Singer Akif Halqi, 21, the first Singaporean to feature at the KBS K-pop World Festival, has walked away with the Best Vocal Award. He wins a trophy and 7 million won (S$8,300).
Although Best Vocal was not the top prize in the festival's competition, Akif looked delighted on Friday's (Sept 29) show, which aired on Twitter.
Maybe it was because the full-time national serviceman received a hug from Korean star Ailee, whom he had told The Straits Times was one of his favourite singers. Or perhaps it was because he got to share the stage with BTS, the mega popular K-pop' boyband which recently topped 73 iTunes charts worldwide.
On social media, K-pop fans said they were impressed by Akif's soulful rendition of Eyes, Nose, Lips, a ballad originally performed by BigBang member Taeyang. The sleek dancer also showed off his sharp moves, alongside two Singaporean dancers.
One Twitter user said: "SOMEONE TELL ME HIS NAME. HIS COVER OF EYES NOSE LIPS IS AMAZING."
Another user said: "This song... will always be one of the most beautiful song I've heard and he is singing it amazingly. Taeyang must be proud."
T he biggest winner of the night was Indonesia's representative, singing duo Tiffani Afifa and Alphiandi. They took the grand prize, comprising a trophy and 12 million won (S$14,200).
The contestants hailed from 13 countries, including Malaysia and Madagascar. Their diverse nationalities show the extensive reach of K-pop around the world. One of the competition judges, former 2NE1 member Gong Minzy, applauded the contestants for singing and performing in Korean.