Uhm Jung-hwa (Hangul: 엄정화; Hanja: 嚴正化; born August 17, 1969) is a South Korean actress, singer, dancer and lingerie designer. Uhm began her career as a chorus member of MBC, one of the three major South Korean broadcasting companies, from 1987 until 1990. She made her film debut in the 1992 film Marriage Story, and released her first studio album, Sorrowful Secret, the same year.
Nicknamed the "evergreen", Uhm is considered to be one of the most influential women in the Korean entertainment industry, with many Korean female artists recognizing her as a role model.
Uhm was born in Jecheon, North Chungcheong, South Korea. She is the second child of Yoo Gyeong-sook and Uhm Jin-ok, a music teacher who died in a motorcycle accident when she was six. Her younger and only brother Uhm Tae-woong is an actor. Following her father's death, her family struggled financially.
Uhm Jung-hwa officially debuted as a singer in 1993 with her first studio album Sorrowful Secret. By the mid-90s she established herself as one of the top Korean female singers and entertainers, with a series of hit singles: "Sad Expectation" (Hangul: 슬픈 기대; RR: Seulpeun Gidae), "A Love Only Heaven Permits" (Hangul: 하늘만 허락한 사랑; RR: Haneulman Heorakan Sarang), "Rose of Betrayal" (Hangul: 배반의 장미; RR: Baeban-ui Jangmi), and "Tell Me" (Hangul: 말해 줘; RR: Malhae Jwo).
Uhm's fourth studio album, Invitation, introduced a new mature side of the singer. The music video for its title track caused a lot of controversy due to its suggestive nature. Invitation quickly became one of the highest selling albums of the year and received positive reviews from critics and fans.
She released two of her most recognizable singles of her career, "Poison" and "Invitation" (Hangul: 초대; RR: Chodae). She remained successful the following year, in 1999, with her fifth studio album 005.1999.06
During the 2000s, Uhm began to focus more on her acting career and committed herself to taking a variety of acting roles. She also began to pursue and experiment with different musical genres, in particular electronica. In 2004, she released her double album Self Control, which featured songs composed by Jung Jae-hyung, Fractal and Roller Coaster. Music critics praised Uhm for her ability to reinvent her image and sound.
After a two-year break from the music scene, she released her ninth studio album Prestige. Throughout the year she released two singles, "Come 2 Me" and "Song of the Wind" (Hangul: 바람의 노래; RR: Baram-ui Norae), each enjoyed positive critical reception. In early 2007, she won a Korean Music Award for Best Electronic Dance Record.
In the summer of 2008, she released her first EP titled D.I.S.C.O with help from her longtime friend Yang Hyun-suk of YG Entertainment. The lead single "D.I.S.C.O" featured T.O.P, a member from the popular boy band Big Bang. The EP was one of the best-selling albums by a female artist in 2008, and was further promoted by the digital single "D.I.S.C.O Part 2" which was a remix version of "D.I.S.C.O" and featured G-Dragon, the leader of Big Bang.
After an 8-year-long hiatus Uhm announced that she would be releasing her first new album since D.I.S.C.O in 2008, the album title would be The Cloud Dream of The Nine. She revealed that she would be releasing the album in two parts, the first part would be released on 27th December 2017, and the second part at a later date. Uhm performed the title tracks "Watch Me Move" and "Dreamer" on Gayo Daejeon along with "D.I.S.C.O", she would also perform the 2 tracks on MCountdown on the 5th January. One year after the release of Part 1, Uhm revealed through her Instagram account that she was in the preparation stage of her comeback with part 2 of The Cloud Dream of the Nine.
Uhm has established herself as one of South Korea's top actresses. She is known for her roles in the films Marriage Is a Crazy Thing, Singles, Princess Aurora, Dancing Queen and Haeundae, which became one of the highest-grossing movies in Korea. She has won two Baeksang Arts Awards for Best Actress, in 2002 for Marriage is a Crazy Thing and again in 2012 for Dancing Queen.
Uhm launched her new clothing and lingerie line, "Corner Suite" and "ZHUM in New York", which made $10M USD within 3 months of its release. "Corner Suite" became an instant hit when the line debuted on online markets. The line immediately sold out. Future plans include putting her line of clothes on more home shopping channels, as the demand for it is great.
Uhm was diagnosed with thyroid cancer but fully recovered after surgery in May 2010. Uhm said she felt a little afraid leading up to the surgery, but rather than being discouraged by the pain she was experiencing, she made up her mind to dedicate herself to helping others by inspiring them. "I want to use my talent and influence in a meaningful way," she said.
|1993||17th Golden Scene Award||Best Supporting Actress||On a Windy Day We Must Go to Apgujeong||Won|
|1995||16th Blue Dragon Film Awards||How to Top My Wife||Nominated|
|2000||SBS Gayo Daejeon||Main Prize||N/A||Won|
|2001||MBC Gayo Daejejeon||30 years Old and Above Award||N/A||Won|
|KBS Song Festival||Main Prize||N/A||Won|
|SBS Gayo Daejeon||Main Prize||N/A||Won|
|2003||39th Paeksang Arts Awards||Best Actress||Marriage Is a Crazy Thing||Won|
|KBS Drama Awards||Excellence Award, Actress||Wife||Won|
|2004||27th Golden Cinematography Award||Special Award||Mr. Handy||Won|
|2006||27th Blue Dragon Film Awards||Best Actress||For Horowitz||Nominated|
|7th Busan Film Critics Awards||Princess Aurora (film)||Won|
|42nd Paeksang Arts Awards||Nominated|
|Donga TV Fashion Beauty Award||Fashion Icon||N/A||Won|
|2007||Gala Dinner Party sponsored by FKCCI||Friendship Award||N/A||Won|
|2009||46th Grand Bell Awards||Best Supporting Actress||Tidal Wave (film)||Nominated|
|2010||Chunsa Film Art Awards||Best Actress||Bestseller (film)||Won|
|2012||48th Paeksang Arts Awards||Dancing Queen (2012 film)||Won|
|33rd Blue Dragon Film Award||Nominated|
|2013||50th Grand Bell Awards||Montage (2013 film)||Won|
|34th Blue Dragon Film Award||Nominated|
|Korea Culture Entertainment Awards||Grand Prize Best Actress||Won|
|Korean Film Actors Association||Year-end Movie Star Award||N/A||Won|
|1999||Best Female Solo||"I Don't Know"
|Best Dance Performance||Nominated|
|2000||Best Female Artist||"Cross"||Nominated|
|2008||Best House & Electronic||"Disco" ft. T.O.P||Nominated|
|Best Female Artist||Nominated|
|Best Music Video||Nominated|
|1998||Bonsang Award (Song Division)||"Poison"||Won|
|1999||"I Don't Know"||Won|
|2007||Best Electronic Dance Album||Prestige||Won|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Uhm Jeong-hwa.|