By Han Sang-hee
While many singers are gasping for air amid the economic recession, which lowered revenue from already plunging album sales, some are temporarily leaving their original posts to pursue different careers.
First, came entertainment programs.
Singers Lee Hyori
, Yoon Jong-shin and Dae-sung from boy band Big Bang appeared on the SBS program "The Family is Out!", garnering fans and leading the show to become one of the most popular on television during that time slot. Pop duo Country
o members Shin Jung-hwan and Tak Hae-hun have been masters of ceremonies for quite a while, with Tak winning the grand prize at the KBS Entertainment Awards in 2007 and even appearing on the big screen several times.
Now, they are turning toward acting. While not the first time singers have appeared in dramas and commercials, the list previously only included top artists like Lee Hyori
("Three Leafed Clover
", 2005), Eugene
", 2002) from the now disbanded girl group S.E.S., Eric Mun
", 2004) from boy band Shinhwa and Rain
", 2004). Now, entry into television series and movies has become much easier.
One of the most popular cases would be Kim Hyun-joong
, member of boy group SS501, who starred in the popular drama "Boys over Flowers
"I was worried viewers would have a certain stereotype because I'm a singer. But I thought I could overcome the pressure if I worked extra hard, so I've been working on my acting and lines", Kim said during a press conference of the drama last year.
Thanks to his sweet charm and improved acting, he now appears in numerous commercials and has become one of the most popular stars here.
Girl group Girls' Generation
has also joined the ranks of singers who can act. Appearing as one of the main characters on the series "You Are My Destiny
", last year, she is now filming another soap, "Cinderella Man
", with hallyu star kwon Sang-woo
. Fellow girl band member Ahn So-hee
from the Wonder Girls, meanwhile, made her big screen debut with "Hellcats
" to positive reviews.
"There are pop group members who want to try everything, from acting to hosting. If they want to express their talents through acting, we are more than happy to support them", a representative from SM Entertainment said.
Singer Lee Soo-young
will star in a new television drama.
Television viewers will get to see more of their favorite singers playing drama characters, as former leader of pop group H.O.T. Moon Hee-jun
, and singers Tei
, Lee Soo-young
, from Shinhwa, plan to meet fans through television screens.
"I can't sleep from all the pressure, but I'm learning step by step", Lee was quoted by her agency, HNST Entertainment, as saying. The agency added that Lee was worried viewers would not like her acting and that she has been training for a long time.
It's a win-win strategy for everyone: Singers can broaden their boundaries and the dramas can receive attention from a larger audience and offer more diversity.
"It was more about the image of the characters in the drama. Some characters need to have a certain image, and it's easier to find them when they're already popular", a planning producer from production company Group 8 said.