updated 29 Nov 2013, 16:37
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Sun, 24 Nov 2013
The New Paper
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K-pop star's popularity surges after nude photo scandal
by Charlene Chua


Just as fame beckons K-pop singer Ailee, nude pictures taken of her before she became well-known have surfaced to haunt her.

The sexy Korean-American broke down when she found out last week about the leaked pictures, for which she had posed for fully naked, South Korean media reported.

Hardly surprising since such pictures usually lead to scorn and even career suicide, especially for K-pop stars.

Then came the big surprise: Instead of the expected backlash, the starlet, who made her K-pop debut only last year, found herself gaining in popularity.

So much so that the 24-year-old was on the brink of being voted Best Female Artist at the 2013 Mnet Asian Music Awards (Mama), which was held in Hong Kong on Friday night.

Mama is Asia's top music awards show attended by K-pop A-listers like T.O.P, 2NE1 and Girls' Generation.

Last week, Ailee surged ahead in the fan-voted awards to overtake Lee Hyori in the race for Best Female Artist. But Lee eventually took home the award on Friday.

The US-born singer also surged past IU to lead the Best Female Vocal Performance category with her song U & I. Ailee won the award in the category.

For this, Ailee, whose debut single Heaven was a huge hit in South Korea last year, can thank K-pop fans who rallied behind her out of sympathy and voted online to support her.

Singapore Ailee fan Shermin Lin, 22, a sales executive, told The New Paper: "I voted for her because I felt so bad for her when I saw the pictures. This was certainly not her fault.

"I thought she would be dropped by her label because now she's 'damaged goods'. You know how it is in the Korean music industry - the singers have to be all nice, sweet and decent."

Student Li Zhenqing, 17, who also voted for Ailee, said: "I don't mean to be mean, but Ailee is dumb. There's always a chance that such pictures will be released.

"This doesn't mean I will stop loving her music. I'm just surprised she's not the street-smart girl she appears to be."

Other netizens were less forgiving, with one saying that Ailee can no longer be a role model for young girls and another questioned whether the pictures were a publicity stunt.

Read the full story here.



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Just as fame beckons K-pop singer Ailee, nude pictures taken of her before she became well-known have surfaced to haunt her.
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