Michelle Lee touched the hearts of K-Pop fans worldwide as a member of the defunct group Su Pearls during season one of K-Pop Star. Su Pearls was signed under YG Entertainment, however the group was disbanded and their contracts nullified following the successful debut of Lee Hi. There was speculation surrounding conflicts within the group, most particularly with Michelle Lee. However, the most likely reason for the nullification of the contracts for Su Pearls was attributed to the fact that Lee Hi had trained to become a member of the group but displayed more promise as a solo artist. While very little coverage has surrounded the remaining members, fans were distraught over the career trajectory for Michelle Lee.
Last week, Michelle Lee made her solo debut with the single Without You. Net users speculated over the content of the lyrics which could be directed towards a former lover or executives at YG Entertainment. Without You illustrates an emotionally distraught experience which can be attributed to the isolation and subjugation experienced by Michelle Lee. Michelle Lee is currently signed to DIMA Entertainment with her debut release distributed by 1theK (Loen Entertainment). As a K-Pop artist who is part Black, part Korean, Michelle Lee has encountered obstacles that other artists do not necessarily dealt with. Although, Michelle Lee no longer has the backing of one of the perceived big three agencies, she may be able to transcend the stereotypes she has faced.
While the Korean-American solo artist Yoon Mi Rae has been able to overcome similar discrimination to become a successful vocal artist in Korea, Michelle Lee continues to face opposition. As K-Pop continues to become a global phenomenon, artists like Michelle Lee and Yoon Mi Rae serve as examples for international vocalists and musicans who would like to enter the Korean market. Is K-Pop completely closed off to artists who are not one hundred percent Korean or Asian? Is it possible for an artist besides Yoon Mi Rae who is multiracial to succeed in K-Pop?
such a powerful and beautiful music video