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Trainees live together in a regulated environment and spend many hours a day learning music, dance, foreign languages and other skills in preparation for their debut.This "robotic" system of training is often criticized by Western media outlets.
Similarly, increasing numbers of K-pop bands use English names rather than Korean ones.
For example, the song "Oh My Darling, Clementine" became known as "Simcheongga." During the Japanese rule (1910–1945) the popularity of changga songs rose as Koreans expressed their feelings against Japanese oppression through music.
One of the most popular songs was "Huimangga" (희망가, The Song of Hope).
The first talent contest for rock bands in Seoul was organized in 1968. Some Korean singers gained international popularity. The Kim Sisters, Yoon Bok-hee and Patti Kim were the first singers to debut in such countries as Vietnam and United States.
The Kim Sisters became the first Korean group to release an album in the United States, performing in Las Vegas and appearing several times on Ed Sullivan's TV show.