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Immigrants Of The Day: Rihanna of Barbados, and Sun-Min Kim of South Korea

by Kevin R. Johnson

Rihanna (Barbados)

220px-Rihanna-brisbane Robyn Rihanna Fenty (born February 20, 1988), better known as Rihanna, is a singer and model. Born in Saint Michael, Barbados, Rihanna moved to the United States at the age of sixteen to pursue a recording career. She subsequently signed a contract with Def Jam Recordings  In 2005, Rihanna released her debut studio album, Music of the Sun, which peaked within the top ten of the Billboard 200 and features the Billboard Hot 100 hit single "Pon de Replay". Less than a year later, she released her second studio album, A Girl Like Me, peaking within the top five of the Billboard albums chart and produced her first number one single, "SOS". Rihanna's third studio album, Good Girl Gone Bad (2007), peaking at number two on the Billboard 200, released three number one hit singlesó"Umbrella", "Take a Bow", and "Disturbia". The album was nominated for nine Grammy Awards, winning Best Rap/Sung Collaboration for "Umbrella."

Rihanna had sold over eleven million albums worldwide and has received the 2007 World Music Awards for World's Best-Selling Pop Female Artist and Female Entertainer of the Year, as well as the 2008 American Music Awards for Favorite Soul/R&B Female Artist and Favorite Pop/Rock Female Artist. She also serves as the cultural ambassador for Barbados.

May 5, 2009 | Permalink

Sun-Min Kim (South Korea)

180px-Icebats  200px-Uglydoll_Booth_at_Comic_Con_2008_by_Gage_Skidmore The latest American craze a la the "pet rock" of a few years ago?  Uglydolls are a collection of designer toys created by David Horvath and Sun-Min Kim. First released in 2002, Uglydolls in 2006 were awarded the Specialty Toy of the Year award by the Toy Industry of America.  It is hard to describe the dolls except to say that they do not embrace the traditional beauty of a "Barbie" and are popular among young boys.

David Horvath and Sun-Min Kim, our Immigrant of the Day,created the dolls when they were dating.   They met as art students, but when her visa expired in 2001, she had to move back to South Korea. According to the N.Y. Times, "Lonely and upset because toy companies were snubbing his ideas, Mr. Horvath drew one of his characters on the bottom of his love letters: Wage, a little orange everyman in an apron who works in a supermarket. As a Christmas present, Ms. Kim sewed him one."  And Uglydolls were born!

Hat tip to Tiernan!!!

May 4, 2009 | Permalink

About The Author

Kevin R. Johnson is currently Dean, Professor of Law and Chicana/o Studies, and the Mabie-Apallas Public Interest Law Chair holder at the University of California at Davis. He is also one of the editors of ImmigrationProf Blog.

The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of ILW.COM.

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