Nancy is a South Korean-American singer, actress, and host. She is known for being a member of the South Korean girl group Momoland.
Nancy Jewel McDonie ET News was born on Thursday, April 13, 2000 (age 21 years; as of 2021), in Nam-gu, Daegu, South Korea. Her Korean name is Lee Seung-ri. ET News Later, in a 2020 interview with Mnet, she announced that her Korean name was Lee Geu-roo (Geu-loo or Geu-ru). Mnet – YouTube She grew up in Columbus, Ohio, United States. Her zodiac sign is Aries.
She did her elementary schooling at Wolbae Elementary School, Daegu, and Hyoja Elementary School, Pohang. Because her father was in the US army, she left South Korea at the age of two; she stayed for a few months in Dublin, Ireland, and then moved with her family to Ohio. After living in the US for six years, she returned to South Korea in 2009. In 2018, she did her high school graduation in music from Hanlim Multi Art School, Seoul, South Korea.
Eye Color: Brown (she also wears contact lenses of various colors)
Hair Color: Being a Kpop Idol, Nancy changes her hair color frequently. However, her actual hair is Black.
Family & Ethnicity
She is of South Korean and Irish origins. Metro.Style Her father, Richard Lee McDonie, is an American and a retired lieutenant colonel in the US Army. Her mother’s name is Lee Myung-joo, who is a South Korean. Her father was in the military service in Daegu and fell in love with her mother who served the unit at that time.
She has an older sister named Brenda Jowel McDonie (Cellist).
- MLD (2016-Present)
In 2010, she made her television debut as a child artist in the TV show ‘Hangul Train Chipo,’ which aired on EBS.
She then appeared in the popular South Korean reality show Hello Counselor: Season 1 (2010). Since childhood, Nancy wanted to be a K-pop idol, so, her mother enrolled her in a dance class, where she formed a hip-hop group with three other girls, and they called themselves Cutie Pies.
In 2011, she auditioned as a part of ‘Cutie Pies’ in Korea’s Got Talent. The group reached the semi-finals and came fourth.
She then appeared in Tooniverse’s shows The Unlimited Show (2011-13), Mak Ee Rae Show: Just Do It Expedition (2012), and Olala School 2 (2014). In 2017, she appeared in the acting reality show ‘Idol Acting Competition’ in which she was one of the finalists. The show aired on K Star.
In 2020, she was a contestant in the singing reality show ‘King of Mask Singer’ in the 143rd Generation of Mask King.
In 2016, Mnet launched a reality survival show ‘Finding Momoland’ produced by MLD Entertainment. The show featured teen MLD trainees who competed to form a seven-member K-pop girl group ‘Momoland.’ She finished the show in second place and became a member of Momoland.
Talking about her experience from the show, Nancy said,
It was tremendously trembling. It’s a regrettable part, but it’s an honor to be the 4th appearance after the members. Because I was working as a team called ‘Momoland’, I had a fright when I stood on the stage alone. I wanted to overcome the stage fright within this year.”
Momoland had to wait for their debut because they on the show to gather 3000 people for their concert. However, they continued with their training at MLD and attended music festivals and school concerts, managing to crowdfund their debut album. Momoland made its debut on November 10, 2016, with the mini-album ‘Welcome to Momoland.’
The same day, they made their stage debut in the music television program M Countdown with their single ‘Welcome to Momoland’ and lead single ‘Jjan! Koong! Kwang!’
After two more members joined the group, Momoland released its first single album ‘Wonderful Love’ in 2016 with a single of the same name.
Momoland released its second EP ‘Freeze!’ in 2017. In June 2018, Momoland released its third album ‘Great!’ with its lead single ‘Bboom Bboom,’ which became a huge commercial success and peaked at number two on the Gaon Digital Chart.
The group then released other EPs Fun to the World (2018), Show Me (2019), and Starry Night (2020), and single albums Thumbs Up (2019) and Ready or Not (2020). The EPs featured popular lead singles like Baam, I’m So Hot, and Starry Night. In 2019, Momoland released its first Japanese album ‘Chiri Chiri.’ The album featured hit singles such as Boom Boom, Baam, I’m So Hot, Freeze, and Wonderful Love (EDM). The singles Boom Boom, Baam, and I’m So Hot peaked on Oricon Singles Chart at number four, number eight, and number eight, respectively.
Nancy and her group’s triumph not only in Korea but in the Philippines. They have performed in the countries like Japan, the United States, Vietnam, Indonesia, United Arab Emirates, Singapore, and Mexico.
In 2017, she made her acting debut in the Naver series ‘Some Light’ in the main role of ‘Nancy.’
In 2018, she made a cameo appearance as an idol trainee in the MBC Kdrama ‘Dae Jang Geum Is Watching.’ In 2021, she appeared in the lead role of ‘Binna’ in the Filipino miniseries ‘The Soulmate Project.’ The series was produced by ABS-CBN and Dreamscape Entertainment.
In 2016, while Momoland was about to make its debut, Nancy appeared in South Korean singer MC Gree’s ‘Dangerous’ music video and comeback stage.
On November 19, 2016, it was announced that she would join Inkigayo’s project girl group ‘Sunny Girls,’ along with GFriend’s Eunha, WJSN’s Cheng Xiao, Oh My Girl’s YooA, and Gugudan. They made their official debut at SBS’s Inkigayo stage on November 27, 2016, with the title track ‘Taxi.’
On December 26, 2016, Sunny Girls also performed at the annual televised music festival SBS Gayo Daejeon. She sang the title song of “Some Light’ (2017), the Kdrama in which she starred, with Ha Min-woo of the Kpop boyband ZE:A.
From March 2017 to June 2018, she hosted the TV show ‘Pops in Seoul’ on Arirang TV. The show presents current music, news about K-pop culture, and provides overseas viewers with the latest Korean pop music and information.
In 2018, Momoland released its own show ‘Momoland’s Saipan Land’ in which Momoland travels to Saipan, where they were given an opportunity to do whatever they want for 48 hours. The show was broadcast on MBC Network.
Idol Star Athletics Championships
In 2018, she participated in the ‘Idol Star Athletics Bowling Archery Rhythmic Gymnastics Foot Volleyball Championships’ held at Goyang Gymnasium in Goyang, South Korea on August 20 and 27, 2018. The event was broadcast on MBC on September 25 and 26, 2018. The show features male and female K-pop idols competing with each other in various sports competitions. Momoland came second in the 4 × 100 m relay and won a silver medal. Momoland participated in 2019 too but did not win in any competition. In 2020, Momoland participated in the event again and came second in Ssirem/Korean wrestling, and they won silver.
- Nancy was once attacked by netizens for making fun of bulimia, an eating disorder. In her defense, she said that she was joking about it as a coping mechanism as she has suffered from the same in the past. PEP
- In November 2018, Momoland was criticized by Army (BTS’s fandom) for being disrespectful towards the boyband BTS at MGA (MBC Plus X Genie Music Awards). Army’s accused Momoland of laughing at BTS’s Jimin’s vocal during their ‘Fake Love’ performance and not bowing to them while they were passing by, which is considered disrespectful in South Korea. The Armys were angry and flooded Momoland’s accounts on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube with angry messages. Koreaboo
- In 2018, Momoland was embroiled in Sajaegi (chart manipulation) controversy when their album ‘Great!’ sold over 8000 copies in just one day. Their sudden release in sales aroused suspicions of the netizens who first reported it. Later, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, South Korea, cleared Momoland of Sajaegi accusations. Koreaboo
- In 2018, Nancy was criticized by BlackPink fandom Blinks for staring blankly at BlackPink while they were presenting their winning speech for their song ‘DDU-DU DDU-DU’ at MBC’s Show Champion. Blinks and netizens for being ill-mannered. M News
- In April 2020, Nancy was supposed to shoot for an upcoming Filipino series, which was delayed due to the 2020 COVID lockdown in South Korea. When Nancy was asked about this in an interview, she was found saying,
All these nonsense and quarantine whatever.”
- In January 2021, a person took Nancy’s pictures illegally and manipulated them. The pictures went viral on the internet, bringing harm to the image of Nancy. Following the Incident, Nancy’s agency released a statement, saying, ABS-CBN
Nancy is a victim of having photos being inappropriately taken and manipulated. The person that should be protected first and foremost is Nancy. We ask for your cooperation with a heavy heart. We will follow through with our legal actions with no leniency and without reaching a settlement. Nancy is currently undergoing severe emotional turmoil. We sincerely ask of you: We long for an end to malicious posts that harass our artist. We want to express our gratitude to fans who always love and support our artists. We will continue to do our best in ensuring our artists’ personal and given rights.”
- Color: Burgundy, Pink, Black
- Food: Food with Cheese, Mint Chocolate, Malatang, Hot pot, Sushi, Tteokbokki
- Band: GFriend
- Singer: Sowon (of GFriend)
- Travel Destination(s): Paris, Boracay
- In her spare time, she like doing makeup, nail art, play Nintendo games, travel, shop, watch American dramas, and sing Disney songs. During COVID lockdown in South Korea, she developed a hobby of diamond painting.
- After Nancy returned to South Korea after six years, she had a hard time blending in with the environment. Her mother always teased her about the differences between US and South Korean culture, which scared her. After she transferred to a South Korean school, she couldn’t speak Korean well, but she didn’t face many difficulties because her friends helped her.
- She is well versed in Korean and English and can also speak a little Japanese.
- She loves elephants and unicorns. She often buys stuff toys or items that feature elephants and unicorns.
- Momoland’s fandom is known as Merry-Go-Rounds.
- If not a performer, Nancy would have been a cellist like her sister, Brenda. In an interview, she said that her sister went to a school doing cello, so, she played cello too. She stopped because she wanted to sing and dance. According to her,
If I didn’t, I would probably be doing the same thing.”
- Momoland has done a lot of philanthropic activities. The group held a concert in South Korea, where they donated the ticket sales to children injured by car accidents in school zones. In April 2018, they did a charity concert to benefit the victims of violence and abuse.
- In February 2018, Momoland was appointed as the new ambassador of the Korean Red Cross Blood Service.
- In October 2018, Momoland organized their first charity concert in the Philippines. All the earnings from their concert were donated to the children of two barangays in Antipolo City Barangay San Jose and Barangay Calawis. Clothes and other necessities were also distributed to the children after the concert.
- Nancy’s fans have often said that Nancy and Filipina-American actress Liza Soberano were lookalikes. During a Facebook Live session with Ahin and Daisy from MOMOLAND in April 2018, Nancy searched for pics of Liza on the internet to see what her fans were talking about. Nancy was stunned and said that Liza looked like Ariana Grande. A year later, in 2019, Nancy and Liza finally met and posed together for a picture. Nancy uploaded the picture and captioned the post,
Nice meeting you Liza.”
- In January 2020, Nancy was appointed as the brand ambassador of the popular skincare brand Some By Mi. A Some By Mi representative said that they chose Nancy because,
Her healthy and pure image fit well with the direction that we pursue, of our clean, natural skincare products.”