Japanese go wild for 500 K-pop stars in Osaka
Japanese Hallyu fans flocked to Kansai International Airport and surrounded Osaka hotels to get glimpses of their favorite K-pop artists, who flew to Japan for the 26th Golden Disk Awards ceremony that began yesterday.
The two-day ceremony, held at the Kyocera Dome in Osaka, began yesterday, but K-pop stars started arriving the day before. It was a rare treat for the Japanese fans: This is the first time the awards, dubbed the Korean Grammys, have been held outside Korea. Some 500 K-pop stars attended.
An estimated 3,000 fans came to the airport, with many camping out overnight. Many zealous fans made their way to hotels accommodating the groups. Ilgan Sports reported that security was beefed for the K-pop stars but streets outside the hotels were filled with screaming fans holding up signs with messages for their favorite groups.
The first day of the award ceremony was devoted to artists who have posted the largest CD sales, while the second is devoted to digital downloads, mostly in MP3 format over the Internet.
Along with awards, the ceremony, jointly hosted by Ilgan Sports and JTBC, both under the JoongAng Media Network, singers and bands are staging three-hour performances each day.
Yesterday’s ceremony featured performances by Super Junior, Jay Park, KARA, Beast, CN Blue, MBLAQ, Infinite, f(x) and newcomers A Pink, B1A4, Dal Shabet and Rainbow.
During today’s ceremony, the lineup includes 4Minute, Boyfriend, Girls’ Generation, FT Island, K.Will, Miss A, Sistar and G.Na.
The annual ceremony, which began in 1986, is different from other award shows that focus on bands’ popularity rather than on their achievements. The Golden Disk Awards factor in CD sales and the number of downloads, which allows independent musicians to get recognition.
By Carla Sunwoo [email@example.com]