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Vietnamese pop star rings out over SEA Games in Malaysia

By Tan Tan   August 22, 2017 | 04:42 pm GMT+7
Vietnamese pop star rings out over SEA Games in Malaysia
Son Tung M-TP during a music show in Hanoi in July. Photo by VnExpress/Thao Mai

M-TP's 2016 hit has been representing Vietnam at Southeast Asia's biggest sporting event.

The Vietnamese team stepped out to watch their Wushu champion receive her gold medal at the Southeast Asia Games in Kuala Lumpur on Monday, but it wasn't the country's national anthem that greeted them.

It was a catchy love song which by now will be playing in the heads of many people at the region’s biggest sporting event.

“We Don’t Belong Together,” a 2016 hit by Vietnamese pop prince Son Tung M-TP, has been playing at the 29th SEA Games over the past week.

Organizers in Malaysia have chosen several songs from each participating country to play during the event, and M-TP was their choice for Vietnam because of his popularity.

The singer said he’s happy to have his song playing at such an important event.

“Music is similar to sports in the way that it crosses space, time and cultural differences. It connects people,” he said.

The 23-year-old singer released his first single in 2013 and has since become one of the biggest pop stars in Vietnam. His music is a fusion of traditional Vietnamese music, K-Pop and U.S.-U.K. pop, earning him news coverage in South Korea as well as playtime in restaurants in Japan and Thailand.

He is also the first Vietnamese artist to win YouTube’s coveted Gold Play Button for attracting one million subscribers in January.

The video for the track, which features a bleached M-TP trying to assemble a girlfriend out of mannequin parts, was the most-viewed V-pop videos of 2016.

And despite the controversy with allegations that the song was a copycat of Charlie Puth’s “We don’t talk anymore,” the video went on to receive more than 118 million views after one year.

It is just one of M-TP’s many successful songs.

His music video “Lac Troi” (Lost and Floating) set a record in Vietnam by attracting nearly 5 million viewers on the day of its release on January 1, not long before another video “Noi nay co anh” (Here I am) released on Valentine’s Day became one of the world’s top trending videos with more than 18 million views in three days.