S.M. Entertainment founder to receive int’l award

September 14, 2016

SEOUL, Sept. 14 (Yonhap) — Lee Soo-man, the founding chairman and producer of South Korea’s S.M. Entertainment, will receive a prestigious award from a U.S. non-profit organization for his role in the globalization of K-pop, the entertainment agency said Wednesday.

The agency said that Lee is one of eight honorees at the 2016 Asia Game Changer Awards given by the Asia Society, a New York-based institution that aims to foster understanding of Asia and communication between Americans and Asians. Lee will be the first South Korean to receive such an award, S.M. Entertainment added.

Asia Society, celebrating its 60th anniversary this year, said the award is designed to recognize “those making a transformative and positive difference for the future of Asia and the world.” It introduced Lee as a “K-Pop pioneer,” and the 64-year-old will receive the award for “turning one nation’s pop culture into a global phenomenon.”

Other award winners include Sanduk Ruit of Nepal, an eye surgeon who has restored sight to thousands of patients, and Muzoon Almellehan of Syria, who brought education to her fellow Syrian refugees, with Chinese-American architect I.M. Pei receiving the first Asia Game Changer Lifetime Achievement Award.

The award ceremony will take place at the United Nations in New York on Oct. 27.

Lee, a singer-turned-entrepreneur, founded S.M. Entertainment in 1995. S.M.’s artists include Girls’ Generation, EXO, Super Junior and SHINee.

S.M. Entertainment founder Lee Soo-man. (photo courtesy of S.M. Entertainment)

S.M. Entertainment founder Lee Soo-man. (photo courtesy of S.M. Entertainment)