Brother/sister duo Akdong Musician (also known as AKMU) brought playful, good-natured fun to their lighthearted pop, entering the public eye in 2012 as winners of television talent competition K Pop Star 2. From there the group rose to stardom, incorporating elements of whimsical acoustic pop, rap, and themes of innocence and youth into their 2014 debut album Play.
Siblings Lee Chan-hyuk and Lee Su-hyun first began exploring music as pre-teens living in Mongolia while their parents were stationed there as missionaries. Bored with their home-schooling, they began working on music to avoid their studies. After returning to their home of Seoul, they began pursuing music more seriously, taking up the name Akdong Musician and working their way to the first place spot of K Pop Star 2 in 2012. This new exposure brought a record deal with YG Entertainment, and their 2014 debut Play was an instant hit. The album produced multiple charting singles, including "200%," which spent two weeks at number one on the K Pop Hot 100 chart. They returned in 2016 with the six-song EP Spring to sate their growing legions of fans as they worked on new music. Second studio album Winter followed shortly in January of 2017. As their fame grew, Akdong Musician began experimenting with styles that were new to them. The 2017 release Summer Episode brought EDM elements into the duo's acoustic sound, resulting in the huge hit "Dinosaur." In September of that year, Chan-hyuk complied with mandatory enlistment policies and joined the Korean Marines, putting Akdong Musician on hold for a time. After completing his civic duties in 2019, the group returned with their third album, Sailing. ~ Fred Thomas