Music is a universal language which in recent times has broken several barriers so that people no longer need to understand the lyrics to enjoy a good song. One of the people taking advantage of this redefinition is Onew of SHINee, a talented South Korean musician and actor who has gained popularity locally and internationally, especially through his association with the band (SHINee).
He is the lead vocalist for the boy band – SHINee or the Princes of K-pop as they are fondly called. Away from the group, his career as a solo act began in December 2018 and his album peaked at number 2 on the Gaon Album Chart, South Korea. Though he is practically living under the spotlight, there are many lesser-known facts about Onew.
He was born Lee Jin-ki in Gwangmyeong, Gyeonggi Province, South Korea on the 14th of December, 1989 and grew up as the only child of his parents who were quite devoted to him. When they discovered his love and desire to pursue music, they started teaching him to play the piano at a young age.
In 2006, Onew was discovered at an S.M. Academy Casting. The founder – Lee Soo-man fell ‘in like’ with him and gave him the opportunity to sing in an on the spot audition. He signed a contract a day after he auditioned but his debut as the lead vocalist for the boy group SHINee wasn’t until 2008. They made their debut on the Korean music program – Inkigayo on the 25th of May 2008.
Asides being a singer, Onew is also a songwriter and has contributed several songs to his group’s album. Together with his group members, they have earned 95 nominations and won 61 awards.
7 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Onew From SHINee
Onew is Well-Read
Looks can be really deceiving. Although Onew appears young, he is actually a well-read young man. Asides having a university degree, he got his Master’s in Music Broadcasting from Chungwoon University which has really enhanced his talent and singing career.
He is an Actor with Other Hidden Talents
Onew is an actor who has continued to gain bigger roles as he progresses in the entertainment industry. In 2016, he featured in the TV Series Descendants of the Sun which was very successful in all ramifications and won him the “Newcomer Scene Stealer Award”.
The young singer who grew up as a shy boy that didn’t have the confidence to audition has now grown in confidence since his music career began. He tried his hands at being a master of ceremonies (MC) with KBS2’s Night Star and MBC’s Show! Music Core. He has gained experience and more confidence over the years and has presented on shows like Incheon K-Pop Concert, Nihao Taiwan and Dream Concert. He is also a radio host.
Onew’s Life is Not Without Controversies
Popularity and controversies come hand in hand and as much as Onew has tried to stay away from trouble, he was involved in a sexual harassment incident in August 2017. The victim accused Onew of touching her legs 2 or 3 times when he tried to stand up within 2 hours. His fans were outraged and demanded he stepped down from SHINee. The charges against him were later dropped as the victim realized that such incidents could happen if one is under alcohol influence. After he was cleared of all indictment, he released an apology letter to his fans.
He had a Vocal Polyps Surgery
Around mid-2014, Onew couldn’t sing for a few months and after extensive tests were ran, it was diagnosed that he had a vocal fold mucosa reconstruction operation and had his vocal cord polyps removed.
Mandatory Military Service
Onew enlisted for his military service on the 10th of December 2018 and is expected to be discharged on the 20th of July 2020.
In a series of interviews, Onew has described his ideal woman, but it is not sure if he has met her yet. He has been linked with several women with whom he has been photographed hanging out with but he has decided not to confirm or refute any of the rumors about his relationship. He was initially linked with Jung-Ah from After School but the 2 were quick to clear the air about their relationship which they said was just friendship. Onew was later linked with Luna of the f(x) girls group as they were photographed together several times on various occasions. In recent times, he has been seen with his fellow Descendants of the Sun star Park Hwan Hee. The duo has been spotted in cafes and concerts but are yet to confirm that they are dating officially.
What is his Net Worth?
Onew has done well for himself. With his flourishing music and acting career and his new solo career, he has been able to make a substantial amount for himself. His net worth has been estimated to be about $2 million.