Tag Archives: Girls’ Generation

soompi sm theater

SM Entertainment to Release the World’s First Hologram Musical

by REERA YOO | @reeraboo

SM Entertainment will premiere the world’s first hologram musical, School OZ, on Jan. 14 in Seoul, according to Soompi.

Based loosely on The Wizard of Oz, this hologram fantasy musical stars various SM artists, including Changmin of TVXQ, Key of SHINee, Suho and Xiumin of EXO and Red Velvet’s Seulgi. The story will center on the search for Dorothy, who mysteriously disappears before the day of the “Great Knight” championship. The 110-minute show will be screened at the SMTOWN Theatre, taking advantage of the venue’s high-definition screens, projectors and its start-of-the-art sound system.

SM Entertainment will also screen its hologram concert Girl Story, which stars Yoona of Girls’ Generation and SHINee’s Minho, on the same day of the musical’s premiere.

Tickets for both performances will be available starting Wednesday, Jan. 7 at 10 a.m. KST and can be purchased via the app “SMTOWN Theatre” or the agency’s dedicated website.

You can watch the trailer for School OZ below:


Featured image courtesy of Soompi


IU Named South Korea’s Favorite Singer of 2014

by REERA YOO | @reeraboo

K-pop soloist IU was crowned South Korea’s favorite singer of 2014 in a poll conducted by Gallup Korea.

According to Yonhap, the poll was conducted from October to November and surveyed 2,774 people, ages 13 to 59, across the nation. IU topped the poll with 12.9 percent of all votes, edging out Girls’ Generation, who came in a close second with 12.4 percent of votes.

Earlier this year, the 21-year-old singer released a mini-album titled A Flower Bookmark, which was entirely comprised of covers of nostalgic K-pop songs from the late ’80s. Despite the lack of promotions, the album was a critical and commercial success, with most of her songs topping Korean music charts. The soloist was even featured in K-pop pioneer Seo Taiji’s song “Sogyeokdong,” making IU the first artist to collaborate with the veteran in 22 years.

Other artists that ranked in the top 10 included Sistar, EXO, Lee Sun-hee, Girls’ Day, Lee Sung-chul, Cho Yong-pil and BEAST.

According to Gallup Korea, a majority of teens picked EXO as the country’s favorite artist this year. Meanwhile, voters in their twenties and thirties chose IU.

Photo courtesy of Loen Tree.


Tiffany of Girls’ Generation to Perform with John Legend

by REERA YOO | @reeraboo

Looks like Tiffany of Girls’ Generation will be sharing the spotlight with John Legend at the 2014 Mnet Asian Music Awards (MAMA) in Hong Kong.

According to Soompi, an Mnet representative said that Legend had expressed his interest in collaborating with the K-pop singer, and SM Entertainment accepted his love call. Previously, there were a lot of speculation regarding the international collaboration when Tiffany posted on Instagram a screenshot of Legend’s “All of Me” playing on her smartphone. Although details of the joint performance are still under wraps, fans are already highly anticipating the duet between the two singers.

This is not the first time MAMA has hosted an international collaboration on its stage. Last year, Hyorin of SISTAR performed with the legendary Stevie Wonder. In 2011, 2NE1’s CL performed a cover of The Black Eyed Peas’s hit song “Where Is the Love?” with will.i.am and apl.de.ap in Singapore.

The 2014 MAMA will be held in Hong Kong’s Asia World Expo Arena on Dec.3. Other artists in the lineup includes G-Dragon and  Taeyang, IU, EXO, INFINITE, SISTAR and more.

Photo courtesy of Soompi


EXO’s Luhan Files Lawsuit Against SM Entertainment


SM Entertainment is going through a rough year.

Following EXO member Kris’ lawsuit, (f)x’s Sulli’s sudden hiatus, and the recent withdrawal of Jessica from Girls’ Generation, another SM artist has filed for a contract termination lawsuit against the K-pop agency.

According to the Seoul Central District Court, EXO’s Chinese member Luhan filed a lawsuit against SM Entertainment on Oct. 10 in a bid to nullify his contract. The paperwork filed is reportedly the same as what his fellow bandmate Kris filed in May. It’s also being reported that Hankyul, the law firm that represented Kris and former Super Junior member Hangeng, will be handling Luhan’s case.

SM recently said in a statement that it was “baffled” by the lawsuit and claimed that they were in midst of discussing Luhan’s future activities after the artist had requested more individual activities in China. The agency added that they suspect a third party to be influencing Kris and Luhan’s actions.

“As it was with Kris’s case, Luhan filed a lawsuit when it was unnecessary, using the same pattern and lawyers after gaining immense popularity with the group, which leads us to believe that he is now prioritizing his own personal benefits while disregarding the understanding of his contract with the agency as well as everyone affected by his contract,” SM said in a statement.

While the specific details of Luhan’s case have yet to be revealed, media outlets are speculating that Luhan’s reasons for the suit are very similar to what Hangeng and Kris cited in the past. Sina, a Chinese media portal, recently revealed four main reasons as to why Luhan has filed termination against his agency:

1. SM Entertainment is unable to provide good future development plans for Luhan.
2. There is alleged discrimination in terms of treatment between Korean and Chinese members.
3. The allocations of resources are unreasonable.
4. Luhan has been experiencing health issues due to over-exhaustion of the body and stress

Rumors about Luhan’s fallout with his label first started circulating when the Chinese member was not present at the EXO concert in Bangkok last month. SM cited health problems as the main reason for his absence at the time, stating that the singer had been suffering from headaches and a sleep disorder. However, fans remained skeptical after Luhan’s consecutive absences from band activities including the SMTOWN concert in Tokyo.


(Photo courtesy of Soompi)

As soon as news of Luhan’s lawsuit became public, SM stocks plummeted down to the daily limit of 15%, resulting in a loss of 64 billion won, the company’s all-time low this year. This steep plunge has allowed YG Entertainment to take the lead in market capitalization, according to Koreaboo. With the recent departures of some of its most popular K-pop artists, SM is expected to see a continuous drop in its stocks, without much time for recovery.

Featured photo courtesy of MTV Vietnam

SNSD Jessica 제시카 ジェシカ My oh My 5

Jessica Leaves Girls’ Generation, K-pop Chaos Ensues


Seems like Jessica of Girls’ Generation is making all the headlines today.

On Sept. 30, SM Entertainment released an official statement confirming that Jessica will be leaving Girls’ Generation, one of K-pop’s most popular girl groups and a driving force of the genre overseas.

The agency told local media that “due to her personal situation” Jessica previously notified them about halting team activities after the release of one more album. However, due to the lack of specific negotiations, Jessica launched her fashion brand, Blanc, without prior consultation from SM. This caused a conflict of interests regarding the prioritization of Girls’ Generation’s activities, and despite ongoing talks, the situation has reached a point where the team can no longer be maintained.

“Thus, the agency had no choice but to pull up the plan for Girls’ Generation’s activities as eight members. While we were still working out the timing of the announcement, Jessica had already posted about her departure in her own words early this morning,” SM said.

On her Weibo, a China-based social media platform, Jessica wrote a message in both Korean and English, saying that she had been “forced out” of the group. Many fans first believed that the account was hacked since hacking is such a common occurrence among K-pop star’s social media accounts and no confirmation from SM was available at the time.

Jessica Weibo

tumblr_inline_ncom47R5jn1r118td(Photo credit: Koreaboo)

The announcement of Jessica’s departure has spurred dozens of rumors from both the Korean and Chinese media.

According to Sports Donga, multiple industry officials have already confirmed that Jessica and her rumored Korean-American boyfriend Tyler Kwon, a CEO of a finance company, are planning to marry this coming May.

“They have already wrapped all major preparations for the wedding. The wedding will be in Hong Kong, and the two will live in both New York and Hong Kong,” reported Sports Donga.

Other media sources added that Jessica has been looking into design schools in New York to attend after her wedding. However, SM has denied all reports about Jessica and Kwon’s romantic relationship, despite photos and witness accounts of the two being seen together in Seoul, Hong Kong, and New York.


Jessica and Tyler Kwon backstage at the Huading Awards. (Photo credit: Jessica’s Weibo)


The Chinese media reported earlier this month that Jessica and Kwon were engaged, saying that the two were seen wearing similar rings in their Weibo photos. (Photo credit: TV Report)

This is not the first time SM Entertainment has had a member exit a group. This past May, EXO member Kris filed a lawsuit against the agency to nullify his contract. In mid-2009, members Kim Junsu, Kim Jaejoong, and Park Yoochun left the group TVXQ and sued the agency for unfair terms of their contracts, including its lengthy term of 13 years. The three then left the company to form their own group JYJ. In the same year, former Super Junior member Hangeng also filed a lawsuit against the agency to terminate his contract and returned to China to pursue a solo career.

While Jessica is no longer a part of Girls’ Generation, she and the other eight members have recently renewed their contracts with SM for an additional 3 years. Thus, Jessica will remain with the agency until further notice.

“We will continue to support and manage Jessica’s individual activities and Girls’ Generation’s activities as eight members,” SM concluded in its statement.

Meanwhile, SM Entertainment’s stocks are suffering a 5 percent drop since the company announced Jessica’s departure from the group, according to Venture Capital Post.

KCON-Gdragon missy elliot

G-Dragon, SPICA Join All-Star KCON 2014 Lineup


Big Bang’s G-Dragon and girl group SPICA are the latest names to join the lineup for this year’s KCON, the largest Hallyu fan convention in America, happening on August 9 and 10 at the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena. Billboard.com reported that the singer/rapper will headline the first of the two concerts at the festival, which also features fan meet-and-greets and panels.

G-Dragon, who performed with Missy Elliott at last year’s event, will join SPICA (U.S. debut), Girls’ Generation, IU, CNBLUE, Teen Top, B1A4, BTS, VIXX and Jung Joon-young on the stage. South Korean TV and movie stars Lee Seung-gi, Lee Seo-ji and Yoo In-na are also set to appear at the festival.


KCON expanded to a two-night festival last year, and this year’s event will feature two concerts as well. South Korean music chart program M Countdown will also be filming the performances, which might mean longer sets from the performers.

Tickets go on sale today, and more ticketing options will be available later. You can purchase them at KCONUSA.com.

Top photo: G-Dragon performed with Missy Elliott at last year’s KCON.


TIME Names Girls Generation’s “Mr. Mr.” One Of 25 Best Songs Of The Year


Dubbed by TIME as the “K-pop juggernaut,” Girls’ Generation’s (aka SNSD) “Mr. Mr” has been chosen by the magazine as one of the 25 best songs this year.

Fans, they say, “won’t be disappointed by their latest dance-friendly single, and the addition of a scratchy electronic bass line and a hint of darkness should even attract listeners who don’t dig their usual bubblegum sound.”

“Mr. Mr.” made the list alongside Mariah Carey’s “Make It Look Good,” “Love Never Felt So Good” by Michael Jackson and Rita Ora’s “I Will Never Let You Down.”

The selection of Girls’ Generation’s latest song comes at an odd timing as South Korean fans and media alike are starting to wonder if the popularity of the once mega-popular idol group is starting to wane. Even the search intensity on Girls’ Generation in recent months has been mediocre in comparison to Psy, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Nevertheless, Girls’ Generation will return to the U.S. in August to headline KCON 2014 in Los Angeles. KCON will take place over two days, Aug. 9 and 10.


Tuesday’s Link Attack: Hettienne Park Speaks Out; Girls Generation Singer Questioned by Police; Korean Air to Design Bobsleds

Why It Matters When Asian Women Leave TV Shows
Vanity Fair

Someone important died this weekend on NBC’s serial-killer drama Hannibal. That should come as no surprise, beloved actors are dropping like flies on TV these days, and the stakes are always high when Dr. Lecter is involved. In the shadow of larger recent shocks like those on The Good Wife or The Walking Dead, the death of a supporting character like investigator Beverly Katz may not seem like it should hit us quite so hard. But that character happened to be portrayed by Hettienne Park, an Asian female. So what? Does being a Korean-American woman on network television mean you should be bulletproof (or in this case, carving-knife-proof)? Certainly not. But given the lack of strong, female Asian characters on television, Park’s absence carries a weight outside the fictional world of Hannibal. Aware of the uproar surrounding her character’s death, Park commented on the more extreme outcry from the show’s fandom.


Racism, Sexism, and Hannibal: Eat The Rude
Hettienne Park (Tumblr)

I’m an American actress and I play Beverly Katz on NBC’s HANNIBAL created by Bryan Fuller. (Spoiler Alert coming right now!!!) And she dies in episode 4 of Season 2. That episode got a lot of positive reviews, but it also incited an on-line storm of vitriol directed to Fuller himself for killing off Katz, or more specifically, for being racist and sexist. I caught wind of this myself via Twitter from our beloved Fannibals. And I thought maybe it’d be productive to talk about rather than ignore it.

Fuller cast me in a role that I didn’t think I had a chance in hell of getting. I rarely if ever see minorities, women, minority women, let alone Asian women, get to play characters like Beverly Katz. I rarely if ever see characters like Beverly Katz period. And her last name is Katz for Christ’s sake. Pretty open-minded, non-racist, pro-feminine writing and casting in my opinion.

Girls’ Generation’s Hyoyeon Reported To Seoul Police For Allegedly Assaulting Male Friend: Rep Calls Incident ‘Misunderstanding’

A male friend of Kim Hyoyeon has reportedly accused the Girls’ Generation singer of physically assaulting him in the Seoul neighborhood of Seobbinggo, early Saturday morning.

According to a spokesperson for the local police department, officers from the Yongsan District station quickly dismissed the male friend’s allegations since he lacked a visible injury.

“Since it was reported, we processed the charge, but because the entire case was just happenstance, we concluded [Hyoyeon was] cleared of any suspicion of assault,” the Seoul police spokesperson said, according to the publication eNEWS.


Income data show lineage still crucial to become rich in S. Korea
Yonhap News

South Korea’s business tycoons and their family members kept top spots in terms of income in 2013, data showed Tuesday, with other highly-paid individuals barely managing to catch up to the clans who collected massive earnings from dividends.

According to the data by CEO Score, which tracks details of corporate leaders, most of the country’s top 30 income earners had kinship ties with the heads of family-controlled businesses.

Top executives of South Korean conglomerates have long been the subject of envy for salaried workers in the country, raking in incomparable paychecks compared with ordinary workers.

Korean Air Lines to Design Bobsleds
Wall Street Journal

South Korea’s bobsled team hasn’t had much success at the Winter Olympics. Now, as the country prepares to host the Games in 2018, Korean Air Lines003490.SE -0.65% is getting involved.

The national flag carrier said in a statement it will build two- and four-person bobsleds for the national team in partnership with universities in South Korea as well as the University of California.

Korean Air said it plans to unveil a prototype in November and upgrade it through tests until the next Winter Olympics, which will be held in Pyeongchang, a province in northeast South Korea.

Dignitaries witness Goddess crowning
Jeju Weekly

It is not unusual for a performer to receive an award for their extraordinary talent. Most often, though, that award does not bestow a title that raises the recipient’s status to one of divinity. However, Jeju Island, a traditionally matriarchal society home to 18,000 gods and goddesses, does things differently.

On Friday, March 28, Jeju Island celebrated the crowning of its first live goddess as opera singer Kang Hye-myoung was named a “Living Goddess of Jeju.” The award was given in homage to Jeju’s rich religious traditions and also to promote International Women’s Day, which passed on March 8, and the upcoming 28th BPW International Congress 2014 to be held on Jeju Island, May 23 to 27.

The Jeju club of the International Federation of Business and Professional Women (BPW International) hosted the celebration and opera showcase and funds raised from the event were donated to the Korean Council for Women Drafted for Military Sexual Slavery by Japan. About 2 million won will go to this Busan-based organization.

Ice Hockey Player Out to Prove She’s More Than a Pretty Face
Chosun Ilbo

Korea was unable to send an ice hockey team to the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics in February as both the men’s and women’s teams failed to make the grade. But the women’s team, first formed in 1998 and now ranked world No. 23, became one of the most-searched keywords early this month.

This happened after a photo of figure skating champion Kim Yu-na with Ahn Kun-young, a member of the national women’s ice hockey team, was posted online. It instantly grabbed people’s attention, largely due to Ahn’s pretty face.

“I was never told I was pretty until earlier this year when I lost some weight,” Ahn said. “Looks aren’t important to ice hockey players. What counts are your skills on the ice.”


World Bank President Jim Yong Kim says his is a ‘a very different bank’

From Ukraine to Russia, Tunisia to Egypt, it’s the economy, stupid, as Bill Clinton’s presidential campaign famously put it during his 1992 campaign.

How to get nations into better health, and thus greater wealth? That is the herculean task of Jim Yong Kim and the institution he leads, the World Bank.

“Twenty years ago I was actually on the streets protesting against the World Bank,” Kim said. “I was part of the ’50 years is enough’ movement, and we wanted to shut down the World Bank on its 50th anniversary.”

Now, as president of the organization, he says it is “a very different bank.”