Chrystal Soo Jung (born October 24, 1994), professionally known as Krystal, is an American singer and actress based in South Korea. She debuted in 2009 as a member of South Korean girl group f(x) and has further participated in S.M. Entertainment’s project group S.M. The Ballad. Aside from group activities, she has also acted in various television dramas such as The Heirs (2013), My Lovely Girl (2014), Prison Playbook (2017) and Player (2018).
Krystal was born as Chrystal Soo Jung in San Francisco, California, where her family settled from South Korea in the 1980s.
During a family trip to South Korea in early 2000, at the age of five, Krystal and her sister Jessica Jung were spotted by talent agency S.M. Entertainment, which earned her a cameo appearance in Shinhwa’s “Wedding March” music video. The agency offered Krystal and her sister singing and dancing lessons in order to professionally train them for a singing career. However, the offer was turned down by her parents, who reasoned that Krystal was too young, so they only allowed her sister to join the agency at first. Her sister later debuted as a member of the girl group Girls’ Generation. The Jung sisters have since appeared together in many events.
In 2002, Krystal began appearing in television commercials. She first appeared in a Lotte commercial with South Korean actress Han Ga-in. In 2006, her parents finally allowed her to join S.M. Entertainment, and the agency then enrolled her in dance classes. She was trained for 3 years before debuting as a part of f(x) in 2009.
After moving to South Korea, Krystal attended Korea Kent Foreign School, then graduated from Hanlim Multi Art School on February 7, 2013, where she was honored with an achievement award. She is currently attending Sungkyunkwan University, majoring in theatre.
Krystal debuted as the lead vocalist of the South Korean girl group f(x) in September 2009.
In March 2010, Krystal participated in a series of music videos under the Melody Project, playing a young student who is in love with her music teacher. She released a solo single titled “Melody” for this project. Krystal then became a host for the music show The M-Wave with Thunder from MBLAQ. In July, the singer debuted as an actress with a minor role in the long-running sitcom More Charming by the Day. She received the “Newcomer Comedy Award” at the 2010 MBC Entertainment Awards for the role.
In 2011, Krystal participated and won first place in SBS’s figure-skating show Kiss & Cry. She also starred in the sitcom High Kick 3, playing the role of a superficial and shallow girl who does not have much depth of feelings.
In 2013, Krystal starred in the SBS teen drama The Heirs, playing the role of a spoiled yet kind-hearted wealthy high school student. Her character in the show generated positive recognition among viewers, and she was voted as the Best Onscreen Couple along with CN Blue’s Kang Min-hyuk at the 2013 DramaFever Awards.
In 2014, Krystal joined the ballad group S.M. the Ballad, initially formed by S.M. Entertainment in 2010. On the group’s 2nd album Breath, she sang the Japanese version of the title track “Breath” with TVXQ’s Changmin. She also sang a duet with EXO’s Chen titled “When I Was… When U Were…”. Krystal performed her duet with Chen live at the S.M. The Ballad Joint Recital on February 12. In June, Krystal, along with her sister Jessica, was featured in the reality show, Jessica & Krystal. The show took on a more close and personal side of the two sisters, addressing their public image and sisterly bond.
Later in the year, Krystal got her first leading role in the SBS’s drama My Lovely Girl, alongside Rain. She portrayed a girl who moves from the countryside to Seoul to pursue a music career and ends up meeting a fateful love during the process. Commenting on Krystal’s work attitude, Director Park Hyung-ki stated “Despite taking on a difficult character, she shows her determination to pull it off through her gaze to the point you can see sincerity in Krystal when she’s in front of the camera.” She released a solo single “All Of A Sudden” for the drama’s OST. At the Baeksang Arts Awards, Krystal won the “Most Popular Actress” award in the television category for her role in the drama.
In 2015, Krystal starred alongside actor Seo Jun-young in a 10-minute film entitled, Listen To My Song for W Korea’s 10th anniversary. Krystal was also cast in leading roles in an upcoming Chinese movie, titled Unexpected Love along with EXO’s Lay; and in the Chinese drama Graduation Season.
On February 12, 2017, it was reported that Krystal will release the collaboration single “I Don’t Wanna Love You” with Glen Check’s member June One Kim. The song was revealed for the first time on February 14 at the re-opening of a clothing store in Seoul, and then be released online at midnight KST on February 15. In July, Krystal starred in tvN’s drama spin-off of the Korean manga Bride of the Water God. The same year she starred in the black comedy drama Wise Prison Life, produced by Reply PD Shin Won-ho; she received good reviews for her performance. Krystal was named ‘Woman of the Year’ by GQ Korea.
In 2018, Krystal was cast as the female lead in OCN’s crime action drama Player.