Twenty days after we saw a K-Pop group win an award at the YouTube Music Awards, Friday 22 November saw the fifteenth annual Mnet Asian Music Awards, which is pretty much totally dedicated to K-Pop music (with a few international acts too). The ceremony took place at the Asia World Expo Arena in Hong Kong, and was broadcast live on YouTube.
There were numerous categories, recognising the most popular K-Pop groups and solo performers of the year, as voted by fans online.
Watch the awards below (red carpet show to begin with, followed by award show start at 2hr12m):
Award winners and some videos to show you of who they are (if you didn't already know...) appear after "The Performances" section.
The PerformancesThe star-studded show opened with rock band Jaurim and an "Enter the Dragon" version of their song "Icarus", who were joined on stage by Lee Han-Eul and Jay Park, in a combination of rap and rock. I thought it worked quite effectively, and enjoyed the song.
The show also featured performances by pop duo Trouble Maker with "Now", boy band INFINITE singing "BTD", flipping and somersaulting all over the place before performing "Destiny". They were followed by Hong Kong singer/actor Aaron Kwok performing "Yi Ge Hui Wu". The next performance was by girl group 2NE1 performing "Lonely" and new song "Missing You", followed by Swedish pop duo Icona Pop who performed "All Night" and were also joined on stage by 2NE1's CL on their hit "I Love It".
Later, a news bulletin claiming one of the awards had been stolen was shown, with a video showing the suspects. This then led into an impressive acrobatic dance performance by Dancing 9 (from the TV talent show of the same name) who entered the stage with a case containing the trophy. I thought this was quite a cool way to introduce the award for Best Dance Performance from a Male Solo artist; it was a nice change from the usual way of introductions.
Another performance soon came along, this time from Norwegian comedy duo Ylvis singing their song "The Fox (What Does The Fox Say?)". The two brothers were both dressed in their fox costumes, and their song seemed to be very well received, especially by SISTAR, who were laughing a lot, and by A-Pink who contributed a few dance moves!
This was then immediately followed by Crayon Pop, who had added some new special dance moves for their hit "Bar Bar Bar" dance routine, and mid-performance they were also joined by Ylvis. The song, on this occasion, was appropriately titled "The Fox Say Bar Bar Bar"! Great stuff!
Next up were Park Jaejung (winner of Mnet’s Superstar K5) and Zhu Jiajia (winner of Superstar China) singing the songs "Annie" and "We Are Young" (originally a hit for American band Fun).
After some more awards, boy band EXO entered the stage, performing their hit song "Growl", replete with their synchronised dancing. I'm not normally a fan of boy bands, but I did however enjoy the martial arts choreography after watching "Growl". If only it had lasted longer! They then followed this with the dub-step sounds of "Wolf".
Lee Seung Gi was up next, after a few more awards, singing an orchestral version of his song "Return".
After a very nice speech from the Music Makes One Global Ambassador, the next performer was superstar Rain singing "How To Avoid The Sun", followed by "It's Raining", and then a cool performance of "Hip Song".
After the Best Male Group award was handed out, it was T.O.P's turn to take to the stage, with his recent release "Doom Dada". He was dressed in the costume he wears in the video; a suit with large white bow, and huge microphone on his back. In the middle of the stage, sat the big baby of the video too. I wasn't really a fan of this song when I first heard it a few days ago, but this performance seemed to lift it above my initial indifference and has actually started to grow on me.
Straight after T.O.P, was Tae Yang's performance of "Ringa Linga", and straight after that was "Strong Baby" and "Let's Talk About Love" by Victory, which featured some energetic dance moves.
Then G-DRAGON appeared on stage with his song "Crooked". I don't mind the song too much, but it reminds me too much of P!nk's "Just Like A Pill", which I don't like so much... I do like the fact, however, that the video for "Crooked" is filmed in the UK, back when he visited London in August earlier in the year. If only more artists would come here in the future; we hardly get anyone come over here!
After that performance, things were set up for T.O.P and Tae Yang to join G-DRAGON on stage, together with the rest of his BIGBANG bandmates for an energetic performance of their single "Fantastic Baby", creating a real party atmosphere, and getting other K-Pop acts to dance along to the song. So, considering that I don't really like boy bands or male vocal pop, I really enjoyed this performance. I might even try listening to more BIGBANG songs!
After an emotional speech from the Album Of The Year winners, Hyorin of SISTAR began singing Stevie Wonder's "I Just Called To Say I LoveYou", only to be joined on stage by the man himself! I'd never really noticed Hyorin's voice in SISTAR, but her voice had a really nice quality in my opinion; it's deeper than I thought it was. Aaron Kwok soon joined in on the song too. I was never really a fan of this song; I find it too sentimental and a little bit cheesy. Stevie's seventies output, in my opinion, is a whole lot better. I was able to forget about that though, and appreciate the song this once.
Stevie Wonder then sat at the piano, to perform "Lately". It's nice to hear that Stevie Wonder still has a pretty good voice; he can still hit those high notes, and doesn't sing out of tune like some other singers. He then went on to sing "Isn't She Lovely", followed by one of my favourites of his; "Superstition" to finish off his set.
That would have been a perfect end to the ceremony. However, Paris Hilton came out to DJ (although to me, the mixing was pretty bad, and seemed like it could've been auto-mixed), closing the awards by playing hits from the award winners of the night, interspersed with her own songs(!); why this was a good idea, I don't know.
I think it would have been better to just have a music mix being played over the P.A. and not bother with Hilton. I used to dislike her, but she's not as ubiquitous as she used to be, so I'm not that bothered by her, but was there really any need? Still, there was a fun atmosphere at the end of the show, with feathers from pillows being thrown around amongst the K-Pop stars. All in all, it was a successful show, and a good time was had by those in the crowd.
Anyway, now let's take a look at this year's award winners!
The ResultsBest Dance Performance - Female Solo
CL- The Baddest Female
Best Dance Performance - Female Group
SISTAR - Give It To Me
NISSAN JUKE Best Music Video
G-DRAGON - COUP D'ETAT, directed by Seo Hyun Seung
Discovery Of The Year
Best New Female Artist
Best Asian Artist Singapore
Best Asian Artist Vietnam
Best Asian Artist Thailand
Best Asian Artist Indonesia
Best Asian Artist Japan
Kyary Pamyu Pamyu
Best Asian Artist China
Best Male Artist
BC - UnionPay Song Of The Year
Cho Yong Pil - Bounce
Best Dance Performance - Male Solo
G-DRAGON - Crooked
Best Vocal Performance - Female
Ailee - U&I
Style In Music
Next Generation Global Star
SONY MDR World Wide Performer
INFINITE - Destiny
International Favourite Artist
BC - UnionPay Artist Of The Year
Best New Male Artist
Best Original Soundtrack
Master's Sun OST, Yoon MiRae - Touch Love
Best Dance Performance - Male Group
SHINee - Dream Girl
Best Vocal Performance - Male
Lee Seung Gi - Return
Best Rap Performance
Dynamic Duo - BAAAM
Best Band Performance
Busker Busker - First Love
Music Makes One Global Ambassador
Man Of The Moment
Best Female Group
Best Male Group
Best Concert Performer
Lee Seung Chul
Best Female Artist
BC - UnionPay Album Of The Year
EXO - XOXO
So, the night's proceedings seemed to be dominated by G-DRAGON, who earned himself four awards. INFINITE were the only others to win more than one award with two gongs.
We saw many live performances; boy bands, girl groups, solo singers, and dancers, coming from South Korea, Hong Kong, Sweden, Norway, China and America. We saw artists collaborating with each other, and singing together.
We heard a nice speech by the Music Makes One Global Ambassador award winner, Stevie Wonder, spreading a message of love.
This was my first time watching the Mnet Asian Music Awards, and I was quite entertained. Even though I wouldn't normally listen to some of those artists that featured on the show, I still enjoyed most of the performances, and I can safely say that I'll probably watch them next year too!
***Did you watch the awards? What was your favourite performance of the night? Do you agree with the results? Let me know in the comments below!
Image Credits: Header - MAMA Official Website