘Trot Lovers’. She won the KBS Drama Award in the Popularity Award Category for Trot Lovers.
In 2016, Jung was nominated in four categories, Best Female Artist, Best Vocal Performance, Artist of the Year, and Song of the Year, for Hopefully Sky’ from her album ‘Dream’ at the 18th Mnet Asian Music Awards. She won the Best Ballad Award at the 8th Melon Music Awards.
Jung Eun-ji has generally kept her personal life under the wraps so as to avoid her personal life taking up the limelight instead of her work. Although she has been linked with many of her co-stars, she confirmed dating Kim Bum in the past. Her current relationship status is reported to be single.
On the family front, Eun-ji has often said that she misses her father who works overseas for business. She has often urged him to return home. Their close relationship inspired Eun-ji’s famous song ‘Hopefully Sky’.
Jung Eun-ji has the nickname ‘Jung Kardashian’ given by her fellow Apink bandmate Chorong, because of her big hips.