KPOP MAMA & Other Awards Explained


KPOP MAMA & Other Awards Explained

Aside from fancams of KPOP Idols, another thing that makes fans in and out of Korea spend time tapping on the Internet are award shows. Let’s admit it, one of the reasons that the efforts of idols and fans are being reciprocated is the fact that awards are given all throughout the year. To honor these artists and their remarkable achievements, South Korea hosts a plethora of award shows that celebrate excellence in KPOP. Let’s dive down on these awards and award shows.

Table of Contents

I. Types of KPOP Awards

Just like Billboards or AMAs in the West, KPOP has also minor and major awards per show. Others find it ridiculous but since a lot of idols debut each year and release iconic bops and performances, it only makes sense to recognize their efforts and some of these major awards are the ff:

1. Musician of the Year

The Musician of the Year award or Artist of the Year, also known as one of the Grand Prizes an artist could receive (sometimes referred to as “daesang”), is the highest honor at many Korean Award Shows. It recognizes artists who have made significant contributions to the KPOP industry. Notable winners of this prestigious award in the past years include BTS, Seventeen, and Jay Park. These artists have left an indelible mark on the music scene not just in South Korea but also in the US and the world.

2. Album of the Year

Also considered as a “daesang”, the Album of the Year award recognizes excellence in album production. Winners in this category have produced albums that have resonated with audiences and have made a lasting impact on the fans and even non-fans. Past winners include RM’s Indigo, BTS’ various albums, EXO’s various albums, and Seventeen’s FML. Sometimes, they base it on sales, sometimes based on judgment by professionals.

3. Song of the Year

SOTY as what others call it or Song of the Year award celebrates the most popular and impactful songs of the year. Usually, you’ll often hear this song from Tiktok Challenges or radio stations. Winners in this category have created anthems that have also taken the world by storm, leaving a lasting impression on listeners. Most of these did not only get popular on social media but also on charts in different countries. BTS, Aespa, and Younha are among the artists who have won this prestigious award. These songs have not only topped the charts but have also become cultural phenomena, capturing attention of even locals.

4. Rookie of the Year

The Rookie of the Year award highlights promising new artists who have quickly shown remarkable potential in the KPOP industry despite just newly debuted. This category celebrates fresh talent and serves as a platform for these new artists to showcase their skills. Previous winners include NewJeans, Aespa, and IVE. Though 5th gen already started, these 4th gen artists are now considered as the future of KPOP.

Confusing as it is, South Korea hosts a multitude of other award shows, each with its own unique characteristics and significance in the KPOP industry . Let’s delve into some of the highly anticipated events that bring together fans and artists from all corners of the globe.

1. Mnet Asian Music Awards (MAMA)

The Mnet Asian Music Awards, also known as MAMA, is one of the most prominent music awards shows in South Korea. It is also considered usally as the most famous yet controversial awarding. It is broadcast on four continents, including Asia, Europe, North America, and Oceania. MAMA presents a spectacular concept and theme each year, featuring mesmerizing performances and stages by top KPOP artists (sometimes even most awaited collabs from artists from different agencies). With a rich history of iconic moments, MAMA has actually become a global celebration of KPOP culture online and offline.

2. Melon Music Awards (MMA)

MMA is different from MAMA, though a bit confusing, the Melon Music Awards, organized by Melon, a popular South Korean music streaming service, recognizes outstanding achievements in the music industry. Actually, Spotify has long been around the globe and only entered South Korea a little while ago because Melon is already their source of Music together with Youtube. Most of the awards in MMA are also almost as the same as of MAMA’s.

3. Golden Disc Awards (GDA)

The Golden Disc Awards is also an annual music awards show. Presented by the Music Industry Association of Korea, this prestigious event brings together the most popular KPOP stars of the year on a single stage (meaning, almost everybody invited always ends up attending). The awards are granted based on sales of songs and albums in the previous year, making it a reflection of the industry’s commercial success.

4. Asia Artist Awards (AAA)

The Asia Artist Awards is another annual ceremony that honors outstanding achievements in music, television, and film across Asia. Though it says “Asia”, most attendees are South Korean Artists. This star-studded event is said to recognize artists who have made significant contributions to the entertainment industry in the region but often times, the location of the event really impacts the number of representatives from different asian countries. But of course, with a diverse lineup of performers and a focus on cultural diversity, the Asia Artist Awards is also considered as one of the most anticipated award shows every year.

III. The Significance of KPOP Award Shows

KPOP award shows hold immense significance in the industry, not only for the artists but also for the fans and the overall promotion of KPOP culture. These events serve as a platform for artists to showcase their talents, gain recognition, and solidify their place in the industry especially that in Korea, they really value such achievements. Winning an award at a prestigious KPOP award show can elevate an artist’s career and open doors to new opportunities (especially abrod since these major shows usually choose other locations aside from South Korea).

For fans, award shows provide a chance to witness their favorite artists’ electrifying performances and celebrate their achievements (especially if you’re a multistan!). Plus, the anticipation surrounding these events creates a sense of community among fans, who come together to support their idols and engage in fan activities such as voting and live streaming.

Lastly, since KPOP award shows are a testament to the immense talent, creativity, and impact of the South Korean music industry, fans should never forget that awards could not always determine your idols’ and yours efforts. Yes, they are a manifestation of what fans and idols have been through but they could not always define everything behind the curtains. Basically, awards doesn’t always equate to success because success is preferential and sujective.

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