Thursday, May 10, 2012

Tasty Crushie Tuesday: Lee Gi-kwang

Lee Gi-kwang (Korean: 이기광)

Also known as: AJ (Ace Junior)
Born: March 30, 1990 (age 22)
Origin: Kwangju, Republic of Korea
Genres: K-pop, dance, hip-hop
Occupations: Singer, dancer, comedian, rapper, boxer
Years active: 2009 – present
Labels: Cube Entertainment
Associated acts: BEAST

Gi-kwang is a South Korean idol, singer, dancer and occasional rapper. He was a solo singer under Cube Entertainment, also known by his stage name as "Ace Junior" (AJ) when he debuted. He released his first Mini Album "First Episode A New Hero" which features the works of the famous composer Brave Brothers. He has now become a member of Beast.  (photos after jump)

Early life

Lee Gi Kwang was born on March 30, 1990 (22 years old).Gi-kwang found in interest in hip hop and would have a particular liking to many classic hip hop acts. He would soon be backed by his family to pursue a musical career and after auditioing for a record company intended to debut under the stage name 'AJ'. He was known as the solo singer AJ or Ace Junior when he first debuted and released a mini-album "First Episode: A New Hero” on April 4, 2009. He met controversies when his name created dispute among netizens for having a similar name with Paran’s AJ (Later became the new U-KISS member). He now goes with his original name when he redebuted with Beast. He debuted as an actor through "High Kick Through the Roof" and was also casted in a role for My Princess. He also became an MC for different shows such as Hot Brothers, Win Win and SBS Inkigayo.


Debut: 2009

Gi-kwang was trained under JYP Entertainment for four years before transferring to Cube Entertainment. He made his debut on April 2, 2009 on Mnet M!Countdown. He was dubbed by Korean media as the next Rain. On June 17, 2009, AJ opened for Lady Gaga's Korean showcase.

Gikwang has now switched from a solo artist to a group member of Beast. The group debuted on October 16, 2009 on KBS Music Bankwith their single "Bad Girl". He is the main dancer and lead vocalist in Beast. Band members Yoon Doo-joon, Yong Jun-hyung, Jang Hyun-seung and Yang Yo-seob were once backup dancers for Gikwang when he was still performing as AJ. Ace Junior was the topic of a short-lived reality show, Diary of AJ, which was hosted by MTV. The show ran on two episodes on May 9, 2009 with a total of two episodes showcasing his Journey on his debut as AJ.


The name "AJ", which is common not only in Korea but also overseas, has created disputes among netizens since many expressed their dissatisfaction over him having the same name as Paran's AJ. Cube Entertainment responded by saying that AJ’s name is different from that of Paran AJ’s for his (Cube's AJ) name is short for ‘Ace Junior’. The company later announced that he would continue activities under a different name, but no changes were made until it was revealed that AJ would no longer continue activities, as he will have been preparing to debut as a member of Beast. Since the group's debut, he is known as Gi Kwang, or Kikwang.


The group has released 1 Korean full-length album, four Korean mini-albums, and various singles. Gi Kwang is a lead vocalist and the main dancer of Beast.

2010 - present

After he was switched from a solo artist to a group member of Beast, their journey to debut was the topic of a reality show, MTV B2ST, which was hosted by MTV. He also had an acting role as Kang Sae Ho on MBC's "High Kick Through the Roof" and was selected as MC for MBC's Sunday Sunday Night segment Hot Brothers. Gi Kwang was chosen as the new MC for the KBS show 'Win Win'.

Gi-kwang is featured in K.Will's music video for the song, Present. He was also chosen as the model for the ‘Ice Tea Tio’ from DongSuh Foods. Gi-kwang will be featuring in Ahn Jinkyung’s title song ‘Love is Pathetic’ off of her second mini album ‘BE THE VOICE’ this will be his first project that he will be rapping in. Yoon Doojoon, Gi-kwang and IU appeared as special hosts on Music Core on August 21, 2010. Gi-kwang will be doing CF filming of LG Tromm cf with model Lee Nayoung. Gi-kwang was casted as the comical role in the drama ‘My Princess’ starring Song Seung Hun and Kim Tae Hee. On December 29, 2010, Gi-kwang was awarded with Popularity Award from the 2010 MBC Entertainment Awards.

Gi-kwang, together with IU, were selected to be new MCs of Inkigayo in replacement of CNBLUE’s Jung Yonghwa from 20 March. The pair will be paired with the existing MCs, 2AM’s Jo Kwon, and f(x)’s Sulli. He was also chosen as the leading man in A Pink's MV, "I Don't Know."

On July 12, 2011, it has been announced that Gi-kwang will be taking part in producer Brave Brother’s sixth project album, in a song called "Break Up" featuring Gi-kwang and Electro Boys. Fans are especially excited because this is Ki Gwang’s first solo song since his original debut days as ‘AJ‘ before he joined Beast.

On February 8, 2012 Gi Kwang also appeared in Ailee's debut music video "Heaven" Ailee who was discovered by singer Wheesung.


Mini-Albums:  First Episode: A New Hero [Released: April 4, 2009]

Year Title Type Role
2009 Diary of AJ TV Documentary (MTV) Himself as AJ
2009 High Kick Through the Roof TV Series (MBC) Kang Sae Ho (강세호)
2009 MTV B2ST TV Documentary (MTV) Himself
2010 MTV Beast Almighty TV Show (MTV) Himself
2010 Idol Maid TV Show (MBC) Himself
2010 Hot Brothers TV Show (MBC) Himself
2010 Win Win TV Show (KBS) Himself
2010 SHIN PD Variety Show TV Show (SBS) Himself
2011 My Princess TV Series (MBC) Geon Lee (건이)
2011 Inkigayo TV Series (SBS) Himself
2011 Exciting Cube TV TV Show (MNET Japan) Himself
2011 Me Too Flower Tv Series (MBC) Jo Ma Roo
2012 Win Win TV Show (KBS2) Himself

Year Category Nominated Work Result
2010 MBC Entertainment Awards: Popularity Award Himself Won
2011 MBC Drama Awards:        Rookie Award Geon Lee (My Princess) Won

2010 MBC Entertainment Awards: Popularity Award Himself Won
2011 MBC Drama Awards:        Rookie Award Geon Lee (My Princess) Won

Now, for some cute gif, or should I say, HOT GIF!!!

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