Onew of SHINee, a talented South Korean musician and actor who has gained popularity both locally and globally truly understands the concept of music being a universal language that breaks barriers. His success in music is mostly linked to his association with the band (SHINee).
The crooner is the lead vocalist for the boy band which goes by either SHINee or the Princes of K-pop as they are fondly called. He started his career as a solo act in December 2018 and his album peaked at number 2 on the Gaon Album Chart, South Korea. Like most stars, though Onew is practically living under the spotlight, there are many lesser-known facts about him.
He was raised as an only child by his parents. He was named Lee Jin-ki after his birth in Gwangmyeong, Gyeonggi Province, South Korea on the 14th of December, 1989. His parents showered him with much love and when they discovered his love and desire to pursue music as a career, they started teaching him to play the piano at a young age.
In 2006, the young lad was discovered at an S.M. Academy Casting. The founder – Lee Soo-man spotted the potentials in him and gave him the opportunity to sing in an on the spot audition after which he secured a contract a day after. However, his debut as the lead vocalist for SHINee wasn’t until 2008. The group made their debut on the Korean music program – Inkigayo on the 25th of May 2008.
In addition to his musical exploits, Onew is also a songwriter and has contributed several songs to his group’s album. SHINee as a group has earned 95 nominations and won 61 awards.
5 Lesser-known Facts About Onew From SHINee
1. Acting career and his hidden talents
The singer also acts and has continued to gain bigger roles as he progresses in the entertainment industry. 2016 saw him feature in the TV series Descendants of the Sun and the show was very successful in all ramifications, earning him the “Newcomer Scene Stealer Award”.
Interestingly, he grew up as a shy boy that didn’t have the confidence to go for auditions but he has now grown in confidence since his music career began. For his other hidden talents, Onew tried his hands at being a master of ceremonies (MC) with KBS2’s Night Star and MBC’s Show! Music Core. With his confidence building up over the years, he has gone ahead to present shows like Incheon K-Pop Concert, Nihao Taiwan and Dream Concert. Onew is equally a radio host.
2. He has had his fair share of controversies
The downside of being popular is that controversies follow you around and while Onew has tried to stay away from trouble, he found himself in a sexual harassment incident in August 2017. The victim accused him of touching her legs 2 or 3 times when he tried to stand up within 2 hours. This made his fans angry and they demanded that he should step down from SHINee. However, the charges were later dropped after the victim admitted that the incidents could have been as a result of alcohol influence. Onew also released an apology letter to his fans.
3. Vocal polyps surgery
Sometime in 2014, Onew had a vocal fold mucosa reconstruction operation and had his vocal cord polyps removed. As a result, he couldn’t sing for a few months.
4. Relationship status
Onew has been linked to several women with whom he has been photographed but he has decided not to confirm or refute any of the rumours about his relationship status. Jung-Ah from After School is one of his rumoured girlfriends but they were quick to clear the air, saying they were just friends. Onew was later linked to Luna of the f(x) girls group after they were photographed together several times on different occasions. More recently, he has been seen regularly with his fellow Descendants of the Sun star Park Hwan Hee. They have been spotted in cafes and concerts but are yet to confirm anything.
5. What is Onew ‘s net worth?
The singer has his flourishing music and acting career to thank for the fortune he’s building for himself. He has been able to make a substantial amount for himself and his net worth is estimated to be about $2 million.