Li Yifeng (李易峰, born 4 May 1987), is a Chinese actor and singer, who rose to fame after participating in the 2007 My Hero contest. He debuted as a singer in the same year, with the album Four Leaf Clover. Since 2009, he gradually shifted his career focus to acting. He is best known for his roles in television dramas Swords of Legends (2014), The Lost Tomb (2015), Noble Aspirations (2016) and Sparrow (2016); and the film Mr. Six(2015) where he won the Hundred Flowers Awards for Best Supporting Actor.
Due to the success of his works, Li was tagged as one of the most popular young male idols in China. His booming popularity allowed him to rank 9th on Forbes China Celebrity list in 2015 and 11th in 2017.
Li was born in Chengdu, Sichuan. From 2006 to 2010, Li majored in Broadcasting and Host at Sichuan Normal University.
Li achieved fame in 2007 after appearing in the talent show competition, My Hero, coming in at 8th place and winning the Most Popular Contestant award. He released his first single “The One I Love Hurts Me The Most” on November 11, 2007, and his first EP Four Leaf Clover.
In 2009, Li made his acting debut in the drama The Prince of Tennis 2, adapted from the Japanese anime The Prince of Tennis. His role is the equivalent of Saeki Kojirou in the original anime. Then he released his first full-length album Mr Child.
Li gained recognition after starring in the Taiwanese drama Sunny Happiness, which achieved high ratings in both Taiwan and China. He received the Best New Actor award at the 2011 China TV Drama Awards for his performance. The same year, he made his feature film debut in Lovesick, starring alongside Ariel Lin and Chen Bolin.
Li earned praise for his subsequent performance in the television series White Lies (2012) and Daughter’s Return (2013). He received the Best Acting Idol award at the 2013 China TV Drama Awards, and the Most Popular Actor award at the 2013 LeTV Awards.
Li’s achieved breakthrough with his performance in th 2014 drama Swords of Legends, where he portrayed the cold and quiet anti-hero. The drama was a huge success and topped viewership ratings and online views in China. Li experienced a surge in popularity, and he won the Most Commercially Valuable Actor and Favorite Actor awards at the China TV Drama Awards. He also became the first actor to win the Newcomer award at the 2014 Elle Style Awards. The same year, Li released his first autobiographical book entitled A Once in a Lifetime Moment, for which he was awarded the Influential Fashion Star Writer at Dangdang Scholarly Festival in April 2017.
Li further solidified his popularity with two hit dramas in 2015; period drama Legend of Fragrance and web drama The Lost Tomb, based on the popular tomb-raiding novel Daomu Biji. Later that year, Li took on the role of a producer for the first time, taking part in the production of outdoor variety show Lets Go! Go! Go!, which premiered in November 2015.
Li’s next two films; coming-of-age tale Forever Young and romance drama Fall in Love Like a Star were panned by critics. He bounced back in December 2015 with a supporting role in Feng Xiaogang’s crime blockbuster Mr. Six, where he plays a rebellious youth who runs away from home because of conflicts with his father and later gets into trouble with gangsters. The film topped Chinese box office charts and won critical acclaim. Li won the Best Supporting Actor award for his performance at the 33rd Hundred Flowers Awards.
Following his success, Li entered the 2015 Forbes Chinese Celebrity list for the first time, placing at 9th with an estimated revenue of 69 million yuan (10.5 million dollars; 9.6 million euros). He was also named “Most Commercially Valuable Celebrity” by CBN Weekly.
In 2016, Li was appointed the Chinese Spectator Ambassador for the blockbuster film Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. The same month, Li the attended 2016 Style Icon Asia Awards as the only Chinese representative, and won the 2016 SIA Style Icon Award.
Li starred as the male lead in Noble Aspirations (2016), adapted from popular xianxia novel Zhu Xian. The drama received positive reviews and surpassed 23 billion views, becoming one of the most watched Chinese dramas. Li won the Best Actor award at the Huading Awards for his performance. He then starred in Sparrow, an espionage series set in the 1940s. The drama received critical acclaim for its performance and storyline, and became the highest rated war drama to date with a peak rating of 2.46.
In 2017, Li starred in the suspense crime film Guilty of Mind, based on the novel Evil Minds by Lei Mi.
In 2018, Li is set to star in the thriller film Animal World, based on the Japanese manga series Ultimate Survivor Kaiji. He also returned to the small screen with the modern romance drama In New York.