Rain is back in Asia.
The 27-year-old singer and actor held a global fan meeting for the first time in a year, greeting fans from all over Asia, who returned his smiles with cheers and tears.
“Hello, everyone. It’s been a while and it’s great to see you all,” Rain shouted at the Grand Peace Palace at Kyunghee University, Sunday. Now a designer with his own clothing line, Six to Five, the singer was dressed in a simple black suit, a white shirt and white sneakers. He opened the event by singing “Fresh Woman.”
The venue was packed with some 3,000 fans from Korea, Hong Kong, the Philippines and Japan, and most looked thrilled to see their favorite singer up close.
One Japanese fan donned a pink-and-black floral kimono to show the singer the support of her home country, while a fan from Hong Kong brought an array of glow sticks and other items.
“Rain’s a great singer and actor. He’s totally different because he is successful at almost everything. He can sing, dance and act,” Ventura Crispen Jr., 30, from the Philippines, told The Korea Times.
For some fans, Rain is more than just a singer, but a way of introducing Korea to the world.
“He’s a Korean superstar and he’s the perfect way to show some of Korea to my friends. We adore him!” said 14-year-old Samantha Skinner, from Austin, Texas.
Sunday was actually Rain’s 27th birthday, and his fans had packed part of the stage with presents before his arrival, ranging from small accessories, flowers, and cakes to artworks.
The meeting was hosted by television personality Kim Jae-dong, with various events prepared by Rain’s fan club, Cloud.
Anticipating a large number of fans from other Asian countries, Rain’s agency provided English subtitles on two big screens adjacent to the stage while he and Kim chatted. The subtitles were helpful, but following everything the star was saying was sometimes difficult.
When fans asked him to rate his own looks, Rain smiled and said that he was satisfied.
“When I first went out for auditions, agencies told me to go under the knife, while others told me I was too tall to become a dance singer. When I first started out, most of the great dancers were relatively short. But now, boy, am I glad I didn’t do plastic surgery,” he said laughing.
The singer has spent the past seven years wisely, appearing in television dramas, filming movies that led him to the Berlin International Film Festival, appearing in the American show “The Colbert Report” and, finally, launching his own clothing line.
So why does the singer keep himself so busy?
“I strongly believe that if you are afraid of failure, you will never taste success. As much as I go through failure, I think it’s just one step closer to my dream. It was like when I walked into Warner Brothers and watched the final version of Ninja Assassin for the first time. I went through hard times but I finally made it. I couldn’t believe I was there with my fellow actors and the staff, watching the film,” he said.
The moment of truth will be when his Hollywood debut film hits theaters in November.
“To be frank, I didn’t want to be modest in this film. I trained hard enough to consider entering a K-1 match. The movie is not just about fighting ― it has a story too, and that is why I enjoyed working on it. The movie will be the final test,” said Rain.
Besides the movie, fans have another reason to be excited, as the singer announced plans for an Asian tour.
“In the past, my concerts were strategically designed with various sets and props, but this time I wanted to communicate with my fans. The set will look like an amusement park and there will be a part of the show when everyone will have to dance like they’re at a club,” he said.
For celebrities who depend on their popularity among fans, negative rumors and the tabloids can be a pitfall. But for Rain, they were just a means to get better.
“There are times when I really feel lonely and don’t have the will to do anything. Whenever that happens, I look up negative articles about me. They give me a boost and I am up and ready for the day,” Rain said.
Perhaps it was because he was with his fans, or maybe because it was his birthday, but the singer looked exceptionally confident and poised, joking and even answering some questions in English and Japanese.
“I’m Rain and you guys are my cloud. We should stick together, right?” he said, bidding farewell to the waving crowd after singing “Rainism” and “My Girl.” (Korea Times)