Lee Tae-min (born July 18, 1993), better known by the mononym Taemin, is a South Korean singer and actor. He debuted as a vocalist of the group Shinee in May 2008 under S.M. Entertainment. He began his acting career in 2009 with MBC's comedy Tae Hee, Hye Kyo, Ji Hyun as Junsu.[3]

Taemin began his solo career in 2014 with his first extended play, Ace.[4] It peaked at number one on South Korea's Gaon Album Chart and its title track reached number 5 on the Gaon Weekly Digital Chart. His first studio album, Press it (2016),[5] charted at number one on the Gaon Album Chart. The title track, "Press Your Number", was originally written by Bruno Mars but Taemin wrote new lyrics for the song in order to appeal to the Korean market. In July, 2016, Taemin released his second extended play, Solitary Goodbye, and made his solo debut in Japan.

Career

2008–13: Career beginnings

Lee Taemin was born on July 18, 1993. Growing up, Taemin dreamed of being a pilot until he discovered dancing when he was in 6th grade. His parents, noticing his talent for dance, prompted him to audition during the 2005 SM Open Weekend Audition Casting where he was accepted immediately. In 2008, Taemin was chosen to debut as a member of Shinee at the age of 14. The group officially debuted on May 25, 2008, in the program SBS's Inkigayo.[6] Additionally to his work as a singer, Taemin made his acting debut in 2009 in MBC's comedy "Tae Hee, Hye Kyo, Ji Hyun" as Junsu.[3] Years later in January 2012, stepping into the field of voice-over for the first time, Taemin took part as a voice actor for the Korean animated movie called The Outback as the main character, Johnny, a white koala turned hero, along with fellow labelmate, Girls' Generation's Sunny.[17]

On September 19, 2012, Taemin released his first OST, "U", for the drama To The Beautiful You.[29] On October 16, 2012 it was announced that Taemin, alongside Super Junior's Eunhyuk and Super Junior-M's Henry, Girls' Generation's Hyoyeon, and Exo's Kai and Luhan would participate as a 6-member dance team for the Veloster theme song, "Maxstep", the collaboration album between S.M. Entertainment and Hyundai. A video teaser of the song shown at the PYL Younique Show on October 17, 2012.[8]

In April 2013, S.M. Entertainment revealed that Taemin would be taking part in the reality variety show "We Got Married" with Son Na-eun as his partner, replacing the previous couple Kwanghee and Sunhwa.[18] In the same year, Taemin made three episode appearance on the drama Dating Agency: Cyrano as idol singer Ray/Yang Ho-yeol.[19] In June 2013, he featured in Super Junior-M's Henry solo song "Trap" alongside Super Junior's Kyuhyun.[57] In December of that year, he participated in the soundtrack of the series Prime Minister and I, "Footsteps," the first track to be previewed on the series at the end of its third episode, was composed and arranged by Kim Jung-bae with the vocals by himself.[10]

2014–2016: Ace, Press It and Solitary Goodbye

On August 18, 2014, Taemin made his solo debut and released his first mini album Ace, which contains six songs.[4] The music video for the title song, "Danger", was released on August 16. The choreography for "Danger" was created by American choreographer Ian Eastwood and SM's performance directing team BeatBurger. Taemin headed to a dance studio in L.A. in order to learn the performance.[11]

On February 3, 2015, Taemin was confirmed for the cast of the first season of Match Made in Heaven Returns.[20] On April 14, 2015, Taemin was also a cast member in JTBC's program Off to School alongside other celebrities. On June 1, 2015, he released the song "That Name" in collaboration with Jonghyun, for the soundtrack of KBS2's Who Are You: School 2015.[12] The song debuted at number 36 on the Gaon Digital Chart.[14]

Taemin released his first full album Press It on February 23, 2016, containing a total of ten songs, including the title track "Press Your Number". Bruno Mars, who is well known for hit songs "Treasure" and "Marry You", participated in producing the song, which starts at a slow tempo and forwards to fast electronic rhythm.[5] Taemin told reporters at a media showcase hosted by fellow Shinee member Minho at the SMTOWN Coex Artium in Gangnam-gu, Seoul: "After my EP, I did perform with Shinee but I also spent a lot of time preparing my next solo album, […] I took a lot of private lessons for voice and dance, and looked over my past songs. I want to say that I’ve become a stronger performer."[15]

In June 2016, Taemin's Japanese debut was announced with the mini album Solitary Goodbye including a showcase on his 23rd birthday. The album was released on July 27. The album includes four new songs and a Japanese version of "Press Your Number".[16] In June 2016, Taemin was confirmed for the cast of Mnet's dance program Hit the Stage.[30] He performed together with his dance partner Koharu Sugawara, who is the choreographer of his Japanese debut song "Solitary Goodbye".[31] He took first place in the second episode.[32]

2017–present: Flame of Love and Move

In July 2017, Taemin held his first solo concert in Japan at Budokan arena in Tokyo[33] and released a new Japanese song, "Flame of Love", ahead of the concert,[35] which attracted 28,000 fans.[36] Taemin held his first Korean concert, titled "Off-Sick" at the end of August for three days with a total of 12,000 audiences.[37] An encore concerts of his 'Off-Sick' shows were announced on September 7th, and took place on October 14 and 15 at Jamsil Gymnasium, which holds twice as many people from the previous hall.[38] The two night shows bring 20,000 fans.[39]

In August 2017, Taemin's first Japanese drama, Final Life: Even if You Disappear Tomorrow,[40] was announced. The criminal drama directed by Masatoshi Kurakata and Takeshi Maruyama is an original Japanese work of Amazon Prime Video and was released in September. It stars Taemin and Shota Matsuda.[41] The soundtrack for the drama, "What's This Feeling" is also sung by Taemin.[42]

Taemin released his second studio album, Move, on October 16, 2017.[43]

Personal life

In March 2011, he transferred to Hanlim Multi Art School from his previous school, Chungdam High School to accommodate his hectic schedule for Shinee's Japanese advancement.[21] He graduated in February 2012, but was unable to make it to the ceremony due to his groups activities.[22] He is currently majoring in Musical and Film at Myongji University.[23]

Discography

Filmography

Film

YearTitleRoleNotes
2012The OutbackJohnny (voice-actor)Korean version
I AM.HimselfBiographical film of SM Town[47]
2013The MiracleKim TanShort film
2015SMTOWN The StageHimselfDocumentary of SM Town[25]

Television dramas

YearTitleRole
2009Tae Hee, Hye Kyo, Ji HyunJunsu
2010Athena: Goddess of WarHimself
2011Moon Night '90Kim Sung Jae
High Kick! 3Himself
2012Salamander Guru and The ShadowsMaster of Disguise
2013Dating Agency: CyranoYang Ho-Yeol alias Ray
2017Final Life: Even if You Disappear TomorrowSon Sion

Variety shows

YearTitleNotes
2010Dream TeamMain cast
2012Immortal Songs 2Contestant
2013–2014We Got Marriedwith Son Na-eun
2015Match Made in Heaven ReturnsMain cast
Off to School
2016Hit the StageContestant - First Winner
2017The UnitMentor[44]

Musical theatre

YearTitleRoleNotes
2014GoongPrince Lee ShinMain role

Concerts

Headlining

  • Taemin The 1st Stage Nippon Budokan (2017)[36]
  • Off-Sick (2017)[45]

See also