Seo In-guk

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Seo In-guk
Also known asSeo In-gook
Born(1987-10-23) October 23, 1987 (age 27)
Ulsan, South Korea
OriginSouth Korea
GenresK-pop, Ballad, R&B, J-pop, dance
Occupation(s)Singer, actor
Years active2009-present
LabelsJellyfish Entertainment/CJ E&M (South Korea)
Irving Entertainment/Nippon Crown (Japan)
WebsiteOfficial Korean website
Official Japanese website
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This is a Korean name; the family name is Seo.
Seo In-guk
Also known asSeo In-gook
Born(1987-10-23) October 23, 1987 (age 27)
Ulsan, South Korea
OriginSouth Korea
GenresK-pop, Ballad, R&B, J-pop, dance
Occupation(s)Singer, actor
Years active2009-present
LabelsJellyfish Entertainment/CJ E&M (South Korea)
Irving Entertainment/Nippon Crown (Japan)
WebsiteOfficial Korean website
Official Japanese website
Korean name
Revised RomanizationSeo In-guk
McCune–ReischauerSŏ In'guk

Seo In-guk (Hangul: 서인국; born October 23, 1987) is a South Korean singer and actor. He launched his singing career after winning the talent reality show Superstar K in 2009, and made his acting breakthrough in the 2012 cable TV series Reply 1997.

Early life[edit]

Seo In-guk came from a poor family in Ulsan who collected recyclables for a living.[1] He started dreaming of becoming a singer when he was 10, after listening to rocker Kim Jung-min. Being a timid boy, the young Seo discovered his talent by standing on stage at family gatherings and school events. He studied Applied Music at Daebul University, and eventually started to audition at some of the biggest entertainment agencies.[2] After being repeatedly rejected and told to lose weight, Seo struggled with bulimia but the vomiting only damaged his vocal cords temporarily.[3][4]


2009: Superstar K[edit]

Despite the setbacks, he never gave up completely and in 2009 he joined Mnet's talent reality show Superstar K. He was declared the music program's season 1 winner.

The spotlight came with a hectic schedule of recordings, photo shoots, interviews and television broadcasts, followed by chart-topping singles and albums.[5] But Seo also had to deal with the negative consequences of fame, including plastic surgery rumors, cold-shoulder treatment from the three major networks for cable stars like him, and the unfair label of being an "instant star."[6][7]

2012: Acting debut and Reply 1997[edit]

In 2012 Seo became part of the cast of homegrown jukebox musical Gwanghwamun Love Song.[8] He then made his onscreen acting debut with a supporting role in KBS's Love Rain.[9][10][11] Aiming to expand his career in Japan, he also signed with Japanese agency Irving Entertainment.[12][13][14]

He landed his first leading role later that year, in cable channel tvN's '90s nostalgic hit drama Reply 1997. Seo's portrayal of a teenage boy in unrequited love with his childhood best friend won praise from both audiences and critics.[15][16][17][18][19][20] He also recorded two singles for the soundtrack (both duets with costar Jung Eun-ji), and "All For You" became one of the best-selling singles of the year on the Gaon Single Chart.[21]

Shortly after, he appeared in MBC's The Sons (also known as Rascal Sons), saying he chose the 50-episode weekend family drama because he wanted to watch and learn from his senior colleagues in the ensemble cast.[22][23][24][25][26]

2013: Return to singing and first film[edit]

Seo joined the newly launched reality/variety show I Live Alone in January 2013 (he later took a break from the show six months later in June, due to work commitments).[27] He was also cast in the romantic comedy film Police Family, about a girl from a family of policemen who marries a young man from a family of criminals.[28]

But more significantly, Seo returned to the music scene in April 2013 with the single With Laughter or with Tears. The title song is the first time he sang a soulful ballad, and actress Ku Hye-sun appeared in the music video, which depicts the agony after a break up.[29][30][31] Ku also composed the music and lyrics for the track Were We Happy.[32][33] This was followed several weeks later by his Japanese debut, with the release of the single Fly Away.[34][35]

In June 2013, he was cast in Master's Sun, a horror-romantic comedy TV series written by the Hong Sisters, playing a former soldier who served in the Zaytun Division and after his discharge becomes the head of security of a shopping mall company.[36][37]

In October 2013, he starred in his first big-screen leading role in No Breathing, a coming-of-age film about two swimming rivals,[38][39] alongside Lee Jong-suk and Kwon Yuri.

2014: Acting career continues[edit]

He then played a dual role in Another Parting, a five-episode miniseries about a man and a woman who meet in the final moment of their lives and spend one special day together. Produced by LOEN Entertainment, the drama premiered on February 17, 2014 on Taekwang Group-owned cable channel Dramacube (also airing on BTV and YouTube).[40]

Wanting to try a different genre, Seo was cast as a young gangster in the 2014 action-noir film Wild Dog,[41] but like Police Family, it ran into investor troubles and was unable to begin production. Instead, Seo headlined another cable romantic comedy series, High School King of Savvy, in which he played a high school student and star hockey player who leads a double life when he's forced to take on his older brother's job as an executive at an IT company.[42][43][44][45][46][47]

Later that year, Seo starred in his first period drama The King's Face, playing illegitimate crown prince Gwanghae, who becomes his father King Seonjo's rival in politics and love.



2012Love RainKim Chang-mo (1970s) / Kim Jeon-seol (2012)KBS2
Reply 1997Yoon Yoon-jaetvN
The SonsYoo Seung-giMBC
2013I Live AloneHimselfMBC
Master's SunKang WooSBS
Reply 1994Yoon Yoon-jae (cameo, ep 16-17)tvN
2014Another PartingAhn Young-moDramacube
High School King of SavvyLee Min-seok / Lee Hyung-seoktvN
The King's FacePrince GwanghaeKBS2


2013No BreathingWon-il

Music video[edit]

2012"Please Don't..."[48]K.Will
2013"Would You?"Swings feat. Seo In-guk
"Pick Up the Phone"Phone

Musical theatre[edit]

2012Gwanghwamun Love SongHyun-woo


Album informationTracklisting
부른다 (Calling)
달려와 (Run to Me)
Just Beginning
애기야 (Aegiya) Repackaged Album
Jelly Christmas
  • Digital single
  • Released: December 6, 2010
  • Label: Jellyfish Entertainment
Shake It Up
Jelly Christmas 2011
Fate (Like a Fool)
Perfect Fit
Love Story - Part 1
Love Story - Part 2
Jelly Christmas 2012 Heart Project
  • Digital single
  • Released: December 6, 2012
  • Label: Jellyfish Entertainment
Y.BIRD from Jellyfish Island with Seo In-guk
With Laughter or with Tears
Fly Away
No Matter What
We Can Dance Tonight
Bomtanaba (Mellow Spring)
Finding Myself

Awards and nominations[edit]

YearAwardCategoryNominated workResult
2009Cyworld Digital Music AwardsMale Newcomer of the Year
20125th Korea Drama AwardsBest New Actor
Reply 1997
Best Couple Award with Jung Eun-jiWon
5th Style Icon AwardsTop 10 Style Icons with Jung Eun-jiWon
1st K-Drama Star AwardsRising Star AwardWon
Best Couple Award with Jung Eun-jiWon
Best OST"All for You" (with Jung Eun-ji)Won
14th Mnet Asian Music AwardsBest OST[53]Won
4th Melon Music AwardsBest OSTWon
MBC Drama AwardsBest New ActorThe SonsNominated
KBS Drama AwardsBest New ActorLove RainNominated
20132nd Gaon Chart K-Pop AwardsSong of the Year (September)"All for You" (with Jung Eun-ji)Won
49th Baeksang Arts AwardsBest New Actor (TV)Reply 1997Nominated
SBS Drama AwardsNew Star AwardMaster's SunWon
20143rd Gaon Chart K-Pop AwardsSong of the Year (December)"Loved You" (with Zia)Won
50th Baeksang Arts AwardsMost Popular Actor (TV)Master's SunNominated
7th Korea Drama AwardsExcellence Award, ActorHigh School King of SavvyNominated
7th Style Icon AwardsTop 10 Style IconsN/ANominated

Music programs[edit]

Seo In-guk's wins on Korea's televised music shows. M! Countdown and Music Triangle are aired on cable channels Mnet and KM, respectively.

M! Countdown[edit]

2010May 20사랑해 U ("Love U")

Music Triangle[edit]

2012September 19[54]"All For You" (with Jung Eun-ji)


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External links[edit]