November 20, 2012 13:14
A 16-year-old teen singer who made her debut on the SBS audition program "K-Pop Star" has become an overnight star. After finishing second on the show in April, Lee Hi was signed by YG Entertainment where she underwent six months of preparation to release her first single.
Her debut song "188.8.131.52," released at the end of last month, has swept various music charts in Korea. Apart from Psy's global hit "Gangnam Style," it is the longest-running No. 1 single in here this year. Her second song, which is scheduled for release on Thursday, has also been drawing much attention.
Music critics say Lee's popularity stems from her unique voice and style, both of which differ from the girl groups that have dominated the K-pop scene in recent years with their synchronized dancing routines. She also stands out when compared to other solo singers like IU, who win over male fans with their girlish looks and sweet voices.
In contrast, Lee has drawn attention with her husky voice and unique charms, which have garnered her a broad range of fans of all ages.
YG was quick to see her potential and decided to let her release her debut single after just six months of preparation. "At a time when the public is growing weary of identikit dance groups, we were very fortunate to find a singer with such unique appeal and a great voice," a spokesperson for YG said.
However, some critics say it is inappropriate to have a high school student perform provocative dance moves on stage.
Pop culture critic Kim Jak-ga said, "She has a lot of potential to grow. What appeals to me about her is that she does not simply try to copy other singers, but has created her own style."
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