South Korean artiste Lee Seung-gi lists his favourite Malaysian food

Lee Seung-gi intends to introduce Malaysian cuisine to his family and friends back in South Korea: Handout

One of the many things most international acts look forward to whenever they visit Malaysia is trying the food here, and that goes for South Korean artiste Lee Seung-gi as well.

The 36-year-old was in Kuala Lumpur for a fan meet event at MyTown Shopping Centre.

During his time in the city, Lee had the opportunity to savour some of our culinary offerings, and he intends to introduce them to his family and friends back in South Korea.

“The food here is to my taste. My favourites are fried rice and satay. Even though I’ve had satay in other places, I find the ones in Malaysia to be more delicious,” he said in a group interview with StarLifestyle.

Lee has been to Malaysia several times. His first visit to the country was back in 2012, when he held a fan meet as part of his Tonight With Lee Seung-gi showcase.

The multi-talented artiste returned to Malaysia in November 2019 for his Vagabond Voyage Asia Fan Meeting Tour, and was again in Kuala Lumpur this June for his The Dreamers Dream – Chapter 2 concert.

Despite having set foot here multiple times, Lee has yet to really explore the country.

Lee was in the country last month for a fan meet event in KL.Lee was in the country last month for a fan meet event in KL.

During this fan meet, the Love Forecast (2015) star asked for recommendations regarding which places to visit next.

Many fans suggested Sabah, to which Lee responded by saying he would travel there if he had the opportunity.

“I love Malaysia and plan on coming here more often in the future. I want to visit more places that have a relaxing vibe,” he added during the interview.

Triple Threat

Lee’s journey in the entertainment industry began in 2004 when he debuted as a singer and catapulted to stardom with ballads like Because You’re My Girl and Will You Marry Me?.

His accolades include three Golden Disc Awards, four Asia Artist Awards, four Mnet Asian Music Awards and five Seoul Music Awards.

In an effort to expand his repertoire, Lee ventured into acting.

Since making his acting debut in the 2009 series Brilliant Legacy, Lee has starred in hit dramas like My Girlfriend Is A Gumiho (2010), Vagabond (2019) and The Law Cafe (2022) – which earned him a Best Actor gong at the 35th Korea PD Awards in April this year.

Lee has earned the title Lee married Da-in on April 7, 2023. Photo: Human Made/InstagramReflecting on his 20-year journey in the entertainment scene, Lee regarded winning the Daesang (Grand Award) at the 2018 SBS Entertainment Awards as the highlight of his career.

“I’ve had doubts about whether I could continue my journey as an entertainer well after finishing my military service (in October 2017). Winning this award gave me (that) confidence,” he said.

Always one to embrace challenges, Lee has taken on physically demanding roles.

He was dragged by a car in the espionage action series Vagabond and he jumped in front of a moving vehicle for the drama Mouse (2021).

Despite loving the creative challenges that come with each project he takes on, there is one specific role Lee can’t envision himself in.

“There was one time a producer whom I’m really close to asked if I wanted to portray an idol who dances well. As much as I love challenging myself, dancing is just not my forte, which is why I rejected the role. No dance roles for me!” he said, with a laugh.

In addition to singing and acting, Lee is great at hosting, too. His expertise in these three fields has earned him the nickname “Triple Threat”.

Lee has also appeared in Forbes Korea’s Power Celebrity 40 list multiple times since 2010, and ranked sixth last year.

Family man

Outside of work, Lee is a dedicated husband and soon-to-be father.

During the group interview, the actor said that marrying South Korean actress Lee Da-in on April 7 was one of the most important moments of 2023.

He also told GQ Korea in February that he has gained more courage and confidence, thanks to Da-in, 31.

The couple, who went public with their relationship in May 2021, are currently expecting their first child in February next year.

Despite appearing soft-spoken during the media interview in Malaysia, Lee is not one to hold back when it comes to defending his loved ones.

Lee married Da-in on April 7, 2023. Photo: Human Made/InstagramLee started his own company, Human Made, in May 2021.

Days after his marriage, Lee took to Instagram to defend his father-in-law from “groundless” reports claiming that the latter had embezzled 26bil won (RM92.7mil) which affected 300,000 victims.

Lee’s statement read: “Lee Da-in’s parents have filed a complaint to the Press Arbitration Commission against the media outlets that reported this news. The reporters could not prove anything, and the Press Arbitration Commission has requested corrective reports from these outlets.”

The controversy surrounding Da-in’s family sparked backlash against Lee’s marriage. The actor revealed in his statement that several close acquaintances suggested he end the relationship to protect his public image, which frustrated him.

“There’s a promise I made to my wife Lee Da-in before and after our marriage – ‘In the future, let’s live while paying back.’

“We will look after places that need help and look into ones in even greater need. We will keep this resolution regardless of malicious comments,” he wrote in the statement.

Taking on more responsibilities

Aside from settling down as a married man, Lee also took pride in the expansion of his agency Human Made which he established in May 2021 after his contract with Hook Entertainment expired.

According to the Like A Flower singer, starting his own company was a “huge turning point” as he’s taking on more responsibilities that extend beyond acting and singing.

“I’m no longer just an artiste but also a manager for the company now,” he said during the group interview.

But it wasn’t smooth-sailing when he started his agency two years ago.

Lee started his own company, Human Made, in May 2021.In June 2021, a month after he started his own agency, Lee decided to partner up with Hook Entertainment. He signed a contract with his former agency to be promoted as an artiste, represented by two labels.

In December 2022, however, Lee terminated his contract with Hook Entertainment after a payment dispute for digital streams of his songs.

According to The Korea Herald, Lee had released an official statement denouncing Hook Entertainment for not having once made a payment for his songs’ digital streams or downloads on online music platforms.

The report added that the agency had also insulted Lee by calling him “an unprofitable singer who requests too many things” when he brought up the issue to the company.

Hook Entertainment CEO Kwon Jin-young eventually admitted to the allegations. In a press statement, Kwon said she will take full responsibility and use her “personal funds” to resolve the issue.

In an attempt to settle their dispute, Hook Entertainment paid Lee 5.4bil won (RM19.5mil). The singer confirmed that he did receive the payment and said he would use the money to help those who are in need.

Putting the bitter incident behind him, Lee is now focused on the future. He shared some of his plans.

“I hope to be able to grow my company in the next 10 years. I’d also like to play a doctor in a rom-com in the future. I’ve received a few scripts so far but I’m still considering which projects to take on,” he said.

Lee confirmed he is starring in the upcoming comedy film, About Family, which will be released next year.

“I plan to do my best. I just want to interact better with fans through my songs, films and dramas,” he said.

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