Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Actor Park Yong-ha found dead in apparent suicide

Singer and actor Park Yong-ha was found dead at his home today morning after apparently committing suicide, according to a police source.

Gangnam Police Station said Park's mother found the 32-year-old celebrity hanging himself from the cord of his mobile phone charger at around 5:30 a.m.

Police have yet to announce the details to Park's death -- they are investigating into the cause behind his suicide based on testimonies by his family.

A source close to the actor said Park had been having a hard time coping with his father's illness. "He had much filial love for his parents. I heard his father, suffering from a chronic disease, was recently moved home from the hospital."

Park's body has been placed at Seoul St. Mary's Hospital.

Park, 32, gained popularity throughout Asia after appearing in "Winter Sonata", a drama that first started the Hallyu craze, alongside top actors Bae Yong-joon and Choi Ji-woo.

He has also led a successful singing career in Japan where he has placed several albums within the top 10 ranks of the Oricon charts and won four consecutive Japan Gold Disc Awards.

Most recently, he had been set to star in the small screen adaptation of legendary Hong Kong pic "Comrades, Almost a Love Story," across actress Yoon Eun-hye.

A major Hollywood studio had shown interest in the series which was revving up to go into shoot around late July and air in Korea at the end of the year.

Reporter : Lim Hye-seon lhsro@
Editor : Jessica Kim jesskim@
<ⓒ10Asia All rights reserved>

This is so sad news. he's so young.
Rest In Peace Park Yong Ha....

Monday, June 28, 2010

Lee Hyori Removes Plagiarized Tracks From AlbumLee Hyori Removes Plagiarized Tracks From Album

After Lee Hyori finally spoke out about the plagiarism allegations directed at her most recent album, H-Logic, Mnet Media also announced their course of action. The company has revealed that they will be taking legal action against Bahnus, who is the composer allegedly behind these plagiarized tracks. In addition to the filed lawsuit, seven songs from H-Logic will be removed from online music sites to prevent any additional sales. These seven songs include "I'm Back", "Feel the Same", "Bring It Back", "Highlight", "Swing", "How Did We Get", and "Memory".

Also, the pop diva has started up her own entertainment agency, B2M Entertainment, to start self-managing her activities in August.

source: KBS Global

Friday, June 25, 2010

Sandara Park to shoot music video with Taeyang in L.A.

2NE1 member Sandara Park at Los Angeles International Airport [Sandara Park's official me2DAY page]

2NE1 member Sandara Park is prepping for a music video shoot in Los Angeles for labelmate Taeyang of idol group Big Bang.

Earlier this morning, the female pop idol posted a picture of herself at Los Angeles International Airport on her official me2DAY page (http://me2day.net/21dara) along with the comment "Wassup, LA."

Two days ago, she put up a photo of herself and Taeyang at the music video shoot for the Big Bang singer who will be releasing his first full-length solo album next month.

She left for L.A. on Wednesday, joining bandmates Park Bom, Gong Minzy and C.L. who flew out over the weekend "to travel," as agency YG Entertainment said.

Park, 25, grew up in the Philippines and became quite well-known in the region after entering a local talent show. She moved to Korea in 2007 and signed with YG Entertainment, where she became a trainee and became one of the members of 2NE1.

2NE1 first came onto the music scene with the song "Lollipop," a joint collaboration with Big Bang which was featured in a commercial for LG's mobile phone brand CYON.

They made their official debut in May 2009 with the single "Fire" and followed it up with "I Don't Care," which both became hits on various K-pop music charts.

2NE1 will be returning to Korea sometime early next month.

2NE1 member Sandara Park (left) with Taeyang of idol group Big Bang [Sandara Park's official me2DAY page]

Reporter : Lim Hye-seon lhsro@
Editor : Lynn Kim lynn2878@
<ⓒ10Asia All rights reserved>

Daniel Henney To Make Comeback after Four Years with ‘Runaway’

Daniel Henney will make a comeback to the small screen after four years away with the spy action drama “Runaway,” in which Rain (real name Jung Ji Hoon) will also appear.

According to a statement released on June 21 by his agency, Henney will play a shipping magnate named Kai who loves Jin Yi (Lee Na Young) in the drama “Runaway.” He is making a comeback to a TV drama four years since he appeared in the KBS dramaSpring Waltz” in 2006. “Runaway” is about people who are chasing an astronomical amount of money, and notably writer Chun Sung Il and producing director Kwak Jung Hwan, who worked together in the KBS drama “The Slave Hunters,” have formed a production team again. Rain has been cast as the male lead named Ji Woo, who will be involved in a mysterious incident and Lee Na Young will play his counterpart, the female lead named Jin Yi.

Kai is a passionate character who goes through fire and water to recapture Jin Yi -- who had left him due to a sudden accident -- and he will be fated to confront Rain.

Writer Chun Sung Il said, “From the time when I first planned the drama and the character Kai, who hides impassioned charisma behind his lovely smile, I have had Daniel Henney in mind for Kai.”

Henney appeared in the Hollywood blockbuster “Wolverine” last year and his name was popularized as he appeared in the American TV drama “Three Rivers.”

“Runaway” will be broadcast at the end of September on KBS 2TV.

source: KBS Global

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

T.O.P. Tops the Charts With "Turn It Up"

Big Bang's T.O.P.
has officially released his new track "Turn It Up" today, June 21, 2010 at 11 AM. True to his name, he soon topped the real-time music chart on the site, www.monkey3.co.kr.?

"Turn It Up" has a strong hip hop beat and solid bass sound that listeners have been finding addicting. T.O.P.'s rapping skills come no short of his status as a member of what's arguably Korea's most popular boy group. T.O.P. also took charge behind the scene composing the song and writing the lyrics himself. He even gave a surprise performance of it at Big Bang's concert "Big Show" earlier this year.

Following hot one the heels of T.O.P.'s latest drop, co-member Taeyang is also planning on releasing his first regular album on July 1st, titled "Solar". As they'll be both promoting their solo activities simultaneously, there will be some friendly competition between the two. However, one thing's for sure: Big Bang may have been relatively quiet for the past few months, but the response to T.O.P.'s newest song says it loud and clear that the group's still got it.

source: KBS Global

Han Chae-Young to debut in Hollywood

TV actress Han Chae-young, 30, dubbed as "Korea's Barbie Doll," is preparing to debut in Hollywood.

After finishing filming the MBC drama, "A Man Called God," in which she stars, Han flew to the U.S. early this month.

She met with bigwig entertainment agencies in Hollywood such as Creative Artists Agency (CAA) and William Morris Endeavor (WME) Entertainment, according to her management agency BH Entertainment..

A BH spokesman said that Hollywood filmmakers have been more interested in Asian actors and actresses.

"A variety of agencies are showing greater interest in Han as she is not only proficient in English but has notable beauty and experiences as well," he said Tuesday.

The star has made efforts to advance to the overseas film stage.

Earlier, Han was to star in horror film, "Soul Mate," a joint venture with a New Zealand filmmaker for her overseas debut. However, she has turned her eyes to the United States as the film was dropped due to internal problem.

Han, now staying with her family in Los Angeles, plans to go to several auditions and then to conclude an acting contract with a U.S. agency for full-scale entertainment activities there, he noted.

source: koreatimes.co.kr

Friday, June 18, 2010

Park Shin-hye No. 1 female star on Chinese website

Korean actress Park Shin-hye [Ava Entertainment]

Korean actress Park Shin-hye has been chosen the No. 1 female Asian star on a Chinese entertainment website, according to her agency Ava Entertainment on Friday.

Ava announced in a press release that on a poll conducted on the website for "EASY," Park claimed the title as most popular female Asian star for seven months starting December of last year up against other international artists such as Ueno Juri and Haruka Ayase.

Meanwhile, SS501's leader Kim Hyun-joong was named the most popular male Asian star.

"EASY" magazine focuses on Asian entertainers in China, Taiwan, Korea and Japan and the survey that was conducted on their official online website (www.youeasy.net) is well-known throughout the Asia region.

Park made her debut in 1994 and has starred in numerous dramas and movies including "Stairway to Heaven," "Goong S," and "Minamishineyo." She is also a familiar face in television commercials and music videos.

She is currently filming the romantic comedy "Cyrano Agency," where Park plays the role of a matchmaker, due out in September.

She will be in Japan on June 26 with actor Jang Keun-suk for a fan meeting for the hit series "Minamishineyo" held by Japanese management agency AVEX.

Reporter : Lucia Hong luciahong@
Editor : Jessica Kim jesskim@
<ⓒ10Asia All rights reserved>

Lee Hyori: Sexy Pop Diva to TV Comedy Host

After making a successful comeback with her hit song "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang", Lee Hyori is set to make another comeback... on the small screen. This time, rather than just starring on a entertainment variety show, she'll be hosting it. She'll be making another transformation from the sexy diva on stage to a funny, outgoing variety show personality.

She received a totally new image after starring on the reality variety program "Family Outing", which she has since left. She'd appear with her face still swollen from waking up, wear no make up, and show off her more tomboyish side. It wasn't in vain as she won an entertainment award for the series with one of her co-stars, Yoo Jae-suk, last year.

Her upcoming project is still in the early planning stages as she's currently in the midst of meeting with a few companies. She will be playing the host role on a variety show starting in the latter half of this year, but it has yet to be decided what kind of show it will be.

The pop diva is currently taking time off after ending her promotions for her first single off of her fourth album. Though there were talks of her continuing with a second single, that doesn't appear to be happening. This is due to Lee's contract with her current company, Mnet Media, approaching it's termination date.
source: KBS Global

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Director Goo Hye-seon Awarded For Short Film

Popular actress, Goo Hye-seon, is proving to be just as talented behind the camera as she is in front of it! The star who really catapulted into the Hallyu wave after playing the main female heroine in the drama "Boys Over Flowers" has won an award for the short feature film that she directed. The movie, "The Madonna (aka The Cheerful Caretaker)", was honored at the 12th annual Short Shorts Film Festival & Asia 2010 with the "Spotlight Award". This award is given to the director or artist whose project attracts a lot of attention and is found to be inspiring for a large crowd. In short, you can think of it as a popularity award for the film which garnered the most hype.

Goo took to her twitter account and posted up a picture of herself with her trophy on the 13th, saying "Everyone worked hard to create this film. Let's all get together, dinner's on me!".

This isn't the only award "The Madonna" has won. It also took the "Audience Award" at the Pusan Asian Short Film Festival in 2009. It was also entered into the Asiana International Short Film Festival 2009 and the Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival 2009.
source: KBS Global

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Girls’ Generation to debut in Japan

Korean girl group Girls' Generation is finally making their official debut in Japan.

The group's agency SM Entertainment announced Friday that the nine members were leaving their local fans for the time being to "start a new journey."

"The girls are planning to introduce themselves to Japanese fans through a showcase held at the Ariake Coliseum in Tokyo, Japan, on Aug. 25,'' the agency said through a press release.

The venue can house more than 10,000 people, and the agency added that the girls were preparing an exciting show for not only Japanese fans, but also the Japanese press, music labels and agencies.

Along with the showcase, the group will also release a debut single with Nayutawave Records, a branch of Universal Music. The label works with numerous top Japanese artists including Kiseki and Greeen. Girls' Generation is the only Korean artist on the label.

"Thanks to the group's high popularity in Asia, the band has been receiving numerous requests from Japanese music labels. We hope the band and Nayutawave Records will create synergy in making the girls become the hottest issue in the J-pop industry this year,'' the agency added.

With specific plans set out, Japanese fans will get to watch Girls' Generation starting in August with the showcase and the release of a single in September. The agency said they will fly back and forth for both local and Japanese events for the time being.

The group's first DVD, which contains clips and music videos, will also be released on Aug. 11.

Meanwhile, local fans can get a taste of Japan and the girls beforehand with a special photo book in stores right now. The photos, taken in Tokyo, show a more personal side of the girls, away from the shiny spotlight and makeup, as themselves. It comes with a special DVD that shows clips of the girls taking the photos and walking along the streets of busy Tokyo.

Will they captivate Japanese fans?

The band's decision to move to Japan comes a bit late, compared to other girl groups including Kara, T-ara and 4Minute, who all either released albums or held shows and fan meetings in Japan already.

Local singers performing and releasing an album in Japan started in the mid 2000s. Starting with BoA, some of the hottest artists and bands such as Rain, Se7en and TVXQ moved to Japan and created a firm fan base for K-pop music.

News that Girls' Generation signed a deal with one of the top music labels in Japan is a good sign, as the music industry there is dominated by bigger labels and agencies compared to the smaller ones here.

Making their debut in 2007, the Girls Generation shot to stardom as one of the newest and most recognizable groups during the time. Having nine members helped them gain recognition, but it was eventually their songs, dance moves and the overall package that enabled them to become one of Korea's most popular acts.

Whether or not their charm will work in Japan is still up for question, as Japan is certainly a tough crowd with already a number of idol bands dominating the eyes and ears of its public.

No other K-pop girl band managed to captivate the Japanese public yet, and it seems both the local and Japanese fans will keep a close watch on their first official journey to the neighboring country, with plenty of competition from Korea alone.

Han Sang-hee (Staff reporter)
source: koreatimes.co.kr

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Rain Denies Rumors of Dating Jeon Ji-hyeon

Despite the rumors that have been linking two of Korea's hottest stars, the official word is out that these rumors are indeed false. Top star, Rain, has spoken out saying that he is not dating one of the popular actress, Jeon Ji-hyeon. They were originally supposed to star in the drama "The Fugitive" together, but plans fell through. Jeon was since replaced with actress, Lee Na-young.

Rain's representative company, JTune Entertainment, released an official statement saying that though the two stars are close, they are not romantically involved.

One media source had reported on the 10th, that Rain and Jeon started dating around late May.?There were also recently pictures of Rain supposedly going into Jeon Ji-hyeon's home in Samsung-dong of Seoul. Rain's rep cleared the air by saying that he was visiting another friend, but the photo was presented in a way to make it seem like he was visiting Jeon. He also denied the related rumors of a family ring being distorted to ring that was symbolic of their love.

JTune Entertainment continued by saying that it's a shame Rain can't keep his private life private due to his celebrity status, and that he's even considering taking legal action against the current rumors.
source: KBS Global

Monday, June 7, 2010

Rain becomes 1st Korean to score win at MTV Movie Awards

Asian pop sensation Rain [J.Tune Entertainment]

Multi-talented entertainer Rain has become the first Korean celebrity to score a win at the 2010 MTV Movie Awards, according to his agency J. Tune Entertainment on Monday.

J. Tune announced in a press release that the singer and actor was named "Biggest Badass Star" at the awards ceremony, held Sunday (U.S. time) in Los Angeles.

Rain picked up MTV's signature popcorn trophy for his star turn in last year's martial arts pic "Ninja Assassin," beating out high-profile nominees such as Angelina Jolie, Channing Tatum, Chris Pine and Sam Worthington.

The star, who had previously said that he was happy just to even be attending the event, delivered the following message through the agency after his big win.

"I think everything I endured while shooting 'Ninja Assassin' is coming to fruition. I would like to thank the fans who have given me enormous support from the bottom of my heart," the actor was quoted as saying.

Born Jung Ji-hoon, Rain has released six studio albums to date and performed at numerous concert tours throughout Asia and in the U.S. including a sold-out concert at Madison Square Garden.

He has been busy building his career in Hollywood over the past few years, making his debut through the Wachowski Brothers' pic "Speed Racer" in 2008 and following it up with a lead role in "Assassin."

Last March, he scored a triple win at the Green Planet Movie Awards, picking up trophies for "10 Outstanding Asians in Hollywood," "Asian Cultural Ambassador of the Year" and "Best International Entertainer (Asia)."

Rain will be returning to Korea tomorrow evening.

Reporter : Lynn Kim lynn2878@
Editor : Jessica Kim jesskim@
<ⓒ10Asia All rights reserved>

Lee In-hye Tops Bestseller List with Study Tips

Actress Lee In-hye
is in the spotlight for her academic achievement, having published a book about study tips she acquired as a top student in school while also pursuing her acting career. It has become a bestseller just over one week after its launch on May 20.

Lee began her acting career as a child but never neglected her studies, getting into Korea University, one of the country's three most prestigious schools, through the normal admissions track. She is currently a lecturer in college and is studying for a master's degree at her alma mater.

Based on her experience, she suggests the best way to approach studying, recalling her childhood when she had to juggle her acting career and school work. She describes in detail how she made maximum use of little bits of free time and offers tips for memorizing and tackling subjects. "Studying is not a choice, it is a must. No matter what you want to do in your life, studying hard can always help you to do better. It enhances your value," she says.

Her management agency said Lee is the first in show business to write about how to study. Her tips "seem to attract huge attention from young people and parents alike, as Lee has always been top of her class despite her acting career."

source: Chosun Ilbo

2PM's Nichkhun and f(x)'s Victoria cast in reality show

f(x) leader Victoria and 2PM member Nichkhun [SM Entertainment, JYP Entertainment]

2PM member Nichkhun and f(x)'s Victoria have been cast as one of the latest make-believe couples in MBC's reality show "We Got Married."

JYP Entertainment told Asia Economic Daily over the phone on Friday that "the two began recording for the show at the beginning of June although the schedule for the airing of the show has yet to be set."

The show, into its second season, currently features two other make-believe married couples; Brown Eyed Girls' Ga-in and 2AM's Jo Kwon, and CNBLUE's Jung Yong-hwa and Girls Generation's Seohyun.

Nichkhun, whose full name is Nichkhun Buck Horvejkul, is a Thai-American singer who was discovered by a JYPE talent agent in Hollywood. He moved to Korea and joined 2PM which has become one of the most popular idol groups in Asia since their debut in September 2008.

Victoria, a Chinese-born singer is the leader of the five-member girl group f(x). She made her debut into the music industry in 2009 under the management of SM Entertainment. They are currently promoting their first mini-album "NU ABO."

Reporter : Lucia Hong luciahong@
Editor : Jessica Kim jesskim@
<ⓒ10Asia All rights reserved>

Friday, June 4, 2010

Jang Keun Suk: ‘I Want to be Character Actor Who Can Perform Wonderfully’

Actor Jang Keun Suk had a fan meeting in Japan from May 29 to May 30 after he finished having fan meetings in Taiwan, Beijing, and Singapore.

Jang Keun Suk held performances entitled “Jang Keun Suk Asia Tour” for two consecutive days at U-Port Hall in Tokyo on May 29 and at Universal Studio Japan (USJ) in Osaka on May 30. During the performances, he showcased his various charms including singing and talking to his fans. In particular, he also had a press conference when he performed in Tokyo.

Jang said about his recent drama in the press conference, “Through the drama ‘You are beautiful,’ I could show my natural looks as best as I could. I think that I could develop myself by expressing myself in the drama. Also, when I played Hwang Tae Kyung, a leader of the band ‘A.N.JELL,’ I could develop more driving forces.”

He also introduced his next movie “You’re My Pet.” The movie is based on a Japanese cartoon and he will play a rising classic ballet dancer, but he wants to be a musical actor and choreographer. He said, “I had to go on a diet for the movie and the most difficult part was that I could not eat my favorite food, Kimchi stew. For the role, I practice dance eagerly from Monday through Friday. In the future, I want to be a character actor who can express various human emotions of sufferings and sadness from deep inside the heart.”

As the setting of the movie involves living together with a girlfriend older than him, he was asked about his thoughts on living together, especially with an older woman. He said, “If I can live with someone I love based upon a premise to get married, it will be like going on a trip every day. I want to be a husband or a boyfriend who can prepare breakfast for her.”

source: KBS Global