Wanted: New American-style K-pop band

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Members of K-pop boy band BTS pose for photos for their new album “BE (Deluxe Edition)” in Seoul during a press conference

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(Reuters) – The company behind South Korean boy band BTS announced a project on Wednesday to find the next K-pop sensation through a global audition program expected to air in the US in 2022.

Big Hit Entertainment said it was working with Universal Music Group to find, develop, and train the new K-pop boy band.

Lenzo Yoon, Big Hit’s global director, said the new project will “apply Big Hit’s 16-year formula for success to the US, the center of the global music market.”

The new K-pop group will record on a new Los Angeles record label within the Universal Music Group.

BTS, the seven-piece band that debuted in South Korea in 2013, hit the highly competitive US music market with best-selling singles and videos with a sunny, positive vibe. Last year, BTS, which has a large and passionate fan base, was named Entertainer of the Year by Time Magazine.

Sir Lucian Grainge, CEO of Universal Music Group, said in a statement that the joint venture “will further accelerate K-pop as a global cultural phenomenon”.

The K-pop industry, which includes rigorous training in dance, singing and language skills, has also spawned bands like the girls’ group Blackpink, which have expanded beyond Asia to achieve international success.

The two companies didn’t say which U.S. media outlets would broadcast the audition program.

The collaboration is reminiscent of “American Idol”, the popular TV reality show that hosts national auditions for a new pop star and whose winner receives a record deal. Now in its 18th season, the show has spawned real stars like Carrie Underwood and Kelly Clarkson.

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