Lee Sun-mi (born May 2, 1992), known mononymously as Sunmi, is a South Korean singer. She debuted in 2007 as a member of South Korean girl group Wonder Girls and left the group in January 2010 to pursue an academic career.
After a three-year long hiatus from the music scene, Sunmi resumed her career as a soloist in August 2013 with her debut extended play, Full Moon (2014). The EP spawned the single, “24 Hours”, which charted at number two on South Korea’s Gaon Digital Chart. In 2015, Sunmi was announced to be resuming promotion with the Wonder Girls until their disbandment in 2017. She subsequently left JYP Entertainment and joined MakeUs Entertainment. Her second extended play, Warning (2018), produced the hit singles “Gashina”, “Heroine” and “Siren”.
Sun Mi was born on May 2, 1992 in Iksan, North Jeolla, South Korea. She attended Hwangnam Elementary School, Chungdam Middle School and Chungdam High School and currently attends Dongguk University, majoring in musical theater. She adopted her stepfather’s surname, Lee, while in university and merged her original given name and surname, becoming Lee Sun-mi.
In May 2006, Sunmi was revealed as a fourth member of Wonder Girls, a girl group managed by JYP Entertainment. The group debuted with the single “Irony”, on MBC’s Show! Music Core on February 10, 2007. The group quickly rose to stardom with their hits “Tell Me”, “So Hot” and “Nobody” within two years of debuting. In January 2010, JYP announced that Sunmi would be postponing her musical career to pursue her academic career, but would continue until February in order to complete scheduled events. On January 13, 2012, A JYP representative stated, “Sunmi has remained within the company and continues to sharpen her musical talents.” JYP Entertainment later stated that there are no plans for Sunmi to return and comeback as a member of Wonder Girls.
In August 2013, Sunmi was announced to be returning to her music career, debuting as a solo artist. Sunmi made her official debut stage on August 22, on Mnet’s M! Countdown. Her debut single “24 Hours” was released on August 26, 2013; and subsequently achieved an all-kill on music charts. Subsequently, her debut extended play (EP) Full Moon was released on February 17, 2014. The lead single peaked at number two on the Gaon Digital Chart and at number three on Billboard’s K-pop Hot 100. “Full Moon” was praised for being innovative, and Sunmi was said to have delivered a classy rendition of “sexy”.
On June 24, 2015, JYP Entertainment announced that Sunmi would be re-joining Wonder Girls, after withdrawing in 2010, for their comeback after the group’s two-year hiatus. The group returned with a band concept, with Sunmi playing the bass. In August, the group’s album Reboot was released, with Sunmi co-writing and co-producing three of its tracks. In 2016, Sunmi once again received songwriting and producing credits for a Wonder Girls release, this time for two songs present on the band’s single album Why So Lonely, including the title track of the same name.
On January 26, 2017, it was announced that Wonder Girls were to disband after unsuccessful contract renewal negotiation with members Yeeun and Sunmi. The group released their final single, “Draw Me” on February 10; it also served as a celebration for their 10th anniversary. On March 14, 2017, it was announced that Sunmi had signed with MakeUs Entertainment around the end of February. Home to singers like Park Won and Urban Zakapa, Sunmi commented, “At my new agency, I will work hard on my music and show everyone a new side of myself. Ahead of that, I would like to thank my previous agency, fans, and acquaintances for their support.” It was later revealed that Sunmi would release a single on August 22, her first solo comeback in three years. She released her single titled “Gashina”, produced by Teddy Park of The Black Label.
Sunmi returned with a single titled “Heroine” on January 18, 2018. Sunmi described the single as a prequel to her previous one “Gashina”. On September 4, Sunmi released her second EP titled Warning along with the lead single “Siren”. “Siren” received an all-kill on six local music charts.