When Secret first debuted, they were known as the half-basement idol because they lived in an apartment that was half underground. However, they have risen like comets since then, with their success of not only “I Want You Back” but “Magic,” “Madonna,” and now finally their huge hit with “Shy Boy.”During her interview, Hyosung asked Asia E not to call her a “Rising Star” and asked them to treat her with ease. She talked about her childhood and said, “I’m the middle out of three sisters. My sisters were all born at home, but I was born at the hospital. On the day I was born, my dad and my maternal grandfather saw a comet, so they used the “star” character and put it in my name.”
Because their family had difficult times, Hyosung worked even as a small child to help their family. “I started delivering newspapers since when I was in 3rd grade in elementary school. My whole family did it, so I didn’t think it was weird. It was nice to deliver newspapers with the morning air. I did that for three years, and I felt like I was growing with the job. It was so cold in the winter so I cried, but I didn’t stop the deliveries. Once, a woman gave me some money during my run. I kept refusing, but she gave it to me and asked me how old I was, then asked me if I wanted to live with her. I told my mom about it, and she told me never to go to that neighborhood again.”
When asked about her allowance, she confessed, “I got about $12 of allowance per month. I saved that to buy my parents presents and to buy school materials. But it was enough! How much does an elementary school kid need?”
Even when she was little, she was popular amongst her friends because of her ability to sing and dance well. However, she never thought about becoming a singer until she was in 6th grade. She confessed, “I liked performing for others since I was little. I danced things like Fin.K.L and S.E.S. at my friends’ birthday parties. In 6th grade, I got the dream that I wanted to be a singer, and all my friends helped me try to make that dream real.”
She continued, “When I was in middle school, I was the leader of the school’s dance club and we did a lot of performances. I just liked dancing. I didn’t tell my parents about it at all, but I realized that I was never going to fulfill my dream until I auditioned, so I brought it up to my parents. I started doing a part-time job just so I could get the money to go up to Seoul. My parents were against it at first, but when they saw how hard I was working for it, they let me go.”
Hyosung had gone through many auditions and taught herself how to do well after many failures. She danced BoA’s Valenti at her final audition because although many people danced to BoA, no one had done the Valenti dance. She kept getting accepted for 1st place during dance. For the award, she got a gift card to a mall. Because it was Parents’ Day that day, she gave it to her parents.
From there, she was advised to try out for the “Battle Shinhwa” audition by an official of Good Entertainment. However, she had to think about it for a while because she wasn’t sure if she could come out on TV. She also had to think about attending school.
Hyosung managed to make it to the final 12, out of which only 3 were girls. She said, “I changed a lot during “Battle Shinhwa.” I could never let myself relax. Why? Because I had to survive. I didn’t have time to relax. All my friends told me I was being so intense.”
She also had to think about her school. She said, “It was so hard both physically and mentally because I had to do it during school. I left school early often during those 6 months. But my teacher really helped me a lot. I felt so bad for my teacher and friends, but I didn’t want to give up either school or Battle Shinhwa. But honestly, I did pretty well during that time in school.”
She was picked as the final 6, and she signed on with Good Entertainment. She said, “It was like a dream. You could see me crying on TV.” She signed officially in 2006 and started to live in the dorms with Yoobin and Uee and go to school in Seoul.
“First, the three of us were a trio, but we didn’t debut. Then the “5 Girls” group was put together, but after MTV’s “Diary of 5 Girls” aired, we couldn’t debut because of the company problems.”
“I had about $30 for a month during my dorm life. But it didn’t matter, because I could walk to school, so I only needed bus fare to get to lessons. The company fed us, so that was no problem.” However, when she got to 12th grade without any progress, she said, “I realized I can’t just waste my time, so I started to prepare for college and I started a part time job. A lot of people asked me when I was going to debut, but it wasn’t as if I could do anything. I was happy that Yoobin debuted as a Wonder Girl, but I wondered what I was doing.”
She managed to earn enough money to attend college, but she had to leave it for a bit once more. “Only Uee and I were left in the company. I thought I really had to try hard, so I decided to leave school and focus on lessons.”
However, she was faced with a large obstacle in her way. During 11th grade, her father had cancer, but after treatment at a hospital he had been healed. However, he was still weak when he decided to go back and work to support his daughter. One winter, he called her to ask, “It’s very cold lately. Do you have thick blankets and a heater?” She was so hurt by this because she was so worried for her sick father.
Her father’s cancer appeared again, and even though he was sick he worked hard to support his family. She cried talking about her father. “The hospital told us to be ready. My mother told me to live to my fullest and sent me back to Seoul. I’m so sad that I couldn’t be by his side. My younger sister’s birthday is May 6th, but we took off his oxygen mask on May 7th. He was so thin because he hadn’t eaten anything for 40 days. He was so sick, but he kept working hard for us. I couldn’t deal with his death for a long time. Even now, I still feel like when I go back home, he’ll be there waiting for me with a smile. I wonder how happy he would have been to see me as Secret, promoting with albums.”
Seems like she had a hard time, but she’s now hit the top as Secret’s lovable dancer. What do you think of her life story?
Source: Asia E (1) , (2) , (3) , (4) , (5)
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