Kim Hyo Yeon (born September 22, 1989), referred to as Hyoyeon or DJ HYO, is a South Korean singer, DJ and television personality. She debuted as a member of the girl group Girls’ Generation in August 2007, which went on to become one of the best-selling artists in South Korea and one of South Korea’s most popular girl groups worldwide. Since 2016, she has also released singles as a solo artist.
Hyoyeon was born in Incheon, South Korea on September 22, 1989. She grew up with her parents and her younger brother, Kim Min-gu. Hyoyeon’s formal dance training started in elementary school. At her neighborhood’s small hip-hop school, she learned hip hop, jazz and Latin dance. In 1999, she enrolled in Winners Dance School, a famous dance school in South Korea specializing in popping, locking, animation and various other hip-hop styles. At the school she met Miss A’s Min, with whom she formed the dance team Little Winners (리틀위너스). The duo performed at various showcases and was spotlighted by HipHoper.com in 2004.
Hyoyeon auditioned for SM Entertainment at the age of 11 through SM 2000 Casting System. Hyoyeon said she auditioned because her mother brought her to the offices of S.M. Entertainment in the hopes of meeting H.O.T. Hyoyeon then danced in an audition show. In 2004, along with Super Junior’s Siwon, she was sent to study Chinese in Beijing. She received dance instruction from the Electric Boogaloos and top choreographers such as Kim Hye-rang, Poppin Seen, Kwang Hoo (aka Crazy Monkey), Poppin DS, Kwon Seok-jin (aka Locking Khan) and Black Beat’s Shim Jae-won. She also worked with one of Justin Timberlake’s choreographers and a few foreign teachers.
Before debuting with Girls’ Generation, she worked with Janet Jackson and was BoA’s silhouette dancer during a performance at M.net KM Music Festival 2005. In 2007, she teamed up with Jae Won for a dance collaboration to “Anonymous”. Hyoyeon was also picked as Korea’s No. 1 idol dancer on Star News.
Hyoyeon officially debuted as a member of Girls’ Generation, a South Korean girl group formed by SM Entertainment, in August 2007.
On March 7, 2010, Hyoyeon and fellow Girls’ Generation members Jessica and Sooyoung played cameo roles in episode 7 of the SBS television mini-series Oh! My Lady, starring Chae Rim and labelmate Choi Siwon. In November 2011, Hyoyeon and fellow Girls’ Generation member Sunny became cast members for the second season of Invincible Youth, a South Korean reality television show.
In April 2012, Hyoyeon became a contestant in the second season of Dancing with the Stars, a competitive ballroom dancing television show. Hyoyeon and her partner, Kim Hyung-seok, ended up winning second place. In October 2012, Hyoyeon participated in S.M. Entertainment’s special dance group Younique. The group released a single titled “Maxstep” as part of the collaboration between S.M. and Hyundai.
In January 2013, Hyoyeon made a guest appearance on the television show Blind Test Show 180 Degrees, where she took on the challenge of dancing to various types of club music. In May 2013, Hyoyeon was chosen as an Asian ambassador for the Hong Kong branch of Topshop. In June 2013, Hyoyeon and fellow Girls’ Generation member Yuri became coaches for the contestants on Dancing 9, a competitive dancing television show.
On February 12, 2015, Hyoyeon was featured in labelmate Amber’s “Shake That Brass” music video, in which she plays a trumpet. On March 14, 2015, Hyoyeon was featured as the rapper in a performance by boyband S on Immortal Songs 2, with which they won with 423 points. In June 2015, Hyoyeon began hosting her own reality television show, Hyoyeon’s One Million Likes, broadcast on OnStyle. Before the show was officially announced, an Instagram account was created where Hyoyeon posted pictures and videos with the goal of receiving one million likes from fans. On July 1, 2015, Hyoyeon became the first Girls’ Generation member to publish a book with Hyo Style, in which she shares tips on beauty, fashion and lifestyle. The book contains 142 pages and comes with a DVD. In September 2015, Hyoyeon became a contestant alongside Seo In Young, MBLAQ member Mir and AOA member Hyejeong, among others, in a television show titled Mash Up, where they competed in DJ-ing. On September 11, 2015, Hyoyeon was featured in rapper Vasco’s “Whoa Ha!” music video, where guest stars lip-sync along to the song.
On February 3, 2016, Hyoyeon was a special MC on the OnStyle television show Get It Beauty. In May 2015, she became a cast member of the Korean-Chinese reality television show Star Advent. The show followed 12 Korean and Chinese celebrities tasked with working as office workers in foreign countries and premiered on July 9. In June 2016, she became a contestant alongside Shinee member Taemin, Sistar member Bora and Infinite member Hoya, among others, in the Mnet television show Hit The Stage, where they collaborate with professional dancers to compete in different genres of dancing under a given theme.
Later in June 2016, Hyoyeon was featured in the song “Up & Down” from fellow Girls’ Generation member Taeyeon’s second mini-album Why. In August 2016, she collaborated with miss A member Min and 2AM member Jo Kwon to form a special group named Triple T and release a single titled “Born to Be Wild”, featuring Park Jin-young, as part of S.M. Entertainment’s Station music project. In December 2016, Hyoyeon released her first solo song since debut titled “Mystery” as another single for SM Station. To accompany her solo release, she performed the song on various Korean music shows and starred in her reality show, Hyoyeon’s 10 Million Likes 2.
In June 2017, Hyoyeon released her second single “Wannabe”, a pop dance song featuring rapper San E.
On April 12, S.M. Entertainment announced that Hyoyeon would return as DJ Hyo with a new single titled “Sober” on April 18 under SM’s electronic dance music label Scream Records. The new single is a tropical-future house song characterized by electric guitar riffs and hook. It was also revealed that she would also be promoting actively as a DJ in domestic club tours and EDM festivals under her new stage name.
On August 2018, Hyoyeon was announced to be part of Girls’ Generation’s second sub-unit, Oh!GG, which consists of the five members of the group who remained under SM Entertainment. The group released their debut single, “Lil’ Touch”, in September.
On November 7, 2018, S.M. Entertainment revealed teaser images with the announcement that Hyoyeon would be releasing her second official track as DJ Hyo with a new single titled “Punk Right Now”, which features American DJ 3LAU, on November 13.