Soo-man Lee
Robert Kenney/AP
Korea (South)
2019

SM Entertainment

Soo-man
Lee

Founder

Founder of the leading K-pop agency, Lee is always looking to expand SM Entertainment’s South Korean acts internationally, while avoiding the seamy controversies that have afflicted some of the genre’s big names. He launched H.O.T. as the first idol boy band in 1996, then found huge success with TVXQ and EXO. While the NCT franchise has achieved smaller local success of late, Lee secured a deal with Capitol Music and indie label Caroline for Super M, a new group he’s branded the Avengers of K-pop, made up of seven cherrypicked, babyfaced multinational stars from bands Shinee, EXO and NCT. While keeping the members in Super M, along with their individual groups and solo efforts, Lee plans the most global expansion of the SM universe to date. 

Career

  • SM Entertainment
  • S.M. Studio
  • We Hate All Kinds of Violence

Education

  • California State University–Northridge (CA, USA)
  • Seoul National University (Korea)

Variety Honors

  • 2017 Variety500 Honoree
  • 2018 Variety500 Honoree
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News from Variety

K-Pop Powerhouse SM Entertainment, Home to NCT 127, SuperM and EXO, Inks With CAA

K-Pop Powerhouse SM Entertainment, Home to NCT 127, SuperM and EXO, Inks With CAA

Just weeks after the Korean boy band SuperM held a showcase in Los Angeles, their management company, SM Entertainment, announced that it has signed with CAA for representation in all areas. Founded in 1995 by Soo-Man Lee — one of Variety’s 2019 International Power Players — SM Entertainment’s roster also includes K-pop luminaries NCT 127 (pictured above), EXO, Girls’ Generation, Super Junior and Red Velvet.“It is a great pleasure working together with the largest entertainment and sports agency in the...

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