Lee Hong-gi (Hangul이홍기; Hanja李弘基; pronounced [iː hoŋɡiː ]; Japanese:イ•ホンギ) is a South Korean singer-songwriter, actor, writer, and fashion designer. He is best known for his singing abilities and being the main singer of the South Korean rock band F.T. Island. Lee released his first solo extended play FM302 in South Korea on 18 November 2015 and his Japanese album AM302 on 9 December 2015.

Acting career

Before Lee Hong-ki debuted as a singer with the band F.T. Island, he was a child actor, making his acting debut in 2002 in the KBS2 TV series Magic Kid Masuri as Masuri's friend.[9] 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 the band.

Lee then played Lysander in a Korean musical theatre version of A Midsummer Night's Dream,[9] 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.[10] To promote the drama, he also contributed solo tracks to the OST, such as "Promise" and "Still/As Ever."[11] 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.[12] 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.[13]

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.[14][15]

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.[16][17] He resumed shooting in January 2014, and the drama aired that February.[18][19]

Lee also starred in SBS Modern Farmer alongside Park Min-woo, Lee Ha-nui, and others. The drama aired from 18 October 2014 to 21 December 2014, at 20:40 on Saturdays and Sundays.

Music career

F.T. Island

In 2007, Lee debuted in the band F.T. Island as the lead singer. He can also rap and beatbox.

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.

Solo debut

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.[20] The mini Korean album was revealed to be FM302, and the album was released on 18 November 2015,[21] while the Japanese album was revealed to be AM302, and it was released on 9 December 2015.[22] 'FM302' combines the radio terminology frequency modulation (FM) with Lee's birthday which is on 2 March, 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 18 November 2015.[23] The lead actress of the music video is actress Park Shin-hye.[24] Prior to his official music video release, a showcase was organised.[25] 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.[26] 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.[27]

On the other hand, the PV for the Japanese album AM302, was published on YouTube on 11 November 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.[28] Upon release, it charted at #4 in the Oricon charts.

Soundtrack appearances

Lee has sung many OSTs for different dramas such as You're Beautiful, Heartstrings and The Heirs.

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.[29] 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, "Siren" from their album The Mood and title song "Wind" from their album Over 10 Years .[30][31] He also composed Japanese songs "On My Way", "Just Please" and "Born to be a Rock n Roller".

Personal life

Lee was enrolled in Kyunghee University studying theatre and film.[9] His hobbies include listening to music, playing soccer, cooking, bowling, billiards and nail art.[9]

On 8 November 2016, Lee was confirmed to be in a relationship with actress Han Bo-reum.[32][33] On 9 February 2017, it was confirmed that Lee and Han have broken up.[34][10]

Nail art

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.[10][10] 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.[10]


Lee started his own fashion brand 'Skullhong' in June 2014. He designs accessories, jewelry and various nail products.[10] 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 its business to Hong Kong, and Tokyo, Japan.[10] Moreover, within just one day, 90% sales items which are meant to be sold over 6 days had been sold out, proving its huge popularity and interest.[10][10]


Lee Hong-gi in Paris in 2015 at La Cigale


  • 2015: AM302 (Japanese)


Soundtrack contributions

YearFilm/Drama/MovieSong's Title
2004Kangsooni OSTTo My Friend
2007Unstoppable Marriage OSTLately I
2009You're Beautiful OSTStill,
2011Heartstrings OSTEven If It's Not Necessary
2013The Heirs OSTI'm Saying
Rockin' on Heaven's Door OSTJump,
2014Bride of the Century OSTWords I Have Yet To Say
Modern Farmer OSTWhen Love Comes,
Do Or Die

List of songs written by Lee Hong-gi

2011FNC EntertainmentF.T. IslandFive Treasure IslandFlower Rock
20Let It Go!
2012Five Treasure Box[10]Stay With Me
Compass (The Way)
2013Rated-FT[30]Black Chocolate
Orange Sky
Thanks to[30]Memory
Always With You
The Mood[31]Siren
Uncharted Future[10]Born To Be Rock'N Roller
2014New PageOn My Way
2015I WillPray
Do You Know Why?
To The Light
5.....GoTo The Light
My Birthday
2016N.W.UYou Don't Know Who I Am
Come on Girl
Walking Dead
We Are... (Japanese Version)
Where's the Truth?Out of Love
Take Me Now
Wonderful Life
We Are... (Korean Version)


Television series

2002EBSTV Original Fairytale: Bicycle ThiefEducational TV series
KBS2Magic Kid MasuriMasuri's friendMain cast
2004EBSThere's Light at the Tip of My Fingernails
EBSKkangsooniEo Soo-bongEducational TV series
MBCFreezing PointHwan-yiSupporting role
2005EBSFlower Butterfly and SunflowerEducational TV series
EBSWinter ChildEducational TV series
2008KBS2Unstoppable MarriageHwang Sa-baek's friendCameo, Ep. 62
SBSOn AirhimselfCameo, Ep. 1
2009SBSStylehimselfCameo, Ep. 6
SBSYou're BeautifulJeremyMain cast
2010MBCMore Charming By the Daychicken delivery guyCameo, Ep. 111
SBSMy Girlfriend Is a Nine-Tailed FoxJeremyCameo, Ep. 16
2011TBSMuscle Girl!Yoo Ji-hoLead role
KBS2Noriko Goes to SeoulKim Min-haLead role
2013tvNCheongdam-dong 111himselfReality show
2014TV ChosunBride of the CenturyChoi Kang-jooLead role
SBSModern FarmerLee Min-kiLead role
2015SBS MTVComing Out FTISLANDhimselfReality show (with F.T. Island members)
2017tvNA Korean OdysseyP.KMain cast


2013Rockin' on Heaven's DoorChoong-uiLead role
2014How to Steal a DogSeok-guSupporting role

Variety show

2008Good DaddySBSCast member
2009InkigayoSBSRegular MC
Mnet Scandal Idol ShowMnet
2010100 Points Out of 100 aka Oh! My SchoolKBS2Cast member (Ep. 1 – Ep. 12)
Oh My SchoolKBSCast member
2013We Got Married Global EditionMBCCast member (with Fujii Mina)
2015King of Mask SingerMBCContestant as "Blow Hot and Cold Bat Human" (Ep. 3)
2017King of Mask SingerMBCContestant as "Lupin the Phantom Thief" (Ep. 105–106)[11]
The Life AcademytvNCast member
Night GoblinJTBCCast member (Episode 2-present)

Radio Show

2016-Lee Honggi Kiss The Radio (Hongkira)KBS Cool FMDJ from 17 October 2016

Musical theatre

2009A Midsummer Night's DreamLysanderMain role
2014Vampire[11]DraculaMain role
2016Those Days[11]MooyoungMain Role