Pop diva cuts greatest-hits disc
The girl, once known as Kim Myeong-sun, started out singing at the American military base in Seoul during the 1950s. She’s now the country’s leading diva.
At a press conference on Nov. 6 to announce her “50th Anniversary Concert,” Hyeon Mi expressed her undying passion for music.
“I will sing as long as I can stand up and speak,” she said.
Her new album, “My Way,” offers a retrospective on her career and also introduces new songs. One previously unreleased track is “Everything You Left Behind,” written by her late husband, Lee Bong-jo. Lee, who died in 1987, wrote the song especially for his wife.
At the press conference, the diva fought back tears when discussing Lee’s death. “After my husband died, I worked a lot of night-clubs to support my family,” she said.
“I’m grateful that I am healthy and still able to sing. In some ways, I think my husband is looking after me from above.”
Hyeon Mi’s eldest son, Young Gon, 45, suggested making the album, and he sought the help of composer Ha Gwang-hoon.
“After 50 years in the business, it seemed a shame that my mother hadn’t recorded a greatest hits album,” said Young, also a singer. On Nov. 25 at the Sejong Center for the Performing Arts, he will sing in public with his mother for the first time.
In recent years, she has branched out as an all-around entertainer, hosting shows and making cameo appearances.
“She recorded seven songs in two hours and I was amazed at her enthusiasm and concentration,” Ha said. “I think she’ll be around for at least another 10 years,” Ha said.
By Jung Hyun-mok
Hyeon Mi’s “50th Anniversary Concert” will be held at 4 p.m. on Nov. 25 at the Sejong Center for the Performing Arts, Jongno-gu, northern Seoul. The nearest subway is Gwanghwamun Station, line No. 5, exit 8. Tickets range from 55,000 won ($60) to 111,000 won. For more information call (02) 522-9933 or visit www.sejongpac.or.kr.