Singer Huong Tram could face a fine and an official performance ban after racy pictures of the 19-year-old winner of The Voice Vietnam 2012 went viral on social networks recently.
“We are considering a VND10 million (US$472) fine against this singer and possibly banning her for three months from performing in Hanoi depending on the degree of the violation,” said To Van Dong, director of Hanoi Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism.
On Thursday, the agency issued VND2 million fine against the Time Lounge Bar on Nguyen Thai Hoc Street because it allowed a singer performing in skimpy clothes.
Huong Tram wore the partially sheer dress while performing at the venue on August 25.
The garment bared her shoulders and revealed parts of her underwear.
Her manager, Hoang Tuan, said he only manages her bookings; the singer choses what to wear.
Huong Tram later explained she wasn't aware her skin-colored leggings would expose her underwear beneath the stage lights.
“[Inadvertent exposure] is an occupational accident.” said Tuan, who also manages two male singers, Dan Truong and Cao Thai Son. "But she'll have to sincerely apologize for her mistake."
He said Huong Tram has already done so.
Huong Tram was born in 1995 to a family of singers. Her father, Tien Dung, won a gold medal at the national singing competition in 1987 with the song “Di trong huong tram” (Walking in cajuput scent). He is currently the deputy director of the Nghe An Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism.
Her mother is Singer Du Thi Thuy of the Nghe An Singing and Dancing Troupe.
Huong Tram was the winner of the first season of the Giong Hat Viet, a Vietnamese adaptation of the American show The Voice, in 2012.
After a highly lauded performance of the song “I’ll always love you,” all four judges sought to draft her onto their teams of singers.
Huong Tram chose Singer Thu Minh as her coach.
Singer Thu Minh, who coached Huong Tram at Giong Hat Viet, was fined in 2012 for performing in skimpy clothes.
Thu Minh was herself fined VND3.5 million for wearing skimpy clothes that exposed parts of her breasts during a music show titled Ngan sao hoi tu (Convergence of a thousand stars) in Ho Chi Minh City on April 20, 2012.
Thu Minh said the fine would have no impact on the selection of her attire.
"I don't care about the fine or the decree," she told reporters. "I will wear sexy clothes on stage because it is compatible with my music and because I feel comfortable doing so."
According to an updated decree on administrative punishment in culture in 2013, wearing clothing deemed “inappropriate to the performing purposes and offensive to Vietnam's pure tradition and fine customs” carries fines from VND5-10 million and a 3-6 month ban performance ban.
Meritorious Artist Le Chuc, the former deputy director of the national Performing Arts Department, said that in addition to music and fashion shows, sex and gratuitous bedroom scenes have replaced the violence that marked most popular culture a few years ago.