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Entertainment, Food & Beverage

Celebrities in town for inaugural Social Star Awards

Fans to get three nights of acts, enjoy their collaborations
The Straits Times - May 23, 2013
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Celebrities in town for inaugural Social Star Awards

THE stars of the social media world yesterday appeared in the flesh in real-world Singapore. They swept into town for the inaugural Social Star Awards, which its organisers dub the Oscars of the new media.

The stars include America's most successful rock band Aerosmith, South Korean YouTube sensation Psy, Canadian singer Carly Rae Jepsen and American soul- pop singer CeeLo Green.

They promised their fans three nights of exciting performances - starting tonight - and even collaborations between the music and social media stars.

Aerosmith's charismatic frontman Steven Tyler was all charm at a press conference at Marina Bay Sands (MBS). He revealed that his band will work on stage with Japanese beatboxer and YouTube star Hikakin.

Psy announced that he would perform his new single Gentleman live for the first time, while Jepsen - looking demure in a floral print dress - said her music was written to get into her fans' "heads and hearts".

These acts, as well as CeeLo Green and singer/rapper Sky Blu from dance-pop duo LMFAO, are some of the performers at the awards ceremony tonight.

The Social Star Awards - which is backed by the Singapore Tourism Board - has been dubbed the Oscars of the social media world by the organisers Starcount, a Singapore-based firm which tracks the activities of 1.7 billion Internet users on the world's top 11 social media sites.

Starcount joint chief executive Drew Thomson said: "We are about to launch the equivalent for social media, that the Oscars did in 1929 for film."

The awards celebrate the most popular personalities and brands in social media and their biggest fans.

Hollywood stars Jessica Alba and Jeremy Piven will host the show at MBS tonight, which will be streamed live on YouTube from 9pm.

Tomorrow, Psy, Green, Jepsen and Asian girl band Blush will stage a concert at Gardens by the Bay, while on Saturday, Aerosmith will stage a full concert at the same venue.

At the press conference yesterday, four of the members of Aerosmith - who are visiting Singapore for the first time - turned heads with their flamboyant rock gear, which included trousers with loud prints, scarves and cowboy hats.

Tyler, 65, lived up to his reputation as a ladies' man, playfully flirting with the women present. He praised Singapore women as "a great melting pot of a lot of different kinds, delicious".

Being in the band keeps him feeling young, he said. "Music does a thing, that's why it's so popular. People love to dance to it, sing to it. I've married it and I live it and I breathe and it offers me that."

The father of Hollywood actress Liv Tyler added: "Women do something to me too."

In contrast, Psy, 35, whose video for Gangnam Style became the most watched video on YouTube, projected himself as a family man.

He revealed that he became "popular" with his five-year-old twin daughters only recently, when they saw him perform a flying stunt at a concert to launch his new single Gentleman in South Korea last month.

He said in American-accented English: "After that concert was done, I finally beat my wife. My twin daughters really love me more than my wife now."

Psy, who won the Top Streaming Song accolade given out at the Billboard Music Awards in Las Vegas on Monday, said one of the biggest moments of his career was meeting Hong Kong actor Jackie Chan.

The actor told Psy that he was inheriting his role as an Asian artist "doing something in Western culture".

He does not feel the pressure of having to repeat the success of Gangnam Style, though. "I cannot beat that song. That song was a miracle, and miracles never happen twice... I've got to move on. I cannot live with Gangnam Style forever."

dinohadi@sph.com.sg

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