K-pop star HyunA’s “Red” recently placed fifth in Rolling Stone‘s “10 Best Music Videos of 2014″ and was the only Asian artist to be featured on this list.
Rolling Stone described HyunA’s music video as “a schizophrenic mess” that uses rapid scene transitions to mirror the song’s structure and “wild images [that] bring its lyrics to life.” The magazine also noted KBS’ ban of the hit song and said, “Some major Korean broadcasters thought the original video was too hot for TV, which means it might [be] just right for an American audience.”
“Red” was ranked one spot below Taylor Swift’s “Blank Space.” Meanwhile, Sia’s “Chandelier” topped the list, followed by DJ Snake feat. Lil Jon’s “Turn Down for What” and Beyonce’s “Pretty Hurts.”
This is not the first time the “Bubble Pop” star has attracted attention overseas. Last year, HyunA was invited to perform at the SXSW Music Festival as a K-pop representative, after the festival’s general manger saw her performance in Psy’s viral “Gangnam Style.”
You can watch HyunA’s “Red” music video below:
HyunA will perform “Red” at the 2014 Golden Disk Awards in Beijing on Jan. 14.
It’s Christmas Eve! Here are some festive K-pop jingles, old and new, to help you get in the holiday spirit.
Roy Kim – “It’s Christmas Day”
Roy Kim’s silky voice is sure to melt a few hearts this Christmas Day in his latest self-composed winter carol. The lyrics capture the feeling of butterflies when one confesses love to that special someone on Christmas.
The VIBE Family – “Lonely Christmas”
If you’re planning to spend Christmas alone this year, this emotional pop ballad by VIBE Entertainment’s best vocalists will bring you comfort. Composed and written by Ryu Jaehyun, “Lonely Christmas” is dedicated to those who are unable to be with their loved ones during the holiday season. In addition, the music video uses beautiful animation and storytelling.
Mystic89 Family – “Christmas Wishes”
Mystic89 artists have some of the most unique voices in the K-pop industry, and this Christmas collaborative song blends all of their vocals perfectly. “Christmas Wishes” has a cheerful but easygoing melody that will ease away all your holiday worries.
Sweet Sorrow – “The Story of December”
Nothing screams Christmas more than sleigh bells and bright trumpets. “The Story of December” is a cheery holiday classic that highlights Sweet Sorrow’s smooth harmonies.
Ailee – “My Grown-up Christmas List”
Korean American soloist Ailee brings her signature soul in this cover of Amy Grant’s “My Grown-up Christmas List.” Recorded in both English and Korean, the song is about an adult asking Santa for a better world for humanity rather than materialistic gifts.
BTOB – “You Can Cry”
Despite its title, BTOB’s “You Can Cry” is a lighthearted, mid-tempo song that attempts to cheer up all the single people spending Christmas alone. While Christmas is considered a celebration of family and close friends in Western countries, South Korea sees the holiday as a romantic one that’s on par with Valentine’s Day. This is why BTOB reassures their lonely listeners with their smooth vocals that it’s OK to cry if they have no date for the holiday.
Crayon Pop – “Lonely Christmas”
This is probably the most hyperactive Christmas song in K-pop. Crayon Pop’s disco-pop jam will make you want to dance and is perfect for livening up holiday parties. The “jelly legs” dance works as a cool party trick as well.
TVXQ – “Magic Castle”
“Magic Castle” is one of the earliest songs the original five-member boy band TVXQ recorded. In the first minute of the music video, the group showcases their acapella skills before performing the cover of The Classic’s 1994 hit song “Magic Castle.” It’s hard to believe that it’s been nearly 11 years since TVXQ released this track. Fun fact: Yoona of Girls’ Generation plays the girl featured in the music video, which was her first public appearance.
IU – “Merry Christmas in Advance ft. Thunder”
IU, who was recently voted as South Korea’s favorite singer of 2014, flaunts her clear vocals in this sweet and peppy song. MBLAQ’s Thunder is also featured as a rapper in the original track.
Kim Bum-soo and Lena Park – “White Winter”
Kim Bum-soo and Lena Park, two of the most acclaimed vocalists in K-pop, brighten the holiday season with their modernized cover of “White Winter,” originally released by Mr. 2 in the ’90s.
URBAN ZAKAPA – “Snowing”
URBAN ZAKAPA, an indie-jazz trio, captures the warmth and sweetness of winter with their crooning voices.
Jellyfish Entertainment – “Because It’s Christmas”
The gentlemen of Jellyfish Entertainment delight listeners in this festive R&B song. All-star vocalists Sung Si-kyung, Park Hyoshin and Lee Seok-hun give solid performances with support from K-pop boy band VIXX.
What are some of your favorite K-pop Christmas songs? Let us know your thoughts!
Former president and chairman of Marvel Comics, Stan Lee, has recently been spotted dancing in Clara’s “Gwiyomi (Cutie) Song 2″ music video.
In the brief 22-second clip, Lee performs his own version of the”Gwiyomi Player.” making cute hand gestures behind his desk. You can watch the clip below:
The “Gwiyomi Song 2″ music video was initially released on Dec. 22. In the music video, model and actress Clara flaunts her animated expressions while wearing neon wigs and psychedelic outfits. The song was produced by Dandi, the same producer behind the original “Gwiyomi Song,” due to a large number of fans requesting a remake.
Check out the music video below:
Clara will be promoting her single on Mnet’s M! Countdown on Dec. 25.
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.”
Sungmin of Super Junior tied the knot with musical actress Kim Sa Eun on Dec. 13 at The Raum in Yeoksamdong, Seoul.
About a thousand guests, including family, friends and celebrities, attended the wedding. Musical actor Yoo Jun-sang and comedian Hong Rok-gi officiated the ceremony, and congratulatory songs were sung by Sungmin’s fellow band mate Ryeowook as well as Kim Ah-sun, Seo Ji-young and Lee Gun-young. According to Allkpop, one of the highlights of the event was when the married couple sang a duet during the reception.
KBS2’s Entertainment Relay documented the wedding in an exclusive report that revealed photos taken during the ceremonies. Here are some of the photos below:
Sungmin and Kim first met as co-stars in the musical The Three Musketeers in late 2013 and went public with the relationship in October this year.
After the wedding, the couple flew to Maldives for their honeymoon.
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.
After launching their cosmetics line Moonshot and fashion brand NONAGON, YG Entertainment is now setting its eyes on the film and television industry.
According to Korean news outlet Hankyung, the K-pop giant is currently in talks with Yuehua Entertainment, a Beijing-based talent agency, about co-producing films and dramas. If both agencies agree to move forward with the collaboration, then joint productions are expected to begin in Korea and China simultaneously as early as next year.
YG and Yuehua already have an established partnership as they have previously collaborated in producing the rookie Chinese-Korean boy band UNIQ, which debuted in October with their song “Falling in Love.”
Both companies have been aggressively investing in expanding their businesses overseas. Yuehua opened a subsidiary branch in South Korea after signing a free trade agreement last month and sealed a partnership with Pledis Entertainment, which manages K-pop artists, including Son Dam Bi, After School and NU’EST.
Earlier this week, YG held a press conference to announce the partnership with Chinese instant messaging platform, Tencent QQ, which now has rights to exclusively stream YG artists’ songs in China. According to YG Entertainment representative Kim Sang Ho, the company is also reportedly receiving several investment proposals from Chinese business groups.
With CL preparing for her American solo debut, it looks like YG Entertainment is aiming to expand beyond Asia.
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!