Get To Know the Passionate Singer From the Female Group The Grace, Dana

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Everything You Should Know About The Grace’s Main Vocalist Hong Sung-mi a.k.a Dana!

SM Entertainment is known as one of the largest music agencies from South Korea with the popularity of every singer or K-pop group under it always becoming famous throughout the world. This success has also made this agency a strong entertainment company and is also known to have very qualified singers and artists.

Likewise with a girl group under SM Entertainment that debuted in the early 2000s, which is The Grace or also known as CSJH (Hangul: 천상지희). This girl group debuted with 4 original members, and one of the members was Hong Sung-mi or also known as Dana. Without waiting any longer, let’s get to know more about The Grace’s Dana from her full profile, fun facts, career journey, and latest news in this article below!

The Grace’s Dana’s Full Profile

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Real Name: Hong Sung-mi (Hangul: 홍성미)

Stage Name: Dana (Hangul: 다나)

Birth: Seoul, South Korea, July 17, 1986

Star Sign: Cancer

Position in the Group: Main Vocalist

Height: 170 cm (5ft 7in)

Weight: 54 kg (119 lbs)

Blood Type: O

Nationality: Korean

Education:

  • Namyangju Yangjeong Elementary School (Graduation)
  • Cheongdam Middle School (Graduation)
  • Hanam High School (Graduation)
  • Hankuk University of Foreign Studies (Chinese Language / Graduation)

Religion: Protestant

Family Member: Parents and Sister

The Grace’s Dana’s Facts

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  1. The Grace’s Dana debuted as a soloist in 2001
  2. The Grace’s Dana has been dating director Lee Hojae since 2013
  3. The Grace’s Dana is part of the subunit Dana&Sunday
  4. The Grace’s Dana’s favorite musicians are Brandy, Norah Jones, Ashanti, Radiohead, Brian McKnight, Justin Timberlake, and Maxwell
  5. The Grace’s Dana can play the piano, flute, and guitar
  6. The Grace’s Dana hobbies are singing, dancing, surfing the net, playing sports, and watching movies
  7. The Grace’s Dana is the H in CSJH. H stands for Heeyeol, which means “Happiness of Heaven”
  8. The Grace’s Dana gained up to 80 kg but then succeeded in losing 26 kg because of depression, and it is said that she maintained her weight at 50 kg
  9. The Grace’s Dana goes so far as to say that she usually has stage fright or rarely gets nervous on stage
  10. The Grace’s Dana appeared in several drama musicals such as The Three Musketeers, Catch Me If You Can, Rock of Age,’ Bonnie and Clyde, and many more

Dana’s Debut as a Soloist

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In 1998, Dana, who was in 6th grade at the time, dreamed of becoming a singer after watching HOT and SES on TV. She went to a dance competition hosted by Lotte World with her friends. Dana was noticed by SM Entertainment’s casting manager Kim Soo-hyun.

At the time, Dana was told by her parents, “There are a lot of kidnappers these days, so be careful,” so she ran away from Kim Soo-hyun for a while after he tried to approach her. After being persuaded and talking with her parents, she accepted the offer to become a singer.

Dana received three years of intensive training at SM Entertainment, starting with acting and focusing on vocals and dancing. It seems that she also received intensive acting training. Compared to BoA, there was no acting in the training before she debuted at that time. Dana made her debut with Shining Ent and only released albums with SM Entertainment, so she was officially an SM Entertainment singer from 2003. And, until then, it could be said that she was having complications with the agency.

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Afterward, Shining Ent decided to debut Dana as a solo singer and started working on the album in the second half of 2000. Around the spring of the following year, when the work was almost finished, a photo of Dana was posted on the SM Entertainment site at the time to announce the news of her debut.

At this time, Dana’s original stage name, which SM Entertainment decided on its own, was Sunny. At the time, Dana’s photo file that appeared on the SMTOWN site was in the state of “sunny.jpg.” Before her debut, in March 2001, Dana appeared on the stage as one of 8 rookie singers on the Daegu N-Top slander stage.

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It seems that she was going to use this stage name until around May 2001, but she had already been in the press for the role of Princess Dana in the movie Age of Peace and the name suited her so well that she ended up using the name Dana.

Back in the days when she prepared to debut, BoA was also prepared to aim for the Japanese market from the start, and there is a rumor that Dana was designed for the Chinese market.

At that time, SM Entertainment tried to make all the singers successful in China and then advance to Japan and other places to become Asian singers. Like BoA, she received Chinese language lessons separately during the training process. For reference, it is said that Dana also learned Japanese before her debut.

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After completing the album preparation period of about a year, Dana officially announced her debut in June 2001, decorating several cover models for magazines Figaro and Ecole, and even before her debut, she was selected as a CF model for Haitai Confectionery’s White Angel.

The official music video appeared, but all the decent scenes used in the teaser were blown away, and the ultra-low-budget music video appeared, losing attention from the public. Even though she was involved in her debut at SM Entertainment and Shining Ent, the quality was poor, either because of the financial situation of Shining Ent, which was a new company and made her first album, or the music video director was devoured.

Still, Dana’s cute appearance and decent song quality made her somewhat popular, but even though she had quite a bit of potential for Dana, she was buried with the majority.

From September of that year to February of the following year, she was active with the title song “Until the End of the World,” but at that time, Dana was not often seen on TV broadcasts. Her debut was in September 2001, but at that time, she appeared on MBC’s Music Camp only once for a few months. Meanwhile, other singers who only released albums like Dana were in a similar situation.

The debut song stayed in the top 10-20 of music shows, and although the broadcast chart was not very high, it was called one of the favorite karaoke songs of girls of the same age at that time. It’s pretty well known as a medium hit at that time.

The follow-up song was supposed to be “Pretty” composed by Kangta, but it was changed to “Diamond” which was originally supposed to be the title song. Because the quality of this song was so good, there are quite a few people who like it more than “Until the End of the World.” It’s a follow-up song, but it’s more famous than “Until the End of the World,” so there’s even an opinion that the title song selection was wrong.

For reference, Dana’s 1st album received quite good reviews, but the sales volume was only 44,783 copies based on the music association, so it’s not bad for a rookie but it was a performance that fell short of expectations and pushes made before her debut. Still, she gained considerable popularity among teenagers so she won the Rookie of the Year award in the entertainment information newspaper and made a name for herself.

After completing her first album, Dana entered a long hiatus with her entry into China, at which time she officially transferred to SM Entertainment. When preparations for the 2nd album were delayed due to the transfer of the agency, Dana joined Non-Stop Season 3 which was popular at the time, and her popularity soared as she appealed to her youthful and cute image.

Dana gained popularity through non-stop appearances. She did not release her second album until 2003. The title song was the ballad “The Story I Left Behind” and featured actor Kim Ji-hoon in the music video, who was an actor in SM Entertainment at the time. On the 2nd album, she appeared on all terrestrial music shows with the full support of SM Entertainment and made a stable comeback unlike her 1st album when she appeared on TV programs infrequently.

Dana was acclaimed for her unexpected singing ability while performing almost all stages live, but the song itself was quite far from the lively image that comes to mind when it comes to Dana, so she was unexpectedly popular at all.

The lively dance song “What Is Love” aimed for a comeback, but the follow-up song activity did not yield many results. In the first place, the 2nd album itself was not as good as the first, which was judged to be worth listening to by most people.

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The failure of the 2nd album’s disastrous defeat was probably due to a major mistake in the selection of the title song, but the sudden activism of Dana, who had a youthful nonstop image at the time, into a premature ballad song made the public lose interest. The 1st album succeeded in making Dana be recognized to some extent in the title and follow-up songs, but both songs were dance songs.

Taking a look back at the concept of this song, some persuasiveness is added to Dana’s earlier concept plan for her original debut. It seems that she wanted to push it with a mysterious and precocious image. There were a lot of people who knew Dana only as a teenage idol, but after seeing Dana as a ballad singer, there were quite a few people who commented, “Why is she suddenly singing a ballad?”

The second album sold 34,408 copies and did not drop significantly compared to the first, but the number was so small that it became difficult to release a solo album afterward. The public did the same and SM Entertainment also decided that Dana was not a solo artist, so her solo activities ended and she joined as a member of the new girl group Cheon Sang Ji Hee or also known as The Grace. It means that Lee Soo-man gave Dana a plan to re-debut as a girl group member.