When you see the phrase “actors who can sing,” famous examples such as Lee Seung Gi and Seo In-Guk immediately come to mind. Reason being, they are amazing actors and vocalists alike, but perhaps more known for their dramas than their released albums. It is hard to remember that they started off in the K-pop industry before venturing into the world of acting. In fact, these occurrences are getting more and more common. There is virtually no K-drama showing now that does not involve an idol actor, whether they are playing supporting roles or even having leading ones. All of this made me wonder whether there were existing all-rounded actors and actresses who could go against the norm, to debut as actors before entering the K-pop industry. Lo and behold, I found five of them.
1. Park Seo Joon
You might recognise this multi-talented actor from his currently airing drama “She Was Pretty,” but did you know that he can sing? Unfortunately, his releases have only been limited to drama OSTs so far, but he undoubtedly has a really beautiful voice. Not just that, there is also evidence of training in his voice because he controls it skilfully. He doesn’t just act with passion and emotion, he sings with it as well. Take “Letting You Go” from the “Kill Me Heal Me” OST for example.
In the drama, his character Oh Ri On has to make several painful and difficult decisions regarding his adopted twin sister Oh Ri Jin, such as enabling her romance with the main character Cha Do Hyun, even when he himself has romantic feelings towards her. This heartbreaking dilemma is portrayed perfectly through Park Seo Jun’s acting, but even more so through this appropriately titled OST. Even for a person who doesn’t understand Korean like me, his voice transcends the boundaries of language and makes me understand fully what he is trying to convey through the song. Park Seo Jun is a real gem in the making, and I hope that he will release more OSTs and even an album soon.
2. Kim Soo Hyun
This actor is still at the height of his popularity a year after his hit drama “You Who Came From The Star,” but there is more to his charm than just his acting. He is a great singer as well and has released OSTs for every drama he has been in, with the exception of his latest drama, “The Producers.” Kim Soo Hyun’s voice is extremely skilled, and he sounds very sincere whenever he sings. He also loves to sing randomly, as can be seen by behind the scene videos of his dramas. Even in the 2011 drama “Dream High,” his vocal abilities stood out amongst the several idols who acted in the drama as well, especially in his emotional performance of “Dreaming.”
It is already difficult to act well or sing well, but to be able to do both well is a feat that few can pull off. Kim Soo Hyun’s singing in the wrong key for the first half of the song was impressive to me, because believe it or not it is hard to sing in a different key from the music that is playing around you. Not to mention the fact that he had to portray his difficulties clearly through his expression and his singing, and when he did this perfectly it created an extremely memorable scene in this drama.
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3. Sung Joon
When I first watched Sung Joon in “Shut Up Flower Boy Band,” his raw acting captivated and moved me to fall in love with his character. As I downloaded and listened to the OSTs of the show however, his tough and gentle voice reached out to me even further. He has the ability to carry rock songs powerfully but also melt your heart with his sincere ballads. It is a comfort to listen to his voice because he sings so effortlessly. In particular, I especially loved his rendition of “Words You Shouldn’t Know” from the OST of said drama.
While not as skilled as the previous two actors mentioned above, he definitely knows how to express himself through his voice and has the potential to become an even greater singer.
4. Lee Minho
Perhaps the most famous actor on this list, Lee Minho is an internationally recognised Hallyu actor. He debuted as a singer with “My Everything,” but was never recognised by fans as a good vocalist. That was what I thought initially as well, while I did enjoy the song his voice definitely had lots of room for improvement. He did not have many vocal techniques nor did his emotions come through in his singing, much like his acting for that matter. This all changed in 2013, when he acted in hit drama “The Heirs.” The drama as a whole left much to be desired, but it was through this drama that I discovered Lee Minho’s astounding improvement as a singer, evident through the OST he released, “Painful Love”.
If I remember correctly, the first time I cried in this drama was when this OST was played. I didn’t like Kim Tan (Lee Minho’s character) at all, but when he cried so painfully in an empty apartment, it broke my heart. Those emotions are brought across perfectly through this OST and Lee Minho’s voice has become a lot more confident since “My Everything.” He is even able to reach high notes and create climaxes in his songs. The OST is very moving because his pain is so believable and it just shows how talented he is both as a vocalist and an actor.
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5. Jo Jung Suk
Ever since I watched him in “The King 2 Hearts” and “You’re The Best, Lee Soon Shin” I’ve been in love with this actor. And over the years, I can see how much he has improved in terms of his acting. As a vocalist however, he only has one OST under his belt but his natural talent shines through very well. “I Completely Love You” is an adorable acoustic song that suits his gentle voice, and the way he sweetly sings it makes his affection for Lee Soon Shin (played by IU) so believable. He has confidence in his voice and reaches the high notes effortlessly, which is perhaps aided by his background in theatre and various musicals. He also applies more vocal techniques than the other actors listed above and uses them smartly to convey his emotions.
He shows great potential both in acting and as a vocalist, while I’m happy that he is being given more lead roles in dramas and movies, I hope that he will receive more opportunities to sing as well. I want an album Jo Jung Suk!
Do you agree with the actors on this list? What do you think about actors who can sing?Let us know in the comments below. We’d love to hear you thoughts and don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, and Bloglovin’ so you can keep up with all our posts.