Hong Jin Young (in Hangul: 홍진영) was born on August 9th, 1985 in Gwangju, South Jeolla province in South Korea. She is a trot singer, and often referred to as the ‘Queen of Trot’ in Korea. She is currently the CEO of her own agency, IMH Entertainment.
Jinyoung first appeared on the entertainment scene in 2006 through small parts in film and television. She appeared in the televised historical drama “Yeon Gae So Mun” (연개소문) and had a small role in the movie “Who Slept With Her?”(누가 그녀와 잤을까). Soon after, she officially debuted in 2007 as an idol in a 4-member girl group called SWAN with the title song, “Call Me When You Hear This Song” (이 노래 들으면 전화해). Within 3 months of promoting and after 2 music show appearances, the group disbanded.
In 2008, Jinyoung appeared as Anna in a sketch comedy segment called “Anna’s Mistake” (안나의 실수) on the show “Cider” (사이다), several of which you can still watch on YouTube.
During this time, Jinyoung focused on her studies while actively going to auditions at several entertainment companies. Her then CEO suggested that she should sing trot, which is a uniquely Korean genre of music, akin to country or folk music. At first she didn’t want to sing in this genre, since she was only 23 years old at the time and trot is often sung by veteran singers for an older audience. Persuaded by her CEO, she recorded “Love Battery” (사랑의 배터리) which released in June 2009. In the same year, she completed her Master’s degree in Business Administration at Chosun University in Gwangju.
“Love Battery” (사랑의 배터리) quickly rose to fame with a catchy melody and lyrics. Together with Jinyoung’s sweet voice and trademark aegyo (“cuteness”) while performing the song, “Love’s Battery” has earned Jinyoung her popularity and nickname “Battery Unnie/Noona”. Interesting fact: she has been performing this song almost every day for the past 10 years, and even sings it herself when she goes to karaoke.
In August 2010, Jinyoung released a digital single called “My Love” (내사랑). This song couldn’t overcome the immense success of her debut song but showed Jinyoung’s potential to bring youthfulness to the genre of trot.
Jinyoung continued her studies while actively performing at events around Korea. In 2012, Jinyoung completed her doctoral degree in Business Administration at Chosun University, with dissertation entitled “A Study on Problems of Cultural Contents Industry and Countermeasures: Centering on K-pop and K-culture”, which makes her Dr. Hong Jinyoung!
In March 2013, she released another digital single named “Boogie Man” (부기맨).
Over the years, Jinyoung showed off her charms as a recurring panel member on several variety programs, including: “Ranking Women” (순위 정하는 여자), “Vitamin” (비타민), “Emergency Escape Number One” (위기탈출 넘버원), “World Changing Quiz Show” (세상을 바꾸는 퀴즈 – 세바퀴). She has also appeared on the popular music show “Immortal Songs” (불후의 명곡: 전설을 노래하다) numerous times, proving her prowess as a singer and performer over and over.
In early 2014, Jinyoung was a “trot”-ducer on the audition program “Trot X” (트로트 X) where she teamed up with Yoo Se Yoon to find the next big trot star. Around the same time, Jinyoung was cast as both a panelist and cast member on the popular show, “We Got Married” (우리 결혼했어요), in which she virtually married actor Namkoong Min. As a virtual couple, Min and Jinyoung gained a lot of public attention and love, representative of a couple who are both in their 30s, and were depicted as honest, refreshing and direct. That year, Jinyoung won the Excellence Award for Variety at the MBC Entertainment Awards for “We Got Married”.
In November 2014, Jinyoung released her first mini album entitled “Life Note” (인생노트) with the title song “Cheer Up” (산다는 건), which quickly became very popular due to its lyrics which comforts and gives strength to people who are going through tough times and appeals to listeners of all generations. Her virtual husband, Namkoong Min, appeared as her love interest in the music video in a cameo role.
In 2015, Jinyoung became the first trot singer to appear as a guest on the popular show “Weekly Idol” (주간 아이돌) and co-hosted the food show “Find! Delicious TV” (찾아라! 맛있는 TV).
She appeared twice on “King of Mask Singer” (복면가왕), impressing the panelist with her vocal abilities and making it to Round 2 both times.
From October 2015 to July 2016, Jinyoung was one of the MCs of “I Heard a Rumor Show” (풍문으로 들었쇼), an evening talk show that discusses celebrities in depth with entertainment journalists active in the business.
She also released a cover of a well-known Chinese song called “The Moon Represents My Heart” (月亮代表我的心/월량대표아적심). For the Korean remake, Jinyoung wrote the Korean lyrics herself and the title of the Korean version of the song translates to “Waiting Heart” (기다리는 마음).
2016 also marked the year she first appeared on “Knowing Brothers” (아는형님). Her guest appearances on the show have been so impactful and well-received that she’s one of a handful of “Knowing Sisters” who are regularly invited back on special episodes. You can almost always expect Jinyoung to appear on a lunar New Year or Chuseok (Korean Thanksgiving) special of “Knowing Brothers”!
Jinyoung kicked off the new year in 2017 in the variety show “Living Together in Empty Room” (발칙한 동거 – 빈방 있음), appearing with comedian Kim Shin Young as they both move into P.O. (of Block B)’s house as roommates. She reappeared on the show later that year with model Jin Jeong Seon and iKON members Jay & Bobby.
In February 2017, Jinyoung released a digital single called “Loves Me, Loves Me Not” (사랑한다 안한다) from “A Fabricated City” (조작된 도시) OST and promoted it on music shows.
In the first half of 2017, Jinyoung joined the Season 2 cast of the all-female KBS variety show, “Sister’s Slam Dunk” (언니들의 슬램덩크). Together with Kim Sook (comedian), Hong Jin Kyung (entertainer), Han Chae Young (actress), Kang Ye Won (actress), Minzy (singer, formerly of 2NE1) and Somi (singer, formerly of I.O.I), the 7 members debuted as the girl group “Unnies” (언니쓰) on KBS Music Bank with title songs “Right?” (맞지?) and “Lalala Song” (랄랄라 송). Through Unnies, Jinyoung fulfilled her long-time dream to be a rapper and her dream came true with Rapper Hong’s debut.
2017 is the year that Jinyoung has her debut as a composer, under the pseudonym Godttery C (갓떼리 C), combining her popular “Godttery” (God + Battery) nickname and “C” from Vitamin C, expressing her desire to be a Vitamin C-like composer in the songwriting world. Jinyoung composed an EDM-trot song called “Ring Ring” (따르릉) and comedian Kim Young Chul sang the song, emerging victorious over fellow comedian Heo Kyung Hwan in a series of auditions conducted on social media.
In late 2017, Jinyoung developed an obsession with PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG), a multiplayer online battle royale game… so much so that she opened a Twitch channel where you can occasionally catch her gaming with her clan squad members.
Jinyoung started her 2018 with a trip halfway around the world to Chile, as she joined the cast of “Law of the Jungle in Patagonia” (정글의 법칙 in 파타고니아), forced to survive and fend for themselves in extreme conditions.
In February, Jinyoung had a comeback with a new digital single “Good Bye” (잘가라), composed by her long-time collaborator Jo Youngsoo (who also composed “Love Battery” and “Cheer Up”) and well-known K-pop lyricist Kim Eana.
She returned once again to “Knowing Brothers” for a music video battle special, where she wrote and composed a second electrot single “I Kicked My Luck Away” (복을 발로 차버렸어) for comedian Kang Hodong, released through SM Station and made an appearance in the music video.
She also launched an official YouTube channel, Samba Hong (쌈바홍), where you can watch various vlogs about gaming, beauty, food and behind-the-scenes of her daily activities.
From March to May, Jinyoung appeared as a guest star on several episodes of “Running Man” (런닝맨) for a special family package project. She ended up on the winning group and got to travel to Switzerland!
Another huge milestone for Jinyoung in 2018 was that she got to launch her own cosmetics brand, Hong Shot, in collaboration with J. One Cosmetics. The line launched with a liquid foundation, foundation/concealer compact and lip tints with plans to add more to the line in the future.
In December 2018, Jinyoung participated in a collaboration with producer Park Geuntae on a trot/hip hop ballad called “Seoul” (서울사람), featuring Bray.
Jinyoung and her sister, Sunyoung, made a guest appearance on the popular Korean variety show “My Little Old Boy / Mom’s Diary” (미운 우리 새끼). Their popular appearance resulted in the two sisters being added as the first featured “daughters” on the show and her mom officially joining the mom’s panel by the end of 2018.
Jinyoung started off 2019 strong with a new song – a departure from her trot genre, with her first traditional ballad, “Love Is…” (사랑은 다 이러니).
March 8, 2019 was a huge milestone in Jinyoung’s 10 year career as a trot singer. Her first (!) full-length album, “Lots of Love” (랏츠 오브 러브) was released, with the title song “Love Tonight” (오늘 밤에).
While the album consisted mostly of hit songs from her illustrious trot career to date, it also included two new songs: “Coming Spring” (스며드나,봄), a self-written and composed song that’s perfect for spring and “Tear Rain” (눈물비), a trot ballad.
2019 was a transformative year for Jinyoung’s career. She parted ways with Music K Entertainment after a public legal dispute, which led to her achieving one of her long-time goals of opening her own agency, by becoming CEO of IMH Entertainment.
Under her own agency, Jinyoung released her first single in a year with “Love is Like a Petal” (사랑은 꽃잎처럼). This song marked yet another collaboration with composer Jo Youngsoo and this is her foray into a genre that combines trot with tango.