Choi Soo-young (born February 10, 1990), most often credited as Sooyoung, is a South Korean singer and actress. She was a member of Korean-Japanese duo Route θ and is a member of South Korean girl group Girls' Generation. Besides music activities, Sooyoung has also starred in various television dramas such as The 3rd Hospital (2012), Dating Agency: Cyrano (2013), My Spring Days (2014) and 38 Revenue Collection Unit (2016)

Life and career

1990–2007: Early life and career beginnings

Choi Soo-young was born in Gwangju, Gyeonggi, South Korea on February 10, 1990.[2] She is the younger sister of Choi Soo-jin, who is a musical theatre actress.[3] Sooyoung was initially discovered through an S.M. Entertainment Open Audition when she was in fifth grade.[4] She later won first place at the 2002 Korea-Japan Ultra Idol Duo Audition and debuted in Japan as a member of the group Route θ.[5] The group released three singles before disbanding in 2003.[7] Sooyoung returned to S.M. Entertainment and eventually debuted in South Korea as a member of the girl group Girls' Generation in August 2007. The group gained significant popularity with the release of their hit single "Gee" in 2009.[8] That same year, Sooyoung graduated from JeongShin Women's High School.[9] Soo-young has said in an interview that she was also interested in acting before debuting as a singer and had failed more than 70 auditions during her pre-debut days.[10]

2008–present: Acting roles and lyrics writing

Aside from Girls' Generation's activities, Soo-young has participated in various music and acting projects. In the early days, her acting work mostly involved several small roles and guest appearances—these include KBS2's sitcom Unstoppable Marriage (2007),[11] romantic comedy film Hello, Schoolgirl (2008),[12] SBS's drama Oh! My Lady (2010),[13] SBS's Paradise Ranch (2011) and SBS's A Gentleman's Dignity (2012).[14][15] During this period, musically, she recorded two songs—one trot song titled "KKok" with Girls' Generation member Yuri for the SBS's drama Working Mom, while the other one, "Feeling Only You", was a collaboration with Girls' Generation member Tiffany and South Korean duo The Blue.[16][17] Throughout her career, besides contributing her vocal to Girls' Generation's songs, Soo-young has explored into lyrics writing. She penned the lyrics for "How Great is Your Love" (2011),[18] co-wrote "Baby Maybe" (2013)[19] and also wrote "What Do I Do" (2016) for her fellow Girls' Generation member Tiffany's single.

In September 2012, she landed her first major acting role in tvN's drama The 3rd Hospital. She played a cute and innocent violinist named Lee Eui Jin, who falls in love with one of the male leads.[20] She was praised by both co-actors Oh Ji Ho and Kim Seung-woo and the viewers were drawn to her emotional scene due to her natural display of emotion.[3][3] In May 2013, Soo-young was cast in a lead role in tvN's drama, Dating Agency: Cyrano. It was a spin-off of the 2010 movie Cyrano Agency. She played a dating expert named Gong Min-young, who works at a dating agency helping people to find their love.[3] Park Ju-yeon from the Hankook Ilbo praised Soo-young for her lively character portrayal and said that there was not any "overdone emotions commonly appear in acting newcomers".[3]

In September 2014, Soo-young scored a lead role in MBC's drama, My Spring Days. Her character, Lee Bom, is a terminally ill patient who gets a heart transplant; she meets her donor's husband, played by Kam Woo-sung, a widow with two kids who lost his wife in an accident.[3] This was a breakthrough performance for Soo-young as she won the "Best Actress in a Miniseries" award at the 2014 MBC Drama Awards and the "Excellence Award for Actress" at the 2015 Korea Drama Awards.[27][28] She also sang a song for the soundtrack of the drama, titled "Wind Flower".[3] In 2015, she was cast as the female lead in KBS2's special drama Perfect Sense. It was produced by Samsung Fire & Marine Insurance to help raise public understanding of the disabled. Soo-young played a teacher named Ayeon, who is visually impaired.[3] In 2016, she was cast as the female lead alongside Ma Dong-seok and Seo In-guk in the drama 38 Police Squad.[3]

Personal life

In January 2014, it was confirmed that Soo-young is in a relationship with actor Jung Kyung-ho.[4]

Soo-young's father suffers from retinitis pigmentosa.[4] Since 2015, she has held a charity auction event called "Beaming Effect" to raise money for finding a cure for the disease.[4][4]

On February 15, 2016, she graduated from Chung-Ang University with a bachelor's degree in theater and film. At the graduation ceremony, she received a Lifetime Achievement Award as Honorary Ambassador of the school. Her fellow Girls' Generation member Kwon Yuri also attended the same university.[4]



2002Start"Start"03:23Duet with Malina Takahashi

as Route θ

"Kimi Ni Ae Ta Kara... (君に会えたから…)"04:40
Waku Waku It's Love"Waku Waku It's Love (ワクワク)"03:23
"Go Go Happy (明日はあしたの風が吹く)"03:58
"Onna No Ko Magic (女の子マジック)"04:30
2005InuYasha"I Am" (Korean Version)01:24Solo
2008SBS Working Mom"KKok (꼭)"03:24Duet with Kwon Yuri
2009The First Memories"Feeling Only You (너만을 느끼며)"03:26With Tiffany and The Blue
2014My Spring Days"Wind Flower (바람꽃)"03:29Solo



YearTitleRoleOther notes
2008Hello, SchoolgirlJeong Da-jeongSupporting role
2012I AM.HerselfBiographical film of SM Town[4]
2015SMTown The StageHerselfDocumentary film of SM Town[4]

Television dramas

2008Unstoppable MarriageChoi Soo-youngSupporting roleKBS
2010Oh! My LadyHerselfCameo appearance (Episode 7)SBS
2011Paradise RanchMiss SooCameo appearance (Episode 3)
2012A Gentleman's DignityHerselfCameo appearance (Episode 5)
The 3rd HospitalLee Eui-jinLead roletvN
2013Dating Agency: CyranoGong Min-youngLead role
2014My Spring DaysLee Bom-yiLead roleMBC
2016Drama Special: Perfect SenseEun-sooLead roleKBS
38 Revenue Collection UnitCheon Sung-heeLead roleOCN

Variety shows

2009Fantastic DuoPresenterMBC
2012Quiz on KoreaPresenterKBS1
2012–2014TV Entertainment TonightPresenterSBS
2015Running ManGuestSBS

Radio show

2005M.Net Hello Chat!VJ alongside with Kangin
2007–2008DMB ChunBangJiChuk Radio (Hangul: 천방지축 라디오; lit. Reckless Radio)Co-DJ along with Sungmin

Awards and nominations

2012Mnet 20's Choice AwardsBest 20's StyleN/ANominated
KBS Music AwardsBest Female Group MemberN/ANominated
20136th Korea Drama AwardsBest New ActressDating Agency: CyranoNominated
6th Style Icon AwardsBest K-Style AwardHerselfWon[4]
SBS Entertainment AwardsNew Rookie Award (MC Category)TV Entertainment TonightWon[4]
2014MBC Drama AwardsExcellence Award, Actress in a MiniseriesMy Spring DaysWon[27]
Best Couple AwardNominated[4]
20158th Korea Drama AwardsExcellence Award, ActressWon[28]