The American Music Awards is an award show where artists from every corner of the world come to attend and enjoy the art of music. Many K-pop artists today attend, bringing the spotlight to Korea and its unique style of music. But who started it all?
Well, it all began with an artist. A label. A song. In 2012, one man under the YG record label was the first Korean artist to perform at the AMAs. The song? “Gangnam Style.” His name? PSY. His song became an instant hit attracting viewers from all over the world and of all ages. The music video currently has 3.2 billion views and keeps growing.
In the 2012 AMAs, PSY performed his iconic song with another iconic American artist, MC Hammer. “Gangnam Style” sparked the beginning of a worldwide interest in K-pop.
Fast forward five years and the next big Korean artists performed at the AMAs. In 2017, BTS, under BigHit Entertainment Record Label, brought all eyes on Korea and their artists once again. Their performance on stage brought new fans not only to their own fandom but also to that of all K-pop performance groups. They had a great performance which astonished many artists and gained them fans of both regular individuals and celebrities.
Only a year later, BTS has picked up their first AMA award while also being the first ever winner for the AMA’s Favorite Social Artist! Although BTS was not in attendance due to being on their Love Yourself World Tour, they sent in a video message
Yet another group of talented Korean artists made their AMAs red carpet debut, adding more fuel to the spark which has begun to ignite the world. NCT 127 of SM Entertainment wowed people in their matching tuxedos at the 2018 AMAs where they announced the release of their new album
The boys also spoke on the red carpet with Billboard about their new album, Regular–Irregular and first English single, “Regular.”
Not only has PSY paved the way for other fellow Korean artists to gain their well-deserved international recognition, but he also brought an opportunity for other Asian artists. Artists such as the Chinese-Canadian singer, rapper, and actor, Kris Wu (former member of EXO under SM Entertainment) and Tiffany Young (former member of Girls’ Generation under SM Entertainment), a Korean-American actress and singer, both made their AMAs red carpet debut this year.
Tiffany was given an opportunity on the red carpet to share about her new music and partnership with H&M in the ‘Divided Music’ Campaign while being the first Asian-American global ambassador for H&M .
This is just the beginning of what one artist started with a song that was catchy and fun to dance to. The road was paved and is continuing to be built for future K-Pop artists like BTS, NCT 127, and Tiffany Young.
Cover Image: Alamy; MC Hammer; PSY