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SEOUL — Yuuka Hasumi put high school in Japan on hold and flew to South Korea in February to try her chances at becoming a K-pop star, even if that means long hours of vocal and dance training, no privacy, no boyfriend, and even no phone.
How K-pop’s BTS is going beyond music to connect with fans
Insofar as weird concert titles go, Dreamcatcher’s Invitation from Nightmare City is one of the most unusual. A play of words inspired by the K-pop group’s debut album, Nightmare, and the resulting trilogy following the “dream” concept, the concert series was hardly horrific but was a pleasant showcase of the talent of the all-girl band.
In the hierarchy of Korean stardom, there are legitimate superstars, true celebrities, award-winning actors, and chart-topping singers. Only a few who can rightfully claim to belong to each class and 41-year-old So Ji Sub is one of them. So when he visited Manila for his first fan meeting two weeks ago, the Titas of Manila expectedly came in droves, beating their millennial K-pop counterparts to the box-office. Mr. So of Oh My Venus and My Secret Terrius fame is recognized, and rightfully so, as the total package, who has more to offer than those freshly minted, lip syncing teenage idols.
KOREAN ACTOR Seo Kang Jun — who has starred in such K-dramas Cheese in the Trap, Entourage, Are you Human, too?, and The Third Charm — will be holding a fan meet called “The Last Charm: Seo Kang Jun Live in Manila!’ on May 25, 6 p.m., at the New Frontier Theater (formerly Kia Theatre) in Cubao, Quezon City.
SEOUL — South Korea police were due to question two K-pop stars on Thursday over allegations of sex tapes, secret chat about rape, and deals facilitated by prostitutes, in a sex scandal that has rocked South Korea’s music world and hit entertainment stocks.
FILIPINO fashion brand, Bench, has mastered the art of fostering nationalism while keeping up with the trends. Its mantra, “Love Local,” has a unique twist in that while Bench is a homegrown line, it has partnered with Asian superstars to beef up marketing. The formula has worked -- and continues to work -- making Bench the brand of choice in its target segments.
MORE THAN for its products, direct selling company, FrontRow, has initially caught the public’s attention with its powerhouse line-up of endorsers.
AS THE dispute with Beijing over the deployment of a US anti-missile system in South Korea is still unresolved, the Korean music industry is constantly looking to expand its market to countries outside China. The two-year security-related spat has resulted not only in the dwindling of Chinese tourists going to Seoul but also in China effectively banning Korean artists and producers of Korean dramas and films from its territory. To fill the void, K-pop producers have trained their sights on Southeast Asian countries to sell their talents.
A DAY after analyst Kihoon Lee setoff a plunge in the shares of K-pop talent agencies, he wrote another note apologizing for triggering short-selling among foreign investors.
K-POP boy band BTS has climbed to the top of US Billboard charts, appeared on the Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and is in the middle of a sellout world tour that’s taking them through 12 countries, including the US and England.
APPOINTING male ambassadors for Korean beauty brands is more common than ever. Customers strolling through the Seoul shopping district of Myeongdong can attest that they are often lured into stores by men endorsers of make-up and skin care lines rather than their women counterparts. The strategy may have seemed odd several years back, but today it has become the norm, especially for Korean cosmetics.
SOME KOREAN pop groups — no matter how popular — have performed in the Philippines only once and without an insistent demand, they never managed to return. Not so in the case of the 13-member group, Seventeen, which can now boast of a three-sold-out-concert streak in Manila, a feat that only equally phenomenal bands such as BTS, EXO, and Super Junior have managed.
KOREAN POP fans know Jung Joon Young as the wacky yet competitive member of the reality-variety show, 2 Days 1 Night (2D1N). Every Sunday evening, he — along with five other regular cast members — entertains audiences worldwide with various challenges as the show also showcases suburban Korea.
KOREAN POP idols are all the craze not just in Asia but worldwide — BTS headlined the 2018 Billboard Music Awards and even appeared on Ellen; Big Bang celebrated its 10th anniversary by guesting on CNN’s Talk Asia; and Korean music festivals featuring boy and girl groups are making the rounds of Europe and the Middle East. K-pop fame is indeed enticing — although the road to stardom is never easy.
YOOK SUNGJAE is only 1/7 of the Korean boy band BtoB (Born to Beat) but he is arguably the most popular member. Aside from his activities with the group, he has a flourishing acting career which shot up several notches when he joined the cast of blockbuster K-drama Goblin, and played the nephew of Gong Yoo from Train to Busan fame.
SOUTH KOREA’s first openly gay singer Holland has released his new single, “I’m Not Afraid.” This autobiographical track is the first volume of his new twin single album: Holland Twin Single Project.
THIRTEEN YEARS after they were catapulted to stardom, Korean pop group Super Junior can still give boy bands half their age a run for their money. In their first solo concert in Manila in five years, the group — which is recognized as the catalyst that led to the worldwide K-pop craze — rocked the SM Mall of Asia Arena. Fans could only describe their performance as “walang kupas” (unfading).
JUNE 30 will be a busy day for Filipino K-pop fans. Super Junior (below) will hold the Manila leg of Super Show 7 (Super Junior World Tour) at the Mall of Asia Arena at 8 p.m., while fast-rising actor Jung Hae In (right) will meet his local fans for the first time at the Kia Theater at 6 p.m. With Super Junior members taking turns serving their mandatory military service, the group was forced into inactivity for a few years.
THE PECULIARITY with male Korean pop groups is that at some point in their career, the band will go on hiatus. By force of circumstances — or more aptly, due to the mandatory military service required of able-bodied adult male Koreans — groups either go on an involuntary 24-month respite or perform as an incomplete unit or members pursue solo careers while waiting for their band to regroup.
SEOUL — Korean boyband phenomenon BTS has become the first K-pop group to rise to the top of the US album charts, a vivid...
SEOUL — Known for its ultra-competitive, pressure-cooker society, South Korea has one of the world’s highest suicide rates. And this week the even higher...
By Anjie Blardony Ureta, Contributor Concert Review Penshoppe Presents: Dara Featuring Sandara Park Dec. 1, Kia Theater, Cubao, Quezon City KOREAN pop star Sandara Park paid tribute to 2NE1 and...
PULP Live World brings Korean singer and actor Park Hyung Sik in a concert called 2017 Park Hyung Sik First Love in Manila on...
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