Pop Singer Patti Kim Marks 50th Anniversary

By Chung Ah-young
Staff Reporter

Veteran singer Patti Kim will hold concerts both at home and abroad to celebrate the 50th anniversary of her debut.

Born Kim Hye-ja in 1938, she took the name Patti after American singer Patti Page and started singing pop songs in 1958 on local U.S. bases.

The 70-year-old singer will tour the country ― visiting 50 cities, perform in Pyongyang in North Korea and in other countries.

She strongly expressed hope to hold a concert in Pyongyang ― dates for which have not yet been finalized ― and sing one of her hit songs “Who Knows This Man,” which has been frequently used in the reunions of separated families of the two Koreas. Kim’s parents were born in North Korea.

“I want to hold a solo concert in Pyongyang as Cho Yong-pil did,” she said in a press conference in Chosun Hotel, Seoul, Monday.

Kim will kick off her tour in Mokpo, South Jeolla Province, April 26; then visit Seoul, April 30-May 2; Suwon, Gyeonggi Province, May 10; Daejeon, May 17; Goyang, Gyeonggi Province, May 30-31; Busan, June 7-8; Yeosu, South Jeolla Province, June 14; Jeonju, North Jeolla Province, June 21; Jeju Island, Sept. 20; and Seongnam, Gyeonggi Province, Nov. 22-23.

She will also tour the United States, Britain, Japan, Canada and Australia throughout next year after holding a concert in Pyongyang.

Kim will also release an anniversary album consisting of new songs and remakes.

The concerts will feature renowned singers Lee Mun-se, Lee Seung-chul, Shin Seung-hoon, popera singer Im Tae-kyung and traditional singer Oh Jung-hae.

In 1960 she appeared on Japan’s NHK-TV, making her the first Korean singer to be formally invited to perform in Japan since Korea was liberated from colonial rule in 1945. A year later, she embarked on a year-long tour of northeast Asia, which took her to Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, the Philippines, Thailand and Singapore.

In 1963, she became the first performing artist from Korea to sing in Las Vegas. Her concert there was followed by eight appearances on “The Tonight Show” starring Johnny Carson.

She was also the first pop singer to take the stage of the prestigious Sejong Center for the Performing Arts, a venue that had long been reserved for the classics. The same year, 1989, she also gave a solo concert at New York City’s Carnegie Hall.