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Taeyeon of Girls' Generation sets milestone for S. Korean girl group singers

All Headlines 23:12 July 10, 2016

By Chung Joo-won

SEOUL, July 10 (Yonhap) -- Taeyeon of South Korean group Girls' Generation has set a milestone for all female idol singers with "Butterfly Kiss," the country's first solo concert staged by a single singer active in a girl group.

Taeyeon's two-day concert series, held on Saturday and Sunday, drew some 6,000 fans from all over Asia to Olympic Park in eastern Seoul. From the start, the concert stirred curiosity and worry among South Korean music marketers, who do not believe solo concerts by a single girl group member are profitable. The deep-rooted market stigma here is that male fans are less likely to go to concerts and more into streaming EPs and music videos, compared to female fans. Understandably, the organizer booked Olympic Hall, which has fewer seats than the Gymnastics Stadium in the same park.

However, the 27-year-old diva went above and beyond marketers' expectations, as she glowed in "Butterfly Kiss," performing 22 songs, including music from her two solo EPs, TV commercials, TV series and remakes of Girls' Generation's hits.

The singer showed multiple concepts, starting with sleek and sexy, then switching to angelic and pure, and finishing off with brisk and shiny.

The Sunday concert kicked off at 4 p.m. with a brief movie intro and "Up & Down," a fast, electronic dance song from Taeyeon's second and latest EP album "Why," released on June 28.

Taeyeon exploded onto the stage in a black glossy mini dress, shiny black thigh-high boots and a black lace choker, with glamorous ash-blond curls. The start was weak and distracting, with Taeyeon surrounded by backup dancers pole-dancing in white outfits. The computer-generated 10 identical holograms of the dancers also divided viewers' attention.

Taeyeon then picked up the pace from the fifth song, "Rain," her lead single from S.M. Entertainment's music channel SM Station. She completely took over the stage in the sixth song, "Gemini," which she said was her personal favorite.

"It seems like many of you are from different countries," Taeyeon said in the first talk session. "Hi, nice to meet you," she added in English, drawing a round of wild cheers from the crowd.

Taeyeon also greeted her Japanese fans, as the concert aired live in Japan, saying in Japanese, "Konichiwa, I'm Taeyeon. I've prepared a lot for this, so please give me your support."

Since her debut in 2007 in Girls' Generation, Taeyeon has released a total of eight solo tracks for television shows, such as "If" for KBS 2TV's "Hong Gil Dong," "Can You Hear Me" in MBC's "Beethoven Virus" and "I Love You" in SBS' "Athena: Goddess of War."

The singer sang two of her hit TV commercial tracks, "Blue Night in Jeju Island" and "Atlantis Girl," both of which are remakes of old hits.

In the latter half of the concert, Taeyeon brought out special guest, R&B artist Dean. The two sang the duet "Starlight" that topped major TV music shows on Friday.

The singer then shared the news that "Why," the title song of her new EP, also topped a major music show.

"Both 'Why' and 'Starlight' have been more successful than I expected," she said. "This is a bad time to cry, so I'll try to hold back the tears," the singer continued, amid cheers from the audience.

Towards the end of the concert, Taeyeon sang her first self-composed song, "Pray."

She said she wrote the song during some of the most difficult times of her life, without revealing the cause of such "difficulties."

"In that time, I was faltering. But as a musician, I thought music would be the best cure for recovery."

Taeyeon finished the concert with four encores, including Girls’ Generation's biggest hit "Gee."

"I have so many songs that I want to sing to you. Life would throw in many hardships, but I wish I could be your rainbow after a shower, and stay as your Taeyeon forever."


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