Who is Lee Dong-hae?
Lee Dong-hae is a South Korean singer, songwriter, and actor. He is one of the members of the world’s biggest boy band, ‘Super Junior.’ Lee is also associated with the band’s sub-groups, namely ‘Super Junior-M’ and ‘Super Junior-D&E.’ He is also the lead dancer in a dance group called ‘SM The Performance.’ His singing career began when he was signed by ‘S M Entertainment.’ After becoming proficient in singing, dancing and acting, he joined the boy band, ‘Super Junior,’ in 2005. He debuted as an actor in 2006, with a horror documentary titled ‘Mystery 6.’ He then continued working in various other movies like ‘Attack on the Pin-Up Boys’ (2007) and in TV series, such as ‘It’s Okay, Daddy’s Girl’ (2010-11), ‘Skip Beat’ (2011-12), ‘Ms Panda and Mr Hedgehog’ (2012) and ‘God’s Quiz’ (2014). His band has released nine studio albums, along with 50 videos and six live albums. Some of Lee’s solo songs include ‘Happy Bubble’ (2009), ‘Just Like Now’ (2010), ‘Strong Heart’ (2010), ‘Only U’ (2011), ‘Skip Beat’ (2011), etc.
Childhood & Early Life
Dong-hae was born in Mokpo, Jeollanam-do, South Korea, on October 15, 1986. His family name is Lee, and his name Dong-hae translates to ‘East Sea.’
Initially he wanted to become a football player, but since his father couldn’t realize his dream of becoming a singer, he wanted his son to become a singer. Also, Lee was inspired by a professional South Korean singer and decided to give singing a shot. What started as a mere audition in his seventh grade turned out to be a full-time career for Lee.
He attended Myongji University and graduated with a major in Arts. He also attended music classes in order to make a career out of music.
When he won the Best Outward Appearance Award at SM Youth Best Contest, he was approached by ‘S M Entertainment’ and was eventually signed by the company in 2001. Henceforth, he started his training in singing, dancing and acting.
After his training, he was put into a band called ‘Smile’ which had four other members. Due to some reason, the band didn’t work out. It was then renamed as ‘Super Junior 5’ in 2004. The group later came to be known as ‘Super Junior.’
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Lee made his debut appearance as one of the members of the band on November 6, 2005 in a music show called ‘Popular Song.’ The show was aired on SBS network and ‘Super Junior’ came to be known as ‘SJ’ and ‘SUJJU.’ At its peak, the band had thirteen members, becoming the world’s biggest boy band.
The band’s debut album, ‘Twin,’ was released in 2006. Its first single, ‘Knock Out,’ became a major hit, taking the album to the third spot on one of the music charts.
The album’s second single, ‘Miracle,’ became an even bigger hit as it topped almost all the music charts of the country in 2006.
Their next single ‘U’ became one of the most downloaded songs in Korea. It gave the band a lot of awards and recognition.
Their second album, ‘Don’t Don’ was released in September 2006, and ended up ruling the music charts for weeks. Though the album did not receive a great critical reception, it still became the best-selling album of the year in Korea.
In February 2007, they started a sub-group called ‘Super Junior-T,’ and released their first single titled ‘Rokuko.’
In April 2008, another sub-group was formed. It was called ‘Super Junior-M’ and it went on to become one of Korea’s most successful sub-groups. The band became so popular that its members bagged almost all the advertising contracts of top brands. They also appeared in a host of advertisements in China.
Other albums that were released by ‘Super Junior’ include ‘Sorry, Sorry’ (2009), ‘Bonamana’ (2010), ‘Mr.Simple’ (2012), ‘Sexy, Free & Single’ (2013), ‘Mamacita’ (2014), ‘Devil’ (2015) and ‘Play’ (2017). Most of them reached top spots in music charts all over the country.
In 2006, Lee made his acting debut in a horror documentary titled ‘Mystery 6.’ He played a guy who could see and feel ghosts around him.
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In the same year, he made his debut appearance in a music video in which he played a cyborg that was once human.
In 2007, he became a part of the movie, ‘Attack on the Pin-Up Boys,’ in which he played an interesting role.
In the same year, he released a track titled ‘Spoken.’ The track was a part of ‘O: The 2nd Asia Tour,’ a concert tour by another pop group named ‘TVXQ.’ He was also featured in the music video of an all-girl group named ‘Girls’ Generation.’ The video was titled ‘Kissing You.’
In 2010, he released ‘Strong Heart,’ the OST of the TV series, ‘It’s Okay, Daddy’s Girl.’
In 2011, he performed at the 8th Asia Song Festival, along with Seohyun of ‘Girls’ Generation.’ The song which they performed was named ‘Dreams Come True’ and it also became the theme song of the festival.
In the same year, he made an appearance in the Taiwanese drama ‘Skip Beat!’ He ended up singing the theme song of the drama at the end of the show. The theme song ‘This is Love’ was performed along with his ‘Super Junior-M’ member, Henry.
Around the same time, Lee and Eunhyuk started producing music together. Their first single titled, ‘Oppa, Oppa’ was later released in Japan in April 2012.
In 2012, he starred in a Korean TV series titled ‘Ms Panda and Mr Hedgehog.’ In the series, he played a patissier who looks tough from the outside but is actually a soft-hearted person on the inside. Lee also sang the theme song titled ‘Please Don’t.’
In December 2013, Lee, along with Eunhyuk, released another track titled ‘Still You,’ which was released in Japan and Korea.
In February 2014, Dong-hae and Eunhyuk released their first Japanese album, ‘Ride Me.’ In the same year, Lee made an appearance in a short film titled ‘The Youth-Rumor.’
He was also cast in the fourth season of ‘God’s Quiz’ in 2014.
In February 2015, Dong-hae and Eunhyuk successfully released their first Korean album titled, ‘The Beats Go On.’ They’ve also toured together for several concerts.
Awards & Achievements
As a solo artist, Lee has won an award under the category ‘Most Popular Korean Actor’ at Singapore e-Awards in 2013. ‘Super Junior’ has received a lot of awards including, ‘Mnet Asian Music Awards,’ ‘Golden Disc Awards,’ ‘MTV Asia Awards,’ ‘Teen Choice Awards,’ etc.
Losing his father was really painful for Lee as his father had a major influence on him and on his career.
Lee Dong-hae enlisted himself as a conscripted policeman on October 12, 2015. He was discharged on July 14, 2017.
Rumor has it that he has dated a number of girls, including his long-time friend Dara, ‘Girls’ Generation’ singers, Im Yoon-ah and Jessica Jung, and many other girls.
He loves puppies and kids, and is scared of ghosts. He has been nicknamed as Pinocchio by his friends. Lee is one of the four Korean artists to have appeared on Chinese postage stamps.