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- ‘It just felt good to be seen’: ‘Turning Red’ boy band 4*Town on Asian representation in Pixar’s new movie
A live performance by the boy band 4*Town from Disney and Pixar’s “Turning Red” at the 20th Unforgettable Gala had Sandra Oh fangirling out of her mind.
In their live-action debut on Dec. 17, 2022, Josh Levi, Topher Ngo, Grayson Villanueva, Will Jay and Raymond Ortiz serenaded Oh with a passionate rendition of their song “True Love” during the annual gala before firing the crowd up with the energetic earworm “Nobody Like U.”
A video of their full performance was uploaded to Character Media’s YouTube channel on Thursday.
One of the most popular clips, which was posted by TikTok user @jennytuell14 on Dec. 18, 2022, has garnered more than 4 million views and over 815,000 likes.
“Sandra Oh dancing it out during the 4*TOWN performance is ICONIC,” the video’s onscreen text says.
@jennytuell14 IMMACULATE VIBES #turningred #sandraoh #4town #4townie #unforgettablegala #christinayang #greysanatomy #fyp ♬ original sound – Jenny Tuell
Filipino American singer-songwriter AJ Rafael also posted a clip of the Korean Canadian actor, writing, “When 4*Town does a surprise performance at an Asian American Gala and Sandra Oh is dancing right in the front.”
Rafael’s video, which was posted on Dec. 18, 2022, has amassed over 919,000 views and 171,000 likes.
@ajrafaelmusic I never thought I’d see the day that 4*Town did a live performance with Mei Mei and her mom right in front. A scene straight out of #turningred #4town ♬ original sound – AJ RAFAEL
In “Turning Red,” which was released on March 1, 2022, Oh voices Ming Lee, the strict, overprotective mother of 13-year-old protagonist Meilin “Mei” Lee.
Mei’s love for 4*Town – which Ming does not support – plays an important role in the film’s kaiju-sized climax, which takes place during one of the boy band’s concerts. The original voice cast behind 4*Town includes Jordan Fisher (Robaire), Topher Ngo (Aaron T.), Josh Levi (Aaron Z.), Finneas O’Connell (Jesse) and Grayson Villanueva (Tae Young).
4*TOWN was inspired by the boy bands of the early 2000s, such as NSYNC, O-Town and b4-4.
Despite the millions of plays it has received on popular music streaming platforms such as Spotify, 4*TOWN’s “Nobody Like U” did not make the cut for the Oscars shortlist for Best Original Song in December 2022.