Kim Jong-un double disqualified from Golden Melody music awards over a USB mistake

A week after his detention in Singapore, Hongkonger Howard X has missed out on the best producer award for the album Brazilian Essence Deluxe Edition after forgetting to send a USB stick of additional materials to the judges

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 20 June, 2018, 6:01pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 20 June, 2018, 6:00pm

Just more than a week after being detained in Singapore during the historic meeting between the US and North Korea, it has been revealed that the world’s most famous Kim Jong-un impersonator is involved in another spat – this time with the awards known as the Grammys of the Chinese-speaking world.

On May 16, the Taiwan-based Golden Melody Awards (GMA) announced that the Hong Kong-based impersonator, who goes by the name Howard X, had been nominated for the 2018 award for best producer for his work on the album Brazilian Essence Deluxe Edition by the group Bossa Negra.

Bossa Negra are a Chinese-Brazilian band including several well-known musicians from Hong Kong and Macau including the duo Solar and vocalist Ginger Kwan, plus Singaporean singer Joanna Dong.

Although the original Brazilian Essence album was released in 2016, a deluxe edition packed with a USB containing additional material was released last year. Only albums released in 2017 are eligible for the 2018 GMAs.

However, Howard X says he forgot to include the USB with the version of Brazilian Essence Deluxe Edition submitted to the GMA judges, and on May 22 was informed by award officials that he was at risk of being disqualified for submitting an album released before 2017.

GMA rules state that albums released before 2017 cannot be considered for the 2018 awards unless they contain remixed or rearranged tracks, or contain live versions not included on the original release.

Hong Kong-born Kim Jong-un impersonator detained in Singapore

“Although I forgot to insert the USB of bonus material, it should not have affected the way the judges voted. This is because the bonus material is similar to the bonus material found on a movie DVD, such as extra scenes and a ‘making of’ documentary. The USB includes material such as live versions and remixes of songs not include on the 2016 version, so the bonus material on the USB should qualify it for entry.”

Howard X said he supplied the USB to the GMA officials as requested, but was told on June 5 that he had been disqualified.

“It seems they just wanted to kick me out and were looking for an excuse,” he told the South China Morning Post.

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Howard X said he financed the project at a cost of more than US$120,000 and the album was recorded over seven years in Brazil, Australia, Argentina, China, Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan. He was assisted by Grammy-winning producer Sergio Luiz Brandao, who has worked with Brazilian bossa nova musician Sergio Mendes and American singer-songwriter John Legend.

Howard X has regularly made the news since he started impersonating North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. He was ejected from an ice hockey match during the PyeongChang Winter Olympics in February and caused a sensation on the streets of Hong Kong in January last year when he appeared with Donald Trump lookalike Dennis Alan.