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Thursday, 4 June 2015

Koihime Musou Girls and Famous Koreans, Part XXXVIII: Xu Huang and Seohyun (Girls Generation)

Seo Joo-hyun (Hangul/Hanja: 서주현/徐朱玄; born June 28th 1991 in Seoul), known professionally as Seohyun, is a South Korea singer and actress. She is a member of South Korean girl group Girls' Generation and its subgroup TTS/TaeTiSeo. She is a member of Icheon Seo Clan (이천 서씨/利川徐氏), a clan which is originated from Icheon City, Gyeonggi Province.

Her mother, Kim Young-ah is a piano teacher and taught Seohyun when she was 5. In 2009, Girls' Generation appeared on an episode of Kim Jungeun's Chocolate and as a special guest, Seohyun's mom joined the idols on stage. As an elementary school student, Seohyun was discovered by a talent staff while riding in a subway train, who encouraged her to audition for SM Entertainment. In 2003, Seohyun auditioned and joined the company under the SM Casting System. She is known for singing children's songs for her audition unlike other applicants who usually sing pop and dance songs.

She attended Seoul Middle School and Daeyoung High School, then transferred and graduated from Jeonju Arts High School on February 9, 2010. On August 21, 2014, she graduated from Dongguk University, receiving a degree in acting and an Achievement Award at the University's graduation ceremony. Her Girls' Generation's bandmate Yoona also attended the same university. Seohyun named United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon as her life mentor and role model, stating that his book, at one point in time, had helped her endured through the hard times.

Seohyun is the fifth member of Girls' Generation to be credited as a songwriter after Yuri, Sooyoung, Tiffany and Jessica. In Girls' Generation's fourth Korean studio album, I Got a Boy, she co-wrote two songs "Baby Maybe" with fellow group members Yuri & Sooyoung and "XYZ" with Yuri. Subsequently, in TTS's 2nd mini album Holler, Seohyun wrote the lyrics for the song "Only U". She expressed "The lyrics are about the sincerity of love, about a true love. That you fall in love many times, but there's always going to be that special someone you won't forget. And that I want to find that special someone, out of all those people you have to meet through, and keep them in my life forever."

Over the life of her career, Seohyun has released several songs for various television dramas and movies. A couple of them are her solos, while others are collaborations with fellow Girls' Generation members and other artists. Her solos include "It's Okay Even If It Hurts" for the 2010 MBC's drama Kim Soo Ro, and "I'll Wait for You" for the 2012 SBS's Fashion King.

Some of her duets include "Journey" with TVXQ for the 2011 SBS's drama Paradise Ranch, "Dreams Comes True" with Super Junior's Donghae for the 2011 Asia Song Festival, a fundraising project by UNICEF for East Africa, "The Magic of Yellow Ribbon" with Kim Hyun Joong as the theme song of the commercial The Face Shop, and "Don't Say No" with Brown Eyes's Yoon Gun. She also sang a duet with trot singer Joo Hyun-mi called JjaRaJaJja (Korean: "짜라자짜"). which earned her a nomination at the 2009 Mnet Asian Music Awards for Trot Music of the Year.

Her other collaborations include "Oppa Nappa" and "It's Fantastic" with fellow Girls' Generation members Jessica and Tiffany, "Let's Go" for the purpose of increasing public participation in the 2010 G-20 Seoul summit, and "S.E.O.U.L" with Super Junior and other fellow Girls' Generation members to promote tourism for the city of Seoul in South Korea.

Seohyun and her bandmate Taeyeon were cast as voice actors for the Korean-dubbed versions of the computer-animated films Despicable Me and Despicable Me 2. Tae-yeon and Seohyun dubbed the voices for the characters Margo and her younger sister, Edith, respectively. In 2013, Seohyun made her television acting debut in the SBS's drama Passionate Love. She played a supporting character, Han Yoo Rim, who is the first love of the male lead, portrayed by actor Sung Hoon. She and her bandmate Sunny also served as the background narrators for the MBC variety show Real Men.

Seohyun has, on a few occasions, expressed her affection in doing musicals. The singer even confessed her wish to be able to play the adaptations of Chicago, Wicked and 42nd Street someday. In 2014, Seohyun made her musical theatre debut in the recent musical, Moon Embracing the Sun, which was adapted from a novel of the same name. She played the lead role alongside Kyuhyun of Super Junior. She later got cast in the Korean adaptation of Gone with the Wind, playing the female lead role.

In 2010, Seohyun was appointed by the Seoul Metropolitan Office as the South Korea's Goodwill Ambassador for Student Fitness. In 2011, she, who has previously worked with the UNICEF's “Help Children in Africa” project, was then inaugurated as a UNICEF envoy. Subsequently, Seohyun was appointed as the Goodwill Ambassador at the United Nations Pavilion Expo 2012. In 2013, as an effort to help less-fortunate students with their studies, she donated 100 million Korean won to Dongguk University. Seohyun expressed, “I learned many things while studying at Dongguk. I wished to be of help to students who have a big dream, and yet don’t have a choice but to give up education because of family matters.” In 2014, Seohyun participated in the charity concert “Happy Day,” donating some of her possessions in order to raise funds in support of Syrian refugee children.