SEOUL, Oct. 28 (Korea Bizwire) – Lee Soo-man, the K-pop mogul who founded SM Entertainment, the nation’s largest management/record label, was awarded a 2016 Asia Game Changer Award, becoming the first Korean to receive the honor.
According to SM Entertainment, the company chairman attended the Asia Game Changer Awards ceremony on October 27 at the United Nations building in New York City. He was recognized for turning Korea’s pop culture into a global phenomenon.
“Technology and culture are changing the world and giving people joy,” said the 64-year-old producer in his acceptance speech. “SM Entertainment and I will do our best so that entertainment content and celebrities can also convey happiness and contribute to changing our society.”
Lee started his musical career as a singer while he was a student at Seoul National University. He founded SM Entertainment in 1989, which has since produced some of the most popular K-pop artists of all time, from H.O.T. and Shinhwa to Super Junior, Girls Generation, and EXO. He is often referred to in Korea as the President of Culture, for pioneering Hallyu, or the Korean Wave.
The ceremony’s organizer, Asia Society, was founded in 1956 by John D. Rockefeller III as a non-profit organization, with the goal of promoting understanding of Asia and its culture. The society celebrated its 60th anniversary this year.
The Asia Game Changer Awards were first held in 2014, honoring the ‘game changers’ who made significant contributions to the future of Asia in fields covering policy, business, arts, culture, and education.
This year’s nine awardees also included Chinese film director Zhang Yimou, Chinese-American architect I.M. Pei, Nepali eye surgeon Dr. Sanduk Ruit, Iraqi conductor Karim Wasfi, and Muzoon Almellehan, a 17-year-old Syrian refugee and youth education activist.
By Kevin Lee (firstname.lastname@example.org)