During its April 1 broadcast, JTBC’s “Sugar Man 2” honored late singers whose music still lives on today.
The program invites older artists who have since disappeared from the public’s eye to come share what they have been up to, as well as currently active singers to reimagine these artists’ songs and put on performances with a 2018 twist. At the very end, the audience votes for their favorite performance. MONSTA X and B1A4 were the two groups to appear on this week’s episode, which took a look at two singers who tragically passed away.
The first artist to be featured was the late Kim Sung Jae. He debuted in 1990 as a member of the influential Korean hip-hop duo Deux. His singing career, through Deux and as a solo artist, was marked with several legendary hits that are still covered by artists today. The singer passed away in 1995 at the age of 23 [by Western reckoning]. The exact circumstances surrounding his death are still unknown to this day.
Kim Sung Jae’s younger brother Kim Sung Wook appeared in his place on “Sugar Man 2,” along with Diva’s Jiny and actress Lee Bon. Jiny had been Kim Sung Jae’s backup dancer in the past, while Lee Bon was a childhood friend of his from middle school.
As a tribute to the singer, MONSTA X prepared a cover dance medley of Deux’s hits in addition to their main performance later on.
The other artist to be featured was the late Choi Jin Young, who was active as a singer under the stage name SKY. He originally debuted as an actor, and had a short but memorable singing career from 1999 to 2004. Arguably his most famous song, his debut title track “Forever” was a rock ballad that he spent 1,200 hours recording for a whole year in order to perfect it. He died by suicide in 2010.
His best friend Jo Jang Hyuk, the composer of “Forever” Go Sung Jin, and singer Kang Hyun Su (also known as V.one) appeared on the show in place of their friend.
In honor of Choi Jin Young, B1A4’s Sandeul and CNU also prepared a medley of the late singer’s songs aside from their main performance.
For their main performances which were to be voted on by the audience, MONSTA X and B1A4 went all out as they put a 2018 spin on two classic hits. MONSTA X prepared a powerful rendition of Kim Sung Jae’s “As I Told You” and B1A4 showcased their vocals in a reimagined version of Choi Jin Young’s “Forever.”
In the end, B1A4 took home the win with many of those in their teens voting for them.