Eli Kim

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Born Ellison Kyoung-jae Kim
(1991-03-13) March 13, 1991 (age 27)
Los Angeles, California, United States
Other names Kim Koung-jae
Eli Kim
Spouse(s) Ji Yeon-soo[1] (m.2014)
Children Michael Min-soo Kim
Musical career
Genres K-pop
Instruments Vocals
Years active 2008–present
Labels NH Media
Associated acts U-Kiss
Korean name
Hangul 김경재
Hanja 金炅才
Revised Romanization Gim Gyeongjae
McCune–Reischauer Kim Kyǒng-jae

Ellison Kyoung-jae Kim (born March 13, 1991),[2] better known by his stage name Eli, is a Korean American singer, rapper and actor. He is a member of South Korean boy band U-KISS. He is a rapper in the group and is one of the English-speaking members of U-KISS alongside former member Kevin Woo.[2][3]

Early life[edit]

Eli was born in Los Angeles, California to Korean parents.[citation needed] He spent most of his years in Fredericksburg, Virginia.[citation needed] He has a younger sister named Minah[4] and an older sister named Hannah.[citation needed] He attended Ni River Middle School and Riverbend High School in Virginia.[5] After dropping out of high school, he went alone to Beijing, China at the age of 15 to pursue his studies where he also learned Mandarin.[citation needed] He studied the techniques for Taekwondo and Kung Fu for 12 years, opening an opportunity for him to be cast as an extra in a Chinese movie.[citation needed] He is fluent in English, Korean, and Mandarin.[3][6]

Music career[edit]


Group photo of U-Kiss taken at the press conference for Dream Concert 2013

Eli is the fourth addition to the Korean boy band U-KISS, which was formed by NH Media Entertainment in 2008.[7] They were launched in Power of Atamix in Japan alongside other Korean boy bands such as Paran.[8] They also debuted in South Korea days later.

On April 27, 2011, Eli and Kevin went to Hong Kong for a special street date with their Hong Kong fans for their show Star Date with U-KISS in Hong Kong special. This was sponsored by Binggrae, which aims to connect the fans all over the world to Hallyu stars to encourage cultural exchanges. The special was aired through Arirang TV on May 3.[9][10]

Other activities[edit]

Eli was one of the hosts for the variety show Raising Idol along with U-KISS member Shin Dongho, MBLAQ's Thunder and Shinee's Key.[11] He appeared on MBC's We Are Dating on December 24, 2010 where he showed his Casanova type of being a man.[12] He also hosted the segment "All About You" on Arirang TV's Pops in Seoul, along with fellow U-KISS members, Alexander and Kevin.[3][13] He also acts as an MC in the show Fusion with Park Myung-soo under MBC which premiered on April 1.[14]

In November 2012, Eli along with NS Yoon-G were chosen to host a new weekly English show, K-pop Tasty Road on Olive TV (and on Mnet in the United States and various other countries). The show gives K-pop fans a sense of where Hallyu celebrities eat, play, work, and shop. The first episode was aired on November 10.[15]

Acting career[edit]

In January 2010, Eli and fellow member Kibum started their acting career in a Thai-Korean drama, Autumn Destiny,[16] with Thai actor Mario Maurer. Eli and Kibum's voices were dubbed since they could not speak Thai.

In 2011, Eli and fellow members Dongho and Kiseop were cast in an MBC sitcom titled Real School.[17] The trio acted in a 40-episode series, transforming into high school students who reside at an "English Village" in an attempt to face and crack their fear of speaking English.[18][19]

In October 2014, Eli was cast as the male lead in a Chinese adaptation of the Korean drama Full House.[6]

Personal life[edit]

On April 18, 2011, Eli was injured during a rehearsal.[20] He fractured his right hand,[21] and underwent surgery.[22] The hospital stated that it wouldn't be difficult for Eli to perform, and he managed to perform with a cast on his right arm.[23]

On December 4, 2015, Eli announced via instagram that he had been married for over a year, since June 5, 2014, having dated his wife who is a model 11 years his senior, for 5 years. It was also announced that they were expecting a child.[24] His fellow members Soohyun and Kevin took to Twitter to comfort the fans about Eli's shocking marriage news.[25] On December 6, 2015, U-KISS' label NH Media released a statement to clear up some questions. His label said that Eli's marriage won't affect his promotions with U-KISS and he will continue filming his Chinese drama as well. And asked to refrain from leaving hate comments as he will be a father soon.[26] On June 8, 2016, Eli's son, Michael Min-soo Kim was born.[27]

On August 30, 2016, Eli revealed his wife, Ji Yeon-soo[28][29][30] to the public on MBC Every1's Video Star. On January 4, 2017, Eli revealed his life as a husband and father by joining reality show, KBS's Mr. House Husband with his wife, Ji Yeon-soo and their son, Michael Min-soo Kim.[31][32]


Television drama[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2010 Autumn's Destiny Thai-Korean drama
2011 Real School! Superior elite Sitcom (episode 12)
TBA Full House Chinese drama

TV shows[edit]

Year Title
  • All About U-KISS
  • You Know U-KISS
  • Midnight Idols With U-KISS
  • U-KISS Vampire
  • Chef's Kiss
  • Raising Idol (Dongho's English TA)
  • Made in BS Japan
  • K-pop Tasty Road
  • Mr. House Husband


  1. ^ http://www.allkpop.com/article/2017/04/u-kiss-elis-wife-ji-yeon-soo-returns-to-work-as-a-racing-model-after-2-years-of-break
  2. ^ a b "PROFILE – U-KISS(ユーキス) Japan official website" (in Japanese). Archived from the original on June 14, 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c Hicap, Jonathan M. (May 3, 2010). "U-Kiss to hold first concert in Philippines". The Korea Times. Archived from the original on May 29, 2015. Retrieved May 28, 2015. 
  4. ^ https://www.twitter.com/u_kisseli/status/130812569345720320[permanent dead link]
  5. ^ "Embassy of the Republic of Korea in the United States of America". Koreaembassyusa.org. Archived from the original on April 26, 2012. Retrieved March 26, 2012. 
  6. ^ a b "S. Korea, China to co-produce Chinese version of 'Full House'". Yonhap News Agency. October 20, 2014. Retrieved May 28, 2015. 
  7. ^ U-KISS – boyband – kpop. Jpopasia.com. Retrieved on March 26, 2012.
  8. ^ (2 Years of Kisses) 080815 (Power of ATAMIX) U-Kiss – Not Young (Kibum Fancam). casttv.com video
  9. ^ Retrieved July 2, 2011. Allkpop.com (April 27, 2011). Retrieved on March 26, 2012.
  10. ^ U-KISS’ Eli & Kevin reveal their ideal woman’s traits. Allkpop.com (February 11, 2011). Retrieved on March 26, 2012.
  11. ^ Dongho, Eli, Thunder and Key to host a new variety show. Allkpop.com (March 2, 2010). Retrieved on March 26, 2012.
  12. ^ U-KISS’s Eli shows his “Cassanova” side on “We Are Dating”. Allkpop.com (December 23, 2010). Retrieved on March 26, 2012.
  13. ^ Retrieved July 2, 2011. Arirang.co.kr. Retrieved on March 26, 2012.
  14. ^ Retrieved July 2, 2011. U-KISS Eli to host Fusion Archived July 1, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.. Dazebaby.webs.com. Retrieved on March 26, 2012.
  15. ^ Kim, Erika (November 9, 2012). "NS Yoon-G and U-KISS′ Eli to Tour Star Restaurants in ′K-Pop Tasty Road′". enewsWorld. CJ E&M. Retrieved May 28, 2015. 
  16. ^ "U-Kiss Members to Star in Thai Drama". KBS World Radio. January 11, 2010. Retrieved May 28, 2015. 
  17. ^ Teaser for “Real School” starring U-Kiss’s Dongho, Eli, and Ki Sub revealed Archived January 10, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.. Allkpop.com (January 5, 2011). Retrieved on March 26, 2012.
  18. ^ U-Kiss’s Dongho, Eli, and Ki Sub to act in new sitcom, ‘Real School’. Allkpop.com. Retrieved on March 26, 2012.
  19. ^ Viewers anticipate “Real School” in MBC’s new 2011 lineup. Allkpop.com. Retrieved on March 26, 2012.
  20. ^ U-Kiss' Eli Breaks Hand During Dance Practice. Soompi.com (October 18, 2010). Retrieved on March 26, 2012.
  21. ^ [Coffee Break News] U-Kiss Eli rushed to ER for arm injury! – Korean Updates Archived October 22, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.. Koreanupdates.com (October 18, 2010). Retrieved on March 26, 2012.
  22. ^ Eli of U-Kiss to receive surgery for his fractured arm. Allkpop.com (October 19, 2010). Retrieved on March 26, 2012.
  23. ^ Injured U-KISS members show fighting spirit on stage. Allkpop.com (October 23, 2010). Retrieved on March 26, 2012.
  24. ^ "Eli explains why he kept his marriage a secret". SBS Pop Asia. 
  25. ^ "U-KISS' Soohyun comforts fans after Eli's marriage news". All Kpop. 
  26. ^ http://www.allkpop.com/article/2015/12/elis-label-reveals-his-wife-is-11-years-older-u-kiss-promotions-will-not-be-affected
  27. ^ "U-KISS' Eli becomes first-time father with the birth of a baby boy". Yibada. 
  28. ^ https://www.soompi.com/2016/08/30/u-kisss-eli-shares-photos-wife-baby-son-tells-love-story-video-star/
  29. ^ http://www.allkpop.com/article/2016/08/u-kiss-elis-wife-revealed-on-video-star
  30. ^ http://www.allkpop.com/article/2017/04/u-kiss-elis-wife-ji-yeon-soo-returns-to-work-as-a-racing-model-after-2-years-of-break
  31. ^ https://www.soompi.com/2017/01/03/ukisss-eli-reveals-married-life-for-the-first-time/
  32. ^ http://www.allkpop.com/article/2017/01/u-kiss-eli-reveals-his-life-as-a-husband-and-father-on-mr-house-husband