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North Chungcheong Province, South Korea

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Uhm Junghwa


Uhm Jung-Hwa (Korean: 엄정화; born August 17, 1969) is a South Korean singer, actress, and dancer. Uhm is considered to be one of the most influential women in the Korean entertainment industry, finding success in both music and film. Her legacy and career reinventions have given her the nickname of "Korean Madonna".


Uhm began her career in 1989 as a chorus member for the broadcasting company MBC. She starred in the 1993 romance drama film, On a Windy Day, We Must Go to Apgujeong, and released her debut studio album, Sorrowful Secret, that same year. Though both releases found limited audiences, the album's lead single, "Pupil", helped to establish a sensual image for Uhm.


She pivoted to dance music with 1996's "Sad Expectation", and found success with "Rose of Betrayal" (배반의 장미) from her third studio album, After Love (1997). Subsequent releases Invitation (1998) and 005.1999.06 (1999) were bolstered by a string of hit singles: "Poison", "Invitation", "I Don't Know" (몰라), and "Festival", which gained status as her signature songs.

Starting in 2001, Uhm began to concentrate efforts on her acting career.


 Her performance in the 2002 erotic comedy Marriage Is a Crazy Thing won Best Actress at the 39th Baeksang Arts Awards, a category she received another nomination for in 2006 with Princess Aurora and won again in 2012 with Dancing Queen.


Her 2000s musical output saw declining commercial reception but greater appeal with critics. Uhm began experimenting with electronica on Self Control (2004), and funk on Prestige (2006), the latter of which won Best Dance and Electronic Album at the 4th Korean Music Awards. In 2008, she experienced a commercial resurgence with the single "D.I.S.C.O". Following a nearly decade-long hiatus from music, she released her tenth studio album The Cloud Dream of the Nine in 2017.


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.

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Tidal Wave as Lee Yu Jin