Lee Hong-gi (Hangul: 이홍기; hanja: 李洪基; pronounced [iː hoŋɡiː ]; Japanese:イ•ホンギ), often credited as Hong-gi or HongKi, is a South Korean idol singer best known for his singing abilities and being the main vocalist of the Korean pop/rock band F.T. Island. He is also an actor, songwriter, composer, writer and fashion designer. Lee released his first solo mini album FM302 in Korea on 18 November 2015 and his Japanese album AM302 on 9 December 2015.
Before Lee Hong-ki debuted as a singer with the band FT Island, he was a child actor, making his acting debut in 2002 in the KBS2 TV series Magic Kid Masuri as Masuri's friend. This sitcom gained popularity among elementary school students. He was also featured in Kkangsooni, where he played the character of Eo Soo-bong, and sang for the sitcom's OST.
In 2008, he was offered the lead role in Master of Study, the Korean adaptation of Japanese drama Dragon Zakura. Master of Study should have aired in the beginning of 2009 but due to preproduction difficulties, the drama was postponed to the beginning of 2010 which led FNC Entertainment to refuse Lee's role because of his busy schedule with FT Island.
Lee then played Lysander in a Korean musical theatre version of A Midsummer Night's Dream, where he showcased his singing, acting and dancing skills. In 2009, after a five-year break, he made his acting comeback and took the role of the quirky but loveable drummer Jeremy in You're Beautiful. To promote the drama, he also contributed solo tracks to the OST, such as "Promise" and "Still/As Ever." He received a New Star Award at the 2009 SBS Drama Awards for his performance. You're Beautiful recorded modest ratings in South Korea, but it became an international success and with it, Lee's worldwide popularity increased.
In April 2011, Lee starred in the TBS Japanese drama Muscle Girl! opposite Yui Ichikawa. This was followed by a 90-minute Korean-Japanese co-production titled Noriko Goes to Seoul, in which he played a young aspiring singer who meets an older woman (Takashima Reiko) who inspires him through hardships to achieve his dream.
In June 2013, he made his big screen debut in the movie Rockin' on Heaven's Door (Korean title: Passionate Goodbye), with Baek Jin-hee, in which Lee portrayed as a rebellious music star who is sent to work in a hospice.
Lee began filming Bride of the Century with Yang Jin-sung. He went on a four-week rest after he dislocated his shoulder and suffered facial fractures during December 2013. He resumed shooting in January 2014, and the drama aired that February.
Lee decided to pursue a career in singing after he starred in Kkangsooni, for which he sang a song for the soundtrack. At the end of the drama, he performed the song live on stage. He was 13 years old at that time. Impressed by his powerful vocal ability, a few people approached him, not wishing to waste his talent for singing. Then-fledgling label company FNC Entertainment Music signed Lee and fully trained him to become the lead singer of F.T. Island.
In 2015, Lee announced through social media that he was working on both a Korean and Japanese album, which was released in November and December respectively. The mini Korean album was revealed to be FM302, and the album was released on 18 November 2015, while the Japanese album was revealed to be AM302, and it was released on 9 December 2015. 'FM302' combines the radio terminology frequency modulation (FM) with Lee's birthday which is on March 2, to create the effect of his own radio frequency that resonates his music across the world. The title song "Insensible" is a ballad track and it tells the sad story of a man who is unable to forget his previous love. The music video was published on November 18, 2015. The lead actress of the music video is actress Park Shin-hye. Prior to his official music video release, a showcase was organised. Upon the release of FM302, it topped both Naver's real-time search chart, as well as Hanteo sales chart. The album still retained its position next week, selling more than 19,000 albums within two weeks. Moreover, six days after the release of the album, Lee won first place on SBS MTV's The Show for the first time. The album charted at No. 2 on Gaon Chart's national physical albums ranking, as well as No. 5 on the Gaon Social Chart in the 3rd week of November.
On the other hand, the PV for the Japanese album AM302, was published on YouTube on November 11, 2015. It was titled "イ・ホンギ (Monologue)" and it was published on F.T. Island's Official Japanese channel. The Japanese album contained some tracks from the Korean album FM302, but was translated into Japanese. The album is also available in three different sets, namely, the original version, Primadonna version (for fans), and the limited edition DVD version. Upon release, it charted at #4 in the Oricon charts.
On 21 May 2015, Dal Shabet's official YouTube channel uploaded a video titled Joker in Rock Version. The video was a collaboration with Lee and Subin singing Joker in rock version. It was believed that the two decided on a collaboration when Lee and Subin met on Hello Counselor.
Compositions and lyric-writing
In recent years, Lee has also begun composing music, contributing the songs "Black Chocolate" and "Orange Sky" to F.T. Island's Japanese album Rated FT, as well as the title track "Memory" and the song "Always With You" on F.T. Island's Korean mini-album Thanks To, and "Siren" from their latest album The Mood. He also composed Japanese songs "On My Way", "Just Please" and "Born to be a Rock n Roller".
Nail art is a creative activity that draws pictures or designs on fingernails. Lee was obsessed with nail art since 2010, but only publicly shown it in 2013. It was also revealed that former f(x)'s member Sulli inspired Lee to pursue a nail art career. His desires and passion for nail art was getting noticed as it was rare for a male idol to opt for nail art. However, Lee continued to explore nail art and had his nails painted as his hobby.
I want to break the stereotype that it's weird for men to get nail art.— Lee Hong-gi
(a quote to reporters during an interview)
Lee's passion for nail art went on to the next level as he produced his first book, titled Lee Hong-gi's Nail Book, where it features various nail art techniques and designs. It was sold at a fast rate showing the public's support for nail art on men. It was also a collaborative book between Lee and nail artist Kim Soo Jung. The nail art book also topped Japan's Tower Record for the pre-order category in both Korea and Japan respectively. His nail art was very successful as he has also won several awards for it. For example, Lee won the Best's Man's Nail Art Award in 2013, making him to first foreigner to win this award, which was held in Japan and also in 2015, Lee won the same award – Best's Man Nail Art Award as well, but he was unable to the attend the ceremony due to solo projects and tours, but instead thanked the fans for their continuous support through a video recording.
Lee started his own fashion brand 'Skullhong' in June 2014. He designs accessories, jewelry and various nail products. Skullhong is centred in Korea, and has since garnered popular support due to Lee's personal designs and phrases, like nail rings that are made of gold or silver, and catchy phrases like "Doesn't Matter". New fashionable items are regularly updated in about once a month with Lee personally designing them.
It was originally based in Seoul, South Korea only, however, due to immense popularity, it has since expanded it's business to Hong Kong, and Tokyo, Japan. Moreover, within just one day, 90% sales items which are meant to be sold over 6 days had been sold out, proving it's huge popularity and interest.
HONGSTARGRAM, a travel book was personally dedicated to fans as a travel book to capture the different moments of Lee during his first solo trip to different countries. Pictures such as him sight-seeing in China, and even his morning looks were also shown in the travel book.
Lee also founded and is part of Hong's Tower, which is a group of people composing and writing songs. Hong's Tower has since composed several tracks from FM302 and N.W.U.
- 2015: AM302 (Japanese)
- 2015: FM302 (Korean)
|2004||Kangsooni OST||To My Friend|
|2007||Unstoppable Marriage OST||Lately I|
|2009||You're Beautiful OST||Still,|
|2011||Heartstrings OST||Even If It's Not Necessary|
|2013||The Heirs OST||I'm Saying|
|Rockin' on Heaven's Door OST||Jump,|
|2014||Bride of the Century OST||Words I Have Yet To Say|
|Modern Farmer OST||When Love Comes,|
Do Or Die
List of songs written by Lee Hong-gi
|2011||FNC Entertainment||F.T. Island||Five Treasure Island||Flower Rock|
|20||Let It Go!|
|2012||Five Treasure Box||Stay With Me|
|Compass (The Way)|
|Always With You|
|Uncharted Future||Born To Be Rock'N Roller|
|2014||New Page||On My Way|
|Do You Know Why?|
|To The Light|
|5.....Go||To The Light|
|2016||N.W.U||You Don't Know Who I Am|
|Come on Girl|
|We Are... (Japanese Version)|
|Where's the Truth?||Out of Love|
|Take Me Now|
|We Are... (Korean Version)|
|2002||EBS||TV Original Fairytale: Bicycle Thief||Educational TV series|
|KBS2||Magic Kid Masuri||Masuri's friend||Main cast|
|2004||EBS||There's Light at the Tip of My Fingernails|
|EBS||Kkangsooni||Eo Soo-bong||Educational TV series|
|MBC||Freezing Point||Hwan-yi||Supporting role|
|2005||EBS||Flower Butterfly and Sunflower||Educational TV series|
|EBS||Winter Child||Educational TV series|
|2008||KBS2||Unstoppable Marriage||Hwang Sa-baek's friend||Cameo, Ep. 62|
|SBS||On Air||himself||Cameo, Ep. 1|
|2009||SBS||Style||himself||Cameo, Ep. 6|
|SBS||You're Beautiful||Jeremy||Main cast|
|2010||MBC||More Charming By the Day||chicken delivery guy||Cameo, Ep. 111|
|SBS||My Girlfriend Is a Nine-Tailed Fox||Jeremy||Cameo, Ep. 16|
|2011||TBS||Muscle Girl!||Yoo Ji-ho||Lead role|
|KBS2||Noriko Goes to Seoul||Kim Min-ha||Lead role|
|2013||tvN||Cheongdam-dong 111||himself||Reality show|
|2014||TV Chosun||Bride of the Century||Choi Kang-joo||Lead role|
|SBS||Modern Farmer||Lee Min-ki||Lead role|
|2013||Rockin' on Heaven's Door||Choong-ui||Lead role|
|2014||How to Steal a Dog||Seok-gu||Supporting role|
|2008||Family Outing||SBS||Guest (Ep. 13 & 14)|
|Good Daddy||SBS||Cast member|
|Mnet Scandal Idol Show||Mnet|
|2010||100 Points Out of 100 aka Oh! My School||KBS2||Cast member (Ep. 1 – Ep. 12)|
|Running Man||SBS||Guest (Ep. 9)|
|Let's Go Dream Team! Season 2||KBS2||Guest (Ep. 15, 20, & 104)|
|2013||We Got Married Global Edition||MBC||Cast member (with Fujii Mina)|
|Golden Fishery aka Radio Star||MBC||Guest|
|Running Man||SBS||Guest (Ep. 242)|
|King of Mask Singer||MBC||Guest (Ep. 3)|
|Happy Together||KBS2||Guest (with Fujii Mina)|
|King of Mask Singer||MBC||Panel Judge|
|2009||A Midsummer Night's Dream||Lysander||Main role|
|2016||Those Days||TBA||Main Role|