April 30, 2012 09:13
Park Ji-min, a 15-year-old middle school student, won SBS' "K-Pop Star" audition on Sunday to emerge as the youngest winner -- and first female victor -- of any of the nation's recent TV audition shows. Park beat fellow teenager Lee Hi in the final episode that was broadcast live after capturing the attention of world news media and Hollywood celebrities.
She captivated judges immediately with her stage manner and excellent singing skills. When she performed "Rolling in The Deep" by British singer Adele in a preliminary event, two of the three judges -- BoA and Park Jin-young -- hurrahed, an event that even featured of CNN's coverage.
Actor Ashton Kutcher also posted the footage on his Twitter account, and the CBS talk show "The Talk" asked Park to appear on the show. When she was picked as the winner, she said she felt like all her hard work had paid off.
Born in Daejeon, Park emigrated to Thailand with her family at the age of five. She seems to have inherited her talent from her parents, who were singers either in popular or Christian music genres.
"We heard that Park's parents like music, so they wanted their daughter to become a good singer as she grew up. They devoted themselves to her education. And Park learned swimming, ballet and golf from her childhood. The family came back to Korea so she could get a good education in music," SBS said.
Park received prize money of W300 million and a luxury car (US$1=W1,135). She will also get the opportunity to release an album through one of the nation's three major management agencies -- JYP, SM or YG.
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