From the September 2015 issue of The Rotarian
Chances are, you’ve heard of Psy and his signature song, “Gangnam Style.” He’s the Korean pop star with dark sunglasses and a distinctive galloping horse dance who was everywhere a few years ago, including on a This Close ad for End Polio Now.
But what you might not know is that Psy is merely the tip of the colossal iceberg known as K-pop, short for Korean pop. If you plan to attend the 2016 Rotary International Convention in Seoul from 28 May to 1 June, you won’t have to search for K-pop – you’ll hear it in the streets, in cafes, in taxis, and on television. You can also hear world-famous K-pop stars at the Welcome Festival, a Host Organization Committee event on 28 May; buy tickets at www.riconvention.org.
Long before Psy hit the international stage, K-pop artists were revered across Asia. Their high-energy tunes and perfectly choreographed music videos earned them huge followings in Japan, Taiwan, and China. The boy band Super Junior once caused a stampede when 10,000 fans lined up for 2,500 tickets in Shanghai. In the United States, the all-girl group Wonder Girls opened for the Jonas Brothers tour in 2009, and became the first Korean group to land on the Billboard Hot 100 with their single “Nobody.”
If you can’t wait for your trip to Seoul to hear the music, check out this roundup of the 10 most-watched K-pop videos of last year.
Register for the 2016 Rotary convention in Seoul at www.riconvention.org.