Top 10 Most Influential Asians of 2008


Written by on October 3, 2008 | View Comments
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Who are ten of the most influential Asian people globally? Amped Asia brings your our list.
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How did we rank them?
We considered many factors to judge whether a certain person belonged on our list. We looked at personality, visibility, wealth, their ability to influence others, and their activities in 2008 to decide who would make our list. So let's start with number 10.


10) Tila Tequila
Tila Tequila (real name Tila Nguyen) is a Vietnamese model, singer, and aspiring actress who's claim to fame is that she has a lot of friends (on Myspace). Originally a playboy model, Tequila has also graced the pages of Maxim, Stuff, Time, and Penthouse. In 2007 she created her reality TV show, A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila, which renewed for a second season in 2008.

Why she made our list?
The story of Tila Tequila is the story of a young woman burdened by many troubles who ambitiously aspired to become one of the most renowned figures in the world. Although she may be more infamous than famous, it is clear that her name is wide-spread and that she has thousands of fans across the world. The fact is that she has a lot of influence, especially on the young teenage girl population. Her badass, tomboy attitude may be one of the top reasons she has gained such fame. She can only get more popular at this point since she is set to be featured on yet another reality TV show that features her life.


9) Jet Li
Jet Li is one of the rising action stars in the Hollywood universe. As a young man, Li won several kung fu competitions and began his film career at the age of 17 with Shaolin Temple. He is one of the few action stars in Hollywood that has proven that he can really fight. In 2008, Li was seen in two major Hollywood productions, The Mummy 3 and Forbidden Kingdom.

Why he made our list?
Jet Li has turned the tables on Hollywood action films. His films are typical of the Hollywood blockbuster: guns, car chases, and explosions, yet he also adds in the traditional Chinese martial arts to every movie he's in. The end result is pure entertainment that is unparalleled in the Hollywood action scene. More recently, Li has shown that he is not just an action star, but he is a good dramatic film actor as well. His ability to entertain audiences, to innovate American's lackluster action movie genre, and his high visibility in 2008 is the reason he made our list.


8) Lee Soo Man
Lee Soo Man is one of the wealthiest entrepreneurs in South Korea. He founded SM Entertainment in 1995, and his company since then shot to the top of the Korean entertainment industry. SM Entertainment is the talent agency behind BoA, HOT, TVXQ, SES, and Shinhwa. SM Entertainment entertainers are also widely popular in Japan (which has a more active entertainment industry) and are beginning to rise to popularity in other Asian countries.

Why he made our list?
Lee Soo Man is one of the most innovative businessmen in the industry. His strategy to market his Korean singers and bands in other markets has proven to be very successful. With auditions held every year in the United States, his goal to create international stars has succeeded well. His activities have helped to popularize Asians in the media of many nations, which makes him one of the forerunners in the area of Asian interests.


7) Se7en
Se7en is one of the most popular Korean entertainers to date. With a combination of a great singing voice, natural charm, good looks, and amazing dance skills, Se7en has become a beloved household name in South Korea. In 2008 he has begun to coordinate with many top American entertainers such as Three 6 Mafia, Fabolous, and Amerie.

Why he made our list?
Ok this one was put here as a joke. We ranked seven as number seven because, well, you probably understand. However, 2008 was a great year for Se7en, since he has started to be actively promoted in the United States. Although his album has not been released yet, his US debut may finally close the gap between the Asian and Western music markets. He has actively been pursuing the US market and his success may be a great boost to Asian popularity and the Asian visibility in the Western markets.


6) Rain
Rain is one of the top stars of the Korean entertainment industry. He is known for his great dance moves and his smooth singing voice. Having been originally signed to Park Jin Young's JYP label, Rain later created his own company J. Tune Entertainment. In 2004, after exploding on the K-pop scene, Rain was signed to play a role in a drama series entitled Full House, which illustrated his great acting talent as well. Since then, he has had some minor roles in Hollywood films such as Speed Racer and Ninja Assassin.

Why he made our list?
Rain has quickly reached high levels of popularity despite only being in the entertainment industry for a few short years. He had a hard time getting signed to an agency in his early days but once Park Jin Young saw his potential, Rain became a money-generating machine. His drama debut in Full House further cemented his popularity amongst the South Korean crowd, and his role (along with Song Hye Kyo) in that drama may be one of the top reasons South Korean dramas are so popular in other parts of Asia and the United States. He has also been named on Time's "100 Most Influential People Who Shape Our World " and People's list of "Most Beautiful People" in 2007.

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