S. Korea boyband member to begin solo Asia tour

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Kim Junsu, a member of popular South Korean boyband JYJ, on Wednesday announced plans for his first solo tour, a day after releasing his first solo album.

Kim, also known as Xia, said he would perform in seven Asian cities including Bangkok, Taipei, Jakarta and Shanghai from May to July, starting with a concert in Seoul later this week.

The 25-year-old has been a member of two groups at the forefront of the K-pop boom which has taken Asia by storm over the past decade and spread as far as Europe and Latin America.

His first major band, TVXQ, has sold more than eight million records at home and abroad since 2003.

Amid legal disputes with its agency, he and two of his fellow performers broke away in 2009 to form JYJ. They held 15 concerts in nations such as China, Spain, Germany, Chile and Peru over 11 months to March, drawing some 210,000 fans in all.

K-pop has devoted fan bases in some overseas regions, even though most Korean boybands have not officially released songs in Latin America or Europe.

More than 20,000 tickets for Kim's Seoul, Bangkok and Jakarta concerts were sold out minutes after they went on sale online, his agency said.

"Such enthusiastic response from our foreign fans... who get to know our music on the Internet like YouTube... really stunned us," Kim told reporters.

"Now I'm learning real hard how to speak basic phrases in countries where I'll perform."

Kim's new album, a mix of electronic dance and R&B ballads mostly written by him, is called "Tarantallegra" after the Dancing Feet Spell featured in the Harry Potter books and films.

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