It was celebration of Korean pop music at the 2020 Mnet Asian Music Awards (MAMA) on Sunday evening as top Kpop idols such as BTS, Blackpink and IU earn well-deserved trophies.
As expected, fan-favorite BTS won all nine awards they were nominated for, including Worldwide Icon of the Year, one of the top awards of the night. Itaewon Class star Park handed their trophy.
BTS bested many Kpop groups and performers, whose talents and charisma are undeniable as well.
The group also won Album of the Year, Best Music Video, Best Dance Performance – Male Group, Best Male Group, Worldwide Fans’ Choice, 2020 Visionary, Song of the Year and Artist of the Year.
As gift to their ever-loyal fans, BTS gave an all out performance dubbed “On & On”, featuring intense CGI and a marching band ahead of a medley of some of their biggest songs.
The Best Male Artist award has gone to EXO member Baekhyun, who sent an acceptance speech in via video.
The Best Hip Hop and Urban Music award went to Zico for his hit Any Song, one of the most popular songs in South Korea this year.
Four-girl group Blackpink won Best Female Group, as well as the Best Dance Performance for a Female Group, Worldwide Fan’s Choice and 2020 Visionary.
Kpop supertar and “nation’s sweetheart” IU, who was not able to attend the awards ceremony, got the Best Female Artist, Best Vocal Performance-Solo and Best Collaboration honors.
Queen of Kpop BoA was awarded the Inspired Achievement award for her 20-year-long career and the great influence she had to the Korean entertainment industry. BoA was 13 when she joined the Kpop scene and has since then earned a reputation as one of the forerunners of modern Kpop.
A mixture of pre-recorded and live elements, this year’s MAMA was held in a “new-topia”, where Kpop fans from around the world tuned in online and saw their favorite Kpop stars all glammed up for the prestigious awards night.
Multi-awarded BTS were dressed smartly in a mixture of black and grey suits. If you thought the Kpop world was already hot as it is, BTS men’s red carpet looks just made it hotter and more aesthetically pleasing than ever.
MAMA, Asia’s biggest and most prestigious music awards, began in 1999 under the name of Mnet Music Video Daesang. It was then renamed Mnet KM Music Video Festival in 2004. It eventually became the Mnet Asian Music Awards in 2009, marking a new beginning as an Asian music awards.
MAMA is held in different locations every year – Vietnam, Japan and Hong Kong in 2017 and in Korea, Japan and Hong Kong in 2018. It has, over the years, established itself as one of the best music award ceremonies in Asia.
Due to this year’s pandemic, MAMA was held in a new setting – the “new-topia”. On its official website, MAMA organizers said they intend to “open a new world of new normal ear through the power of music”.
Kpop craze around the world
Korean pop or Kpop has become a truly global phenomenon over the past decade, thanks to its distinctive blend of catchy melodies, attention-grabbing choreography and production value and of course, a parade of insanely attractive South Korean artists.
South Korean artists have hit the Billboard Hot 100 chart several times since the Wonder Girls first created a bang in 2009 with this “Nobody” hit.
The seven-member BTS is currently the most sought-after Kpop group. They’ve guested on several US shows and has broken so many records. BTS is the first ever Kpop group to ever hit No. 1 on the Billboard 100.
They are also the first Korean pop act to receive a Grammy nomination with their “Dynamite” single.
Record-shattering Blackpink, meanwhile, rocked music festival Coachella in April last year. The group made history by becoming the first such group to perform at Coachella. It was a clear milestone moment for the genre, cementing its place among US audience.
And as lives got interrupted by the coronavirus pandemic, Kpop dominance has grown so much wider and bigger. Millions of people have streamed Kpop songs on Spotify and YouTube as they try to ease boredom. For many, Korean songs and videos have helped them survive a stressful year.
We can only expect that the Kpop craze will become even more popular in the coming years. And honestly, nobody’s complaining.
Check out the full list of winners below:
Artist of the Year: BTS
Album of the Year: BTS (“Map of the Soul: 7”)
Song of the Year: BTS (“Dynamite”)
Worldwide Icon of the Year: BTS
Best Male Group: BTS
Best Female Group: BLACKPINK
Best Male Artist: EXO’s Baekhyun
Best Female Artist: IU
Best New Male Artist: TREASURE
Best New Female Artist: Weeekly
Best Vocal Performance – Solo: IU (“Blueming”)
Best Vocal Performance – Group: MAMAMOO (“HIP”)
Best Dance Performance – Solo: Hwasa (“Maria”)
Best Dance Performance – Male Group: BTS (“Dynamite”)
Best Dance Performance – Female Group: BLACKPINK (“How You Like That”)
Best Hip Hop & Urban Music: Zico (“Any Song”)
Best Band Performance: DAY6 (“Zombie”)
Best Collaboration: “eight” by IU (prod. by and feat. BTS’ Suga)
Best of Next: CRAVITY
Discovery of the Year: ATEEZ
Best Music Video: BTS (“Dynamite”)
Best Stage: MONSTA X
Best OST: Gaho (“Start” from “Itaewon Class”)
Favorite Dance Performance – Group: TXT (“Can’t You See Me”)
Favorite Dance Performance – Male Solo: Taemin (“Criminal”)
Favorite Dance Performance – Female Solo: Jessi (“NUNU NANA”)
Favorite Male Group: NCT
Favorite Female Group: IZ*ONE
Favorite Asian Artist: WayV
Global Favorite Performer: SEVENTEEN
The Most Popular Artist: TWICE
Worldwide Fans’ Choice Top 10: BTS, BLACKPINK, TWICE, MAMAMOO, SEVENTEEN, ATEEZ, GOT7, TXT, TREASURE, NCT
Best Asian Artist – Japan: Official Hige Dandism
Best Asian Artist – Mandarin: G.E.M
Best Asian Artist – Thailand: Ink Waruntorn
Best Asian Artist – Indonesia: Rizky Febian
Best Asian Artist – Vietnam: Binz
Best New Asian Artist – Japan: Fujii Kaze
Best New Asian Artist – Mandarin: Chin Siou
Best New Asian Artist – Thailand: Milli
Best New Asian Artist – Indonesia: Tiara Andini
Best New Asian Artist – Vietnam: Amee
Best New Asian Artist: JO1
Notable Achievement Artist: SEVENTEEN
Inspired Achievement: BoA
Best Executive Producer of the Year: Bang Si Hyuk
Best Producer of the Year: Pdogg
Best Composer of the Year: Yovie Widianto
Best Engineer of the Year: Goo Jong Pil, Kwon Nam Woo
Best Video Director of the Year: Lumpens
Best Choreographer of the Year: Quang Dang
Best Art Director of the Year: MU:E