Our featured artist this week is Baek Ji Young. She is a pop singer, but in her early career, she distinguished herself by singing songs with a latin dance beat, thus having the nickname "Latin Dancing Queen". She has a unique, husky voice that is easy to recognize. Most people remember her hit song "Dash" (she performed this song again at MBC Music Core’s "Power Recital" yesterday). At the prime of her popularity, a sex video scandal almost ruined her career. But she is strong enough to come back, and recently changed her music totally by releasing a ballad "사랑안해" (I Won’t Love). The song is doing extremely well on all charts in Korea. Not only tells us that Baek Ji Young is back, but she is mulit-talented. Let’s find out more about her.
Name: Baek Ji Young
Date of Birth: 1978/03/25
Debut: “Choice” (1st album , 1999)
Education: Jin-Sun Girl’s Junior High, Eun-Gwang Girl’s High School, Paekche Art College
Physique: 168cm, 46kg
Place of Birth: Seoul, Korea
Hobbies: roller blading, movies
Summer of 1999, Baek Ji-young, a sexy dancer with a husky voice, released her first album. The album, including the title song “Choice,” was in a Latin beat, which was fairly new for the Korean audience. However, the combination of Baek Ji-young’s sexy and passionate salsa dance and the plaintive melody of the song “Choice” was more than enough to grab the Korean music listeners’ attention. The following year, Baek released her second album, and with the songs such as “Dash” and “Sad Salsa,” Baek Ji-young successfully became a major musician of Korea. Her singing skills, going up till the fourth octave and the cute look made it impossible for the Koreans not to like.
However, in November of the same year her second album was released (and when she was on the zenith of her popularity), she was involved in a sex video scandal and was banned from major broadcast stations.
Despite the hard times, Baek made a come-back with her third and fourth album (2001) and (2003), but only through cable television and radio. However, the title song “Fall” and “Smile” were loved by her fans, and they were waiting to be able to see Baek Ji-young again in regular television programs. (edit: as I recalled she WAS able to perform "Smile" on the major networks for her 4th album, the TV ban was only on the 3rd album).
In addition, during the long recess between the second and third album, she released her second album in Taiwan, and sold nearly 30 thousand discs, making a great success internationally. Since the release of her 4th album, a collection of Baek’s new songs weren’t produced until 3 years later. In 2006, Baek Ji-young came back with a new album entitled “Smile Again.” The title song of the album, “I Won’t Love” gained great popularity putting Baek on top of the local charts again after a long time. Baek’s 5th album “Smile Again” took more than 2 year to produce. Prior to the production of the album, more than 50 songs were recorded. The total length of the recordings amounted to more than 1 thousand hours. The best 13 songs were chosen among the 50 songs to be listed in the album. Until her 4th album, Baek focused more on upbeat dance music, but in her 5th album, she displayed her talent in various genres of pop music including lyrical ballads, dance numbers also with some re-made versions of hit songs by other singers.
Sorrow (1st album, 1999): Choice, Small Wish, Burden
Rouge (2nd album, 2000): Sad Salsa, Dash, Don’t Ask
Special 1+2 (2000): Dash, Choice, Burden
Tres (3rd album, 2001): Fall Emotion, Thought of you
Smile (4th album, 2003): Smile, Betrayal Deep
Ultimate Best (2 disc special best album, 2003)
Smile Again (5th album, 2006) : I Won’t Love, Ez Do Dance, Woo Ah, Festival, Nail, I Love You, Ironic
credits to KBS World