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94-year-old Song Hae seeks Guinness World Record as oldest music show host

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Veteran entertainer and music show host Song Hae / Courtesy of KBS
Veteran entertainer and music show host Song Hae / Courtesy of KBS

By Park Han-sol

Veteran entertainer Song Hae, whose signature voice and gestures as emcee of the "National Singing Contest" have made him an icon of Korean television, is now seeking the Guinness World Record for being the world's oldest TV music talent show host, public broadcaster KBS announced, Tuesday.

For as long as anyone alive in the country can remember, the 94-year-old's name has been synonymous with the broadcaster's national singing competition. The show, which airs every Sunday, has been hosted by Song for 34 years since 1988.

The application to set the world record is in an effort to gain official, global recognition of the achievements realized by the oldest emcee for the longest-running music program in the country, KBS stated, adding that it is currently in the process of gathering relevant data to meet Guinness' guidelines.

"If Song becomes a Guinness World Record holder, it will be recognized as an accomplishment that promotes the potential of Korean entertainment programs to broadcasters worldwide," it continued.

Born in 1927 in South Hwanghae Province in present-day North Korea, Song was separated from his family during the 1950-53 Korean War as he fled to the South. At the age of 25, he joined the Changgong musical troupe, where he learned how to sing, act and emcee.

He worked as a comedian, actor and radio DJ throughout his career, but of course, it was the "National Singing Contest" which he joined as a host at the age of 60 that marked a watershed moment in his life.

On Jan. 31, KBS is scheduled to air "Thank you, everyone. Song Hae," a special trot musical that recounts the nine decades of the entertainer's life, in celebration of the Lunar New Year.


Park Han-sol hansolp@koreatimes.co.kr


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