From slaying high notes to ‘Samantha and Rachel’: Meet Kim Sejeong, the female lead of ‘A Business Proposal’
Kim Sejeong caught the attention of K-drama fans when she named her breasts “Samantha and Rachel” during a blind date with Ahn Hyoseop in the first episode of the rom-com A Business Proposal.
The K-drama’s first episode started on a comedy high, as Shin Hari (Kim Sejeong) was asked to go on a blind date in place of her friend, Jin Youngseo (Seol Inah). Plans went downhill when Ha-ri discovered that her partner turns out to be Kang Taemu (Hyoseop), the CEO of the company where she works.
Determined to ruin her blind date, Hari pulled off many antics such as acting promiscuous and materialistic. Yet Taemu was charmed by her “honesty” and quirky personality.
Sejeong may have gained widespread recognition for her role as Ha-ri, but did you know that she’s been active in the Korean entertainment scene for quite some time? Here’s what you need to know about the K-pop idol turned soloist and actress.
Sejeong comes from a broken family
Sejeong’s parents divorced when she was a child, leaving her mom to raise her and oppa (or older brother) on her own. The North Jeolla-born solo artist moved to Gyeonggi with her mom and brother where she stayed with her aunt.
The solo artist admitted that she didn’t keep in touch with her dad until her third year of middle school.
Sejeong joined ‘K-pop Star 2’ when she was only 16
Sejeong showed off her vocal abilities in the reality show K-pop Star 2 when she was only 16 years old. She may have been eliminated from the competition early, but her duet of Taeyang’s I Need A Girl caught the attention of fans and YG Entertainment founder Yang Hyun-suk.
Sejeong was a standout trainee in ‘Produce 101’
Many K-pop fans would probably recognize Sejeong as one of the most popular contestants on the survival show Produce 101. She made a strong impression in her audition with fellow Jellyfish Entertainment trainees Kang Mina and Kim Nayoung with a cover of Nikki Yanofsky’s Something New. She also showed off her leadership skills, vocal and dance skills, and stage presence in the show.
The show is a cutthroat fight of star power and talent among 101 female trainees—yet Sejeong was one of the standout contestants. By the end of the series, she finished in second place with 525,352 votes.
Sejeong made it to the lineup of I.O.I
The 11 winners of Produce 101 debuted as the project girl group I.O.I or Ideal of Idol in May 2016. Sejeong was appointed as the main vocalist of the group, and her voice has been one of the key points in their songs.
I.O.I eventually disbanded after eight months, and Sejeong returned to Jellyfish Entertainment once her contract expired.
Sejeong debuted as the main vocalist of Gugudan
Sejeong proved that she’s the definition of multi-tasking queen when she debuted as the main vocalist of Jellyfish’s girl group Gugudan in June 2016. The debut was controversial to K-pop fans since she was still a member of I.O.I at that time.
Gugudan’s debut eventually pushed through and she became one of the most popular members. Sadly, the girl group disbanded in December 2020 after two years of no group activities.
Sejeong is currently promoting as a solo artist
With her commanding stage presence and vocals, Sejeong has always been noted for her potential to go solo. She was able to show her abilities as a soloist with the release of the ballad Flower Way under Jellyfish’s music channel project in November 2016.
The heartfelt ballad was a huge success in South Korea, topping seven major local charts upon release. Sejeong soon became one of the fastest female soloists to win in a Korean music show.
Following Gugudan’s disbandment, Sejeong is currently promoting as a solo artist under Jellyfish. Some of her biggest hits include All of My Day, What My Heart Says, and Whale.
Sejeong is also a variety star
Yup, Sejeong can do it all. The solo artist showed off her playful side as a variety star, appearing in shows like Salty Tour, Law of the Jungle in Sumatra, and Baek Jongwon’s Alley Restaurant.
One of Sejeong’s most iconic variety appearances, however, was in the Netflix thriller-comedy Busted! starring Lee Seunggi, Park Minyoung, Yoo Jaesuk, and EXO’s Sehun. We can’t get enough of Sejeong referring to her older male castmates as “hyung” instead of “oppa” in the series.
Sejeong made her acting debut with ‘School 2017’
In the youth series School 2017, Sejeong portrayed the bubbly, low-ranked student Ra Eunho who dreams of becoming a webtoon artist.
Sejeong earned the recognition of critics, and has bagged the Best New Actress award at the 2017 KBS Drama Awards. She was also nominated for Best New Actress at the 2018 Baeksang Arts Awards.
Fun fact: The youth series also stars Sejeong’s A Business Proposal bestie Seol Inah.