Choi Min-ho (born December 9, 1991), better known by the mononym Minho, is a South Korean singer, rapper and actor. He debuted as a member of South Korean boy group Shinee in May 2008 who later went on to become one of the best-selling artists in Korea. Aside from group activities as singer, he has debuted as an actor in November 2010 in a KBS2’s drama special, entitled Pianist. He has since had roles in various television dramas such as SBS’s sitcom, Salamander Guru and The Shadows (2012), To the Beautiful You (2012), Medical Top Team (2013), My First Time (2015) and Hwarang: The Poet Warrior Youth (2016). He made his feature film debut in 2016 with the movie Canola.
Minho was discovered at the S.M. Casting System in 2006 and modeled for Ha Sang-beg’s Seoul Collection F/W 08-09 in March 2008. One month later, Minho was chosen as a member of the group Shinee, the five-member boy group debuted on May 25, 2008 on SBS’s Inkigayo. The group’s first mini-album, Replay was released on May 22 and debuted on the Korean music charts MIAK at #10 and peaked at #8.
In 2009 and 2010 Minho appeared in both the Korean and Japanese versions of Girls’ Generation’s music video “Gee”. He was also featured in the music video of VNT’s debut song Sound in 2010. In 2009, Minho joined the popular show Let’s Go! Dream Team as a regular member.
In 2010, Minho made his acting debut in the KBS2’s drama special, entitled Pianist with actress Han Ji-hye.
In 2011, Minho was cast in SBS’s sitcom, Salamander Guru and The Shadows. He played the role of a genius hacker.
In 2012, Minho was confirmed to be the lead role, alongside f(x)’s Sulli and Lee Hyun-woo, in To the Beautiful You, Korean adaptation of “Hana Kimi”. The drama started broadcasting on August 15, 2012 on SBS. In preparation for his role as a high jump gold medalist, Minho received personal training from coach Kim Tae-young, former national high jump athlete and a member of the Korea Association of Athletics Federations, for a month and a half. His personal record at the moment is 175 cm.
In September 2012 JQ, who works under SM Entertainment to improve and direct the rapping abilities of their artists and used to be Shinee’s rap instructor, praised Minho’s writing ability and pointed out that he has many good ideas and “a few genius moments here and there”. He was especially pleased with Minho’s rap lyrics for Shinee’s lead single “Juliette” in 2009. Minho has been participating in the rap making of Shinee’s songs since debut and has written and co-written several of the rap lyrics for Shinee’s earlier songs like “Love’s Way”, “Love Like Oxygen”, “Graze”, and “Best Place” in Shinee’s debut album The Shinee World. In addition to Shinee’s second extended play Romeo he assisted JQ with “Talk to You” and “Juliette” in the rap making.
In July 2013, Minho returned to the small screen with MBC’s Medical Top Team. The drama received low ratings and was criticized for trying to tell too many stories at once and losing the main focal point of the story however Minho’s acting performance received positive response and was praised for his growth as an actor.
In 2015, Minho was cast as the lead in OnStyle’s drama My First Time together with actress Park So-dam, which was broadcast in September. It is the first drama premiered by OnStyle, with a total of eight episodes.
In early 2016, Minho extended his popularity as an actor. He was cast in several projects, including a historical Korean drama entitled Hwarang: The Poet Warrior Youth, which was aired on December 19, 2016 on KBS2. His debut movie project titled Canola, alongside Youn Yuh-jung and Kim Go-eun and directed by Yoon Hong-seung (pseudonym Director Changwhich), was filmed in 2015 and was released on the big screen in May 2016. The second one is a supporting role in a film entitled The Princess and the Matchmaker, to be led by Lee Seung-gi and Shim Eun-kyung. The movie is the second installment in a planned trilogy by Jupiter Films after the 2013 box-office hit The Face Reader. Choi was then cast in the movie Derailed alongside veteran actor Ma Dong-seok, which is directed by Lee Seong-tae and premiered at 2016 Cannes Film Festival. The movie had its world premiere screening at the 21st Busan International Film Festival in October 2016.
In 2017, Choi took part in the JTBC web drama entitled Somehow 18 alongside Lee Yu-bi. As a result of high online viewer ratings of more than 870,000 views, the web drama was announced to be broadcast on television through JTBC on 8 October. After receiving positive response for his acting performance in Derailed, Minho was cast in science fiction action thriller Illang: The Wolf Brigade, the Korean adaptation of the Japanese anime Jin-Roh: The Wolf Brigade. The film released on July 25, 2018. In September 2017, Choi received the Special Award at the Indonesian Television Awards 2017 due to his widespread popularity in the country as well as for his performances in various dramas. Minho was the first Korean artist to be presented an award at the show. On 15 November, Minho was included in Vogue’s list of “Sexiest Men Alive”. Later that year, Minho was cast in a four episode mini drama The Most Beautiful Goodbye, which is a remake of the 1996 drama of the same name.
In 2019, Choi is schedule to embark on his fan meeting tour, “Best Choi’s Minho” covering four cities Seoul on February 16, Tokyo on February 23-24, Bangkok on March 2 and Taipei on March 3, 2019. He will conclude his tour with an additional fan meeting in Seoul scheduled for March 30.
–Minho about his dreams and the relationship with his father.
Minho graduated from Konkuk University’s affiliated high school on February 10, 2010. After taking the college admissions test the previous year, he was admitted in 2010 to Konkuk’s part-time admittance for the arts and culture film major and graduated in 2015. His father, Choi Yun-kyum, is a well-known South Korean soccer coach. Minho inherited his father’s ability and showed his skills in shows like KBS2’s Our Town’s Physical Variety and won high praise from Lee Young-pyo, a retired member of the national team. Minho also led his team to victory at the Idol Futsal World Cup Competition. Originally Minho wanted to become a professional football player like his father but he disapproved of his decision stating: “Frankly, I didn’t want him to follow my path, Back when I was playing, it was difficult to make it in that world, very abusive back in those days. I would stay home for a couple of hours and then be off to training camp. It pained me to see my son asking me to stay over for the night.”. His father also added that from the football manager’s point of view, he didn’t think his son had it in him to make it in that field stating Minho is a strong-willed person, but has a small frame.
In 2011, he was named an Honorary Ambassador for Youth 2011. Three years later in 2014, Minho and Yoona were appointed as UNICEF Unihero Campaign Ambassadors “Giving Hope to the Children”. In the same year, Minho was listed among the Top Korean Stars, receiving 300 million won as his annual advertising rate. In 2016, Minho was part of UNICEF’s #IMAGINE campaign, which was first introduced in November 2014 to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the United Nation’s Convention on the Rights of the Child.
In November 2017, Choi together with the First Lady of the United States Melania Trump attended the “Girls Play 2” campaign at the US embassy in Korea, an event organised to promote 2018 Winter Olympics.