Musician Sells Korean Music Awards Trophy For Rent Money

The starving artist is a familiar stereotype. And for one winning musician Tuesday night at the Korean Music Awards, survival proved more vital than all else.

Lee Lang, a folk indie singer, was announced as the recipient of the Best Folk Song Award for her track “Playing God.” What did Lang do upon receiving the trophy? Auction it off to the highest bidder right there on stage.

She told the audience that her total income in January was just less than $400, and that in February, (and thankfully, she noted), it was about $850. Her rent, she said, is about $450.

“I would have been very grateful if a cash prize came with this award, but it doesn’t, so I think I will need to sell [this trophy],” Lang said, to a shocked audience. Showing off her trophy, she pointed out that the trophy would make for a “great interior piece,” with a cubic and metallic design.

“I’m not sure how much it cost to make this trophy, but I need to make rent, so let’s begin the bidding at $450,” Lang continued. “Anyone?”

A man in the audience raised his hand, to buy in cash.

“This is a historical moment,” the MC said, to audience laughter and cheering, as the man met Lang on stage. “A Korean Music Awards trophy is being exchanged for cash.” 

The Korean Music Awards, established in 2004, is one of South Korea’s most prominent music industry celebrations.

Lang has two full-length albums to her name, with the latest having been released in August last year. 

“Thank you,” Lang said, holding up her cash. “I have earned both prestige and money today.”

Watch Lang’s “Playing God” below: