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ABU – GA Billy Acoustie awarded the Grand Prix in the inaugural ABU Radio Song Festival

A boy band from Korea has won the inaugural ABU Radio Song Festival in their home city of Seoul.

In front of a live audience of 1500 in KBS Hall, Joon Seop Hong and Sang Keun Lee took out the Grand Prix with their song “For a Rest”, a self-penned composition the duo said was inspired by their everyday lives.

Australian Danielle Blakey won the gold award, Maria Aires from Brunei took silver and Sammy Ray Jones, another Australian, won bronze. Malaysian “crunk” trio K-Town Clan won a special award for their hip-hop style song “Party Animal”.  The winners were sponsored respectively by Korean Broadcasting System, Commercial Radio Australia, Radio Televisyen Brunei, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and the AMP Radio Network of Malaysia.

The Song Festival’s Project Manager Mark Hemetsberger called the gala grand final “an unbelievable” event.

“The colour, diversity, showmanship and collaboration between artists has been truly amazing,” he said. “This has the makings of a great Asian and Pacific cultural music event.”

The ABU Radio Song Festival was launched as an international musical showcase for previously unrecorded young and new artists selected by members of the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union.

It attracted a total of 26 original songs from 18 radio broadcasters in 15 countries. After preliminary judging, 13 songs from 12 broadcasters in 10 countries were selected and the artists were invited to perform at the gala evening in Seoul, during the ABU’s 49th General Assembly.

There they were judged on originality, song composition, performance and an “X factor” by judges Ms In Sook Lee from KBS Radio, Ms Vijay Sadhu of the ABU, record producer and songwriter Mr Il Sang Yoon, Singaporean music impresario Mr Billy Koh and singer-songwriter Mr Gwang Jin Kim.

ABU Secretary General Dr Javad Mottaghi said the performances were recorded and offered to ABU members and other broadcasters around the globe for re-transmission, exposing the young artists to a potential worldwide audience of hundreds of millions of people.

“It has been a marvellous first year for the festival,” he said. “We can only expect to see it grow and grow in the years ahead.

“The ABU and our partners congratulate all the contestants for showing what a wealth of young talent there is in the Asia-Pacific region.”

ABC Australia will host the next ABU Radio Song Festival, in 2014.