oK Pop
  • Members of SHINee perform onstage during the Incheon Korean Wave Festival 2011 at Incheon World Cup Stadium on August 13, 2011 in Incheon, South Korea. (Photo by Han Myung-Gu/WireImage) A futuristic cosmopolitan entrance. A sea of sky blue. A resounding chorus of "I wanna know you!" opens the unique concert experience that is "SHINee World: The 1st Concert in Japan."

    SHINee World is the first full-length solo concert of Hallyu idol group SHINee. The SHINee World concert is legendary in K-Pop circles because it marked the unprecedented success of SHINee in Japan with little promotions. The "SHINee World" DVD features highlights from SHINee's Japanese concerts in Tokyo and Nagoya.

    SHINee World DVD coverThe SHINee World DVD provides Shawols, SHINee fans, a close encounter with Onew, Jonghyun, Key, Taemin, and Minho. Some say that it is better to own the DVD rather than watch the actual concert since the performers can hardly be seen from afar. I did not go to Japan to watch SHINee but the "SHINee World" DVD gave me that experience and more. Let me share with you some of my favorite moments from the "SHINee World" DVD.

    High Energy Performances

    The "SHINee World" DVD contains a total of 25

    Read More »from [REVIEW] SHINee shines in SHINee World Concert DVD
  • Lee Min Ho (SportsKorea)Lee Min Ho is, without doubt, one of the most recognizable Korean celebrities today. The handsome and talented Hallyu star had his biggest break after starring as the iconic Gu Jun Pyo in "Boys Over Flowers," the Korean version of Japan's "Hana Yori Dango" and Taiwan's "Meteor Garden." Since then, Lee Min Ho has made excellent career choices which further strengthened his stature in the competitive and unforgiving world of Korean entertainment. Lee Min Ho's career trajectory offers a good study of what young stars must do in order to remain fresh and on top of their game.

    Well-paced Quality Projects

    After the worldwide success of his drama "Boys Over Flowers" (2009), Lee Min Ho remained careful and strategic with his project choices. Unlike other young actors who would pounce on any potentially good and financially rewarding drama and/or movie projects, Lee Min Ho resisted the temptation and completed only two dramas, one a year, after "Boys Over Flowers."

    "Personal Taste" or "Personal

    Read More »from Lee Min Ho and his perfect career moves
  • Shinhwa (SportsKorea)The K-Pop kings are back! Shinhwa, the longest running Korean boy band, has officially returned.

    Shinhwa fulfilled the promise they made to the Shinhwa Changjos (their fans) during their 10th anniversary concert in 2008 making dreams come true among many of their fans. Four years ago, Shinhwa members Eric, Hyesung, Minwoo, Dongwan, Junjin, and Andy promised fans that they will perform as a complete group after their military service. On March 24 and 25, Shinhwa did just that by facing more than 20,000 fans after their long absence in the industry.

    Shinhwa (SportsKorea)

    Shinhwa (SportsKorea)Shinhwa (SportsKorea)Shinhwa (SportsKorea)Shinhwa (SportsKorea)

    Fans from all over the world (including a number from Shinhwa Philippines) flew to Korea just to witness the return of the K-Pop kings. Based on fan accounts and photos from the concert, Shinhwa did not disappoint. During the concert, they unleashed their newest single "Venus" and other tracks from their comeback album titled "The Return."

    Shinhwa's comeback concert aptly titled "The Return" formally signalled the return of Shinhwa to the

    Read More »from Shinhwa completes comeback concert ‘The Return’
  • CNBLUE (SportsKorea)The CNBLUE boys are back and this time the talented Korean band offer the Boices, their fans, some "Ear Fun!"

    CNBLUE "Ear Fun" albumCNBLUE, composed of Jung Yong Hwa (lead vocal, rhythm guitar), Lee Jong Hyun (lead guitar, vocals), Lee Jung Shin (bass guitar, vocals) and Kang Min Hyuk (drums, vocals), are back with their latest mini album titled "Ear Fun." After teasing fans by uploading the coolest solo teasers ever, CNBLUE officially released their newest single titled "Hey You."

    True to the signature CNBLUE sound, "Hey You" is a pleasing mellow rock track highlighted by an addicting hook. In the track, the lead vocals of Yong Hwa is perfectly complemented by the manly timbre of Jong Hyun's voice. This is signature CNBLUE at its freshest and hottest. The accompanying MV is great enough to turn a non-CNBLUE fan into a Boice. The balance of the members' pretty boy charms and rock and roll sensibilities will surely endear them to fans and win them new ones.

    Yong Hwa, Jong Hyun, Kang Min Hyuk and Lee Jung Shin of CNBLUE (SportsKorea)

    CNBLUE's last album titled "First Step" generated

    Read More »from CNBLUE gives fans ‘Ear Fun’
  • SHINee (Publicity photo)After releasing controversial teaser photos, Hallyu group SHINee has released their new mini-album, "Sherlock," to a SHINee-hungry public.

    From all over the world, Shawols, as SHINee fans are known, carried "Sherlock" to an all-kill on every Korean digital music website. The sales figures impacted so strongly that the release landed on iTunes charts throughout the world, including a #1 finish in Japan and Top 10 placements in the United States, Sweden, Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, and France.

    The success of the seven-track "Sherlock" mini-album may be partly attributed to the unique musical strategy of the title track and first single. "Sherlock," the song, is a unique combination of two songs, "Clue" and "Note." On their own, "Clue" and "Note" are clearly stand-alone songs, but when played together, the combination - titled "Sherlock" - creates a musical tapestry never before heard in K-Pop.

    The other tracks further showcase the creative and musical growth of Onew, Jonghyun,

    Read More »from SHINee releases ‘Sherlock’ album and music video
  • 2AM (Publicity photo)Korean idol group 2AM, known for its powerful ballads, including "Can't Let You Go Even If I Die" and "You Wouldn't Answer My Calls," has staged a remarkable comeback with its new mini-album, "F.Scott Fitzgerald's Way of Love." 2AM's carrier single is titled "I Wonder If You Hurt Like Me." Despite staging their comeback at a critical time (No Korean musical act ever wants to go up against Korean Hallyu stars Big Bang) Jo Kwon, Changmin, Seulong, and Jinwoon have held their own. Their fans, the I AMs, have sent their idols straight to #1 across many digital singles charts.

    "F.Scott Fitzgerald's Way of Love" is 2AM's first release in almost a year, and the pressure was certainly on to create a vocal masterpiece that would justify the wait. Album producer Bang Shi Hyuk of Big Hit Producer revealed that work on the album took six months, an eternity in K-Pop, but he and the boys were confident that the final product would be worth the wait. 2AM member Seulong, for his part, admitted that

    Read More »from Korean ballad princes 2AM stages comeback
  • Contestant Heejun Han performs onstage at FOX's 'American Idol' Season 11 Top 12 Live Performance Show on March 14, 2012 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by FOX via Getty Images) Heejun Han, an American singer with South Korean roots, has charmed America with his sense of humor and pure voice en route to becoming the first East Asian to make the Top 10 of the popular American singing competition "American Idol."

    In qualifying for American Idol season 11 Top 13, Han bested the semifinal placings of fellow Korean finalists Paul Kim (Season 6) and John Park (Season 9). John Park recently debuted in South Korea with critically acclaimed track "Falling."

    Han, who was born in Gyeonggi, South Korea, took judges Randy Jackson, Jennifer Lopez, and Steven Tyler by surprise with his take on Michael Bolton's "How Am I Supposed to Live Without You." After being complimented on his tone and control, Han was soon sent to Hollywood, where he was partnered with eventual fellow Top 13 contestant Phillip Phillips, Richie Law and Jairon Jackson. Despite the group's shaky performances of James Morrison's "Broken Strings" and "I Only Have Eyes For You" (performed in Las Vegas

    Read More »from Korean singer makes “American Idol” Top 10
  • Super Junior (SportsKorea)Hallyu supergroup Super Junior has proven once again that they are the K-Pop artist to beat in the Philippines.

    With the support of their fans, the Everlasting Friends (E.L.F.), Super Junior won the award for "Favorite K-Pop Video" during the recently concluded MYX Music Awards 2012. Their video "Mr. Simple" won over other excellent nominees including Kim Hyun Joong's "Breakdown," 2NE1's "Lonely," Girls' Generation's "The Boys," and Big Bang's "Tonight."

    Screengrab from MYX official websiteMr. Simple was released in mid-2011 featuring Super Junior members Leeteuk, Siwon, Donghae, Sungmin, Heechul, Shindong, Kyuhyun, Eunhyuk, Ryeowook, and Yesung in colorful fashions. Mr. Simple also offers a challenging vocal arrangement for the group and of course, an electrifying dance choreography. The MV made the statements "Mr. Simple...simple..." and "Blow Your Mind" common language among K-Pop fanatics.

    Watch the 2012 MYX Music Awards winner for "Favorite K-Pop Video" here by clicking on the video below.

    Super Junior "Mr. Simple"

    Read More »from Super Junior wins in MYX Music Awards 2012
  • SHINee (Publicity photo released by SM Entertainment)Hallyu K-Pop idol group SHINee released a series of controversial photo teasers for their newest K-Pop album "Sherlock."

    The Shawols, fans of SHINee, know that the young idols have been absent from K-Pop for more than a year due to their rigorous Japanese promotions last 2011. After more than a year's absence, SHINee is ready to make a comeback in K-Pop land.

    Unfortunately, the series of SHINee teaser photos made available through the official SHINee website,  created an uncomfortable divide among fans. Released one member at a time starting with Minho followed by Taemin, Onew, Key, and Jonghyun, the photos showed the young idols in provocative poses with some members even featured half-naked. The average age of SHINee is 20 years old.

    The shawols expressed divided opinions regarding the teasers. Those who liked the photos pointed out that the boys are growing up and revealing their sexier sides while those who hated the photos described the shots as being too provocative and

    Read More »from SHINee releases controversial photo teasers for ‘Sherlock’
  • Official publicity photo of Big Bang's newest album from YG Entertainment. Isn't it wonderful when your idol does not only create good music but also produce a work of art that speaks straight to you?

    Hallyu stars Big Bang has done it again. The group's latest MV "Fantastic Baby" is a beautifully shot video with a slew of symbolic images that communicates straight to the heart of their fans--the VIPs. It is a well-known fact that Big Bang, one of the top (if not the top) K-Pop acts, suffered a number of publicity blows in the past year including the car accident involving member Daesung and the drug-related incident involving leader G. Dragon. Throughout all of the negative publicity and discouragement, the VIPs gave the group unending support and the "Fantastic Baby" video is obviously a tribute to them. Let us reflect and dissect some of the major symbolic highlights of the video.

    The VIPs: Big Bang's Soldiers

    Screenshot from "Fantastic Baby" MVScreenshot from "Fantastic Baby" MVScreenshot from "Fantastic Baby" MV In "Fantastic Baby," the story starts with a clear revolution aimed at stopping music symbolized by the simplified version of the Big Bang skull

    Read More »from K-Pop royalty Big Bang speaks to fans with ‘Fantastic Baby’

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