Eric is the leader and lead rapper of the South Korean boy group Shinhwa, which was launched in March 1998. The group marked their 20th year in 2018, making them the longest-running K-pop group in existence. The sextet has released countless albums and singles over the span of their career. Eric also serves as co-CEO of the Shinhwa Company, which is the home agency of his group.
Eric landed a supporting role in the MBC series Breathless in 2003, followed by a main role in Phoenix in 2004. He won Best New Actor at the 23rd MBC Drama Awards for his work in the said dramas. In 2005, he headlined the MBC workplace comedy Super Rookie, opposite Han Ga-in. His performance in the series earned him several awards, including Best New Actor at the 41st Baeksang Arts Awards and a Top Excellence Award at the 24th MBC Drama Awards. In 2006, he picked up an Excellence Award at the 14th SBS Drama Awards for Invincible Parachute Agent. In 2014, he was paired with Jung Yu-mi in the KBS2 romantic comedy Discovery of Romance, in which he collected several acting trophies. In 2016, he was named Romantic Comedy King at the tvN10 Awards for his work in the hit tvN series Oh Hae-young Again.
Eric’s family moved to the U.S. when he was young. He returned to Korea in 1996 and renounced his U.S. citizenship in 2003. He enlisted for his mandatory military service in October 2008 and was discharged in October 2010. He married actress and model Na Hye-mi on July 1, 2017.