Singapore — Here’s our pick of the Top 10 Korean showbiz stories for this year:
- BLACKPINK’s Lisa becomes global ambassador for CELINE and M.A.C
South Korean girl band BLACKPINK’s Lisa has been appointed as CELINE’s first ever global ambassador. Lisa is also the first K-pop star to represent the brand, besides being the first-ever worldwide ambassador for the French luxury brand.
Lisa was also announced as cosmetic brand M.A.C’s latest global brand ambassador. The Thai-born Lalisa Manoban will appear in M.A.C campaigns in a long-term partnership. She is a longtime fan of M.A.C Cosmetics and her favourite lippie is Powder Kiss Liquid Lipcolour in Mull It Over.
- The late Goo Hara’s ex-boyfriend is imprisoned for assault. Goo Hara’s house was also broken into.
Goo Hara’s former boyfriend, celebrity hairstylist Choi Jongbum was sentenced to a year in prison for threatening and assaulting the late singer. The Supreme Court has announced that it will uphold Jongbum’s prison sentence, under the Sexual Violence Punishment Act.
He was found guilty of most of the charges, including property damage, injury, blackmail, and coercion. Due to lack of evidence, he was found innocent of charges of illegal filming, as in the first and second trials. Goo Hara’s home was broken into in January and a safe was stolen from her house. It has been reported that the suspects could be one or two trespassers who could be acquainted with the late singer.
- Girls’ Generation’s Jessica releases book, Shine
Jessica Jung, a member of South Korea’s girl group Girls’ Generation wrote a young adult fiction book called Shine. The book is inspired by her own life experience as a K-pop trainee and being part of the most influential K-pop acts.
Jessica was scouted by SM Entertainment in 2000 alongside her sister and the elder sibling spent seven years as a trainee before debuting in 2007 in the nine-member group Girls’ Generation. Jessica left Girls’ Generation in 2014 and has since released music as a solo artist, acted in movies and build her fashion label Blanc & Eclare.
4. BTS gives speech via video during 75th UN General Assembly
BTS delivered a speech at the 75th UN General Assembly in video format, making a comeback on the virtual stage after two years. In the midst of people suffering during the COVID-19 pandemic, the septet urges people to live on.
The speech was delivered on September 23 at a meeting of the UN Group of Friends of Solidarity for Global Health Security, held in conjunction with the 75th UN General Assembly.
BTS members said, “Life goes on. Let’s live on,” in a video message that was prerecorded given COVID-19 concerns. Mentioning the group’s speech at the UN General Assembly two years ago, BTS leader RM said, “I imagined the limitless possibilities before all of us, and my heart beat with excitement. But COVID-19 was beyond my imagination. Our world tour was totally cancelled, all our plans went away, and I became alone. I looked up but couldn’t see the stars at night.”
- Lee Min Ho becomes first Korean star to hit 20 million followers on Instagram
Lee Min Ho who acted in The King: Eternal Monarch recently has become the first Korean celebrity to surpass 20 million followers on Instagram. He also garnered 20 million followers on Facebook. His agency confirmed that the actor has set a new record with his social media account. He hit the 20 million followers mark on Instagram.
This remarkable milestone came just a few weeks after The Legend of the Blue Sea star reached 20 million followers on Facebook as well. Aside from Instagram and Facebook, the actor also has more than 28.63 million followers on Weibo and three million followers on Twitter.
- BLACKPINK’s Lisa describes Gong Yoo as her ideal type and he responds
Lisa from BLACKPINK revealed that she is a fan of Coffee Prince actor Gong Yoo and he expressed his gratitude in response. During an interview, the interviewer said to the actor that when female stars are asked who their ideal type is, they would name him.
Gong Yoo then joked that when the camera’s off, give him the list of names. Lisa shared that she is a huge fan of Gong Yoo and also mentioned her love in his drama Goblin. Gong Yoo then gave her his autograph and commented that BLACKPINK is doing amazing work. He said, “I sent a message of support along with it.” He added, “I’m grateful that she watches my work with such affection.”
- G-Dragon Vogue Cover becomes best-selling magazine
G-Dragon’s Vogue cover is best-selling magazine of all time by idolBIGBANG’s G-Dragon is known for his killer dance moves, style and good looks. In October, Vogue Korea uploaded a collection of photos of the idol along with the caption, “G-Dragon appeared on Vogue Korea’s cover in 4 years.” G-Dragon’s various looks were featured in the covers. Text like ‘G-DRAGON’ ‘GD’ and ‘Kwon Jiyong’ were written in Korean on the covers as well as the text ‘One of A Kind’ on all covers. The October issue went for pre-sales on popular site ‘ktown4u’ and within three days, the cover sold over 28,000 copies, breaking the record, surpassing EXO’s Baekhyun’s HARPER’s Bazaar October issue.
- BLACKPINK makes history with Netflix’s first K-pop original documentary
K-pop girl group BLACKPINK starred in Netflix’s first K-pop original documentary BLACKPINK: Light Up the Sky. It is directed by Caroline Suh, featuring exclusive interviews with BLACKPINK members Jennie, Jisoo, Lisa and Rose. The quartet is best known for its catchy hits like How You Like That, Kill This Love and Ddu-du- Ddu-du. The documentary also showed never-before-seen footage of the members as young trainees under YG Entertainment.
- Hayeon, younger sister of Girls’ Generation’s Taeyeon makes her debut as a singer
Hayeon, the youngest sister in Taeyeon’s family has officially debuted in the K-pop industry by releasing the debut single Eyes On You on online music sites at 12pm (KST) October 7. Taeyeon then congratulated her younger sister on her debut.
The single was composed and arranged as a collaboration between artificial intelligence and producer NUVO while Hayeon wrote the lyrics. Hayeon is reportedly releasing more songs this year. Taeyeon shared clips from her sister’s music video and wrote on her Instagram stories, “Congrats, my sister.”
- South Korea passes new law that allows BTS to defer military service
In South Korea, all able-bodied men are required to serve in the mandatory military service for 18 months when they reach the age of 28. Before this, the law gave exemptions for top artists, athletes and musicians (such as those in classical music) but not K-pop stars. However the revised law allows exemptions for those who ‘excel in popular culture and art’. Jin turns 28 on Friday and had the bill not been passed, he would have to enlist by the end of the year.
The revision comes following the success of BTS’s single Dynamite which led the group to be the first South Korean pop act to debut at No.1 on the US Billboard Hot 100 as well as being nominated for a Grammy Award. Big Hit Entertainment, the group’s label had announced in the past that military service is a ‘duty’ that the group will fulfil.