Dam-maculate conception

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Vietnam's leading male vocalist Dam Vinh Hung, also known as Mr. Dam, said he is planning to have a child next year, but he won't have a wife.

Hung told Thanh Nien in a recent interview that he could not disclose his plans for the baby except to say that he had "a whole team carrying out the project" and that he would find the best way to have the child legally.

He said the announcement was not a publicity stunt, but merely to let his fans know what he's been up to.

The 39-year-old pop singer, famous for his rags to riches rise from his humble beginnings as a street barber, said he longed to hear the sounds of a child playing close to home and that he wanted to have a baby in the Year of the Cat.

But the showman, famous for his flamboyant dress and rowdy behavior, kept with his controversial persona by saying he did not want to get married and was not sure who the mother of his child would be.

"Married? Not important."

He said his parents' marriage had given him enough pain and suffering.

"I have erased the word "˜marriage' from my vocabulary."

Hung said he already had the "materials" for the child, but was busy choosing the child's mother.

He said it might possibly be the ex-girlfriend of eight years he sings about on his new album Khoang cach (Distance), released on June 4.

Hung said he was "negotiating" with the woman, but that in the end it could be another.

"That was the most special love of my life," he said, adding that he and the immortalized lover still had a relationship and he even still loved her, even though his "desire is gone."

He said he hoped having a baby would change their relationship and that he was willing to try.

But if not her, Hung said he would choose a woman based on very strict criteria: she'll have to be beautiful, tall with fair skin, smart, educated and understanding.

"I have to choose, so I'll choose the best because that will determine the child's characteristics."

The wanna-be single father said he doesn't need to have feelings for the mother of his baby.

"Maybe many people will hate me for this. But I only have one life and this is my choice. I cannot delay, for any reason... I don't want an adopted child, I want a child of my own blood."

Hung said he didn't care if people made fun of him or began spreading rumors again about his sexual orientation.

"I have been listening to such rumors for 12 years... that's not what makes me a good singer or not."

He concluded the interview simply:

"I choose what makes me happy."

MR. DAM STILL SHOCKS AND AWES

Top Vietnamese pop star Dam Vinh Hung, also known as "Mr. Dam, who doesn't give a damn," is famous for his off-the-cuff comments, especially in controversial interviews with the press.

Some say Hung's shocking words are a genuine part of his flamboyant personality, or self-promotional tools that have helped boost his career. But disapproving bloggers and music fans say Hung's just another arrogant star running off at the mouth.

In 2007, an interview Hung gave with Thanh Nien was voted first on the list of top ten "Most Impressive Celebrity Quotes" by VnExpress.net readers.

Hung told the online news magazine that he held sway over concert promoters and tour producers. He said he had the power to control the industry and even had the wherewithal to take revenge on big shots who had hurt him in the past.

"Now I am working and face many enemies, but I have the power of life and death. If I don't want them [other singers] to sing, it means they will not be allowed to sing. If they want to tour overseas, but I want them to be at home, they must stay at home. These are the kinds of things people did to me in the past. But I have not done that to anyone," Hung told Thanh Nien.

Hung told, that his elaborate collections of costumes, bags, hats, shoes and men's accessories were not silly or ostentatious, but "flashy and high-class."

He drew the scorn of everyday people when he said he told The Gioi Van Hoa (World of Culture) magazine he was a shopaholic who was not yet rich enough, while at the same time not hesitant to boast about his 400 pairs of shoes. He also claimed that any time Louis Vuitton came out with a new product, he was the first to get it. "I have everything LV has," he boasted.

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