NewJeans, the fourth-generation K-pop girl group, notched Artist of the Year on Wednesday, the last day of the two–day 2023 MAMA Awards.
The MAMA Awards, the world’s biggest K-pop festival organized by CJ ENM, took place at the Tokyo Dome, Japan’s top concert venue, Nov. 28-29.
Artist of the Year was one of the four top awards presented this year.
Three other main awards were the Worldwide Icon of the Year, Song of the Year and Album of the Year.
This is the first time in 12 years that a girl group has taken the Artist of the Year honor.
NewJeans was also recognized with the Song of the Year for its successful single “Ditto” which took major local music charts by storm.
Such accomplishments come just a year and four months since the quintet’s debut in July last year with the debut single “Attention.”
NewJeans took home two more awards—Best Female Group and Best Dance Performance Female Group.
There were no acceptance speeches from the group as they did not attend the event.
The award for album of the year went to Seventeen for the boy band's 10th EP, “FML,” which sold more than 6 million copies, recording the highest number of album units sold in K-pop history.
This was the group's first top honor at the MAMA Awards since its debut in 2015.
“We never thought we would get this award. Because of Carats, we extended our exclusive contract with our agency and we were able to receive this award,” said Seventeen leader S. Coups, referring to the group's fandom, who joined the group on the stage despite a knee injury.
“It’s been 11 years that I’ve been making music for Seventeen. I am grateful for so much love that we’ve received through this album and we will continue presenting good music,” said bandmate and producer Woozi.
Seventeen was also recognized for Worldwide Fans’ Choice, best dance performance male group, best male group and the award for Bibigo Culture and Style.
The group performed its megahit singles “God of Music” and “Super” at the show, joined by a troupe of 80 dancers. Seventeen also utilized augmented reality to present a dynamic performance.
Meanwhile, K-pop sensation BTS notched the title of Worldwide Icon of the Year for the sixth consecutive year on the first day of the event.
BTS, which has been taking time off from group activities to focus on their individual careers and to fulfill mandatory military service, did not attend the event.
“Thank you for all this never-changing love. We lament that we cannot celebrate the day together but we are confident that we will come back better than ever. We hope you stay healthy and happy until then,” Jungkook shared in a prerecorded video.
The honors for best new male artist went to Zerobaseone, while best new female artist went to tripleS.
The MAMA Awards attracted around 80,000 K-pop fans viewing from all around the world this year. The event was livestreamed in around 200 different regions via YouTube and other major digital platforms.