From:The Straits Timesposted on 27 May at 2:23 PM
27 May at 2:23 PM

Stars get social on the red carpet

by Yip Wai Yee

It was not your usual red carpet.

When the stars and guests arrived on the red carpet on Thursday at Marina Bay Sands for the inaugural Social Star Awards on Thursday, they did not just go black tie or high glam.

True to the spirit of the event - which recognises the most popular names on 11 of the world's top social media sites, including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Sina and Weibo from China and VK from Russia - celebrities of the Twitterverse also flaunted a dash of street chic too.

While the likes of hip-hop and dubstep dancer Marquese Scott and singer SkyBlu of LMFAO showed up looking digital-age cool, American actress Jessica Alba and actor Jeremy Piven, co-hosts of the ceremony, represented classic Hollywood glamour.

Transgender model Amanda Lepore chose a mix of the two, channelling Marilyn Monroe in wavy blonde hair and pouty red lips, but she was flanked by a whole host of colourful characters decked out in outrageous costumes.

Other than their outfits, the attitudes of those walking the red carpet were enough to differentiate between social media and the traditional celebrity: Social media stars are all about reaching out to the public - reflected in the way they went out of their way to greet their fans - while the "real-world" stars will do as they please.

Alba strutted by with a dazzling photo-ready smile, without stopping to give interviews to every media outlet present, offering only one or two brief soundbites.

In contrast, YouTube star PewDiePie, a 23-year-old Swede known for his video game commentaries, deliberately walked to a far end of the red carpet so that he could greet every single one of his fans standing there, even though the security had warned him not to.

In fact, a testament to the power of social media was how the majority of the 300 or so fans present screamed the loudest for the social media stars, including singer Chester See and comedian Ryan

Higa, and especially for South Korean singer Psy, whose mega-hit song Gangnam Style became the most-watched YouTube video with more than one billion hits.

Schoolgirls Lauren Lye, 13, Isabelle and Jodie Monteiro, 13 and 15, Francine and Kasey Quek, 15 and 13, for example, rushed from their school, Convent of the Holy Infant Jesus (Toa Payoh), to Marina Bay Sands from Tuesday to Thursday where they lingered for five hours each day in hopes of catching their favourite stars Higa, PewDiePie and See.

Faring best for the old-school stars were arguably American rockers Aerosmith.

They were on the charm offensive with the media, with frontman Steven Tyler making everyone laugh with his usual flirty comments.

Asked what the sexiest part of his body is, and he said in a coy manner that "everyone knows what the sexiest part of my body is", followed by a dramatic pause. Then, he said: "It's my feet."

The reporters laughed before he said more seriously: "No, the sexiest part about me is my band."

Additional reporting by Jan Lee

This article was originally published in The Straits Times Life! on Saturday, May 25.

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