Lee Hyori is a name that you might know if you have ever heard anything about Korean music.
She was born in South Korea in 1979, where she grew up with her parents and a brother and sister. She became part of one of the now legendary groups of Korean pop, Fin.K.L, in 1998. She was discovered while taking pictures with her friends and was actually the last one to join the group, not long before their debut with the single ‘’Blue Rain’’. The group was formed by Ock Joo-Hyun, Lee Jin, Sung Yuri and her. As she was the eldest of the four member band she was the leader.
Her career with the band was very successful having great hits like ‘’To my boyfriend’’. As of today, Fin.K.L and S.E.S are considered the most successful pop bands of all time in South Korean.
The band released a total of 6 album and one final digital single before going separate ways although they did not break up they have been focusing in their personal projects for the last few years. This unofficial disbandment happened in 2005 but, back in 2003, Lee Hyori released her first solo album ‘’Stylish’’ which make her an even bigger star than she already was. She got many awards and her popularity was dubbed as the ‘’Hyori Syndrome’’. 2003 was definitely her year.
It wasn’t until 3 years later, 2006 that she released her second album ‘’Angel’’. But it was a controversial album since the release. The album press was struck by plagiarism accusations. The track ‘’Get ya!’’ was too similar to Britney Spears‘ ‘’Do something’’ and the writer of the latter sued the company.
But it was also know that, after moving to Mnet, Lee Hyori had become the highest paid female singer in South Korea as her three year contract with the company was valued in 2.2 billion won. 2007 saw new projects like her second drama, after the failure that was the first. It had not much success either.
She has also hosted TV shows during breaks in her solo career which had great success due to her lovable and funny personality. Family outing, a weekly outdoors show consisting of her and a bunch of other stars, had a great success. During her time on the show she released her third album ‘’it’s Hyorish’’. The album was well received and ‘’U go girl’’ was an instant hit.
In 2009 her contract with Mnet expired and she signed with B2M Entertainment, a company owned by Gil Jong-Hwa, Fin.K.L co-manager.
The first album that she released with the company was H-Logic which included collaborations with some other great artists like Daesung or Bekah. But Lee Hyori was struck once again with plagiarism accusations. Bahnus, writer of some of the songs in the album had plagiarized 7 of them.
It was until 2012 that rumors of her comeback started to spread but we had to wait until May 21st 2013 to finally listen to her latest album ‘’Monochrome’’
The album has a very different feeling to what Hyori usually does. There are many new sounds in it. It’s a lot more mature. The first singles ‘’Miss Korea’’ and ‘’Bad Girls’’ are on the top lists in South Korea right now. But the other 14 tracks are no less than the first singles. There is also a limited edition that contains an exclusive 156 page photo-book. Don’t waste any more time and listen to the album!
Written by Chelo