Lee Hyori Opens Up About Uhm Jung Hwa, Turning 40, And Her 20-Year Debut Anniversary

Ahead of her 2017 comeback, Lee Hyori has landed a cover story for High Cut magazine.

In the feature interview, the veteran idol talked about preparing for her sixth studio album and reflects on her career on her 20th debut anniversary.

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The singer said that helping good friend Uhm Jung Hwa prepare for her recent comeback was a huge motivation to continue preparations for her own return.

“To be honest, I had no intention of releasing an album,” Lee Hyori began. “But when Jung Hwa was working on her album, she said that she wanted to record a duet track together, so I came to Seoul without much hesitation and recorded music for the first time in two years.”

During that time, she felt renewed drive, and from that moment, she began recording her own demo tracks and progressing toward a comeback album.

“Uhm Jung Hwa has always been an encouraging, motivating mentor to me,” she complimented.

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Lee Hyori, who first debuted in 1998, then spoke about her upcoming 20-year anniversary. The singer confessed that even though time seemed to pass quickly, the amount of work she put into her career actually made time go by rather slowly.

While she admitted that she had no particular emotion about her debut anniversary, she did have pretty frank things to say about getting older.

“Right now I am 39 and only a year away from turning 40 (Korean age), but I don’t really notice it. I still feel like I’m in my 20s, and there’s so much that I still want to do. However, I think about how I am already turning 40, and I feel a little regret,” she expressed with a laugh.

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Aging also makes Lee Hyori feel less pressure to fit a certain image. In the interview, the singer joked that no one really expects her to be “pretty as a flower” anymore.

“There are already so many beautiful, flower-like celebrities. I used to be like them, but it seems like these days no one really expects me to be this young beauty. I want to be a warm mentor people can talk to or an older sister instead.”

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