Veteran South Korean Actor Namkoong Won Passes Away at 90P1Harmony Releases Debut Studio Album “Killin’ It”

SEOUL—Namkoong Won, a celebrated actor known for his pivotal role in the South Korean film industry during the 1960s and 1970s, died on Monday at a hospital, his family confirmed. He was 90 years old. Namkoong, who had been undergoing treatment for lung cancer for an extended period at Asan Medical Center in Seoul, leaves behind a legacy marked by his significant contributions to the cinematic arts.

According to Yonhap News Agency, Namkoong Won's illustrious career began with his debut in "When the Night Comes Again" (1959). He rose to prominence with standout roles in "The Red Scarf" (1964) and "Woman of Fire" (1971), ultimately appearing in a total of 345 films. His final appearance was in "L'amour" (1999). Often referred to as the "Gregory Peck of Korea" due to his western and handsome appearance, Namkoong was a leading figure among the era's most popular actors, a group that included Shin Seong-il, Shin Young-kyun, and Choi Moo-ryong.

During his career, Namkoong Won was recognized with several major film awards, securing accolades such as the best supporting actor at the Buil Film Awards, the popular star award at the Blue Dragon Awards, and best actor at the Daejong Film Awards. In 2016, in acknowledgment of his extensive contribution to the development of South Korea's pop culture, he was awarded the Eungwan Order of Cultural Merit, the nation's second-highest class of cultural decoration.

Namkoong Won, whose original Korean name is Hong Gyeong-il, is survived by his wife, son, and two daughters. He is also the father of Hong Jung-wook, a former lawmaker and the founder and chairman of the plant-based food producer Organica. His passing marks the end of an era for the South Korean entertainment industry, leaving behind a rich tapestry of cinematic history that will continue to inspire future generations.

SEOUL—P1Harmony, the K-pop boy group, released its first studio album, "Killin' It," on Monday, marking a significant milestone three years after the group's debut in October 2020. During a press showcase in Seoul, member Keeho expressed his excitement about the album's release, noting the anticipation and preparation that went into crafting their inaugural full-length project. The group aimed to highlight their strengths and solidify their unique identity through the album's tracks.

According to Yonhap News Agency, P1Harmony has been known for their dynamic storytelling, exploring themes of discord and unity, often blending elements of the metaverse with real-world experiences. "Killin' It" seeks to build on this narrative, presenting the group as unsung heroes within their crafted universe. Fellow member Jongseob took on the role of lyricist for all 10 tracks, emphasizing the album's overarching theme of heroism and incorporating specific keywords to enrich each song.

The title track, "Killin' It," is described by Jongseob as a showcase of confidence and a playful side of P1Harmony, featuring a minimalistic arrangement, catchy synth sounds, and a nod to '90s hip-hop through its 808 bass and smooth rap flows. Jongseob also highlighted his approach to the album's b-sides, aiming to demonstrate the group's versatility across various musical styles.

P1Harmony's previous release, their sixth EP "Harmony: All in," marked a pivotal moment for the group, achieving notable sales in Korea and making an appearance on the Billboard 200 chart in the United States. Reflecting on this success, member Intak shared his sense of astonishment and renewed determination to reach even greater heights.

When discussing the group's strengths, Jiung pointed to their stage performances, an area where all six members have shown a deep commitment even before their debut. Their global tour, which spanned 39 cities, was a learning experience that further honed their performance skills.

Describing their identity, the members of P1Harmony see themselves as "heroes on stage," a concept they wish to emphasize through "Killin' It." They aim to prove their limitless potential in music and reinforce their heroic persona in the entertainment world.

"Killin' It" was made available digitally at 6 p.m. on the day of its release, with physical editions scheduled for release on Wednesday in South Korea and Friday in the U.S.

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