Asian Pop Star of the Year Rain, 23, is setting new records during his East Asian tour, now in its tenth month. Since his first solo concert at the Olympic Park in Seoul in late January, he has lured over 80,000 people to sold-out concerts across Asia, including the KBS Hall in Busan, the International Forum and Budokan in Tokyo, the Pension Hall in Osaka and the Convention and Exhibition Center in Hong Kong.
Oct. 22 will see him in Beijing, and more than 21,000 tickets had sold for that performance alone as of Thursday morning. The venue accommodates 40,000 people and is also expected to sell out, bringing audiences outside Korea alone to more than 100,000.
Rain said Wednesday he hopes to draw over 300,000 people, with concerts in Thailand, the Philippines, Indonesia and Vietnam yet to come next year, and aims to fill Madison Square Garden in New York City in February. This is the first time a Korean singer has gone on an all-East Asia tour. Audience numbers of over 100,000 people in less than a dozen concerts are usually the exclusive domain of U.S. and British megastars.
Rain is distinct from other surfers of the Korean Wave, who are mostly actors. An executive with Hong Kong’s largest terrestrial broadcaster TVB said while Rain first attracted fans in the Korean soap “Full House” in Hong Kong and Southeast Asia, where ratings hit 80 percent and over 50 percent, the fan base mushroomed due to Rain’s powerful and dynamic performance on stage.
The singer’s third album “It’s Raining” topped the charts for six to eight weeks in Hong Kong, Thailand, Taiwan and Indonesia this summer.