Lee Hi is a South Korean singer best known for being a contestant on the show Kpop Star after her participation in the program, she signed an exclusive contract with YG Entertainment along with other contestants in the program to become part of the Su★Pearlsthe group never debuted because its members decided to go their separate ways, Lee Hi was the only one to remain with the agency.
2012: Debut with their First Single “1, 2, 3, 4”.
Lee Hi made her official debut on October 29th with “1, 2, 3, 4”, a song that would break with the image that fans and the general public had of the singer after her time with Kpop Star the track was described as a retro soul sounding song that brings back the 60s.
Yang Hyun Suk the CEO added that the agency had invested double the amount of money planned for the music video shoot, which was directed by Han Sa Min, whose works include “Blue” and “Monster” from BIGBANG.
The single managed to hold the #1 position on different music charts for 23 consecutive days, making her the first rookie artist to do so. In addition to earning the top spot on M! Countdown for two consecutive weeks, “1, 2, 3, 4” also held the #1 position on Billboard’s K-Pop chart for two consecutive weeks, as well as being mentioned as “the new artist to watch out for.”.
These achievements proved that Lee Hi exceeded the high expectations of her fans by debuting with a retro track and topping the music charts, a difficult feat at the time due to the saturation of new artists and idols debuting every day.
Back with her second single “Scarecrow”.
In November YG Entertainment revealed the release of a new song for the following day 22. The song would be a ballad produced by the founder of JYP Entertainment Park Jin Young, the return was planned in secret. The news attracted attention, not only because of the collaboration between the two companies JYP and YG but because the other two contestants from Kpop Star which signed with JYP Entertainment debuted with songs not produced by Park Jin Young.
Yang Hyun Suk stated “For the new single, we haven’t recorded any music video. neither will she wear special clothes or dancers for her performance. our aim is to compete exclusively with Lee Hi’s voice. we haven’t even taken new photos for the comeback, the image for the new song will be drawings by the singer herself.”.
2013: Return with her first album “First Love”.
On February 25, a mysterious image for their upcoming comeback was revealed where we could see 3 different dates with question marks: “March 1? March 7? March 21?”.
On February 26, a new teaser was unveiled showing the meaning of the previous dates: “mini? single? album?”. It was also revealed that the release of their first full-length album would use the method of half album on March 7, the first five songs could be heard and on March 21 the remaining songs would be unveiled. “It’s Over” would be the title song of the first part while “Rose” would be the title song of the second part.
On March 1, she unveiled “Turn It Up” in advance on her official YouTube channel, the album’s introductory song. The track features a hip-hop beat composed by Kush and Lydia Paek and written by Tablo from Epic High.
Finally on March 7, the MV of “It’s Over” was revealed, a song with pop melody and a touch of jazz. The lyrics talk about a girl who must tell her boyfriend that the relationship is over and the reasons for the breakup.
Shortly before the release of “Rose” and the subtraction of the album, Lee Hi decided to go for a more mature and darker image. Therefore, the release date was pushed back from March 21 to March 28.
On March 28, the album “First Love” was revealed in full along with the MV of “Rose”, a song produced by Teddy where she explores the singer’s sultry vocals and rap. Lee Hi talked about how the CEO of YG Entertainment, Yang Hyun Suk,& had been involved in the album saying “He first gave me a list of recommended songs that she thought would feel right for me.After recording all the songs she determined the order and decided to split the album into two parts.I think she did an amazing job of making a clear distinction between the two parts.Basically the difference is that one part represents a young and innocent concept while the second reveals a more mature sound.”.
The song reached the #1 position in several music charts and got an incredible response from the public, appreciating the good combination between the singer’s mature voice and the new image with which she had returned.
First Solo Concert “Secret Live RE HI”.
On May 21, she held her first solo concert at Seokang University’s Merry Hall in Seoul. At the event she stated that she was learning how to write and compose songs and wished she had the chance to do so, so that she could do it on her own. She also showed jazz and acoustic versions of her songs.
Member of the BH sub-unit
On December 20, the holiday single “All I Want For Christmas Is You,” an original song by Mariah Carey, was unveiled along with Park Bom as a special collaboration under the name of BH the song was released digitally and was not promoted in music programs.
At that time YG Entertainment promoted collaborations between its own artists as sub-units as a marketing strategy, so initially the duo had no plans to continue releasing music.
2014: Debut as a member of HI SUHYUN with “I’m Different”.
The song surprised everyone by achieving an All Kill on its debut, beating out MC Mong with “Did You Miss Me?” and a AOA with “Like a Cat” in all the music charts YG Entertainment was unaware of the possibility of the song achieving such success, so it was decided to delay the release of the initially low-budget music video to November 18 in order to reshoot it for a higher quality video clip.
On the 23rd they managed to win their first trophy in Inkigayo with a score of 8,786, being completely surprised even to have been nominated.
Yang Hyun Suk mentioned in a press release that due to the great success this sub-unit had achieved, it would rethink transforming to HI SUHYUN but “I’m Different” was later included as an independent group Bonus track on Lee Hi’s second album, somewhat disproving this information.
2015: Preparation of her Second Album under HIGHGRND
On August 25, it was reported that Lee Hi would be preparing her second studio album under the label of YG Entertainment, HIGHGRND (then led by Tablo in a statement it was declared “Since Yang Hyun Suk is so busy these days, he’s worried that she won’t be able to manage Lee Hi’s return properly. That’s why he’s relied on the production skills of Tablo and passed it on to her Tablo accepted the favor without hesitation and are in preparations to enhance Lee Hi’s return.” However, they clarified that Lee Hi was still under the management of YG Entertainment.
2016: Back with her second album “Seoulite”.
A teaser for “Seoulite,” Lee Hi’s first comeback in three years, was released on February 28. “I think I was worried because, even though I was a rookie, I was on hiatus for 3 years. I was worried that they would forget me and if they would like a Lee Hi in her 20s instead of a teenager.” stated the singer.
As with their first album, this time they would once again use the method of half album before releasing the full album.
The first part of the album was released on March 9 along with the release of the music videos for the lead songs “Hold My Hand” and “Breathe”, a ballad that showcases the singer’s vocal skills and moves the listener. “The song offers solace and comfort to those who listen to it and offered me the same as I sang it.” said Lee Hi.
“Breathe” managed to occupy the #1 position in multiple music charts getting an All Kill. It also managed to be at the top of the Chinese charts.
The song “Breathe” has a great story behind it Tablo for a long time, she hid it from Yang Hyun Suk the actual writer and composer of the song until the day of the recording of the video clip to avoid being prejudiced (due to the fact that the composer was a member of a boy band) “While reviewing the album, I heard one song that was slower than the others. The song had a deep impression on me, so we decided to make it the second lead song on Tablo’s recommendation.” revealed Yang Hyun Suk it was also withheld from Lee Hi until it was recorded in the studio.
The song was written and composed by the member of SHINee and deceased Jonghyun at the time, the singer expressed her gratitude for having the opportunity to write thanks to the proposal from Tablo Lee Hi also mentioned being so grateful for the request that she couldn’t even remember how many songs she wrote for the occasion. Lee Hi felt very grateful for Jonghyun who advised her on how to feel at each moment of the song in order to express herself better when singing.
In 2017, during the Party People show she revealed the meaning of the song to her “When I released this song, I was having trouble breathing. I was suffering from a little panic disorder and always felt suffocated.” She continued “I didn’t even know I wasn’t breathing properly. When I realized it I tried to breathe using a plastic bag but ended up visiting the hospital. &I wasn’t able to do what I wanted to do. I really wanted to sing but I couldn’t do it freely. I was hoping that “Breathe” would help those who were singing and had difficulty breathing.” .
- Subsequently in 2018 the song gained much more renown following the death of Jonghyun lee Hi dedicated it to her in a tribute to the singer at the 32nd Golden Disc Awards, an occasion in which the singer could not help but get emotional during the performance.
The second part of “Seoulite” was unveiled on April 20 along with the music video “My Star”, with a special appearance by One song composed by Teddy and Kush the physical album was released a week later.
2018: Debut in Japan and 1st Japan Tour 2018
On February 27 and 28, Lee Hi held her first tour in Japan at the Tokyo Kawasaki and Osaka Orix Theater with plans to debut in Japan at an upcoming date. The singer managed to stand out by being the MC of the event herself by showing off her fluent Japanese.
Finally, on March 21, the singer’s first Japanese album was released with a two-disc edition featuring all of her Korean songs, her collaborations with Epic High japanese versions of “Breathe” and “Rose” and a DVD with all their video clips, as well as a standard version of the album.
2019: Back with her Third Mini-Album “24℃”
March 1st Yang Hyun Suk posted on Instagram “We almost finished with the recording of Lee Hi’s new album, with whom I feel more sorry and appreciate so much. I promise two comebacks for Lee Hi in 2019.” This news relieved fans because the artist’s comeback was postponed countless times since 2017, the date was announced several times without success.
After a long wait, a teaser announcing the artist’s long-awaited comeback was revealed on May 20, with Lee Hi revealing more details of her comeback in Harper’s Bazaar magazine. “I chose the songs for the album and I wanted to put my all into it.I wrote the lyrics,listened and composed the songs.When I went back to check it out I had more to do.I want to show that I can make more colorful and joyful music.When you listen to the album you can see how much I have grown.I would like people to be able to see a more mature side of me,especially for the fans who have been supporting me since high school.”.
On May 22, the release date of their new EP called “24℃” was announced for May 30 with the title track “No One,” featuring the collaboration of B.I from iKON and inspired by the song “Is There Anybody?” by Han Young Aethe album is characterized by showing a more mature but colorful side of Lee Hi, as well as having certain Asian vibes that differentiate them from their previous works.
On May 27, the album’s track list was revealed, unveiling the long-awaited collaboration with G.Soul (which was confirmed some time ago), a partnership with Choi Hyun Suk of the agency’s new group of kids, TREASURE and “20min”, a song composed and produced by the singer herself, among the highlights.
Finally on May 30, the music video and album were revealed simultaneously reaching the #1 spot on all South Korean music charts (except Flo) and staying on top of the daily and real-time charts of all of them for several days. She also managed to debut on the iTunes worldwide album chart with “24℃” at the #1 position, making her the first Korean artist to achieve this. She also reached the #1 spot in 9 countries.
During this comeback YG Entertainment was going through a boycott by fans due to various agency-related controversies, this failed to affect Lee Hi until June 13, when B.I was involved in a controversy over drug use and was abruptly dismissed from the agency and from iKON the situation significantly affected the singer’s activities, tarnishing the image of her comeback. In spite of this, some activities were maintained without the company of the singer B.I.
Termination of its contract with YG Entertainment
December 31, 2009 YG Entertainment reported that Lee Hi’s contract had expired via a written statement. Early on, upon signing with them, it was disclosed that Lee Hi’s contract with the agency was for 10 years, which is unusual in the industry. Ultimately, contrary to what was initially stated, her contract was terminated after 8 years. It is unknown whether disputes related to the agency facilitated this process.
Following that, the artist, through her Instagram account, posted a handwritten statement making a reminder of everything she has lived through and how fast time has passed since her debut. She ends that statement saying “I will be even more cautious choosing the next agency.”.
2020: New agency rumors
Following her departure from YG Entertainment during the end of the year, Lee Hi received many offers from numerous agencies. The demand for the artist was high due to her great popularity and talent. That’s why rumors soon surfaced.
On January 23, she issued a statement denying her involvement with MAKEUS Entertainment (agency of Sunmi ), with whom they began to relate alleging that she had signed a contract with them. The artist commented “[…] There is still nothing decided yet but new news is coming out fast and, to be honest, I have been surprised since this afternoon. If I make a decision soon and find an agency to work with among all the agencies I have good talks with, I hope to be the first to tell you about it […] I will be grateful if you believe in me a bit more and wait without speculating.”.
On March 3, new speculation surfaced, this time claiming that the singer was negotiating to sign an exclusive contract with AOMG (agency led by Jay Park ), a record label with a strong reputation among South Korean rappers and R&B singers. Shortly thereafter, the agency said that nothing was confirmed.
Back with her single “HOLO”.
In early July several articles in the South Korean press indicated that Lee Hi would return with new music independently but with assistance and support from aOMG the media continued to report that she was in the final stages of finalizing a contract with a new agency, raising expectations.
On July 12, Lee Hi, removed all photos from her Instagram profile and revealed a new teaser image for her first comeback after her departure from YG Entertainment with a 10-day countdown.
On July 13, through her YouTube channel, she released the first episode of her new reality show called “#HOLO” (referring to her new song; which means “Alone”). In the first episode they introduce the goal of the show which is to find a new agency to work with and sign a contract. she asks for advice from Epic High, MRSHLL and Chancellor among other renowned artists.
Signing with AOMG
Finally, after much evidence, on July 22, it was reported that Lee Hi had signed an exclusive contract with the agency. It was reported via the agency’s Instagram account, revealing a new teaser of the artist and new profile pictures. She was welcomed as follows “We are proud to announce this amazing and talented artist, Lee Hi has officially signed with AOMG “..
2021; Back with its Third Studio Album “4ONLY”
On August 24 at 12 KST, the AOMG agency announced the return of Lee Hi on September 9 at 6 PM KST with her third studio album “4ONLY”.
Lee Hi Facts
- Debut: October 29, 2012.
- Education School of Performing Arts Seoul.
- Languages Korean, Japanese (advanced), English (advanced).
- Official Fanclub HiceCream
- Official Color: Addressed.
- Models to follow Michael Jackson, Beyoncé and& Rihanna.
- Its name means “Happiness for a long time”; “Ha” (하) means “For a long time” and “Yi” (이) means “Happiness”.
- At her audition for Kpop Star she sang “Bust Your Windows” by Jazmine Sullivan and danced to “I’m The Best by 2NE1.
- Yang Hyun Suk said that, despite finishing second in the Kpop Star in her heart, she was also the winner, and this was demonstrated when she was offered an exclusive contract after her participation in the program
- Her song “Scarecrow”, composed by J.Y. Park was originally to be sung by Park Bom from 2NE1.
- It’s Over” features Krunk, the famous mascot from YG Entertainment who makes a parody of Taeyang and G-Dragon from BIGBANG.
- In one of her presentations of “Rose” in Inkigayo, CL from 2NE1 made a contribution in rap.
- In 2013, Billboard ranked Lee Hi No. 20 on the “21 Under 21: Music’s Hottest Minors” list, alongside Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus, Ariana Grande, One Direction, among others. She was the only Asian selected
- The singer Lorde stated to follow Lee Hi from Kpop Star and being fascinated by her interpretation of “Mercy”, she also pointed out that she likes her song “1, 2, 3, 4”.
- In episode 6 of Mix & Match performed “Let It Go” from the animated movie “Frozen”, together with B.I and her team; being ranked #1.
- She has expressed several times that she does not understand the management of YG about her public image and why they try to make her look mysterious by not taking her to entertainment programs.
- Lee Hi revealed that the song “희 고문 (Blues)” (literal translation: False Hopes) is her least favorite song from her second album as she doesn’t like the type of person on a date who gives her false hopes. Fans quickly related it to the false hopes that her former agency (YG) gave her.
- I sign with AOMG in 2020.
- On April 20, 2020 the creative director Sinxity revealed an exclusive image of a 2018 comeback that was cancelled, all promotional photos and the music video were finished, the title track was to be the collaboration with G.Soul “No Way” and the mini album was to be called “Hotel Chateau Adore”. Instead these plans were cancelled and preparations for “24℃” were made spontaneously the following year.
Lee Hi Collaborations
- Epic High – Rich Kids Anthem (Feat. Lee Hi) (2022)
- Show Me The Money 10 – 높이 (Feat. Lee Hi) (Prod. by Gray ) (2021)
- Gray – Party For The Night (Feat Loco & Lee Hi) (2021)
- B.I – Daydream (Feat. Lee Hi) (2021)
- Won Woo & Min Gyu – Bittersweet (Feat. Lee Hi) (2021)
- Park Ji Hoon – Call U Up (Feat. Lee Hi) (Prod. by Primary) (2021)
- Swings – Villain (feat. Lee Hi & Simon Dominic) – Show Me The Money 9 (2020)
- Crush – Tip Toe (Feat. Lee Hi) (2020)
- Raiden & Chan Yeol – Yours (Feat. Lee Hi, Changmo ) (Blinders Remix) (2020)
- Raiden & Chan Yeol – Yours (Feat. Lee Hi, Changmo ) (2020)
- Code art – O (Feat. Lee Hi) (2020)
- Code art – XI (Feat. Lee Hi) (2019)
- Epic High – Here Come the Regrets (Feat. Lee Hi) (2017).
- Dok2 – On & On (Feat. Lee Hi) (2017)
- Yoo Jae Suk & Dok2 – Like (Feat. Lee Hi) (2017)
- Code art – X (Feat. Lee Hi) (2017)
- Gill – Refrigerator (Feat. Lee Hi &. Verbal Jint ) (2016)
- Innovator – More Than A TV Star (Feat. Lee Hi) – Show Me The Money 4 (2015)
- Epic High – Happen Ending (Japanese Ver.) [Feat. Lee Hi] (2015)
- Epic High – It’s Cold (Feat. Lee Hi) (2012)
Lee Hi Music
- MRSHLL – 나 혼자 (Alone) (2018).
- MRSHLL – Ok (Feat Lydia Paek ) (2018)
- MRSHLL – Come Over (Feat PH-1 ) (2018)
Lee Hi Advertisement
- LG Optimus G-Pro (2013) (Next to Park Myung Soo and Kim Bum Soo )
- Glaceau Vitaminwater (2013) (Next to Tablo )
- Lee Hi 1st Concert “Secret Live RE HI” 2013
- 12 May – Seoul, South Korea – Seokang University’s Merry Hall
- Lee Hi 1st Japan Tour 2018
- 27 January – Kanagawa – Calts Kawasaki
- January 28 – Osaka – Orix Theater
- WINNER – EXIT TOUR in Seoul (12/13.03.2016)
- iKON – iKONCERT (30/31.01.2016)
- G-Dragon – One of a Kind Seoul Concert (30/31.03.2013)
- PSY – Happening Concert (13.04.2013)
Lee Hi Drama
- Flower Ever After (Naver TV, 2018) Cameo
Lee Hi Radio Programs
- [Music High] Welcome to AOMG (SBS, 24.07.2020)
- Radio 2 O’clock Date with Ji Suk Jin (MBC, 19.06.2019) Next to So Mi
- Kim Shinyoung’s Noon Song of Hope (MBC, 05.06.2019)
- Lee Suji’s Gayo Plaza (KBS, 04.06.2019)
- Suhyun Volume Up Radio (KBS, 06/03/2019)
- Dreaming Radio- Code Kunst & Woo Wonjae (SBS, 04.02.2019)
- Power FM Love Game Radio (SBS, 03/21/2016)
- Jonghyun’s Blue Night Live (MBC, 18.03.2016)
- Power FM Kim Chan Rhyul’s Old School (SBS, 17.03.2016)
- Meenoi’s Yorizori (AOMG, 2021) (Ep.03, besides Soo Hyun from AKMU ) (First Season) (09.10.2021)
- Hoody’s Home Dining (AOMG, 2021) (Ep.02, besides Sogumm ) (27.04.2021)
- Show Me The Money 9 (Mnet 2020) Ep. 9
- On&Off (tvN, 2020) Ep. 18
- Yoo Hee Yeol’s Sketchbook (KBS2 2020)
- Begin Again 4 (JTBC, 2020) Ep. 4-6, 10
- Idol Room (JTBC, 2019). (together with Seunghwan & Paul Kim )
- Wednesday Food Talk (tvN, 2016)
- Weekly Idol (MBC, 2016)
- Immortal Songs 2 (KBS, 2016)
- Happy Together (KBS, 2016)
- Two Yoo Project – Sugar Man (JTBC, 2016)
- Yoo Hee Yeol’s Sketchbook (KBS2, 2016)
- Kpop Star 5 (SBS, 2016)
- Show Me The Money 4 (Mnet, 2015)
- Kpop Star 4 (SBS, 2015)
- Healing c& (SBS, 2015)
- Mix & Match (Mnet, 2014)
- Running Man (SBS, 2013)
- Thank You (SBS, 2013)
- Kpop Star 2 (SBS, 2013)
- Strong Heart (SBS, 2012)
- Kpop Star (SBS, 2012)
- 하24이 II (YouTube, 2019).
- HOLO (YouTube, 2020)
- 하24이 (YouTube, 2019).
- Hi TV (Naver / VLIVE, 2016)
Lee Hi TV Drama’s
- Hold My Hand theme for Now, We Are Breaking Up (2021)
- Brave Enough subject for Record of Youth (2020)
- My Love theme for Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo (2016)
- Can You Hear My Heart (besides Epic High ) theme for Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo (2016)
- Golden Slumber theme for Golden Slumber (2018)
- Dear you theme for Romance 101 (2021)
Lee Hi Music Videos
- Jay Park – To Life (2022)