Cantopop's Dilemma: No Hong Kong Wave

For Eason Chan, the adoration is normal. Fans celebrated the end of the Hong Kong pop sensation's record 25-show Summer 2013 stand at the Hong Kong Coliseum on Aug. 2 in typical fashion: screaming themselves into a frenzy. Even before the shows began in July, anticipation for Hong Kong's summer music event of the year built to such a pitch that Chan added additional performances on three separate occasions before ticket sales began. On April 15, when tickets were finally on offer, the 23 shows sold out in half a day and he added two more performances. This is a man in demand. For those in tune with Cantonese pop music, this is no surprise. Chan was named "King of Asian Pop" by Time Out Hong Kong in 2012 and ranked sixth in the 2013 Forbes China Celebrity Top 100 List, placing just behind the actress Fan Bingbing, Taiwanese singer Jay Zhou and action-star Jacky Chan. In other words, Eason Chan is a global celebrity. Last year, he became the first Chinese artist to perform at London's O2 arena. His performance sold out in 20 minutes - faster than Lady GaGa's - and crashed the venue's online ticketing system. Chan's success stands out in a way because it is rare for a Hong Kong singer. At a time when international acclaim is becoming common for Asian pop groups — in particular Korean pop (K-pop) bands ‑ most of Hong Kong's idols are not nearly as hot. K-Pop is certainly the latest thing, spawning imitators worldwide and seeing YouTube icon PSY playing the White House; leading Korean record label SM Entertainment is even planning to launch a K-pop museum in Los Angeles. What gives K-pop its sizzle? Simon and Martina Stawski, the duo behind the popular K-pop focused YouTube channel and Web site

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