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Publication Date : 09-09-2013
South Korean singer-actor Lee Seung Gi has charmed his Singapore fan club so much, it gave out expensive goodie bags to the media on his behalf
Singer-actor Lee Seung Gi has charmed his fan club so much, it gave out goodie bags worth S$100 (US$78.43) to the media on his behalf
Popular singer-actor Lee Seung Gi sometimes wishes he were part of a boyband rather than a solo act.
That is despite him being one of South Korea's biggest names, beloved for his polite demeanour and scandal-free, nice-guy image.
Speaking to Life! at a sit-down interview at StRegis Singapore last Saturday morning, he explains: "When there is a lot of stress and challenges, it would be nice sometimes to have fellow group members to share that with, so that each member can focus on working on one thing, and that is his strength.
"As a solo act, I have to take on all the burdens myself."
The day before, he held court at a press conference at Bugis+ mall.
Later on Saturday, he took centre stage at a ticketed fan meeting at the 1,600-seater Festive Grand theatre at Resorts World Sentosa, which a spokesman for the organiser says was "almost sold out".
It is his second fan meet here after his last one held at Kallang Theatre in August last year.
One can only imagine the amount of pressure the 26-year-old bachelor must feel at times to keep up with appearances, having been dubbed "Mr Perfect" and "Dream Son-in-law" by the media and fans.
In July, an entertainment programme on South Korean broadcaster SBS picked the charmer as the country's "No. 1 Husband Material".
In monthly rankings released by the Korea Advertisers Association, he has also taken the top spot as Most Preferred Commercial Model numerous times.
Of course, he has also proven his worth as a performer, in singing, acting and variety show hosting.
With nine albums to his name, the ballad crooner won the award for Best Male Solo Artist at the MNet Asian Music Awards in 2007.
Acting wise, he scored two Excellence In Acting prizes from the SBS Drama Awards, one for TV drama Brilliant Legacy (2009) and one for My Girlfriend Is A Nine-Tailed Fox (2010).
His latest fantasy drama, Gu Family Book (2013), where he played a half-man, half-beast character, was the most-watched drama in Korea during its time slot for its entire run of 12 weeks.
His appearances on hit variety shows such as 2 Days & 1 Night (2007-2012) and Strong Heart (2009-2012) have also bagged him many popularity awards.
Asked about the pressures of fame, he chuckles and says in Korean via a translator: "Sometimes, it would really be nice to have other teammates to delegate some things to."
He says that he would "love to" come back again one day to stage a full-length concert, but that "many factors such as logistics and scheduling" have hindered him so far.
"I definitely want to come back though. I don't get to see my fans in Singapore as often as my fans in Korea, but they are always so warm and welcoming, and whatever they do is always very moving for me."
He is not kidding. Members of his fan club here - known as Lee Seung Gi Singapore and whose Facebook account has more than 2,000 "likes" - showed up in droves to support him at his press conference. On top of the usual screaming, they also diligently prepared 60 bags of goodies to give members of the press.
Each bag contained two of his latest albums - Tonight (2011) and Forest (2012) - plus premiums with his face printed on them including a mobile phone case and stickers.
Chairman of the local fan club Nicole Ko, 28, says that each bag is worth more than S$100. The marketing executive, who started the fan club three years ago, says Lee's "true sincerity" is what won her over.
She says excitedly: "As fans, we want to thank all the media who have helped report about him in the past. We also want to give his CDs to them so that they can go home and listen to them and learn more about Lee Seung Gi."
Funding for these bags came from partnerships with other fan clubs of the singer across the world, including South Korea, Japan, Argentina and Turkey.
Ko adds that the fan club here also prepared various Nyonya kueh and sent them to Lee's hotel so that he could sample them.
Asked about his extra thoughtful fans, he admits that maybe his nice-guy image has something to do with it.
He says, half in jest: "It's not that I taught them anything, but fans do match the personality of the celebrity, and we move in the same direction. But really, my fans are wonderful."
He admits that his perfect image may limit the acting roles he is offered - so far, he has always played the good guy - but he also sounds confident about delivering more variety in future.
"I do hope that eventually, my acting will be good enough so that no matter what characters I play, it is enough to supercede whatever image I have."
Until then, he is relishing his time as Korea's MrPerfect. Top stars including actress Ha Ji Won, 35, and actor Yoon Jae Moon, 42, have openly praised him for being a solid actor and a reliable, good guy.
Flashing a winsome dimpled smile, he says: "I have managed to do a lot of things that many people my age would not get the chance to experience, and I'm forever grateful.
"I really have nothing at all to complain about my life."