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The 23-year-old Korean Han Hee-jun, who was one of the top ten participants of American Idol Season 11, is poised to make his debut in the U.S. music market.
Han made the top 9 of American Idol last year, which was a first in the show’s history for an Asian. Han has made a contract with Korean agency Polaris Entertainment, and is ready to release his first single in the U.S. It has been reported that Han is going to work with famous agent Max Gousse, who used to manage many big stars such as Beyonce, Justin Timberlake, and Usher, making the possibility of Han’s success in the U.S. stronger.
According to the Korean daily newspaper Chosun Ilbo, Han was contacted by at least 100 agents after the show, but he decided to choose a Korean agent because he wanted to stick to his Korean background.
When Han participated in American Idol last year, he was one of the most popular contestants in terms of Internet voting score. He said, “I think using a chest voice made me popular because that was little bit unique compared to other participants who were using either a head voice or a nasal sound.”
Han participated in American Idol to raise awareness about the disabled at a missionary organization in New York, where he is working as a volunteer.
“I used to suffer from severe depression. I was getting vocal training from some agency in Korea for two years to become a professional singer from 2010, but it didn’t work well. I also participated in a Korean singing competition show, but I didn’t make it. These failures put me a depressing situation,” Han told the Chosun Ilbo.
Han added, “I happened to visit a missionary organization in New York and meet about 200 disabled people there. I saw them happy by singing and playing music instruments together. It opened my eyes and made me decide to participate in American Idol because once I make it up to 24 people, I will have a chance to talk about my personal life story, and I thought if I can let people know about these disabled people’s story, they can get more help from here and there.”
His goal has been achieved. After getting exposure on national television, the missionary organization and the disabled received many donations from across the U.S.
Han has an English name, “Dante.” However, he always goes with his Korean name “Hee-jun.” That is because Han’s goal is to be a famous singer in the U.S. as a Korean, just like Psy.
Image Courtesy : Heejun Han Fan Page