K-pop scandal

Fans demand concert refunds from Psy in spillover damage

SEOUL • Psy now knows he has to be careful over whose dinner invitation to accept.

After news broke that Yang Hyun-suk, former head of top South Korean talent agency YG Entertainment, had been booked by the police as a suspect for providing sexual services to foreign investors, some fans vented their anger on the 41-year-old South Korean singer too.

In 2014, Psy turned up at a dinner along with the investors.

Talk that he had knowledge of Yang's wooing of the investors led some fans to demand refunds for tickets to Psy's summer concerts in South Korea, with his agency stating that it will honour any request.

But other fans have lashed out at those who want their money back, saying they are certain that Psy and Yang were not acting in concert.

They feel that the singer, whose Gangnam Style was a global hit in 2012, was likely invited by Yang to attend the dinner to impress the investors since he is a celebrity.

YG then managed Psy, who has since set up his own agency.

Before Yang was booked, the police conducted interviews to gather evidence of any wrongdoing.

On June 16, Psy was questioned for nine hours. He denied knowledge of any improper activity at the dinner, whose guests included disgraced Malaysian businessman Jho Low.

"At the time, I just thought it was a dinner gathering... I apologise for causing concern," Psy later clarified in a post.

Media reports said the singer and Yang left the dinner early.

Yang stepped down as YG chief last month, taking the blame for several of its artists, including former BigBang singer Seungri and iKon's leader B.I., getting into trouble.

The K-pop scandal, which broke in January, involved allegations of the procurement of prostitutes being levelled against Seungri, while B.I. was said to have taken drugs.

But while there is spillover damage to Psy's standing among K-pop fans from Yang's booking, it has not affected his P Nation agency.

Last week, R&B singer Crush inked a deal, joining other artists - HyunA, E'Dawn and Jessi - to stake their future with P Nation.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 22, 2019, with the headline 'Fans demand concert refunds from Psy in spillover damage '. Print Edition | Subscribe