MTV Music Awards nominees await voteThe nominees for the MTV Korea Music Awards are in, and voting has begun. In the running for top Korean artist are Shinhwa, Seven, Lee Su-young, Be and Shin Seung-hun. Voting is said to be tight for this mix of new and established artists. Ballots can be cast on the MTV Korea Web site until Jan 15.
For a boy band, Shinhwa has been around for quite a while. Despite taking a two-year hiatus to pursue individual careers, the band has come together to rising popularity. They released their seventh album earlier this year. The timing couldn’t be better as Korean bands have been winning fans overseas in the past few years.
Seven is a relatively young star whose debut album, “Just Listen,” released in 2003, won him several Best New Artist Awards that year. Fans in Korea and abroad raved about his urban hip hop music, and dance moves. He released “Seven Photo Album” in 2003 with a photo booklet, VCD and stickers.
He’s in the running on MTV for 2004 Best Artist after the release of his second album, “Must Listen.” The album includes songs like “Passion,” composed by the likes of 1TYM’s Teddy. To celebrate that album’s release, YG Entertainment invested more than $150,000 in a performance on July 7 for 777 of Seven’s fans.
Lee Soo-young, known as the Queen of Ballads, returned to the music scene this year with her sixth album. While some of her peers are famous for visually regaling concerts, she’s been winning a fan base for quiet performances. Her low-key presentations began to change after the release of her fourth album. The title track, “La La La,” hit the top of the charts and stayed there for several weeks. Since then, her management company took her through a makeover, and her fifth album reflected that. For album No. 6, “The Colors of My Life,” she simplified her music, returning to her roots.
Be, also known as Rain, released his third album, “It’s Raining,” in October with the backing of Park Jin-young, one of Korea’s most famous singers turned producer. Rain is another young star who debuted in 2002 with “Bad Guy.” He won the New Generation Singer Prize at the 2003 Korean Entertainment Awards and was named Best New Artist at the Golden Disk Awards for dance-floor tracks. He’s also starred in TV dramas like “Sang-du, Let’s Go to School,” winning him fans on screen and stage.
When Shin Seung-hun debuted in 1990, he made a huge splash in the music industry, selling a prodigious 1.4 million albums. His debut album won him trophies on MBC and KBS, and the Golden Disc Prize, and his popularity continues to soar. After the release of his sixth album in 1998, Billboard, a U.S.-based music magazine, noted him as a singer who, in seven years, sold 10 million albums. His experience as a singer and producer has propelled him onto the international scene. His ninth album, “Ninth Replay,” released in February, affirms his place as the king of the ballad.
Up for Best New Artist are Keane, Joss Stone, Jet, the Rasmus and Ashlee Simpson. Best Male Artist nominees are Usher, Robbie Williams, Nelly, Josh Groban and Enrique Iglesias. Best Rock Artist nominees are The Rasmus, Jet, Green Day, Sum 41 and Hoobastank. Best Pop Artist nominees are Keane, Outkast, Simple Plan, Blue and No Doubt. Best Music Video nominees are Kylie Minogue, Maroon 5, Franz Ferdinand, Keane and Jet. Best Female Artist nominees are Avril Lavigne, Alicia Keys, Norah Jones, Kylie Minogue and Britney Spears.
by Joe Yonghee