Bae Joo-hyun (born March 29, 1991), known professionally as Irene, is a South Korean singer, actress and television host. She is a member and leader of the South Korean girl group Red Velvet.
Irene was born Bae Joo-hyun on March 29, 1991 in Daegu, South Korea. Her family consists of her parents and a younger sister. She attended Haknam High School in Daegu. She joined SM Entertainment in 2009 and trained for five years.
In December 2013, Irene was one of the second batch of trainees introduced as a member of S.M. Entertainment’s pre-debut group, SM Rookies, alongside trainee Lami and now-NCT member Jaehyun. She also appeared in the music video of labelmate Henry Lau’s song “1-4-3” several months prior.
Various clips of Irene were released in S.M. Entertainment’s official YouTube channel, one of which included her and Seulgi dancing to “Be Natural”, a song originally performed by S.M. Entertainment’s group S.E.S, showcasing their dancing.
On August 1, 2014, Irene made her official debut as a member of Red Velvet, becoming the leader of the group. In November, she appeared in the music video of Kyuhyun’s single “At Gwanghwamun”.
From May 2015 to June 2016, Irene hosted the music show Music Bank with actor Park Bo-gum. They both gained attention for their chemistry as well as singing and hosting skills. The press called them one of the best partnerships in the show’s history.
In July 2016, Irene made her acting debut in the web drama Women at a Game Company where she played the female lead. On October 14, Irene became a host of OnStyle’s fashion show Laundry Day. The show premiered on October 22, 2016. In the same month, she became a panelist on the KBS show Trick & True with bandmate Wendy.
Irene has also endorsed a number of brands of various products. Besides her endorsements with Red Velvet, she also became a model for Ivy Club together with labelmates Exo in 2015. In 2016, she became an endorser of coffee brand Maxwell House. In 2017, she became the official endorser of Hyundai Auto Advantage program. It was announced on February 26, 2018 that she was selected to be the model of contact lens brand Cooper Vision. On May 3, 2018, Irene has been announced to be the brand model for famous vitamin brand Lemona and was given the title “human vitamin”. On August 9, 2018, she was announced as the new exclusive model for the French outdoor brand Eider for fall/winter this year and spring/summer next year.