K-pop, Mandopop and other Asian pop

Meet Girls’ Generation star Yuri – the girl-next-door K-pop star who’s broken into the US music charts

  • In October, Yuri’s solo album, The First Scene, hit No. 10 on the US Billboard World Albums Chart
  • The 28-year-old K-pop star is famed for her dancing and acting skills
PUBLISHED : Saturday, 03 November, 2018, 8:19pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 03 November, 2018, 8:19pm

Since she made her debut with Girls’ Generation in 2007, K-pop star Yuri has played a quiet, yet important, role in the group’s commercial and artistic success.

Even though she’s a member of the Korean “glitterati”, it’s her down-to-earth attitude that gives Yuri her star quality. To many fans, Yuri remains the girl next door or reminds them of their high-school crush. She seems disarmingly familiar yet radiant.

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Over the years Yuri has matured into a talented artist and performer. Her varied talents make her a jack-of-all-trades in the industry. Here’s a look at her life and career so far.

Her early life

Kwon Yu-ri was born in Goyang City, a sleepy suburb of Seoul, in 1989. Blood types are important in Korea, and as an AB, Yuri’s fans see this as meaning she has a creative personality. That reputation is well-deserved as she has a degree in theatre and film from Chung-Ang University, one of the most respected institutions in Korea for the arts. She has put her education to good use: she is also a distinguished actress.

Her image and role in Girls’ Generation

Bolstered by her clean-cut, girl-next-door image, Yuri has made a slow but steady rise to become one of K-pop’s most-beloved stars. Last month, the Korea Institute of Corporate Reputation reported that Yuri had the top brand value ranking of any individual girl group member. She has written lyrics for Girls’ Generation songs and is regarded as one of the nine-member outfit’s best dancers.

Her solo work

Yuri’s slow-burn smoulder seems to have outshined many of the sparkly personalities around her. She is one of only a few Girls’ Generation members to have released a solo album. Her first solo outing – The First Scene – was released this October and hit No. 10 on the US Billboard World Albums Chart. She’s also appeared in a plethora of television dramas, variety shows and films. Most notably, she is known for her debut role in the 2012 drama Fashion King. Yuri’s latest project is TV showDae jang Geum Is Watching, which launched last month.

In her own words

During a radio interview with Australia’s SBS broadcaster about her new album, Yuri talked about her love of interacting with her fans and repaying their dedication. She says she“likes” fans’ Instagram posts about her, to give them “that warm feeling that stays with you all day”.

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And during an interview in September when she appeared in a major new drama, Yuri said: “I’m going to hit the talk radio circuit hard next month and gab with a lot of DJs about my role in Dae Jang Geum Is Watching. At the end of the month, I’ll be in Channel A’s programme Makgeolli on the Roof. October is going to be the ‘month of Yuri’.”