Lee Gi-kwang (Korean: 이기광, Hanja: 李起光; born on March 30, 1990) is a South Korean idol, singer, dancer, actor and occasional rapper. He was a solo singer under Cube Entertainment, also known by his stage name as "Ace Junior" (AJ) when he debuted. He released his first Mini Album "First Episode A New Hero" which features the works of the famous composer Brave Brothers. He is the main dancer, lead vocalist and visual of Beast.
Lee Gi-kwang was born on March 30, 1990 in Naju, South Korea. Gi-kwang found interest in hip hop and had particular liking to many classic hip hop acts. He was backed by his family to pursue a musical career and after auditioning for a record company debuted under the stage name 'AJ'. He was known as the solo singer AJ or Ace Junior when he debuted and released a mini-album "First Episode: A New Hero" on April 4, 2009. He met controversies when his name created dispute among netizens for having a similar name with Paran's AJ(Later became the new U-KISS member). He now goes with his original name when he redebuted with Beast. He debuted as an actor through High Kick Through the Roof and was also cast in a role for My Princess. He also became an MC for different shows such as Hot Brothers,Win Win and SBS Inkigayo.
Lee Gi-kwang was trained under JYP Entertainment for four years before transferring to Cube Entertainment. He made his debut on April 2, 2009 on Mnet M!Countdown. He was dubbed by Korean media as the next Rain. On June 17, 2009, AJ opened for Lady Gaga's Korean showcase.
Gi-kwang has now switched from a solo artist to a group member of Beast. The group debuted on October 16, 2009 on KBS Music Bank with their single "Bad Girl". He serves as the main dancer and lead vocalist in Beast. Band members Yoon Doo-joon, Yong Jun-hyung, Jang Hyun-seung and Yang Yo-seob were once backup dancers for Gi-kwang when he was still performing as AJ. Ace Junior was the topic of a short-lived reality show, Diary of AJ, which was hosted by MTV. The show ran on two episodes on May 9, 2009 with a total of two episodes showcasing his Journey on his debut as AJ.
The name "AJ", which is common not only in Korea but also overseas, has created disputes among netizens since many expressed their dissatisfaction over him having the same name as Paran's AJ. Cube Entertainment responded by saying that AJ's name is different from that of Paran AJ's for his (Cube's AJ) name is short for 'Ace Junior'. The company later announced that he would continue activities under a different name, but no changes were made until it was revealed that AJ would no longer continue activities, as he will have been preparing to debut as a member of Beast. Since the group's debut, he is known as Gi Kwang, or Kikwang.
Beast (비스트, stylized as BEAST or B2ST) is a boy band from South Korea that consists of six members, under Cube Entertainment. Originally known as B2ST, an acronym for Boys 2 Search the Top. However, their name was changed to BEAST (Boys of East Asia Standing Tall). They released their first mini-album Beast Is The B2ST on October 14, 2009, and made their first live performance on KBS's Music Bank 2 days later. The group has released a total of 6 mini-albums, Beast is the B2ST, Shock of the New Era, Mastermind, Lights Go On Again, My Story, a full length album called Fiction and Fact, and another mini album, Midnight Sun.
2010 - present:
After he was switched from a solo artist to a group member of Beast, their journey to debut was the topic of a reality show, MTV B2ST, which was hosted by MTV. Later, there's another Beast show - Beast Almighty, also hosted by MTV.
Gi-kwang had an acting role as Kang Sae-ho on MBC's "High Kick Through the Roof". He was cast as the comical role in the drama My Princess starring Song Seung-hun and Kim Tae-hee on 2011. He also played Lee Ji-ah's patrol partner in 2011 drama Me Too, Flower!, where his character was Jo Ma-roo.
He was selected as MC for MBC's Sunday Sunday Night segment Hot Brothers. Gi-kwang was chosen as the new MC for the KBS show 'Win Win' and currently still being the MC
Yoon Doojoon, Gi-kwang and IU appeared as special hosts on Music Core on August 21, 2010.
Gi-kwang, together with IU, were selected to be new MCs of Inkigayo in replacement of CNBLUE's Jung Yonghwa from 20 March. The pair will be paired with the existing MCs, 2AM's Jo Kwon, and f(x)'s Sulli.
Gi-kwang, SNSD's Tiffany, and CNBLUE's Yonghwa were also MC for SBS K-Pop Super Concert in America on November 10, 2012.
He also being MC on December 14, 2012 along with INFINITE's Woohyun, Moon Hee-jun, and Danny Ahn for 2012 Melon Music Awards
Gi-kwang was featured in K.Will's music video for the song, Present.
Gi-kwang was featured in Ahn Jinkyung's title song, 'Love is Pathetic' off of her second mini album 'BE THE VOICE'. This will be his first project that he will be rapping in.
Gi-kwang was featured in Sunny Hill's 'Midnight Circus'.
He was also chosen as the leading man in A Pink's MV, "I Don't Know".
On July 12, 2011, it has been announced that Gi-kwang will be taking part in producer Brave Brother's sixth project album, in a song called "Break Up" featuring Gi-kwang and Electro Boys. Fans are especially excited because this is Gi-kwang's first solo song since his original debut days as 'AJ' before he joined Beast.
On February 8, 2012 Gi-kwang also appeared in Ailee's debut music video, "Heaven".
He was also chosen as the model for the 'Ice Tea Tio' from DongSuh Foods. Gi-kwang will be doing CF filming of LG Tromm with model Lee Nayoung.
On December 29, 2010, Gi-kwang was awarded with Popularity Award from the 2010 MBC Entertainment Awards.