Ailee’s teary speech at the 2013 Melon Music Awards

This time last year, Ailee was on top of the world. She had just made her foray into the Korean music scene and became a runaway success. She won so many Rookie of the Year awards. Everybody loved her.

But success comes with a heavy price. Singers like Ailee make as many haters as they do fans. As the saying goes, it is the people whom you care (or used to care) about that can hurt you the most.

Ailee’s success did not sit too well with her former boyfriend to the point that he wanted to see her fall. He released a number of nude photos of Ailee taken when she was a young, impressionable teen which were then picked up by a popular yet unscrupulous Korean entertainment website. The pictures went viral and threatened to ruin Ailee’s career forever.

It worried me that that the Korean society would not be so understanding and kind to Ailee, even though the incriminating pictures were something she did in the past. I’m glad this video proved me wrong.

The video shows the crowd cheering for her as she went on stage to accept her award. Of course that moved her to tears. Last year, the bubbly girl shed tears of happiness as she received her award and shared the stage with BAP. This year, she shed tears of regret, as if something had been taken away from her.

Fans noticed that Ailee hardly smiled and had sad eyes. Her ex-boyfriend robbed her of her spirit and I hate him for that.

I hope Ailee will be able to find her strength and her smile again. She’s a fighter this girl. The fact that she even showed up at the awards show — and performed the way she did — this year just days after her pictures went viral shows that she will bounce back stronger than ever.

I consider Ailee a good role model to young people. After all, she is the Korean girl from New Jersey who used to sing in her bedroom and post videos of it on the YouTube one minute and became a Kpop sensation the next. I hope, when she is ready, she will speak to her young followers, especially girls, about the importance of not being pressured to do things to feel accepted, pretty etc.

If it can happen to a seemingly strong and grounded girl like Ailee, it can happen to anyone.

I wish you all the best Ailee! Hwaiting!!

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