$10m budget to market singer Ho Yeow Sun in US

$10m budget to market singer Ho Yeow Sun in US
Ms Ho Yeow Sun, also known as Sun Ho, with her husband, Kong Hee, the founder of City Harvest Church.

SINGAPORE - Singer Ho Yeow Sun was meant to go on tour with stars like Wyclef Jean, Akon and Rihanna, take gongfu and dance lessons, and even engage the services of a Jamaican coach.

City Harvest Church had major plans for its founder's wife's musical foray in the United States, which involved a marketing budget of more than $10 million - "in line with Shakira's marketing budget and less than the budget for Beyonce".

The details came out in e-mail correspondences over two years produced in court yesterday by the defence in a bid to show that extensive thought had gone into the "Sun Project".

The detailed scenario-planning and profit and loss projections were all done to ensure that the venture - overseen by her management company, Xtron Productions, and partly financed by the church through Xtron bonds - had a reasonable chance of being profitable, said defence lawyers.

Church founder Kong Hee's lawyer, Mr Edwin Tong, showed a series of e-mails between Kong and American music producer Justin Herz, with detailed projections of Ms Ho's earnings. Over seven years from 2008, for example, Mr Herz thought Ms Ho and Xtron could rake in about US$27 million (S$34.6 million) in net profit from album and tour sales, endorsements and other revenue streams.

In the e-mails, Kong also stressed that the projections had to be "absolutely doable".

"We need to make some serious money with all the investments Xtron has ploughed in, and I rather we earn it than to let the labels siphon them away," he said about a suitable music label for Ms Ho.

The detailed plans were used by the defence to counter a point made earlier by the prosecution, that the sales projection of Ms Ho's album would yield only $2.17 million.



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