In the entertainment industry, individuals adopting professional aliases is not uncommon. Some of the most popular Korean celebrities in the world are known by their stage names, including Cha Eunwoo (real name: Lee Dong Min), Hyun Bin (Kim Tae Pyung), Hwasa of MAMAMOO (Ahn Hye Jin), and IU (Lee Ji Eun). However, it is rare to see these stars change their names, that too, officially, after having their names already popularized.
But that is exactly what Chanmi has chosen to do. The former AOA member has been popularly known by her real first name, Chanmi, since 2012, when the group made its debut. Apart from being a girl group member, she also debuted as an actress in 2016 and has been actively participating in multiple entertainment and music survival shows.
In January 2023, the singer participated in a virtual idol survival show called Girls Re:verse, but with a new name, Lim Dohwa. Since then, she has expressed her wish to be known by this name instead of Chanmi.
Recently, she made a guest appearance on the ENA show Into My Playlist, where she talked about this change. It turns out Im Dohwa is not just a new alias for her. The singer officially changed her full name from Kim Chanmi to Lim Dohwa in 2022. She said she wanted to take up her mother, Lim Cheon Suk’s surname and wished to use it professionally as well since she chose it for herself while kicking off her solo career.
Dohwa and her mother’s heartwarming relationship is well-known among fans. Lim Cheon Suk herself grew up in an impoverished and abusive household. After divorcing her husband, who got into a lot of private loan debt, she raised her family on her own while managing a small hair salon. But this salon has become a haven for troubled youth, who are so attached to Lim Cheon Suk that she often gets addressed as “mom” by them. When Dohwa was suffering mentally while promoting with AOA, her mother would travel daily from Daegu to Seoul to check up on her.
Though Dohwa grew up in much poverty, Korean netizens often called her a “diamond-spoon” for having a mother like Lim Cheon Suk. So, the idol-turned-actress taking her surname seems to be a fitting tribute!