Fuck BoA, Utada and Ayumi. In my mind the ultimate Asian diva will always be Mina. No other bitch even comes close to matching the grace, poise and unparalleled trashiness of my Korean angel. Mina's nude photos transcend cultural barriers and her shameless publicity whoring is an inspiration to an entire generation. That's not even mentioning Mina's amazing string of stunning pop flops! Quite simply, this divine being is a beacon of light sent down from the heavens to entertain and guide us. Think of her as a mix of Dannii and Bionda with a twist of Melissa Tkautz for extra flavour. Yes, she really is that fierce! Here are ten irrefutable reasons why you should bow down and worship at the feet of this glorious diva.
1. Mina was discovered at the 2002 World Cup - wearing a Korean flag, a red bandanna and nothing else. Her luminous beauty caught the eye of the media and her photo was beamed around the world. As a result she became an overnight celebrity in Korea and somehow blagged a record deal.
2. Unfortunately, Mina's first single ("Answer The Phone") and debut album flopped miserably. Many dismissed the Korean beauty as a flash in the pan but she had other ideas.
3. Critics had to eat their words when Mina re-emerged in 2004 and actually scored a hit! "Turn Around" became something of an anthem and signalled Mina's move towards an urban pop sound. However, just when things were starting to look up, reports began circulating in the media that Mina didn't actually sing all the vocals on her second album and she left (ie. was dumped by) her record company.
4. The resilient diva bounced back again in 2006 by scoring a new record deal with EMI. She tried to use their international contacts to crack the European market with a pseudo cover of Holly Valance's "Kiss Kiss" but sadly no one was interested. Personally, I love Mina's version and desperately wish I could find a copy.
5. Mina then returned to Korea and released her third album. The lead single "Fly High" is a fabulous slice of electronic disco that Kylie or Madonna would be glad to call their own but, typically, it flopped. I hope Mina returns to this sound because "Fly High" is divine.
6. In the most desperate attempt to generate publicity in recent history, Mina releases a nude calender "to inspire Korea's athletes".
7. Questions are raised in the media about Mina's real age. She originally claimed to be in her 20s but eventually confesses to being 36!
8. Mina makes yet another comeback in late 2007 with her 4th album "Minastacia". Her sound and image (which basically involves wearing as few clothes as possible) are heavily influenced by urban pop and she hires female rapper Ak'sent to sing on the insanely catchy single "Look". The song and video are both brilliant and well worth checking out.
9. Mina doesn't let middle age stop her from posing in a school uniform on the cover of her amazing single "좋아" (above)!
10. The scandals continue in 2008 when Mina appears on the Chinese equivalent of "Dancing With The Stars" and gets 0 from all three judges for disrespecting the show and the audience! It seems her slutastic dance moves were too much for conservative China.
I have no doubt Mina will bounce back better than ever in 2009 - hopefully with a sizzling new album and some kind of porn scandal. She might not have the best voice in the business or the hottest producers but she's got style, attitude and charisma to burn. Mina, I love you!