Shon Seung-wan (born February 21, 1994), known professionally as Wendy, is a South Korean singer. She is a member of the South Korean girl group Red Velvet.
Wendy was born on February 21, 1994 in Seongbuk-dong, Seoul, South Korea. Coming from a family of music lovers, Wendy showed interest in becoming a singer when she was only six years old. Besides her passion for singing, she is also able to play several instruments, including the piano, guitar, flute, and saxophone.
She lived with her family in Jecheon until her fifth year of elementary school, when she moved to Canada with her older sister, Son Seung-hee, to study abroad. She lived in Brockville, Ontario before moving to the United States to attend Shattuck-Saint Mary’s in Faribault, Minnesota, where she was an honor student and athlete, and earned various awards for academics and music-related activities. There, she started using her English name ‘Wendy Shon’. She later studied at Richmond Hill High School in Richmond Hill, Ontario, where she participated in the school’s show choir called Vocal Fusion. While living in both countries, she became fluent in English and also learned to speak French and Spanish.
Her parents were initially against her pursuing a career in music and wanted her to focus on her studies, but while she was still in high school, they eventually allowed her to audition to become a singer in South Korea.
In 2010, she submitted an online audition for Koreaboo’s Global Auditions in 2011 with Cube Entertainment. Though she was not the final winner, she was one of fifteen finalists personally picked by Korean singer G.NA and Koreaboo from over 5,000 videos to continue to the final round in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, and open for G.NA’s first solo showcase. In 2018, YG Entertainment’s CEO Yang Hyun-suk revealed that Wendy once auditioned for the company but wasn’t accepted.
Wendy originally did not intend to audition for SM Entertainment, but was cast by the company when she accompanied a friend to the S.M. Global Audition in Canada in 2012. She recalled singing Kim Gun-mo’s “Moon of Seoul” and passed. She trained for less than two years before she was introduced as a member of S.M. Entertainment’s predebut group SM Rookies on March 14, 2014. As part of SM Rookies, Wendy released the song “Because I Love You” for the soundtrack of the Mnet drama Mimi and appeared in the song’s music video.
On August 1, 2014, Wendy made her official debut as a member of Red Velvet.
Wendy collaborated with rapper Yuk Jidam for the song “Return”, which is part of the OST of KBS2’s Who Are You: School 2015. The song was released on June 8, 2015 and debuted at number 31 on the Gaon Singles Chart. She released another song “Let You Know” for the soundtrack of the JTBC drama D-Day on October 16.
In January 2016, Wendy became a long-term panelist on We Got Married and participated in King of Mask Singer as a contestant under the alias “Space Beauty Maetel”. In March 2016, she collaborated with Eric Nam on a duet titled “Spring Love”, as part of S.M. Entertainment’s SM Station project. The song peaked at number 7 on South Korea’s Gaon Digital Chart. In July 2016, Wendy and her Red Velvet bandmate Seulgi released an original soundtrack titled “Don’t Push Me” for the TV drama series Uncontrollably Fond. In October 2016, she became a fixed panelist for the KBS show Trick & True together with her bandmate Irene. In December 2016, Wendy participated in two other singles for the SM Station project, “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”, featuring pianist Moon Jung-jae and violinist Nile Lee, and “Sound of Your Heart”, a collaboration with several SM Entertainment artists. In the same month, she was featured in the English version of Latin pop star Ricky Martin’s single “Vente Pa’ Ca”.
Wendy released the song “I Can Only See You” with Seulgi in January 2017 for the OST of the KBS2 TV series, Hwarang. In February, she sang the Korean version of “My Time” which is part of Disney Channel’s Elena of Avalor’s official soundtrack and also appeared in its music video. In the same month, she became the host of the KBS World show K-Rush. On October 27, she, along with Kangta and Seulgi, released a remake of the 2001 song “인형 (Doll)” by Shinhwa’s Shin Hye-sung and Lee Ji-hoon as part of the second season of the SM Station project. Its music video used footage from their live performance of the song at the SMTOWN LIVE TOUR V in JAPAN and was released on the same day. She released a duet with Baek A-yeon on December 2, called “The Little Match Girl”. In February 2018, Wendy was chosen as the interactive holographic avatar of SK Telecom’s new AI voice assistant speaker, ‘Holobox’.
In July 2018, Wendy collaborated with Yang Da-il for the single “One Summer” which was released on July 2. In October, it was announced that Wendy is set to release an English duet with American singer John Legend entitled “Written in the Stars” as part of the third season of SM Station, Station x 0 which will be Wendy’s sixth time to participate in the project. In November 2018, Wendy released the song “Goodbye” for the soundtrack of JTBC drama The Beauty Inside.