South Korean boy band Shinee performed a concert at Olympic Stadium in Phnom Penh on Tuesday, wrapping up a six-day visit that included a donation of US$10,000 to the Cambodia Children’s Fund.
The band – formed in 2008 and consisting of members Lee Jinki, Kim Jonghyun, Kim Kibum, Choi Minho and Lee Taemin – has become popular among Cambodian teens through its music videos, particularly for the song “Ring Ding Dong”.
Shinee’s visit to the country was arranged by the Cambodia Television Network (CTN) and its sister network MYTV.
At a press conference on Monday band members said they were touring Asia and had very much wanted to perform in Cambodia.
“We also know that Cambodian people support Shinee,” the band said in statement.
Following the press conference, the group visited the Cambodian Children’s Fund (CCF), where they were greeted by about 100 orphaned children who live there. The children staged a performance for the visitors, after which the band donated $10,000 to the fund.
CCF is raising 135 Cambodian children, 7 to 18 years of age, most of whom are former scrap scavengers from the Stung Meanchey dump site. The fund provides English-language classes, jobs in restaurants, IT classes and other vocational training.
“I think we will use [Shinee’s] donation for our culture, music and dance. I love music and I like culture,” said CCF director Scott Neeson.
Meanwhile, Monday’s press conference was also a rallying point for Shinee fans, many of whom waited outside the conference room sporting blonde, metrosexual hairstyles and Korean-style clothing.
One fan, 19-year-old National University of Management student Leng Dalin, said she was there to see the band members but had not been allowed into the press conference.
“I’ve been a fan since first seeing them on MYTV last year. I like their clothes and the way they dance,” she said.
Leng Dalin said she had already bought a $5 ticket to see Shinee’s Tuesday concert, money she would not spend on performances by Cambodian singers whom she said she had already seen “too many times”.
According to the Cambodia Television Network, more than 4,000 tickets were sold for the Shinee concert, most of them to fans under 20 years old.