Enka singer Kye Eun-sook given 18-month sentence

November 20, 2015
Kye Eun-sook (Yonhap)

Kye Eun-sook (Yonhap)

South Korean singer Kye Eun-sook, known as the “Queen of Enka” for her popularity in the genre in Japan, was sentenced to 18 months in prison Friday on charges of drug use and fraud, Yonhap reported.

The Suwon District Court fined the 53-year-old singer 800,000 won, or about $700, for methamphetamine use and two cases of fraud involving a leased car and an apartment contract.

Kye was given an 18-month sentence and an additional three years of probation by a Japanese court in 2007 for drug use. She returned to Korea the same year.

The Korean court said she returned to using philopon — another name for meth — regularly at her personal residence and in hotels in 2012.

Kye was found guilty of providing a false security deposit amount last year in July to tenants in a multi-household Gangnam District property she owned, and of using a high-end leased car, for which she had not made payments, as collateral to borrow money.

The singer debuted in Korea in 1979 before making a successful transition to the Japanese market in the mid-1980s.