Imagine if Justin Timberlake or Usher were plucked from their comfortable lives of celebrity bachelordom and enlisted in the armed forces. South Korean pop star (and actor in American films such as Speed Racer and Ninja Assassin) Rain, a 29-year-old so internationally successful that he was able to sell out consecutive dates at Madison Square Garden and even made an online Time list of the 100 most influential people in the world back in 2006, has begun his mandatory two-year term of service in the South Korean military, much to the heartbreak of his millions of fans. "Thank you for the 10 years of love," Rain told said fans in a tearful final message before giving a military salute and disappearing into in army base in Uijeongbu.

In Korea, all males are expect to serve a term about two-three years in the country's military, a policy stemming from the days of the Korean War from which certain athletes are exempted (including Cleveland Indians outfielder Shin-Soo Choo, who was excused due to his helping Korea win the baseball Gold Medal in the 2010 Asia Games) but no such entertainers, obviously including Rain. Though a couple entertainers have attempted to dodge the mandatory service, doing so is culturally frowned upon, and news of them doing so has damaged their careers—such as actor Song Seung-Heon, who eventually joined voluntarily to quash the scandal that arose from the reporting of his evasive maneuvering.

America went through something like this over half a century ago, when Elvis Presley joined the military for two years, an event that many incorrectly predicted (and some still erroneously claim) would kill rock and roll. Still, it's hard to imagine something like that happening today to one of our nation's greatest pop stars, and even harder to imagine it happening not because of a war or some sort of national crisis, but just because that's the way military service worked in our country. Best of luck to Rain for an uneventful service time and an expedient return to the limelight. (Maybe in time for Speed Racer 2?)

[Billboard Biz]

Isaacson's closing; may reopen next year.(1998)(Brief Article) in our site lenox square mall

WWD July 25, 1997 | Lee, Georgia Isaacson's, a leading designer specialty store for 64 years, is closing its doors on Saturday. But its owner is promising to reopen in a new space next year.

The 14,000-square-foot specialty store has been located at the Phipps Plaza shopping center since 1969. Plans to move to a smaller, temporary space at nearby Lenox Square mall later this month have been dropped.

"Everyone's surprised and sad," said Naomi Foreman, sales manager of Gispa, an Italian designer sportswear sold at Isaacson's. "We root for these stores that can stand up to department stores, and this was one of the best around." Hard times have forced many prestigious designer specialty stores around the country to close their doors over the past few years, including Martha's, Lou Lattimore, Gazebo and Amen Wardy.

Isaacson's owner Louise Bernard said Wednesday that she plans to relocate Isaacson's to a 9,450-square-foot building currently occupied by a bank next to Lenox Square Mall at the beginning of 1998. The landlord of the bank is Corporate Property Investors, which also owns the mall.

Bernard said that she was not happy with the temporary space and preferred to close while waiting to move into the permanent space. see here lenox square mall

"We will be out of business in the interim, but we plan to open in the new space within the next year," said Bernard.

Some sources have raised doubts about whether Isaacson's will ever reopen. Vendors received a letter, dated July 15, canceling all outstanding orders. A copy of the letter was received by WWD. The letter, signed by Bernard, states, "The company was unable to get financing that would enable it to continue operations and purchase fall merchandise. Isaacson's is ceasing business immediately." Gemma Taylor, a 21-year veteran of Isaacson's and vice president of the store, said that Bernard has so far failed to secure financing to sign a lease for the new store. She added that Bernard had approached her to buy the store, but she turned down the offer.

The proposed move to Lenox was prompted by concern over a lack of traffic at Phipps Plaza, as well as ongoing conflicts with mall management, said Bernard.

Her father, Louis Isaacson, started the business as a downtown fur store in 1933. Isaacson's was one of Atlanta's few home-grown, multiline designer stores. The store, which catered to an older, wealthy Atlanta society crowd, carried European lines such as Christian Lacroix, Valentino and Louis Feraud. In recent years, however, the store has attempted to appeal to a younger audience with such labels as Moschino, Iceberg and Genny.

Lee, Georgia