The mystery of Lee Jung Hyun’s “pinky mic”

Posted bykbrecordzzFebruary 20, 2021Posted in2000s, k-pop, korea, lee-jung-hyun,

It’s time to talk about Lee Jung Hyun’s “pinky mic“. A great mic. But has she ever used it? It’s obviously a stage prop, but in the small extent it is spoken about on the internet, it’s spoken about like it’s a real mic. So, is it real? Is it fake? Is it partly realfake? It really doesn’t matter, because what makes Lee Jung Hyun awesome is that her whole being is a stage prop. But I still want to investigate this.

The pinky mic

She uses the pinky mic in performances of “Wa” / “와” (“Come on” in English), a song released on her debut album from 1999. It’s seen in the song’s music video, where everything is pre-recorded and lipsynced, so obviously no real pinky mic here. The pinky mic was actually seen even earlier than this on LJH’s first live show on October 2nd, 1999, which was lipsynced too so no real pinky here either (UPDATE: this video seems to have been blocked by a record label, so that’s why it may not show below. If you find it please tell me!)

first live performance in 1999

Other live performances from 1999, all lipsynced = no real pinky mic:

1999
1999
1999
1999
1999

Live performances from 2000, also lipsynced = no real pinky mic:

2000
2000

2000, sung live with normal mic, no pinky in sight:

2000

2002, sung live with normal mic, no pinky in sight:

2002

2003, she does the pinky mic thing, but seems to have a handsfree microphone, and also some amount of singback. I’m not really sure about this one:

2003

2004, pinky mic but singing goes into headset:

2004

2005, singing into “normal” microphone:

2005

2008, singing into “normal” microphone:

2008

2009, does the pinky movement but sings into headset:

2009

2011 (I think), does the pinky movement but sings into headset:

2011?

2015. She has a device on her pinky finger, that I think is a microphone! Look closely at the linked time. It’s there! This was the last clip I looked at, and I’d already come to the conclusion that the pinky mic was fake, even before looking through all the clips. But I was proved wrong. This seems to be the real pinky mic:

2015

2020, remake of the original music video in form of a commercial for some sort of…thing. Probably pre-recorded and lipsynced (because it’s a music video), so no real pinky mic here:

2020

So: 2015 is the only time I’ve seen her use a real pinky mic. In all of her performances from the song’s primetime between 1999 and 2000 it was only a stage prop. How come they suddenly made a real pinky mic in 2015? Was it an effort to make this comeback (I assume it was a comeback) as powerful as possible by creating the mythical microphone for real, or has she actually used this real pinky mic before without me noticing? If she’s done it one time, she could have done it more times. Have I just watched the wrong clips?

And, we don’t know how the original song was recorded. Maybe the raw studio take that we never saw was one of the few times she actually used the real pinky mic.

UPDATE april 2022: I got a comment about another example of her using a real pinky mic live, from the early days around when the song was hot: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s6dfAc7I6x8. Maybe there are more examples if you really search for it.

UPDATE august 2022: I found one more, I think: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=57jb1DecaTs