South Korea’s “Icon of Debt”?
Lee Sang-min (born on February 3, 1973), a South Korean singer, songwriter, record producer, and television personality, once shocked everyone with his various scandals a few years ago, especially those about his scandalous financial problems. It was a misfortune for him in the past by seeing his early debut as the successful one. But now, he was known to change his misfortune into the future fortune.
Lee Sang-min debuted in the entertainment industry as a rapper with the mixed group Roo’ra in 1993. The mixed group gained popularity in the late ’90s and early ’00s with their hit album Angel Without The Wing and the single Three! Four!. Roo’ra was acknowledged as one of the most influential groups that shaped modern K-Pop.
He also used to be a successful producer in charge of the company Sangmind, thought by many to be as successful as Yang Hyun-suk (CEO of YG Entertainment). Lee Sang-min produced many great groups, such as Country Kko Kko, Chakra, and S#arp.
Unfortunately, his success didn’t last long. The scandals came one by one and hit him like a truck. The following are summary of Lee Sang-min’s remarkable scandals, let’s check it out!
Being Accused As A Plagiarist
Late in 1995, Lee Sang-min’s mix group Roo’ra released their third album, Reincarnation of The Legend, with the title song, A Love in Heaven. As with their previous albums and songs, this album also becomes the new sensation in South Korea, but in a different way. Some people found it used the same melody as the Japanese group Ninja’s debut song, Omatsuri, which was released in 1990.
This scandal was a top headline at the time because the relationship between the Japanese and Koreans wasn’t very good back then. Therefore, plagiarism from Japanese music was a ‘double kill’ for them. The controversy became a national issue, and almost forced Roo’ra to disband.
After this scandal, Roo’ra tried to getting back up and once again gained success until their ninth, last album A9ain in 2009.
Controversial Marriage With Lee Hye-young
Lee Sang-min met Lee Hye-young, a South Korean actress and singer, in the US, in 1996, and they dated for seven years. They were married on June 19, 2004. Despite being together for long before they wed, the couple divorced on August 8, 2005, after just one year of marriage, because of personality differences. This was also headline news since they both were famous celebrities.
Well, the divorce process didn’t go well. In August 2006, Lee Sang-min had his first financial issues, when his ex-wife sued him for fraud, for about 2.2 million KRW. In the suit, Lee Hye-young claimed that Lee Sang-min bought cars under her name, a Volvo worth 80 million KRW, and a BMW worth 100 KRW, for which he didn’t repay the installment debt. This made Lee Hye-young’s broadcasting payments and bank accounts get seized for the money. But finally, on November 28, 2006, Lee Hye-young dropped the charges.