Kim Sang-woo (Hangul: 김상우; born July 3, 1993), known professionally as Roy Kim (Hangul: 로이킴), is a South Korean singer-songwriter and radio presenter. He began his singing career after winning the television talent show Superstar K 4 in 2012.
Kim officially debuted with the studio album, Love Love Love (2013), which included the hit single “Bom Bom Bom.” The album garnered Kim awards for best new artist at the 15th Mnet Asian Music Awards and the 2014 Golden Disc Awards.
Kim followed up his first album with the studio albums, Home (2014) and The Great Dipper (2015), and the extended play, Blooming Season (2017). As of February 2019, Kim has sold over 12 million digital downloads in his native country (see Roy Kim discography).
Roy Kim was born Kim Sang-woo in Seoul, South Korea, on July 3, 1993. His father is a former executive of Seoul Takju, a prominent makgeolli liquor manufacturer. His mother is an artist. Jung Yoon-hye, formerly of the girl group Rainbow, is Kim’s cousin.
During his elementary school years, Kim studied in Canada and then in Asheville, North Carolina in the United States, where he graduated from the Asheville School in 2012.
Kim was accepted to attend Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. in 2012, but he delayed his enrollment to audition for Superstar K 4. He entered his freshman year at Georgetown in 2013 and currently alternates between attending school in the United States and pursuing his music career in South Korea. He is majoring in sociology, which he said is “helpful for writing lyrics.”
In 2012, Kim auditioned for Mnet’s television talent show Superstar K 4 (the South Korean equivalent of American Idol). He was ultimately the season’s winner, out of nearly two million applicants. Following his win, he performed at the 2012 Mnet Asian Music Awards in Hong Kong.
In June 2013, Kim released his first album, Love Love Love, which included the “mega-hit” single “Bom Bom Bom.” The album’s title track, “Love Love Love” reached #2 on the Gaon chart and #4 on the Billboard chart. Following the release of his first album, Kim won several awards, including Best New Male Artist at the 2013 Mnet Asian Music Awards, 20’s Booming Star at the 2013 Mnet 20’s Choice Awards, and Rookie of the Year and the Popularity Award at the 2014 Golden Disc Awards.
Kim released his second album, Home, in October 2014. The album’s lead single, also named “Home,” was a success, topping South Korea’s real-time music charts upon its release and reaching #2 on the Gaon Digital Chart. That month, Kim embarked on a South Korean tour to promote the album. In November, he contributed to the soundtrack for the television series Pinocchio, with the song, “Pinocchio,” for which he won Best Original Soundtrack at the 2015 APAN Star Awards and Favorite Foreign Artist at the 2015 Hito Music Awards in Taiwan. Kim also became the first foreign artist to perform at the Hito Music Awards since they were established in 2003.
In December 2015, Kim released his third album, The Great Dipper. The album’s title track was a ballad, which was a departure from Kim’s previous acoustic folk singles. At the end of the year, Kim performed at three solo concerts in Seoul, all of which had sold out before the release of his album.
Kim released his first extended play, Blooming Season (Hangul: 개화기), in May 2017. In February 2018, he released the single “Only Then,” which topped Korean music charts upon its release, and which received a Platinum certification for digital sales by Gaon in November. For the song, Kim won Best Ballad at the 2018 Melon Music Awards, Best Male Artist at the 2018 Mnet Asian Music Awards, and a Digital Bonsang at the 2019 Golden Disc Awards.