2NE1, a much anticipated girl idol group, has released its music for the first time on Friday. Even before their debut, the quartet received wide media attention as the “female Big Bang.” 2NE1 is represented by YG Entertainment, which also manages Big Bang.
“Lollipop,” their collaboration with Big Bang, has swept the domestic online music sites for the past four weeks. Now the girls’ official debut song, “Fire,” was unveiled on their official homepage, causing quite a stir among music fans. Unlike other songs released by Korean female groups, “Fire” delivers quite a strong impact as the name indicates. Composed by Teddy, former member of hip hop group 1TYM, “Fire” has fast hip hop beat with a reggae feel. The song will be released in 10-second phases from May 1st through 6th. Also scheduled for May 6th is the simultaneous showing of the song’s music video, which comes out in two versions.
Singer Whee Sung (real name Choi Whee Sung, 27) has created a TV show that is aimed at discovering new talented artists. The show, entitled “Whee Sung’s Pre-Star 1,” premiered on April 24 at 8 p.m. on Mnet, and the singer personally hosted it. The show seeks to present promising up-and-coming musicians with opportunities to introduce their music to the public and rise to stardom.
Nine or ten teams will be selected every month. The winner will be picked through an online vote on Mnet.com and will have a chance to perform on Mnet’s music ranking show “M! Countdown.”
Whee Sung says artists these days mostly gain popularity not for their music and talent but rather for their abilities to make people laugh. He says it is discouraging to see many talented musicians lacking opportunities to win people’s hearts. He said, “I will do my best to help their talent shine.”
The hottest hallyu group, TVXQ, begins its fourth tour in Japan today May 4th. The group will kick off the live tour with a two-day stay in Kobe, which will be followed by a total of 19 concerts in eight major Japanese cities. The concerts are scheduled to mark their fourth album, “The Secret Code,” released in March.
A variety of fun events are planned for the concerts. Secret codes will be hidden throughout the venue and a quiz session will ask audience members to guess the most intimate secrets of TVXQ members. Also TVXQ members will try their hand at speaking different dialects in Japanese.
With the number of official fan club members nearing 100 thousand in Japan alone, tickets to the concerts are selling like hotcakes in various auction sites. Tickets for the Kobe concert are being sold at 160 thousand yen per person and those for the Tokyo Dome concert at 90 thousand yen