Birth name ( Lee Sung-min )
Born ( January 1, 1986 Ilsan, Goyang, Gyeonggi, South Korea )
Genres ( Pop, dance, R&B, trot )
Occupations ( Singer, songwriter, dancer, actor, radio host )
Instruments ( Piano, guitar, bass guitar, drums )
Years active ( 2005–present )
Labels ( SM Entertainment )
Associated acts ( SM Town, Super Junior, Super Junior-T, Super Junior-Happy )
Sungmin (born January 1, 1986), real name Lee Sung-min, is a Korean pop singer and actor. He is considered to be one of the four lead vocalists of the super boy band Super Junior. He is also a martial artist and one of the two members of the group to frequently perform Chinese martial arts in Super Junior’s dance routines, the other being Han Geng.
Sungmin was born in the Ilsan district of Goyang, Gyeonggi. He has a younger brother, Lee Sungjin. He entered the 2001 SM Youth Best Contest and jointly won first place for the Best Outward Appearance award with future band mate Donghae. Together, they signed a contract with SM Entertainment and began to receive training in singing, dancing, and acting.
In 2002, Sungmin was briefly placed in a project R&B group with Xiah and future band mate Eunhyuk. Along with Typhoon, Rose, and Attack, the six of them made their first television appearance in a show called Heejun vs. Kangta, Battle of the Century: Pop vs. Rock Moon Hee-jun taught Typhoon, Rose, and Attack on how to properly sing rock while Sungmin, Xiah, and Eunhyuk were taught other singing techniques by Kangta. The six trainees quickly separated a year later, however, when Typhoon, Rose, and Attack debuted as member of rock band TRAX and Xiah debuted as a member of TVXQ. Both Sungmin and Eunhyuk joined ten other trainees and formed the group Super Junior 05, being the first generation of the rotational boy band Super Junior. Right before Super Junior debuted, Sungmin made a brief appearance on the MBC drama Sisters of the Sea, playing young Kang Dong-shin.
See also: Super Junior’s musical career
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.
During his career with Super Junior, Sungmin was put into two subgroups, smaller groups that is branched off of the larger Super Junior group. In February 2007, Sungmin was placed in the trot-singing Super Junior-T. A year later, he became a member of Super Junior-Happy.
Sungmin played young Kang Dong-shin in the MBC drama Sea of the Sisters in early 2005, right before the debut of Super Junior. A year later, Sungmin guest starred in SBS’s Banjun Theatre drama Finding Lost Time and played as Micky’s high school friend. Sungmin’s first big-scale film was the Super Junior film Attack on the Pin-Up Boys, an SM Pictures production that premiered for the first time in July 2007. He played the role of a pretty school boy who later gets attacked by an unknown criminal. In early 2008, Sungmin participated in a short half-hour drama Super Junior Unbelievable Story with Leeteuk. Sungmin starred as himself, a member of the popular group Super Junior-T who is constantly overshadowed by his members. In 2009, he was cast in the musical “Akilla” starring as the main lead, Ro. In 2010, he was cast in the musical “Hongildong” starraing as the main lead, Hongildong, with bandmate Yesung.
Sungmin replaced band mate Kang-in as one of the key DJs of Reckless Radio and was hosting it with Sooyoung of Girls’ Generation in the later half of 2007. On February 3, 2008, Sooyoung’s band mate Sunny replaced her position. The program ended in late July 2008.