Monday, 26 November 2012

Pop Music's Polarizing Influence

Three items that caught my eye this weekend in the pop music world.

Psy doing the Gangnam Style in Beijing?
Psy's Gangnam Style is the most watched online video of all time with 815 hits on YouTube, surpassing Justin Bieber's Baby.

The new statistic has also been certified by Guinness as the most-liked video in YouTube history with more than 2 million virtual thumbs up.

The 34-year-old Psy, whose real name is Park Jae-sang is definitely riding the wave and milking his fame for all it's worth.

So much so that he has reportedly asked for 3 million RMB ($481,676) for a 30-minute performance on China Central Television's Lunar New Year Gala show on February 9.

CCTV executives are either clapping their hands in glee or bargaining him down to one five-minute song and asking how much that would cost.

Already there is an online debate raging in China whether CCTV will actually shell out or that the money should instead be given to poorer areas in the country.

When you receive an award from the PM, what do you wear?
And then there is Bieber himself who received the Diamond Jubilee Medal from Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper. The award is given to Canadians who earn achievements abroad and also coincides with 60th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II's ascension to the throne.

What do you wear when you meet the leader of your own country and receive such a high honour?

Bieber thought a backwards cap, t-shirt and overalls would be a good wardrobe choice.

While Harper is not my favourite politician, he IS the prime minister. Some respect Justin!

Even his fans were embarrassed and no wonder he was booed during his performance at the half-time show for the Grey Cup.

Finally, Elton John may not be coming back to China to perform anytime soon.

Last night in Beijing, his only mainland China stop, the superstar dedicated his concert "to the spirit and talent of Ai Weiwei".

His words sent some shock waves through the audience who were stunned to hear the artist's name as he was detained for nearly three months last year and is barred from leaving the country.

Two superstar artists Elton John with Ai Weiwei
John met Ai briefly just before the concert and the latter tweeted, "I super like him," on Twitter.

Wonder what recriminations will result after this spontaneous outburst that went against scripted performances in China, thanks to Bjork shouting "Tibet, Tibet" at the end of her 2008 concert in Shanghai.

Sometimes you you want to smack these artists for courting controversy and other times Chinese officials for being so straight laced.

But now that we think about it, what if Psy did perform in Beijing? Perhaps it would lead to a gig in Pyongyang in front of Kim Jong-un and restart talks between North and South Korea?

You gotta hope.

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