The 2021 MAMA (Mnet Asian Music Awards) from Mnet takes place first in early December at all times. As the name suggests, MAMA doesn’t limit itself to hosting K-Pop artists only, but all East Asian artists, to build friendship and unison with the Asian art industry. Before the worldwide social distancing, the main stage took place mostly in Hong Kong, but also in Vietnam, Japan, Singapore, and of course in Korea as well. The most applauded collaboration performance from the 2021 MAMA was Do The Dance stage by Lee Hyo Ri and the leaders of the dance crews that starred in Mnet’s most successful 2021 TV show, Street Woman Fighter. The amount of fans that this show gathered is astonishing, and the sight of them doing a collab stage with the all-time-legend diva Lee Hyo Ri was an absolute chin-dropper. Do The Dance is a special single that Lee Hyo Ri released for the 2021 MAMA, which was a pleasant gift for those who were waiting for a new song from her (including me).
KBS Song Festival was next, and in this, you could watch quite a few of the top 3rd to 4th generation K-Pop groups in different collab stages! With the title “Legend of K-POP,” TXT and ENHYPEN came together to perform a total of EIGHT songs! Walking through the history of K-Pop, this performance was a sign of appreciation for some of their senior groups that marked their name in the wall of fame. Starting with H.O.T’s Candy (1996), they covered the first, second, and third-gen groups by finishing the stage with BTS’s FIRE (2016). As impressive as the boy group’s collaboration was, the girl groups also did a gorgeous senior appreciation performance! Members of Red Velvet, Oh My Girl, Brave Girls, ITZY, STACYC, and IVE gathered to perform Girl’s Generation’s Way To Go (2011) - watch here. Honestly, the first line by Wendy already caught my heart and the whole stage was such a delightful watch.
Since we’re on the topic of girl groups’ collab, we’ve got the hands-down BEST girl group stage of 2021 from the SBS Gayo Daejeon 2021. Members of (G)-IDLE, IZTY, STAYC, and Lee Chae-Yeon (formerly a member of IZ*ONE) performed BEAST’s (now called HIGHLIGHT) Fiction (2011), in classy suits that made all fall in love. Especially, the still shots and screenshots of Minnie of (G)-IDLE were all over Twitter on the day, posted by all fangirls who were having serious girl crushes. The boys’ stage was filled with members of the top 4th gen K-Pop boy bands, ASTRO, SF9, THEBOYZ, and Stray Kids - plus WOODZ (formerly a member of X1) - watch here. They performed TVXQ’s MIROTIC (2008), which was also included in the TXT X ENHYPEN Legend of K-POP stages in KBS Song Festival. You can guess how huge TVXQ and their song was back in the day, right?
Finally, the MBC Gayo Daejejeon’s opening stage was the hottest ever! The MCs of the show, Yoon-Ah of Girls’ Generation and Junho from 2PM performed Señorita by Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello. The seductive tension that both artists aced with was worth the hype that lasted for a good while at the start of the year 🔥🔥 The whole theme of the 2021 end of year music shows must have been about recreating old K-pop, cause the groups’ collab stages stayed similar in MBC too. Members of (G)-IDLE, ITZY, and IVE with Kim Min-Joo (formerly a member of IZ*ONE) recreated f(x)’s Rum Pum Pum Pum (2013), which I personally replayed too many times now ❤️🔥 - watch here. Super M’s Tiger Inside (2020) was performed by members of ASTRO, Pentagon, THE BOYZ, Stray Kids, ONEUS, and AB6IX - watch here - to celebrate the new year of Tiger 🐯
It’s like a tradition for Korean fans to watch the MBC Gayo Daejejeon on the night of the 31st of December and countdown to the new year with their biases! Hope you all spent the last day of 2021 in your own special ways, and may it have been full of love. Fingers crossed for more special days and special K-Pop surprises ahead of us in 2022!