Kim Hyun-ah (born June 6, 1992), better known by the mononym Hyuna, is a South Korean singer, dancer, rapper, songwriter and model. She rose to fame in the late 2000s as a member of the girl group Wonder Girls. After leaving the ensemble shortly after their debut in 2007, she subsequently joined the girl group 4Minute in 2009. Hyuna began her solo career in 2010, with a style she described as “performance-oriented music”. Her debut single, “Change”, peaked at number two on the Gaon Digital Chart.
She released her first extended play, Bubble Pop!, in 2011. Though the EP was a moderate seller, its title track sold more than 2.5 million copies, and Hyuna became the first female K-pop solo artist to reach 100M views on a single YouTube video. In 2012, she appeared in Psy’s worldwide hit “Gangnam Style”, which also led to a successful duet rendition of the song. Hyuna’s second EP, Melting (2012), saw her first number one entry on the Gaon chart with the single “Ice Cream”.
Following 4Minute’s disbandment in 2016, she released her fifth EP, A’wesome, which was supported by her first concert tour of the United States. Hyuna has collaborated with several of her former label mates under Cube Entertainment, first forming the duo Trouble Maker with Jang Hyun-seung in 2011; which spawned two number-one singles. In 2017, she was involved in the trio Triple H, releasing the EP 199X.
Hyuna was born on June 6, 1992 in Seoul, South Korea. She attended Choongam Middle School and Korea High School of Music and Arts. She graduated from Konkuk University, in Contemporary Arts, and received special admission into the school.
Hyuna’s Hanja name is “泫我”. However, her Chinese teacher told her that it sounded bizarre in Mandarin (pinyin: Xuàn Wǒ, which could be translated as “I weep”) and recommended she adopt the characters “泫雅” (pinyin: Xuàn Yǎ) as her name for promotional activities in Taiwan, which Hyuna agreed to, commenting that “泫雅” sounded adorable.
In 2006, Hyuna was revealed as a member of the JYP Entertainment managed girl group Wonder Girls as the group’s main rapper. She participated in the group’s debut mini album The Wonder Begins, released in February 2007. She participated in the group’s television show MTV Wonder Girls for two seasons, and co-hosted Show! Music Core with Wonder Girls’ Sohee and Fly to the Sky singer Brian Joo from May 12– June 30, 2007. Hyuna left Wonder Girls in July, when she was removed by her parents due to their concern over her health, particularly chronic gastroenteritis and fainting spells.
In 2008, she joined Cube Entertainment. In May 2009, it was announced that she would debut as part of the girl group 4Minute. The group debuted with the single “Hot Issue” on June 15.
Hyuna collaborated with Lee Gi-kwang on the song “2009” for his debut album First Episode: A New Hero, and also appeared in the music video of his single “Dancing Shoes,” which was released on March 30, 2009. On August 13 she rapped for Navi’s song “Wasteful Tears” and she also appeared in the music video. Hyuna also featured in Brave Brothers’ song “Bittersweet,” released August 18. She became part of the “Dream Team Girl Group,” a promotional group for Samsung’s Anycall phone with Han Seung-yeon, Uee, and Gain. Their first digital single “Tomorrow” was released on October 6, 2009, and the official music video was released on October 12, starring actor Lee Dong-gun. As well, Hyuna released an individual version of the music video which released on October 27. Hyuna also participated in the South Korean variety show Invincible Youth. However, she left the show due to some scheduling conflicts with her group’s overseas promotions on June 11, 2010.
On January 4, 2010, Hyuna released the single “Change”, which charted highly on various online charts. The song reached number fourteen on the Gaon 2010 digital yearly chart with 2,469,354 copies sold. Ten days later, on January 14, the “Change” music video was flagged with a 19+ rating by the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family for being inappropriate for minors. Cube Entertainment stated that the music video would be re-edited and submitted for approval. However, broadcast station SBS, announced the music video would be restricted for a 15+ audience instead, and MBC announced that it would still be viewable for all audiences. Hyuna’s “Change” promotions ended in March 2010.
Hyuna released a few more singles in 2010, including “Love Parade” featuring T-max’s member Park Yun-hwa, “Outlaw in the Wild” featuring Nassun, and produced by E-Tribe. She also participated in G.NA’s duet single “Say You Love Me”, for which she wrote the rap lyrics. In October 2010, she made a cameo appearance in the thriller film Midnight FM with 4Minute member Jihyun on October 14, 2010.
In 2011, Hyuna appeared in the Korean version of Dancing with the Stars. The show began broadcasting on June 10. The same year, she released her first mini album, Bubble Pop, featuring five new songs including the title track of the same name. The single was a global success, and featured on top of YouTube’s “most watched today” chart after gaining one million views in two days. It eventually became the first music video by a K-pop artist to surpass 100 million views. Hyuna was ranked 17th on Billboard’s ’21 Under 21′, a staff-compiled list of notable young acts; while “Bubble Pop” was listed as ninth place on Spin magazine’s “Best 20 Songs of 2011.”
On November 24, 2011, Cube revealed that she would be in a co-ed unit called Trouble Maker with BEAST’s Hyunseung. Trouble Maker’s first mini album, Trouble Maker, consisted of a dance track and an emotional ballad, as well as solo songs for both Hyuna and Hyunseung. Trouble Maker performed for the first time at the Mnet Asian Music Awards.
In March 2012, Hyuna joined The Birth of a Family, an “animal communion variety” program where idols adopt stray pets and take care of them for a certain period of time to raise awareness for animal rights. On March 14, Hyuna announced the launch of her brand Hyuna x SPICYCOLOR. Hyuna also appeared in Psy’s viral music video for “Gangnam Style,” having been selected personally by Psy during the initial production stage. Gangnam Style became the most viewed K-pop music video, and drew worldwide global recognition for Hyuna. Psy released the female version of Gangnam Style, known as “Oppa Is Just My Style” in August 2012, featuring additional vocals by Hyuna.
Hyuna released her second mini album titled Melting on October 21, 2012 with the title track “Ice Cream”. The song was produced by Brave Brothers and was the first collaborative effort between the producer and Hyuna as a solo artist. The video for Ice Cream was released on October 22, 2012 and features a cameo by Psy. “Ice Cream” drew global attention, after being featured by several international media outlets. It drew a record number of views on YouTube and became the then-fastest Korean music video to reach 20 million views. Melting is also notable for Hyuna’s contributions as a lyricist and composer for “Very Hot” and “To My Boyfriend”.
In the same month, it was announced that Hyuna would join four other K-pop stars; Sistar’s Hyolyn, Secret’s Jun Hyo-seong, After School’s Nana and Kara’s Nicole to form a project group titled “Dazzling Red”. The group performed at the 2012 SBS Gayo Daejeon.
On May 24, Hyuna collaborated with makeup artists SON & PARK to launch a series of charitable activities titled “KISS OF HOPE”, whose profits were donated to the education of children in poor countries. In March, Hyuna became a spokesmodel for the 2013 Toyota Corolla. She released the short music video “Corolla x Hyuna: My Color”, and the “CorollaxHyuna” mobile app which teaches her song and choreography. On March 11, Hyuna performed at the K-Pop Night Out at SXSW at Austin, Texas. She then went to Los Angeles to film a Funny or Die sketch with British singer, Rita Ora. The two stars’ “Better Walk” video was released on “Funny or Die” on April 2, 2014.
In October, Hyuna and Hyunseung made a comeback as Trouble Maker. They released the single “Now” from their Chemistry EP. The song reached number one on ten of Korea’s major music charts, and was deemed by Instiz.net as an All-Kill. It also topped Billboard K-Pop Hot 100 chart.
In July 2014, Hyuna released her third album titled A Talk and its lead single “Red”. To promote the album, Hyuna appeared in her own reality show titled Hyuna’s Free Month, which showcased various aspects of her daily life. Red proved to be a success, with Billboard praising her for establishing herself as a global pop brand and Rolling Stone naming “Red” number five on their list of the top ten music videos of 2014. The album also topped charts in Taiwan.
In August 2015, Hyuna released her fourth mini album A+, with the lead single titled “Because I’m the Best” featuring Jung Il-hoon. Hyuna made her comeback on M! Countdown and performed “Ice, Ice” featuring Hwasa.
On June 13, 2016, it was announced that 4Minute had made the decision to disband. Hyuna was the only member of the group to renew her contract with Cube Entertainment. Following 4Minute’s disbandment, Hyuna resumed her activities as a solo artist, with the release of her fifth mini album A’wesome and its title track “How’s This?” (Hangul: 어때?), on August 1, 2016. Behind-the-scenes footage of Hyuna’s album’s preparation was featured on her solo reality program HyunA X19. The album topped nine local music charts upon release. She embarked on her first solo Asia tour soon after.
To mark her tenth anniversary, Hyuna announced a fan-meeting tour in North America. She visited ten cities in total during February 2017.
On April 3, 2017, Cube Entertainment confirmed that Hyuna and Pentagon members Hui and E’Dawn were set to debut in May as new sub-unit, Triple H. On April 4, Cube TV debuted a new reality TV program called Triple H Detective Agency.
Hyuna released her sixth mini-album Following and its title track “Babe” on August 29, 2017. On December 2, 2017, the rapper attended the 2017 Melon Music Awards, where she premiered the single “Lip & Hip”. It was officially released two days later.
On August 2, 2018, photos of Hyuna with Pentagon’s E’Dawn were released. Cube Entertainment denied rumors that they were dating, however Hyuna and E’Dawn held an interview with Yeonhap News later that day, admitting to their relationship which began in May 2016, after they had got to know each other through their project group Triple H promotions. The company responded to Hyuna’s confirmation of the dating rumors by cancelling all previously planned performances for Triple H, on-air appearances and fan events including a fan meet-up that was scheduled on the next day. Fans were divided in reactions to the event, with some calling for E’Dawn to be removed from Pentagon, and others focusing on how the company treated Hyuna and E’Dawn unfairly after releasing the scandal, rather than on their relationship. On September 13, Cube Entertainment announced that they would be terminating their contracts, citing that they could not “maintain trust” with them. However, the company announced that they would still remain in discussion with both of them until further notice. Cube Entertainment cited “loss of trust” as a reason saying “After much deliberation, we’ve concluded that the trust between the company and the artists had been damaged to a degree that it cannot be restored, leading us to believe expulsion is necessary,” in its official statement. On October 15, Cube Entertainment officially confirmed Hyuna’s departure.
On January 27, 2019, Hyuna signed with P-Nation, a new agency founded by PSY since he left YG Entertainment in May 2018.
On August 2, 2018, Hyuna revealed that she has been dating former Pentagon member E’Dawn since May 2016.