Lee Sang Min – Korea’s God of music and icon of debt

Everything you need to know about Korea’s “Icon of debt” – Lee Sang Min. Check the details with us right now below!

Lee Sang-min has had a turbulent life within the Korean show biz. He once was considered one of Korea’s most talented singers and music producers. He started his music career with Roo’ra and later developed into a prodigious music producer by forming various popular idol groups and discovering outstanding singers and entertainers. within the late 90’s he was at the height of the Korean music industry.

His music career took a downturn path after his disastrous business venture and infamous financial scandals. to create it worse, he also suffered from a failed marriage and plagiarism. He became indebted with an outrageous amount of cash, accumulating over 6 million USD of debt.

He restarted his life within the Korean industry by appearing within the TV variety God of Music. He deliberately showed his debt to TV viewers and determination to pay back all of his debt. thanks to his financial problem, he was dubbed as Korea’s Icon of debt. during this article, Xenews will provide you with a run-through of everything about Korea’s Icon of Debt, Lee Sang-min. So, stay tuned and keep scrolling down this text.

Lee Sang-min’s profile

lee sang min

Name: Lee Sang-min

Date of Birth: February 3rd, 1973

Place of Birth: Seoul, Korea

Height: 178 cm

Weight: 62 kg

Management: Dmost Entertainment

Associated acts: Roo’ra

Occupation: Singer, songwriter, rapper, music producer, TV host, TV personality

Zodiac: Aquarius

Chinese Zodiac: The Year of the Ox

Instagram: @sangmind32

Twitter: sangmind3232

Facts About Lee Sang-min

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  • He lost his father at the age of 4 and was raised by his grandmother
  • He failed the university admission test initially try
  • He rented a training room for 300.000 KRW per month with Shin Jung-hwan after failing the university admission test
  • The singer didn’t make enough money and barely survived by consuming instant noodles
  • At his second try, he was admitted to Seoul Institute of Arts, attended university for less than two years and left to pursue a music career with Roo’ra

Debut With Roo-ra

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Lee Sang-min debuted with the dance group Roo’ra by releasing their first studio album Roots of Reggae on July 1st, 1994. The leading track for the album was “Roots of Reggae.” At the time, Roo’ra was one amongst the foremost music genre groups. Roo’ra’s members were Lee Sang-min, Chae Ri-na, Shin Jung-hwan, Kim Ji-hyun, Mikey Romeo, and Ko Young-wook. Roo’ra’s second album, The Angel Who Lost Wings was released on March 28th, 1995, and managed to sell over 1 million copies. Sadly, Roo’ra’s members were infamous for scandals like illegal gambling and molestation. Roo’ra itself was accused of plagiarism for copying melodies from Japanese group called Ninja. The plagiarism scandal hit the national headlines because of Korea’s and Japan’s tense relationship. Roo’ra disbanded in 2001 but reunited again for his or her last album in 2009.

Lover MV

Going Going MV

The Angel Who Lost Wings MV

Pray MV

Lee Sang-min as a Producer

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Lee Sang-min and YG Entertainment’s former CEO, Yang Hyun-suk were considered because the most successful producers within the late 90s. Lee Sang-min wrote and produced songs for popular groups like Chakra, Country Kko kko, and S#arp. His genre was mainly dance, ballad, rap, and techno music.

Starting from April 1997, after Roo’ra’s disbandment, Lee Sang-min started working as a music producer. He collaborated with Yang Hyun-suk to provide mixed group Sohodae’s debut album. On August 29th, 1997, he produced a lady group called Diva. Their debut album was titled Funky Diva 1997. Diva consisted of three girl members; one among them was Cha Ri-na, a former member of Roo’ra.


Lee Sang-min had a giant part in discovering the talent of comedian and television personality, Tak Jae-hun. He wrote and composed a pop-dance album for Country Kko Kko, a music duo that consisted of his ally Sin Jung-hwan and Tak Jae-hun. The duo released their debut album Oh! Happy on April 5th, 1998.

lee sang minAnother mixed-sex group that Lee Sang-min helped to provide was S#arp. He wrote and composed most tracks of their albums. S#arp debuted on November 12th, 1998, by releasing their debut album titled The Sharp.


Lee Sang-min had aided in forming the girl group Chakra. The group debuted with four members, Hwangbo, Eun, Ryeowon, and Rani. Chakra released their debut single “Han” on February 26th, 2000, at Music Camp and received lots of attention for his or her unique Indian music concept. Chakra received several music awards, like Rookie and Best New Group.


On October 5th, 1999, Lee Sang-min formed and produced a supergroup consisting of Roo’ra, Chakra, and Diva members. it had been a 13-member group called Bros. Bros’ debut album was titled Win-Win and was supported techno music with a mix of nature and human sounds. The album was also a mix of several music genres.

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Lee Sang-min’s Suicide Attempt

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Roo’ra was accused of plagiarism because its third album title track “A Love in Heaven” had a similarity with the Japanese song called “Omatsuri Ninja.” After the plagiarism scandal-hit Roo’ra, Lee Sang-min restrained himself from public appearances. He became very depressed and even punched a glass window. He hurt himself and his paw was bleeding terribly. His manager revealed his condition and called the police and mistakenly reported it as a suicide attempt.

Lee Sang-min’s Love Life: Marriage With Lee Hye-young

lee sang min mariage

Lee Sang-min married his girlfriend of seven years, actress and singer Lee Hye Young within the us. The couple got married on June 19th, 2004. Unfortunately, the celebrity couple decided to divorce after being a family unit for a bit over a year. The couple officially divorced on August 8th, 2005.

The divorce settlement didn’t go well because his former wife filed a lawsuit against him for financial fraud. She claimed that Lee Sang-min bought two luxury cars using her name, both cars worth a complete of over 180 million KRW. She also stated that he did not pay the debt. thanks to the fraud, Lee Hye-young claimed that her salary and bank accounts were seized. During their short term marriage, she claimed that Lee Sang-min took around 2.2 billion KRW. Lee Sang-min replied by stating that he promised to reimburse around 1.3 billion KRW while for the remaining 0.9 billion KRW he didn’t promise to reimburse.


Lee Hye-young also sued him for forcing her to participate during a nude photoshoot and allegedly earning 800 million KRW from the contracts and benefits. to create it worse, she said that Lee Sang-min borrowed money using her name and even asked her friend to lend him money for business purposes. Lee Sang-min denied all accusations and said that it absolutely was a misunderstanding. On November 28th, 2006, she dropped the lawsuit against her former husband.

Lee Sang-min’s “Icon of Debt” story

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In the early 2000s, his reputation as a music producer and singer spiraled down as he started venturing out from entertainment to business. Strings of scandals and conflicts damaged his reputation and financial status. In 2001, disharmony and conflict between members of Chakra and members of S#arp caused both groups to disband.

Lee Sang-min opened a mega restaurant called Give Me Five showing live martial arts fights and transgender performances in 2004. At first, the restaurant attracted many attention until an accident occurred and a fighter died while fighting on the stage. Lee Sang-min was forced to pay a large sum of cash causing the restaurant to travel bankrupt. By 2005, he was indebted with a complete of 6.9 billion KRW (around over 6 million USD).

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He married longtime girlfriend in June 2004 but ended up divorcing her in August 2005. Lee Sang-min got entangled with financial lawsuits from his former wife. He was accused of stealing 2.2 billion KRW from her and several other other financial wrongdoings. He admitted to many wrongdoings and promised to reimburse the cash.

In December 2006, Lee Sang-min was arrested for operating an illegal gambling website. in keeping with police reports, he operated 80 affiliate stores of gambling sites across the country from May to July 2006. The gambling sites earned 5.4 billion KRW and he was suspected of receiving around 0.2 billion KRW. He denied receiving the like the illegal gambling sites. He was sentenced to a few years of probation, serving the community, and paying 210 million KRW in fines.

Lee Sang-min started reappearing in variety shows in 2012. He became the most cast of mocking documentary-style show on Mnet titled God of Music. He was dubbed God of Music and worked on establishing an entertainment agency. His character is portrayed as an authentic and truthful person. During the show, he found and cast newcomers within the Korean show business. The show itself was broadcast-based somewhere between reality and scripted shows.

lee sang min

During one in all the episodes of God of Music, a creditor approached him while he was working within the office. The creditor asked for an explanation for evading his calls. The creditor’s face was blurred and also the audience was left to make a decision whether things were real or fabricated.

In one among the episodes of SBS’ My anomaly, he invited one in all his creditors and treated him for a meal. it absolutely was revealed that Lee Sang-min has returned the debt of around 1 billion KRW since 2004. The creditor was impressed along with his diligence and even considered him sort of a younger brother.

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Lee Sang-min proudly showed his strict lifestyle through one in all his variety shows. He rented an area in his creditor’s house and purchased low-priced clothing items. He collected a minuscule amount of cash by receiving and reading commercial messages. He regularly participated in additional than 10 TV variety shows. it had been basically very hard to show on the TV and switch channels without seeing him appearing on TV programs. It showed his wholehearted efforts to pay back his monstrous debts.

lee sang min show

Korea’s household debt is continuously rising and domestic consumption is declining with any sign of improvement. Korean is indebted and Lee Sang-min’s debt reflects Korean citizens’ consumer behavior. Positively, Lee Sang-min becomes the icon of debt for his determination to pay back all his debt.

Recently, on November 11th, 2019, Lee Sang-min appeared on SBS’ Kim Young Chul’s Power FM. He revealed that he’s finally debt-free and he features a positive equity checking account. Later that day, he clarified that he’s still repaying his debt. Kim Young-chul heard that Lee Sang-min finally can visit a bank so he thought that his debt was reimbursed. Lee Sang-min said that his debt still exists but he sees hope for repaying all his debt. He thanked the audiences and fans for believing in the miracle.


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Lee Sang-min’s Current Variety Shows

Year Show Network
2019 Knowing Bros JTBC
2019 Voice Queen MBN
2019 Eye Contact Channel A

Lee Sang-min’s Mother

lee sang min and mother

Lee Sang-min was invited as a daily cast member of SBS’ My unusual person from episode 32. His mother, Im Yeo-soon, appeared as a daily commentator from episode 32 -63 and 69 to 70. His mother complimented him for his brain and his cooking ability. She told the audience that her son’s cooking talent came from working in a very Chinese restaurant. Although she was worried about Lee Sang-min’s huge debt, she was confident that he’s ready to reimburse all his debts.

During her short-lived show appearance, Lee Sang-min’s mother and other My anomaly mothers won the Grand Prize at the 2017 SBS Entertainment Awards. Unfortunately, his mother couldn’t attend the award ceremony due to her health condition. thanks to her deteriorating health condition, she was admitted to the hospital and canceled her appearance within the show.

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