London (CNN)Spandau Ballet front man and 1980s icon Tony Hadley has stepped in to solve a bizarre controversy erupting in Singapore, earning a man a cash prize by clarifying exactly how the star's surname is pronounced.
A radio station denied a caller a prize because he'd 'mispronounced' a pop star's name. Then the star waded in
The "Gold" singer was relaxing at his home in Buckinghamshire, England during the lockdown this week when he discovered he was the subject of a weeks-long furor thousands of miles away.
The uproar centered on a national radio station, which had asked listeners to identify 14 celebrities just by their voices in order to win a cash prize.
Muhammad Shalehan called in to Gold 905 on April 21 to offer his answer, and got every one correct -- but the station felt he had mispronounced Hadley's name and decided not to award the railway worker the 10,000 Singapore dollars ($7,030) reward.
Weeks later, another caller gave the same list of answers and was crowned a winner -- prompting an outcry in Singapore that rumbled on for weeks.
"Our decision remains final," the station announced on Wednesday, dashing the hopes of Shalehan and the army of supporters he had amassed.
That is, until Shalehan tracked down Hadley himself, and the star waded in.
"At first I thought, is it a hoax? Is someone on a wind-up?," Hadley told CNN, speaking about his reaction after getting a message from his manager with Shalehan's request.
"I looked into it and realized that this chap had, I thought, won fairly and squarely," he added. "I didn't understand what the problem was, I thought he certainly pronounced my name correctly. It's not the most difficult name to pronounce."
So Hadley filmed a video telling Shalehan he deserved his winnings. It finally forced an apology from the station, which awarded Shalehan the prize in full -- wrapping up a wonderfully unique episode.
The station was initially steadfast in their decision that Shalehan had said "Hadley" with too strong an inflection to earn the prize.
The "Celebrity Name Drop" game continued for more than two weeks after Shalehan's entry, with he and the public under the assumption that he had got one answer wrong. But eventually, another caller put forward the same set of answers -- and was crowned a winner.
Immediately the station was inundated with messages on social media from confused fans, asking the same question: What about Shalehan?
"What happened? A very very truly sad climax to a contest which should have finished on a high note," one user wrote. "He was robbed of the title," another exclaimed.
The station came forward with an explanation: "The rules of the game requires callers to pronounce the celebrities nam