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Media & Entertainment

Japanese producer SKY-HI goes off script to launch BE:FIRST

Audience inclusion drives idol show popularity in 'process economy'

More than 230 aspiring stars took part in "The First" audition show that launched the boy band BE:FIRST.

TOKYO -- Japanese boy band BE:FIRST celebrated a major milestone only a few weeks after its November debut: their single, "Gifted.," topped Billboard's Hot Trending Songs over tracks by BTS and other globally successful artists.

The achievement meant that for 24 hours, "Gifted." was the most-discussed song on Twitter worldwide.

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