When I heard Juniel (real name Choi Jun Hee) winning one of the rookie award at the 27th Golden Disk Awards held at Sepang International Circuit near KLIA, I couldn't be more happy.
Juniel has been nominated for various newcomer award in 2012 but never won them. She was nominated in Mnet Asian Music Awards (MAMA) and MelOn Music Awards last year, but the titles actually went to another female solo artist Ailee. Don't get me wrong, I'm not bashing Ailee. However, since those rookie prizes aren't meant to be shared, there is only one winner.
When asked about winning rookie awards, she answered that winning awards is not the sole purpose of her singing career. I am impressed with her humility but deep in my heart, I know that she deserve some form of recognition for all the effort she put in since debut. I was immediately drawn to her debut single "Illa Illa", showcasing her strong vocal performance.
Upon reading tweets announcing her win, I immediately remarked that the win was well deserved and spot on. Fans like to call her the "second IU" for her similarity to IU (real name Lee Ji Eun).
IU, despite comparable vocal performance, was not in luck to be recognised with rookie awards.
Congratulations, Juniel has been recognised as one of the best rookies in the Korean equivalent of Grammy Awards! Others who was bestowed the title were Ailee, B.A.P., EXO-K and Lee Hi.