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Pop star Rain (Bi), reaching out beyond Asia

2005/10/26 Source

If you look up the word "bi" in a Korean dictionary, you will discover more than seven definitions, including 'a downpour falling to the earth caused by water vapors in the air cooling down', 'a cleaning tool designed to clear away dust and garbage', and a 'monument that is inscribed with characters and intended to commemorate great figures or achievements'. The word "bi" can be used in diverse ways depending on the sentence in which you use it, or what you intend to express. And yet another definition of "bi" just might be added to this official list of definitions soon: "the name of a pop star that swept Asia beginning in 2005".
Rain, a versatile entertainer who shined from his debut

A new male singer named Bi (Rain) captured the spotlight when he made his debut in May, 2002. Before that performance, rumors had spread amid the growing attention focused on him that he was a highly talented singer who would one day lead the Korean pop music culture, along with jokes that he would be the most sought-after prize among all the female singers. Besides the buzz, his appealingly unique name generated further interest. What was the real identity of Bi, or "Rain?" What did he look like? Bi effectively raised massive curiosity among the public even before his first show. At his debut concert, he staged a glittering performance that fully showed off his remarkable dancing and singing skills, effectively justifying all the rumors about him. Following his dazzling debut that May, he instantly joined the ranks of the best singers in Korea.

In 2003, he also tried his hand at acting by appearing in the KBS television drama "Sang Doo! Let's go to school ", and demonstrated legitimately strong potential as an actor. Another KBS drama entitled "Full House", in which he starred in 2004, proved a huge success, with viewer ratings of over 30 percent for every episode. Thus, in less than five years after his debut, Bi consolidated his position as the best singer in Korea as well as a talented actor. Now he is poised to make a foray onto the international stage in order to spread his music and realize his full vision, which extends far beyond Korea. He is focusing his first international efforts on Asia.
Bi, best Asian star of the year 2005

In 2005, Bi clinched the Best Buzz Asia from Korea at the MTV Video Music Awards Japan 2005. He also won the best Korean singer award 2005 at the Mandarin Music Honors in Taiwan. Having been voted as the best Asian singer by the Taiwanese media, Bi is positioning himself as one of the most admired Asian stars this year. Wherever he goes, he generates huge public interest and becomes a hot topic of conversation. His every move is monitored by the media and draws keen attention from music fans.

Bi is currently on an Asian music tour which started in Seoul and will travel to Tokyo and Hong Kong. He is creating and showcasing fresh new spectacles at every single concert, and tickets are selling out quickly as a result. His first solo concert in Japan last summer, entitled "Rainy Day Japan" and held at the Tokyo International Forum, was so popular that all the tickets were sold out 30 seconds after going on sale. And the tickets for another of his concerts in Taiwan were sold out the moment they became available. Bi continues to set records in Asia. Now planning to go beyond Japan and Hong Kong, Bi will make a foray into China by giving a concert in Beijing.

Bi's personality and charm sweeping Asia

The Japanese pronounce Bi as "Pi", and they also describe the singer with another term as well. During one of his concerts in Japan, Bi enthralled his fans with a powerful and masculine performance onstage. But when he chatted with fans after the concert, he surprised his fans by displaying a boyish and playful demeanor, earning him the label "Kawai", which means "cute" in Japanese. He is known as a powerful man onstage and a "cute" persona offstage. It is this characteristic that makes his fans crazy about him.

Bi is famous for trying his best in whatever he does. He is arguably the best dancer in the nation, because he learned to dance onstage as a backup dancer for an already-established singer before his own debut. It is hard to define his dancing with simple words because it is a mixture of so many diverse elements. He has created a whole new style of his own by integrating diverse genres of dance over the course of his long dancing career.

Singer J.Y. Park, who heads the entertainer management company to which Bi belongs, once told a radio show that "I was always wondering whether [Bi] understood what I told him because he never replied even when I scolded him. One day I entered Bi's room, and ended up breaking into tears". Bi, who was then an aspiring singer, was poor at expressing his emotions verbally to his older colleague. But what Park discovered in Bi's room was a wall covered with "post-it" stickers. Every single sticker was filled with notes of what Park had told and advised him. Bi had written down every single piece of advice his older friend had given him, and had been doing his utmost to correct his mistakes and improve his skills.

It can be said that this latent passion for excellence is what made Bi what he is today. And Bi has great potential for further development because he always tries his best to sharpen his current skills through ceaseless practice. He is truly a believer in the saying, "Opportunity visits those who make great efforts". There is no doubt that Bi will reach beyond Asia to become a global star someday because of his enormous talent and tireless work ethic.

Profile of Bi
Name: Bi (Real name: Jeong Ji-hoon)
Date of birth: June 25, 1982.
Physical stats: 184 cm in height, 74 kg in weight
Education: Post modern music department, Kyung Hee University
Hobby: Movies, music, collecting shoes and clothes

Special skills: Sing, dancing, acting

Career highlights
Honorary goodwill ambassador for the City of Los Angeles in 2004
Goodwill ambassador for Community Chest Korea in 2004
Cyber goodwill ambassador for fair elections in 2004
Goodwill ambassador for teenagers' book reading campaign n 2004
Honorary goodwill ambassador for the British tourism promotion agency in April 2004

Most popular singer award of the MTV Asia Aid 2005
MTV Video Music Awards Japan in 2005
Best Buzz Asia from Korea award 2005
Most popular Korean singer of the Mandarin Music Honors 2005

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