Birth name ( Lee, Donghae )
Born (October 15, 1986 Mokpo, Jeollanam, South Korea )
Genres ( Pop, dance, R&B )
Occupations ( Singer, dancer, rapper, songwriter, actor )
Instruments ( Piano, guitar )
Years active ( 2005–present )
Labels ( SM Entertainment )
Associated acts ( SM Town, Super Junior, Super Junior-M )
Donghae was born in Mokpo, Jeollanam on October 15, 1986. Donghae initially wanted to become an athlete, but under the influence of his father, who had a wish to become a singer, Donghae decided to train himself to become a singer. In 2001, Donghae successfully signed a contract with SM Entertainment soon after he jointly won the Best Outward Appearance award with future band mate Sungmin on the company’s third annual SM Youth Best Contest. Under SM Entertainment, Donghae was put in singing, dancing, and acting lessons that same year. He was then recruited into a five-member boy band Smile, with future band mate Leeteuk, but the idea was soon dropped. In 2004, Donghae was put into another boy band and formed Super Junior with eleven other trainees. The group later became known as Super Junior 05, the presumed first generation of the rotational music group, Super Junior. Several days before the group debuted, Donghae made a brief appearance in November 2005 at SBS’s Shin Dong-yup’s There Is There Isn’t panel.
Super Junior 05 officially debuted on November 6, 2005 on SBS’s music program Popular Songs, performing their first single, “TWINS (Knock Out)”. Their debut performance attracted over 500 fans and also garnered oversea viewers from both China and Japan. A full studio album was released a month later, which debuted at #3 on the monthly MIAK K-pop album charts. In March 2006, SM Entertainment began to recruit new members for the next Super Junior generation. However, plans changed when the company added in a thirteenth member, Kyuhyun, and the company declared a halt in forming future Super Junior generations. The group dropped the suffix “05” and became officially credited as Super Junior. The re-polished group hit big after they released their first CD single “U” the following summer, which became Super Junior’s most successful single in the music charts until the release of “Sorry, Sorry” in March 2009. In late 2007, Donghae was put into Super Junior-M, the Chinese subgroup version of Super Junior. Super Junior-M is the first international music group in the Chinese music industry to have members of both Chinese and Korean descent, and brought an influence in the mainland music industry to produce multi-national music groups. Super Junior-M debuted in China on April 8, 2008 at the 8th Annual Music Chart Awards with the release of their first single music video, “U”. The subgroup released their first Chinese-language studio album, Me on May 2, 2008 to critical success. The album debuted #1 on many of China’s and Thailand’s music charts and Taiwan’s G-music combo charts as #2.
Donghae made his acting debut in Super Junior’s horror documentary Mystery 6, broadcasted in early 2006. The documentary surrounds Donghae and his peculiar ability to see and feel ghosts. In August 2006, Donghae played the role of a human turned cyborg in the Korean version of BoA’s music video drama, “Key of Heart,” his first lead appearance in a music video. Donghae’s official debut as an actor was in July 2007, with the release of Super Junior’s debut film, Attack on the Pin-Up Boys. Donghae stars as a class mate and close friend of Kim Kibum, a high school student who investigates on a mysterious attack on boys in various high schools in town.
In late 2007 Donghae featured in Girls’ Generation’s “Kissing You” music video, and in early 2009, in Ariel Lin’s “Firefly” MV along with band mate Siwon.
Also, he and Kyuhyun appeared and sang for facial wash product commercial “Happy Bubble” with actress Han Ji Min. A full music video was released on August 19, 2009.
He played Zhang Li Yin’s love interest on her music video, 晴天雨天 (Moving On). A full music video was released on October 19, 2009.
Donghae is currently a student at Myongji University. He has an older brother named Lee Donghwa. Donghae’s father died on August 8, 2006 due to a chronic disease. Donghae’s most notorious nicknames are Fishy because ‘Donghae’ means ‘East Sea’ and Pinocchio.