Russian President Vladimir Putin and K-pop artist CL have been running neck-to-neck in this year’s TIME 100 Reader’s Poll, but poll results are finally in.
The reader’s poll officially ended on April 10. Putin edged out CL of K-pop girl group 2NE1 to second place, claiming the number one spot with 6.95 percent of votes in the final tally. There was only a .05 percent gap between the the politician and Korean rapper.
Image via TIME
Pop singers Lady Gaga, Rihanna and Taylor Swift rounded out the top five with 2.6 percent, 1.9 percent and 1.8 percent of the votes, respectively. Aside from Putin, the only non-entertainers to make the top 10 were the Dalai Lama (1.7 percent), Malala Yousafzai (1.6 percent) and Pope Francis (1.5 percent).
More than half of the votes for this year’s reader’s poll were cast within the United States, with 5.54 percent and 4.55 percent of votes cast in Canada and the United Kingdoms, respectively.
TIME’s editors will unveil this year’s list of the 100 most influential people in the world on April 16.
South Korean hip-hop trio Epik High has announced that they will be embarking on a North American Tour next month, according to a YG press release. The tour will kick off Saturday, May 28 at The Warfield Theatre in San Francisco and will make stops in several major U.S. and Canadian cities.
The trio rose to success with their hit song “Fly” from their third album Swan Songs. Epik High is often credited as one of South Korea’s most influential hip-hop acts and has topped a number of global music charts, including the Billboard’s World Album Chart as well as the iTunes hip-hop and album charts.
Last October, Epik High released their eighth studio album SHOEBOX, which has been praised for its musical narrative, artistic lyrics, and impressive collaboration tracks with other renowned rappers. The album was produced record label YG Entertainment, home to some of K-pop’s leading artists: BIGBANG, 2NE1, PSY, Lee Hi, Winner and Akdong Musician.
Tickets for Epik High’s 2015 North American Tour will go on sale on April 15 at 12 p.m. in each city’s time zone on the officialtour website.
EPIK HIGH 2015 NORTH AMERICAN TOUR DATES
May 28 – San Francisco, The Warfield Theater May 29 – Los Angeles, TBA May 31 – Vancouver, Vogue Theatre June 5 – Dallas, South Side Music Hall June 12 – New York City, Best Buy Theater June 14 – Toronto, Danforth Music Hall
To the left, Beyoncé and Lady Gaga, say K-pop fans.
On March 24, TIME magazine opened up their reader’s poll for their annual 100 Most Influential People list. Thanks to the voting power of K-pop fans, 2NE1‘s CL is currently leading the poll with 11.6 percent of votes as of Friday, while Lady Gaga is in second place with 4.3 percent.
This year, 158 candidates have been included in the online poll, including Emma Watson, Malala Yousafzal, Taylor Swift, Barack Obama, Pope Francis and the Dalai Lama.
CL is the third Korean entertainer to be up for votes in the TIME 100 reader’s poll, following Rain and PSY.
TIME introduced the 24-year-old rapper as the latest addition to Scooter Braun’s roster of top stars, noting her upcoming American solo debut.
The online poll will remain open until 11:59 p.m. on April 10, and the winner will be announced on April 13.
Kim Young-kwang and 2NE1’s Sandara Park will be starring in the upcoming Chinese-Korean web drama Dr. Mo Clinic, according to Star News.
Dr. Mo Clinic follows the story of a psychiatrist and hypnotherapist named Mo Ian, who specializes in helping his patients heal from painful memories of love. Throughout the web drama, Dr. Mo treats a woman named Lee So-dam, who seeks his counsel to help cope with her devastating breakup. In the process of treating her, the therapist finds himself healing from his own traumatic experiences.
Kim Young-kwang will play the titular role of Dr. Mo while Dara will portray the eccentric Lee So-dam. This is the first drama Dara has been cast as the female lead, according to YG Entertainment.
“I’m taking this as my first challenge in acting, so I want to steadily learn and grow as an actress, taking things one step at a time,” Dara said through an agency representative. “I think web dramas are a new genre with great merit because we can share our work online and meet fans overseas.”
She added, “I was intrigued by the character because she seemed so similar to me. Although I feel nervous and pressured, I want to work hard, focus and do my best.”
Dr. Mo Clinic is also generating buzz for being directed by Kwon Hyuk-chan, the director of the wildly popular series Secret Garden, A Gentleman’s Dignity, and The Master’s Sun.
Filming will commence in February. As a Chinese-Korean joint project, the web drama will be air simultaneously on Korea’s Naver TVCast and on China’s drama website Youku in March.
America has been a tough market for K-pop acts over the past decade, even with the success of “Gangnam Style” back in 2012. Leave it to the ladies of 2NE1 to “crush” that precedent.
Last week, Rolling Stone named 2NE1’s Crush, the quartet’s first full album since 2011, No. 6 on their list of Top 20 Pop Albums of 2014. Crush beat out some stiff competition, including Ed Sheeran’s X, Pharrell’s GIRL and Sam Smith’s In the Lonely Hour.
2NE1 was the only Asian artist to be featured on the list after Crush quickly jumped up to No. 61 on the Billboard 200 list after its release and became the highest-selling K-pop album ever in the U.S.
“The album itself was no stiff,” Rolling Stone wrote. “In fact, it’s a canny downshift from the wigged-out ‘I Am the Best’ maximalist mash-ups of the past.”
In particular, Rolling Stone praised Crush for “Happy” and “Good to You” while singling out “MTBD,” CL’s solo track that sparked some controversy for its use of Quran quotes.
2NE1 has had a busy year in America. Since releasing the album back in February, they’ve made appearances on The Bachelor and America’s Next Top Model. 2NE1 and their fellow YG labelmate Big Bang have been consistently among the most recognized Korean artists by Western media for the last few years. G-dragon and CL, for example, recently collaborated with Skrillex and Diplo’s track “Dirty Vibe.”
Back in March, the streets of Seoul were filled with excitement as Tyra Banks landed in South Korea to film a segment of Americas’s Next Top Model. We were even more excited when we discovered that ANTM chose popular K-pop group 2NE1 to make an appearance during the highly-anticipated fashion show for designer Lie Sang Bong.
A source revealed, “2NE1 was asked to be on the show because they are a representative K-Pop group and they are also well-known to be fashionistas.”
After 9 long months, the waiting is finally over. Americas’s Next Top Model aired its final episodes of Cycle 21 this past Friday. The segment included a photo shoot for GUESS at the Seoul Institute of the Arts, as well as Korean barbecue and even more Korean barbecue.
Most exciting of all, 2NE1 went to wish the the remaining contestants good luck before heading out to the runway to perform their popular song, “Crush.”
Check out the performance below as well as the behind-the-scenes footage of the girls interacting with the ANTM contestants.
YG Entertainment, the company that brought big names like Big Bang and 2NE1 to international audiences, is now taking on the cosmetic scene! Coming from one of the pioneers that put K-pop at the forefront of music, the line can only be appropriately called “Moonshot.”
The concept of Moonshot draws inspiration from Apollo 11’s successful landing on the moon in 1969, when a dream became reality. They line is intended for those who aim for the moon and for those who strive to be trendsetters — that’s quite apparent in the collection. The line’s bright, vivid colors boldly standout in comparison to the soft pastel colors that have been trending lately in South Korea.
Moonshot currently has their Flagship Store open in Seoul, but recently they released their online store. However, for those of us who can’t read Hangul, we’ll have to wait until Moonshot debuts their English website in January 2015. We can’t wait for Moonshot to start shipping internationally!
2NE1’s Dara becomes Walking Dead‘s Steven Yeun’s girlfriend in a hilarious a comedy mini-series titled, “What’s Eating Steven Yeun?”
Produced by Be FUNNY Studios, the mini-series follows a fictionalized version of Yeun, who leaves his girlfriend Dara behind in L.A. and travels to South Korea in an attempt to break into the country’s acting industry. However, upon arrival, Yeun is coerced by his new manager to start his career in Korea’s most recent viral craze, Mokbang aka “broadcast eating.”
The skit series celebrates the launch of Be FUNNY Studios, a digital studio based in Seoul and L.A. The studio was created in a partnership with Funny or Die, CAA (Creative Artists Agency) and Korea’s largest PR firm PRAIN. According to Koreaboo, the studio will feature more collaborations between Hollywood and Hallyu celebrities, and all content will be available in English and various Asian languages.
This is not the first time Be FUNNY Studios has produced a Hollywood-Asia collaboration, Soompi reports. The studio had previously teamed up with Funny or Die to create a video featuring Anna Kendrick joining SM Entertainment’s girl group f(x) as well as a walk-off between singer Rita Ora and K-pop star HyunA.
You can watch all three episodes of “What’s Eating Steven Yeun?” here. To learn more about Be FUNNY Studios, follow them on Facebook and twitter.