Benefit concert series for N. Korean children brings Sohyang to LA

July 16, 2015
Sohyang, left, and Love One-World President Lim Deok-soon held a press conference Thursday to discuss an upcoming series of benefit concerts. (Angelina Widener/Korea Times)

Sohyang, left, and Love One-World President Lim Deok-soon held a press conference Thursday to discuss an upcoming series of benefit concerts. (Angelina Widener/Korea Times)

By Tae Hong

LOS ANGELES — Southern Californians, get ready — South Korean vocal powerhouse Sohyang is coming to four locations in the Los Angeles area for a benefit concert for needy North Korean children from July 18 to 25.

Hosted by Love One-World, a U.S.-based non-profit Christian organization, the concert series hopes to raise money for its North Korea projects, most notably the manufacturing of nutritional “peanut cream” for children in orphanages and nurseries.

Concert dates and locations include the Glory Church of Jesus Christ on July 18, Thanksgiving Korean Church on July 19, Disciple Community Church on July 24 and Beautiful Church on July 25.

Sohyang, a gospel singer, rose to stardom through South Korea’s popular television singing survival programs, MBC’s “I Am A Singer” and KBS’s “Immortal Songs,” after debuting in 1996 and releasing five studio albums.

She drew national attention last year after her rendition of “Lean On Me” in front of American singer Michael Bolton on “Immortal Songs,” with media outlets and electrified online communities christening her Korea’s Mariah Carey.

Concertgoers will hear the song live, as well as her take on hits like Lee Juck’s “Running in the Sky” and Secret Garden’s “You Raise Me Up.”

“Many people have interest in North Korea, but in reality there aren’t many ways of helping,” she said. “I’ve been praying for North Korea. This is a way for me to use my talents to help, so I’m very happy to do it.”

Love One-World’s projects include the “Ten-Dollar Miracle,” which makes enough peanut cream to give one North Korean child the needed nutrition for one month. It currently produces enough to hand out 2,000 peanut creams a day. The organization also builds and operates nurse’s offices in primary schools and gifts children with winter coats, shoes and school supplies.

Lim Deok-soon, head of the organization, said all proceeds from the concert will go toward these projects. Hundreds of thousands of North Korean children suffer from malnutrition, he said.

“Children are our future,” he said.

For Sohyang, entry into television variety was a transition from being a labeled a “contemporary Christian music” singer to one with mass appeal.

“A lot of people saw me on ‘I Am A Singer’ and ‘Immortal Songs’ even overseas, on YouTube,” she said. “I chose the songs I did [on the show] to give them a message. I hope this concert helps me connect with the audience through the music, whether or not they are religious.”

Tickets are $20. For more information, call 714-991-9887.

Concert dates:

July 18 – Glory Church of Jesus Christ @ 7 p.m., 1801 S. Grand Ave., Los Angeles

July 19 – Thanksgiving Korean Church @ 7 p.m., 6959 Knott Ave., Buena Park

July 24 – Disciple Community Church @ 7:30 p.m., 17502 Daimler St., Irvine

July 25 – Beautiful Church @ 7 p.m., 1717 S. Otterbein Ave., Rowland Heights



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