Korean singer Kangta has been selected to take part in the torch relay of the 16th Guangzhou 2010 Asian Games this year.
A press release by SM Entertainment revealed that Kangta, the only foreign celebrity to bear the torch at China-hosted Asiad, will run in the GuangZhou University area on November 11.
The organizing committee of the games and torch relay event, as quoted by SM, explained that they chose Kangta for his gentle and humble character, the influence he has overseas, and his contributions to society – he held charity concert in Beijing this summer.
Kangta will also appear in stamp series titled “I am a torch runner” which will be released to commemorate the upcoming games.
“I am greatly pleased and honored to take part in torch relay for the great festivity in Asia,” Kangta said also in the statement by SM. “I thank all my fans for all the interest and affection they’ve shown and promise to do my best.”
Other well-known figures in China chosen as torchbearers the same day as Kangta are singer and actor Alan Tam, pianist Lang Lang and singer and actress Charlene Choi among others.
A total of 2,010 runners, aged from 6 to 100, will have carried the torch throughout China since October 9 before it reaches Guangzhou on its opening day of November 12.
Kangta, 31, whose real name is Ahn Chil-hyun was a former member of SM’s first idol group “HOT” that ruled the dance scene in the 90s. HOT was also one of the earliest K-pop bands to advance overseas, gaining wide popularity across Asia with hit songs like “Candy,” “Warrior’s Descent” and “We Are the Future.”
Kangta began his solo career in 2001 after the group disbanded the same year. Some of his hit songs include “Polaris,” “Last Summer Night” and “Persona.”
He is now preparing a new album and fan meeting in China.
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