Asian Pop Star Jay ParkLos Angeles – If you pay any attention to Asian Entertainment news, you can’t miss  the story on Asian pop star Jay Park (AKA Jaebeom Park). His story  broke in early September 2009 when the Korean press published comments  he made on his MySpace page in 2005 before he had made it big and was  a young trainee at JYP Entertainment, expressing his frustration with  life in Korea. Taken out of context, his comments were misinterpreted  by the Korean media and in the course of three days, bombarded by  attacks, Park decided to leave his band 2PM and to go back to Seattle which he now calls home.

The mood quickly changed in Korea after he left when the press and public discovered that his MySpace posts from five years earlier had been terribly misinterpreted. Instead of hate, he gained sympathy. Support for the young performer quickly grew in both South Korea and internationally resulting in  silent protests and  flash mobs in many different countries and tweets about Jaebeom (and Jaebum) hitting No. 1 trending topic on social media sites like Twitter.

JYP Entertainment seemed to acknowledge his marketing power and used his name in all of their promotion for the new 2PM album in October. Most Asian fans supported the group hoping to see Jay Park back with the group but in February 2010, the company terminated his contract.  Many fans are saying that it’s a calculated act due to the fact that the group 2PM is doing fine without Jay Park now and the company cut him loose. The cry for him to return is loud and clear. Many Korean fans left the 2PM fan clubs in thousands and tweets for him passed Oscar topics on the night of the Oscars itself to be the  #1 trending topic.

As an executive in the digital entertainment space, I am intrigued by all the buzz around Jay Park on Social Media.  As an international student and an Asian, I feel his pain.  He was so young when he left his family for a foreign country, adjusted to new foods and culture and went through the tough training required to become an Asian pop star. As a daughter and a mother, he gets my support.  He had said many times in interviews that the adjustment to Korean life was difficult but he did it for his family.  He was there for his family to have a better life, to buy nice things for his mother.

Yes, the Jay Park story is full of heart. People support Jay Park because he took responsibility for his actions and seems so genuine unlike the big entertainment company JYPE.  I don’t think he is even aware of marketing power he currently has.  This week he released his first video since leaving Korea. Meant for his fans, it was RAW  (he sings in the bathroom) and was posted on Art of Movement’s official Facebook page.  Within two days it reached over 2 million views on YouTube. The song he covered “Nothin’ on You” is now  #1 in Korea on Cyworld Music charts and is currently #2 on iTunes sales today.

I think this is just the beginning for Jay Park. If any Asian artist can make the difficult “crossover” to the American music entertainment market, I think he could be the one. He already has a big international fan base, and he is living proof of the power of social media.

Here is Jay Park’s YouTube video. Check out the amazing stats!


  1. I must add here that Although you make connections of market power to Jay (his name, image, story of struggle), but I wonder what you think of Jay in a greater social context, besides an economic one? I’m sure you have noticed that fan culture has evolved drastically in the last few years, creating spaces for the youth to have a voice. I think Jay Park is an amazing individual because he represents something much bigger than himself: the greater Korean American community. He has sparked a transformation in an entire nation, consequently forcing native Koreans to face the prejudices that underly the fabric of Korean society, to challenge assumptions and to become more tolerant. But what was equally amazing was the dedication of the fans – a collection of youth who used social media to right the wrong and to effectively sway public opinion in a positive light. Today the voices of the youth are so important that they dictate advertisement and promotional decisions made by corporations.

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  2. I thank the writer friend for his writings on your site. I read all of it and i need to read new writings anymore. For the time being, i watched this type of topic on facebook and i liked it so much. In addition, it’s one of the rare topics on the site.

    See you at a new topic…

  3. i was so upset about his story as a korean citizen thank you for your article which helps some idiots still obsessed with the ill-favored nationalism to understand the situation at least a little bit.

  4. Many people KNOW Jay didn’t do anything wrong actually… it’s just when ppl are on the internet and they have no lives they are able to make things 10x more harsher.. those who made comments were just plain haters.. they were not 2pm fans. They are just anti-celebrities. I get that because Jay is the “new big thing” ppl research on him so they can onyl find old news and during interviews they tend to bring the old news up and constantly asking him about the past even tho it’s been over a year.. it’s hard for him to escape all the questions.
    Everyone has said/done something in their past they are not proud of…that’s the whole process of growing up. When you’re young things happen. Some ppl just are dumb, make assumptions and dont believe in change about teens to adults. Jay is just himself. Jay is a multi-talented entertainer. I only wish good things for him.

  5. Jay deserves the best! thank you for the article, he’s a talented young man. hope he’ll get something great from this! 🙂

  6. Thank you for posting this article. Jay has gone through a lot lately, so thanks for saying good things about him. He’s an amazing singer and dancer (check out his crew art of movement!). Plus, he has AMAZING stage presence.
    I really hope he’ll be successful now that he’s out of that evil JYP company. They actually kicked him out and dirtied his reputation, he didn’t “decide” to leave.

  7. thanks for this article…
    this is so true…
    i really really hope he can make a breakout in USA music industry… he is really full of talent and passion. he’ll do his best in everything he does…
    jay is the man!!! as jay supporter, i’ll support him!! thanks again, God Bless!!!

  8. Thanks for the article …

    Yes, Jay has a lot of potential: good singer/rapper/dancer … He really has a lots of people following him so if american entertaiment world is not stupid (and i don’t think it is) he has to be signed really quickly !!!

  9. What a clear article about Jay’s rather complecated situation. I guess you’re not his Korean fan and
    I felt you’re really fully-informed and made a point about this whole incident in English.
    Because I’ve read few English-written ones, I was so happy to see a good one like yours. It would be really helpful to get ideas and support Jay to his many fans overseas. I hope I could see more articles from you here.
    Thank you so much:)

  10. Thank you so much for your article. It gives to Jay’s fans a lot of hope. We hope he’ll keep on his career and that he’ll sign in an other company =) this is thanks to poeple like you!! Jay fighting! From France ^^

  11. Thanks for the article. I was wondering why his Youtube video got so many views and this article helped me to understand the behind story.

  12. I believe the past he had to go through will make him (and his fans) stronger. There are so many stars around the world but only few stars are not forgotten and loved. He is still loved by so many people around the world. His fans are yearning for his return. I hope one day he can get a chance to sing and dance on stage again with good entertainment company’s support.

    ” If any Asian artist can make the difficult “crossover” to the American music entertainment market, I think he could be the one.” <- 100% agree with you

  13. what an ugly side of korean entertainment industry!! i was so upset about his story as a korean citizen thank you for your article which helps some idiots still obsessed with the ill-favored nationalism to understand the situation at least a little bit..hope everything would be all right for JAY!!

  14. Finally, an article written by someone who knows what they’re talking about.

    Personally, I would love to see Jay out on the U.S. music scene as a solo artist. I believe he has both the talent and the determination to make a great debut in the Western world. Articles like this one are helping him get the recognition he deserves. The fact that he sings and raps so honestly is what the public love about him, and it’s increasingly becoming a rarity in this day and age.

    I am much awaiting his next video, whether it be from the bathroom or not.

  15. Thank you for this article. Jay is incredibly talented and we are all excited for his next move in the entertainment industry!

  16. Thank you very much for the very well written and fact based article. Jay has gone through a lot of difficulties, and hope he will make a breakout as well in the USA with the support of the worldwide fans-just like this youtube video. I believe this is just a new beginning for Jay. Again thanks for your support.

  17. Thank you so much for writing such an awesome article about Jay.
    I totally agree with you that Jay has the potential to be the first Asian to make the Asia-US crossover and make it big here.
    Us fans will always support him, and we’re right here in the U.S.!

  18. He definitely has strong support. Hope he gets to do what he always wanted to do – be an artist. He is a triple threat. Rapper, Singer, Dancer. I hope he does make the “crossover” successfully. It will be a great thing for the asian artists.

  19. this article didn’t mention that his former company kicked him out because of a said “personal mistake” which, if jay is signed to another company, might have to take into consideration…but what i have a BIG problem is how his former company put ALL the blame on a guy who tried to keep his personal life PERSONAL. not that i want to sell jay or anything (haha), but really, his popularity and natural talents will help (to say the least) whatever company he is signed with.

  20. I don’t believe there is any personal mistake to take into consideration. Jay’s personal life is clean. Even reporters in Korea tried to dig up dirt on him, trying to find traces of that horrible moral mistake JYPE mentioned and they came up empty. JYPE just needed some excuse to tell to the public why they terminated his contract in order to make themselves and 2PM look like the victims and Jay look like the attacker. And all that did was start crazy rumors about Jay and what that “mistake” could have been since JYPE were like “it’s so horrible, we can’t even mention what it is”. Such a shameful company if you ask me.

  21. this article really sums up everything perfectly! thank u for giving background info for those that might be wondering who jay park is! ^_^

  22. thank you for writing the article and shedding light onto this very talented man.

    hopefully this opens up opportunities for him so that he can show off his talents to his numerous fans.

  23. thank you for this article–finally a great recap of what happened!!!! i believe that jay’s 2 1/2 min song speak louder than what jyp, 6pm and the korean media have been saying these last 6 months…
    i believe what his church pastor wrote about him, i believe his words in his song, and i believe his true friends… i know his fans from all over the world recognize his transparent life.
    what is even more thrilling is that he is finally free from jyp and his contract!!!
    yeah! go jay!!! go jaebeom!!! you have my support!!! shoo shoo!!

  24. Thank you for writing this article, now more people know what happened. I’m glad he’s doing well in the states as well :).

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