Most K-Pop idols go by a stage name to help them stand out from the crowd. But underneath those aliases, a lot of Korean singers share the same birth name—and ‘Sooyoung’ could be the most popular for female idols.
This pretty name is also the Korean word for swimming, though it can have many different meanings depending on which hanja (Chinese characters) are chosen to represent it. Perhaps some of those meanings relate to music, since ‘Sooyoung’s seem to have a lot of success in the K-Pop industry! Take a look at these 7 idols who are all called ‘Sooyoung’ in real life.
1. Choi Sooyoung from Girls’ Generation
When most people hear the name Sooyoung, their minds go straight to Girls’ Generation’s Sooyoung. Of all the idols on this list, Girls’ Generation’s Sooyoung is the only one who uses her birth name as her stage name too.
2. Park Sooyoung (Joy) from Red Velvet
There’s also another Sooyoung under SM Entertainment: Park Sooyoung, more commonly known as Joy from Red Velvet. Joy was given her happy stage name by one of her training instructors at the company, who loved her bright smile. She took the name in the hope that she’d only encounter joyfulness during her time as an idol.
3. Ha Sooyoung (Yves) from LOONA
Next up on the list is Ha Sooyoung, but you might know her as LOONA’s Yves. She shares birth name with 6 other singers, but she shares her stage name with well-known luxury brand Yves Saint Laurent. Many people mistakenly pronounce her name ‘yuh-ves’ or ‘ee-ves’, but the real pronunciation is much more simple: say it just like the name ‘Eve’.
4. Park Sooyoung (Lizzy) from After School
A member of After School and its popular subunit, Orange Caramel, Lizzy was born Park Sooyoung (sharing her last name with Red Velvet’s Joy). Since graduating from her groups and pursuing an acting career, she’s taken on a new name: Park Soo Ah. When questioned on the change, she revealed that ‘Lizzy’ was too closely connected to her variety image, while ‘Park Soo Ah’ gave her a fresh start.
5. Park Sooyoung (Chahee) from Melody Day
There’s yet another Park Sooyoung on this list: Chahee from Melody Day. Chahee didn’t reveal the meaning behind her stage name while actively promoting, and after Melody Day disbanded in 2018, there’s a chance old fans may never find out.
6. Yoo Sooyoung (Shoo) from S.E.S
Even one of the ‘K-Pop OGs’ was called Sooyoung—it’s the real name of Shoo from S.E.S. Since Shoo is half-Korean and half-Japanese, she technically has two real names. Her Japanese name is Kunimitsu Shū, which is where the stage name Shoo came from.
7. Lee Sooyoung
The last Sooyoung on the list is a little different. Lee Sooyoung isn’t a K-Pop idol, but she is a best-selling Korean singer. She also wasn’t born with the name. As a ballad singer, she goes by Lee Sooyoung, but her birth name is actually Lee Jiyeon.