5 things you need to know about iKON

FAMOUS: South Korean boy band iKon is touted as the next BigBang despite debuting less than a year ago.

Despite being formed less than a year ago, iKON is now the next big thing in K-pop.

For those who cannot keep up, here are five things you need to know about the boy band touted as the next BigBang

1 iKON was formed only after their agency YG Entertainment's CEO made the group members go through two reality TV survival programmes on Mnet during their trainee days.

In 2013, B.I, Bobby, Jinhwan, Junhoe, Donghyuk and Yunhyeong appeared as Team B on the show WIN: Who Is Next, against other trainees in Team A for the chance to debut as a group.

Team A won and debuted as the idol group Winner.

Team B appeared in Mix & Match the next year, when child actor Chanwoo was included in the final line-up of iKon.

2 In 2014, B.I and Bobby, who were still trainees at the time, took part in the third season of South Korean rap competition Show Me The Money.

In it, contestants ranging from amateurs to experienced rappers competed for the title of best rapper in South Korea.

B.I was eliminated after reaching the Top 8, while Bobby went on to win the competition.

3 Before joining iKON, Chanwoo appeared in 2006 in South Korean pop duo TVXQ's music video Balloons. He was also known for playing the younger version of actor Lee Min Ho's characters in the popular South Korean dramas Boys Over Flowers, and The Heirs.

4 iKON proudly call themselves "self-composing idols" like their YG Entertainment seniors BigBang and Winner.

For their 2015 debut album Welcome Back, Bobby and B.I were involved in writing the lyrics, while Junhoe helped compose the single Rhythm Ta. B.I assisted in the production and song composition of the majority of the tracks.

5 iKON, as well as fellow K-pop boy bands VIXX and Monsta X, recently took part in Chinese reality TV music show Heroes Of Remix to promote electronic dance music in China.

In the first episode, which aired on June 19, iKon performed a remix of Beijing Beijing by Chinese singer Wang Feng, and was voted most popular record for that episode.

Tags: K-pop, concert and Music

iKON delight fans at first concert in Singapore

CHARMING: Bobby of boy band iKon performing last night.

It was refreshing to attend a K-pop concert and not have band members pause after every sentence for an interpreter to translate their words into English.

Dubbed the next big thing in K-pop, iKON, who were here for their first concert often interacted with their fan in English. The show, iKONCERT 2016 Showtime Tour, was held at the Singapore Indoor Stadium last night.

Ticket prices were between $148 and $318.

The group of seven is made up of leader B.I, 19, Jinhwan, 22, Yunhyeong, 21, Bobby, 20, Donghyuk, 19, Junhoe, 19, and Chanwoo, 18.

Throughout the two-hour set, iKON, who made their debut last September, tried their best to speak to the 6,500 fans in English.


Hardcore K-pop fan Emma Tay, 18, was not a fan of the group, but attended the concert with her friend Giana Siddiqui, also 18, because they had read online that iKON's performances were good.

The concert turned both girls into fans.

"They seemed really professional. It was as if they've been performing for a long time already," said Emma, a junior college student.

"I know that other than Bobby, the others are not really fluent in English. The fact that they made the effort to memorise and interact with the fans proves that they are an international band," she said.

iKON did not disappoint.

They opened their concert with a remixed rock version of one of their hits, Rhythm Ta. They also performed songs such as My Type, Airplane, and Apology from their debut album Welcome Back.

Despite their relative inexperience, they wowed the audience with their seemingly endless supply of energy, running from one end of the stage to the other to interact with the fans at all sides and corners.

Main rapper Bobby, who was involved in 20 of the 22 songs the group performed last night, got as close as possible to the fans every chance he got. But he showed no signs of fatigue even at the end.

Bobby performed GO and B.I did Be I, which were songs they had produced during their appearance on the South Korean rap competition Show Me The Money.

During the song Wait For Me, fans raised banners that read "We have been waiting for a long time" in Korean.

The highlight of the concert was Jinhwan cross-dressing as a member of fellow K-pop band GFriend and dancing to his rendition of their song Me Gustas Tu.


The other boys joined in afterwards in black dresses and danced "sexily" to their cover of viral hit Up & Down by EXID.

The boy band also covered BigBang's Bang Bang Bang, when B.I and Junhoe went shirtless under fur coats.

At the end, after the encore, Bobby took off his sweat-drenched shirt and threw it towards the audience, leading to a mad scramble for it among the fans.

Nanyang Technological University student Siti Halimah Samsudin, 23, wished the concert could have been longer.

She said: "I've been a fan of iKON since the first reality TV survival programme and I've been smitten by each of the members' different style and charm ever since.

"My favourite parts were the encore stages, when all of us jumped along to the songs and were able to take videos with our phones.

"My friends and I had really sore throats by the end."

The fact that they made the effort to memorise and interact with the fans proves that they are an international band

- Miss Emma Tay, who became a fan of iKON after attending their concert

Tags: concert, K-pop and Music

Taunted in primary school, she went on to be Miss Universe Singapore

Called 'fat' and 'ugly' in primary school, Ms Jessica Tan went on to win Miss Universe Singapore 2007 after friends encouraged her to join

BEFORE AND AFTER: 2007 Miss Universe Singapore winner Jessica Tan (above) was teased for being an overweight child.
BEFORE AND AFTER: 2007 Miss Universe Singapore winner Jessica Tan was teased for being an overweight child (above).

Throughout primary school, she was overweight.

She went on to become Miss Universe Singapore (MUS) 2007, but back then, Ms Jessica Tan was constantly put down as "fat" and "ugly" by classmates and relatives, and her confidence was low.

As she started to believe the taunts, her self-esteem was completely destroyed.

But Ms Tan, who stood at 1.64m and weighed 64kg, had a dream.

"I watched (MUS) on TV and all those confident, glamorous girls on stage made me dream of doing it one day even though I felt that it was impossible. I wanted to be as confident as they were," Ms Tan, 30, told The New Paper.

When she was 13, she started to shed the baby fat.

WINNER: Ms Jessica Tan, then 25, beat 16 others to win the Miss Universe Singapore crown and the right to compete in the Miss Universe 2007 international pageant in Mexico City. TNP FILE PHOTO

Formerly a Singapore Airlines stewardess and now a model-actress based in Hong Kong, Ms Tan - who was also a The New Paper New Face finalist in 2002 - said: "That's when people started telling me that I was good-looking, which was something unheard of for me.

"When I was about to turn 21, my girlfriends told me that I should consider joining the competition. Never did I expect to win and represent Singapore (in Mexico)."

This year, Singapore's most prestigious pageant is back in a big way, with new presenter Singapore Turf Club and new imaging partner Canon Singapore on board.

And for the first time, The New Paper will be MUS 2016's official media partner and co-organiser alongside the Miss Universe Singapore Organisation.

The winner will receive a $10,000 cash prize and a Canon camera worth $1,000. Registration is now open to women aged 18 to 27. (See report above.)

Her fondest memory? Experiencing Miss Universe on the international level, which she described as "a whole different ball game".

"From the minute I landed in Mexico, I was picked up in a tinted-window limousine, driven to the hotel with at least five police escorts surrounding the car," said Ms Tan, who will wed a Hong Kong-based Singaporean lawyer at the end of the year.

She said: "Before joining MUS, I wasn't a very confident person nor was I comfortable in my own skin. It wasn't easy for me growing up as I had to deal with mean girls (in school) who shattered my confidence.

"After meeting so many different women (from around the world), I realised the most beautiful kind of woman is a confident one."

And what tips does she have for those thinking of joining MUS 2016?


She said: "A lot of girls want to be Miss Universe Singapore only because of the glamour and fame that come with it. However, there's also a responsibility to present yourself well in public.

"It's not just about grooming confident and strong women, it is also a great platform for Singapore to exchange our country's pride and cultures with other delegates.

"Independent women who are beautiful both inside and out with the passion and commitment to be a good representative of Singapore are the best candidates."

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