ENTERTAINMENT

For six decades, diva Lee Mi-ja sings with heart

By Im Eun-byel

Lee releases new album to celebrate 60 years since debut, hoping to preserve root of Korean pop music

  • Published : Feb 21, 2019 - 18:05
  • Updated : Feb 21, 2019 - 18:05

Legendary diva and singer Lee Mi-ja released a new album to celebrate the 60th anniversary of her debut.

“I want to thank everyone’s parents. Without them, I would not have made it until here,” Lee said at a press conference held Thursday at the Westin Chosun Seoul. 

Singer Lee Me-ja speaks during a press event held Thursday at the Westin Chosun Seoul. (Yonhap)

Lee, 79, was full of emotions at the event. Though there was a chair prepared for her, she refused to sit down, saying, “It is not a day to sit down.”

Lee debuted in 1959 at age 19 with a single titled “Pure Nineteen,” and rose to stardom with “Camellia Girl” in 1964. She is a prolific singer who has released more than 560 albums throughout her 60-year career.

The new album, titled “60 Years of Singing, My 60 Songs,” holds 60 songs selected from Lee’s past works. It consists of three CDs.

The first track is “My Love, My Song to You,” the only new song recorded for the album.

“This song delivers my thoughts on life. Though I cannot go back to the past, I would like to be thankful for what I have, always singing for my fans,” Lee explained.

The diva is most attached to the third CD, which is full of cover versions by Lee of legendary South Korean pop songs from the 1930s to the 1970s.

“The root of Korean pop music is disappearing. I selected 20 songs to preserve them by recording,” she said. “I hope that our traditional pop songs can be preserved forever for our descendants.”

Lee will be holding concerts at the Sejong Center for Performing Arts from May 8 to 10, celebrating the 60th anniversary of her debut.

By Im Eun-byel (silverstar@heraldcorp.com)