Pop stars hope inaugural MTV Asia awards will raise awareness of Asian music

Sunday, February 3rd 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

SINGAPORE (AP) _ Asian boy bands, American teen pop stars, circus performers, glitz and glamor marked the inaugural MTV Asia awards Saturday. Many artists expressed hope the hype would raise the profile of Asian music.

Fans roared and danced as international acts like Westlife, Pink, P.O.D. and one of Japan's hottest ``J-pop stars'' _ Ayumi Hamasaki _ performed to the packed crowd at Singapore's Indoor Stadium.

``It's about time that the world knows more about Asian artists,'' Indonesian, Paris-based pop diva Anggun said on the sidelines of the show. ``When I was living in Jakarta I didn't know much about what was going on in the Philippines or Singapore or anywhere else.''

The awards were broken down into the favorite acts from each Asian country and six awards to international artists. Some of the international awards showed that young people's musical tastes are universal _ Britney Spears and Ricky Martin clinched the favorite female and male artist awards.

About 7,000 fans watched the show live, which kicked off with a sexy string quartet from London-based band Bond. The event was also broadcast to 130 million homes across Asia.

Kamol Sukosol Clapp, whose boy band Pru received best artist honors for Thailand, said ``for the first time in my life I felt like a rock star.'' Unlike other Asian bands at the show, Pru dressed in their nation's traditional clothing.

Kamol urged Asian musicians to stick to their own styles.

``The problem is Asian artists try to emulate Western artists,'' he said. ``If you want to try to go international, you have to have something that the Westerners don't have.''