Top Asian music festival MAMA marks 10th anniversary

The nine-member girl band TWICE on Dec. 12 performs on stage at the 2018 Mnet Asian Music Awards (MAMA) Fans’ Choice in Japan held at Saitama Super Arena in Saitama City, Japan.

By Lee Kyoung Mi and Hahm Hee-eun 
Photos = CJ E&M 

The Mnet Asian Music Awards (MAMA), primarily a showcase for K-pop that has evolved into Asia’s biggest awards event, has marked its tenth anniversary by being held in three major Asian cities.

Held in Seoul (Dec. 10), Saitama City, Japan (Dec. 12) and Hong Kong (Dec. 14), the festival featured performances by leading K-pop bands such as Bangtan Boys (BTS), TWICE and Wanna One. 

Around 40,000 fans visited the event’s stadiums while K-pop fans worldwide could see the performances through live broadcasting on Asia’s major regional TV channels, YouTube and other online social media. 

MAMA also attracted major attention from leading global media, with reporters on hand from Billboard magazine, The Associated Press, AFP and The People’s Daily of China. 

Super K-pop boy band BTS on Dec. 14 performs on stage during the 2018 Mnet Asian Music Awards (MAMA) at AsiaWorld-Expo Arena in Hong Kong.

For the third consecutive year, BTS won the grand prize at MAMA by receiving nine awards including the Artist of the Year, Album of the Year and Worldwide Icon of the Year. TWICE earned five honors such as Song of the Year and Best Dance Performance by a Female Group.

Hosted by the Korean company CJ E&M since 2009, the gala has been held in Asian countries such as Macau, Singapore, Hong Kong, Vietnam and Japan, attesting to K-pop’s high popularity in the region.

The new Korean-Japanese girl band IZ*ONE on Dec. 17 performs on stage during the 2018 Mnet Asian Music Awards (MAMA) Premier in Korea at Dongdaemun Design Plaza (DDP) in Seoul.

Miro Yoon