When one talks about versatile Korean entertainers, Lee Seung Gi immediately comes to mind. Known for his success as a singer, actor, entertainer and host, there doesn’t seem to be anything that this multi-talented artist can’t do. His latest blockbuster drama Vagabond has been garnering rave reviews and boasts high viewership ratings in South Korea. Lucky fans of Seung Gi, also known as Airen, will be able to meet him when he is in Singapore for his fan meeting Vagabond Voyage this coming Saturday, October 26. As you count down the days to see him, here are 10 things to know about Lee Seung Gi!
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Vagabond viewers not only get to see Seung Gi’s chemistry with co-star Bae Suzy once again (she last acted with him on 2013’s Gu Family Book), but are also treated to scenes of the hunky actor performing his own stunts in his first full-fledged action drama. Starring as Cha Dal Gun, a stuntman who is determined to find out the truth behind a mysterious plane crash that killed his nephew, the drama has plenty of action scenes worthy of a Hollywood movie. Vagabond producers revealed that Seung Gi did 90% of his own stunts without using a stunt double, including a scene that required him to leap off a tall building onto the top of a car. Those who can’t get enough of seeing him in action should check out behind-the-scenes clips of Vagabond where you can see the talented actor filming his stunts.
Although his dramas have given him widespread popularity, Seung Gi is also an accomplished singer and he actually made his debut in the entertainment business with a powerful ballad titled “Because You’re My Girl” back in 2004. The song which became a huge hit was written and composed by none other than PSY of “Gangnam Style” fame and was about a young man falling for an older woman. The immense popularity of the song pushed him into the spotlight, and he won various “Best Newcomer” awards at music award ceremonies that same year. Seung Gi and PSY maintain a close relationship and he has made guest appearances during PSY’s year-end concerts to perform and show his support.
Just like Singaporean males who have to go through National Service, it is also compulsory for South Korean males to serve in the military. Seung Gi enlisted on February 1, 2016 as an active-duty soldier and was formally discharged on October 31, 2017 where he served in the Special Warfare Command Unit. As a member of the special forces, he had to go through rigorous physical training including mandatory airborne training which was a challenge to him due to his severe fear of heights. Besides completing the intensive training, Seung Gi also performed for his fellow soldiers and even managed to rope in PSY and the extremely popular singer IU as guest performers for a military concert.
Although Seung Gi has never studied abroad, he is fluent not only in Korean, but also in English and Japanese. While filming the variety show Sisters Over Flowers, scenes of him speaking to the locals in English attracted so much attention that it became a trending search term on internet portal sites in South Korea. In response, his company stated that Seung Gi has been studying English diligently but that his Japanese is even better because he has been studying the language intensively since high school.
Seung Gi made his debut in Japan in 2012 and released a single and album with the same title, Time for Love—both releases immediately took the top spots on the Japanese music charts. Within a mere three months, he was able to hold a solo concert at Nippon Budokan in Tokyo where he performed to over 8000 fans which still remains an amazing feat for a Korean singer in Japan.
Even as a student, Seung Gi performed well in academics, sports and the arts. He was a good student who did well in his studies and took on the role of student president in school. Apart from his passion for soccer, he also had a strong love for music and became the vocalist of a rock band in high school. In fact, it was during one of their live performances where he caught the eye of veteran singer Lee Sun Hee. She took Seung Gi under her wing and trained him for 2 years before he made his debut as a singer and the rest is history.
Seung Gi made his acting debut in 2006 but it was the 2009 drama Brilliant Legacy that truly propelled him to stardom. He starred as a spoilt and immature heir to a food company who eventually grows to become a mature and dependable person capable of taking over the family business. Right from the start, the drama had consistently high viewership and its last episode achieved an impressive 47.1% viewer rating. Seung Gi was highly praised for his strong acting skills and the drama earned him numerous awards including “Most Popular Actor” and “Best Couple” with co-star Han Hyo Joo that year.
Once again proving that he is an indeed an all-rounded entertainer, Seung Gi took home his first Grand Prize Award (Daesang) at the 2018 SBS Entertainment Awards, beating out his fellow nominees who were veteran television hosts Yoo Jae Suk, Kang Ho Dong and Lee Kyung Kyu. He was nominated for his work in variety show Master in the House, which was his first variety show after his discharge from the military. Together with the other cast members Lee Sang Yoon, Yang Se Hyung and Yook Sung Jae, they visited the homes of famous figures in various fields to learn about their lives. The cast members also won awards during the award show.
Busted! is an original Netflix Korean variety show which has a diverse cast ranging from veteran host Yoo Jae Suk to actress Park Min Young and popular K-pop idol, Oh Se Hun from boyband EXO. The premise of the show is for the cast to investigate an ongoing mystery as well as different murder cases in every episode. Guest celebrities will appear to provide clues for the cast. Seungi Gi is confirmed to appear on the second season which is slated to air on November 8.
If you need another reason to drink more bubble tea, here it is: Adding to his long list of endorsement deals, Seung Gi has recently become the face of Gong Cha in 11 countries including Singapore. One of South Korea’s most beloved entertainers endorsing one of the most beloved drinks in Singapore? Sounds like a match made in heaven.