The UKPAwards have made a big comeback this year with a record nineteen categories to cover the best in South Korean culture. Ever since voting began in December, fans have been voting furiously and spreading their support on social media and now with the New Year in full swing, it’s time to find out who won the 2017 UnitedKpop Awards!
Best Song: BTS – “Not Today”
With this year bringing some of the best hits, there was no doubt that Best Song would be one of the toughest categories of the year; featuring Winner’s “Really Really”, G-Dragon’s “Untitled 2014”, Blackpink’s “As If It’s Your Last” and Dean’s “LOVE”. However, the R’n’B crooner and YG Hit-Makers are not match up against the explosive second title track of BTS’ re-packaged album from early 2017. Even to this day, “Not Today” is an ARMY favourite, with over 170 million views on Youtube.
Best Album: BTS – “Wings: You Never Walk Alone”
That wasn’t the only award this hit album received. For being a repackage of the group’s 2016 hit record, “You Never Walk Alone” beat off B.A.P’s “Rose”, IU’s “Palette” and G-Dragon’s “Kwon Ji Yong” to be the best album of 2017.
Best Music Video: BTS – “Spring Day”
As if Song and Album wasn’t enough, this album also hosts this year’s best music video; beating B.A.P’s “Wake Me Up”, G-Dragon’s “Untitled 2014” and 2NE1’s curtain call for “Goodbye”. As expected from the Big Hit collective, BTS brings out theories and aesthetic a plenty for the video of “You Never Walk Alone”‘s main title track, “Spring Day”.
Best Male Group: GOT7
It was a close battle between BTS, EXO, Seventeen & Monsta X but the self-named Ahgases pipped all to the post to be the best male group of the year. These boys have been busier than ever; completing their Flight Log trilogy with “Never Ever” and returning with “You Are” in late 2017. Alongside group promotions, the members have been doing their own little projects both independently through Soundcloud and also full blown solo debuts with Jackson’s “Papillon” and “Okay”. Congratulations boys, and all the best for 2018.
Best Female Group: BLACKPINK
As if the male award wasn’t tough, it was certainly a battle of the fans with Twice, Red Velvet & BLACKPINK as the nominees. However, Blinks have pulled through for the four princesses of YG as they clinch the award as the best female group of 2017. They’re in our area indeed.
Rookie of the Year: BLACKPINK
Rookies are always defined for being within the first two years of their career. However, with their debut being back in 2016, that has not stopped Blackpink from proving their title of “monster rookies”. Battling off KARD, Seven O Clock, NCT 127 and Wanna One, these ladies are proving to be unstoppable!
Best Solo Artist: Taemin
His official Korean comeback was back in October but Taemin has smashed the competition, defeating Taeyang, Sunmi and label mate, Kyuhyun to be this year’s biggest artist in UnitedKpop. If his second album is anything to go by, we are expecting big things from the SHINee member in 2018.
Best K-Hip Hop Artist: Jay Park
When he isn’t being an Asia’s Got Talent judge, Jay Park is still churning out hit after hit and defeating Jessi, Zico & Zion T to become Best K-Hip Hop Artist this year. Maybe we’ll see of him next year, after he overcomes his possible new fear of magicians.
Best K-Rock Group: Day6
Rock has been a big genre in the KPop world; producing a new generation of bands including The Rose, Hyukoh and K-Rock legends, FT Island. However, with an entire year of hits under their belt, this JYP band has seized the day to claim the award of K-Rock Artist of the Year.
Best Dance Performance: BTS – “DNA”
Idols have not held back this year in terms of dance; bringing forward sleek prop use in VIXX’s “Shangri-La”, fierce twerking from KARD in “Oh NaNa” and sexy interpretive with Seventeen’s Performance Unit track, “Lilili Yabbay”. However, with one dance being performed across the world and cementing an American debut performance, there is no surprise that BTS snatched this award with “DNA”.
Best Music Project: EveryDay6
Over the past few years, music projects seem to be a big thing. We’ve had songs charting from Produce 101, especially with this season’s “Never”. SM Station has also been growing strong with NCT U member, Ten performing the calm electro track “Dream In A Dream”. Finally, pre-debut projects have been a big trend with the success of KARD’s trilogy of “Oh Nana”, “Don’t Recall” & “Rumor” and also the monthly tracks released by LOONA. However, with a release on the sixth day of every month in 2017, Day6 has certainly clinched the award and we cannot wait to hear what the future holds in 2018.
Style Icon of The Year: BTS
Not only are these boys talented, they are stylish. It doesn’t matter if it’s rocking suits at awards, wearing Halloween costumes or even being the third from the left (we’re looking at you, Jin). Against EXO, G-Dragon, and Park Shin Hye, there proves to be little competition. There’s a reason V was crowned the world’s most handsome face this year and we couldn’t be more proud of these style icons.
Best EU Concert: G-Dragon’s Act III MOTTE Tour in London
One of the most anticipated concerts in our calendar this year, and we had a lot of them; including DEAN and Feel Korea. If you missed G-Dragon’s massive concert in Wembley Arena, one lovely fan has included the full experience and we have also exclusive coverage of the event right here so you can live it over time and time again.
Best K-Drama: Goblin
Throughout 2017, we have been treated to amazing stories like The Emperor: Owner of The Mask
and Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-joo but we are truly enchanted by Gong Yoo’s dorky but forlorn portrayal of a Goblin looking for his one and only bride. We have watched it time and time again, cried into our red scarves but our love for this magical romance has struck us like a sword to our heart.
Best K-Movie: Train to Busan
This 2016 film is not to be underestimated. It has become a worldwide sensation for Zombie and Horror freaks alike and has stood out among the likes of Battleship Island, Midnight Runners and A Taxi Driver. Think you can stomach this thriller. Give it a try and you may not trust public transport ever again.
Best Drama Soundtrack: “Stay With Me” – Chanyeol & Punch
Like many big dramas, the soundtracks can become just as popular as they cement the memories made by the beautiful scenes, kisses and powerful moments made by these actors. We have seen many from dramas including The Big Hit and more, but Goblin powered forward with not one but two nominations with both Crush’s “Beautiful” and this main theme recorded by EXO’s Chanyeol & solo artist Punch.
Best Television Programme: Knowing Brothers
Also known as “A Hyung I Know”, this variety show has proven to be one of the big programmes of this year. Beating out Produce 101, King Of Masked Singer & New Journey to the West 2, this show sees big idols dressed up in school uniforms and unveiling some stories shared among viewers and even the main cast that features Super Junior’s Heechul and variety legend Kang Ho Dong. With quality moments from BTS, EXO and more, there is no surprise that this show is a fan favourite.
Beauty Pick of the Year: Lee Hi x MAC Collaboration
We have had many K-Beauty holy grails from the Peripera Ink Velvet to BLACKPINK’s Moonshot Lipsticks but this year, one YG starlet made a surprise appearance in our make up bags with her Future Forward collaboration with beauty giant, MAC. If you were one of the lucky few, you managed to bag Lee Hi’s rich red lipstick in the UK to add to the collection which also involved other big names including Dua Lipa.
Now note here that we have only revealed eighteen awards… that is because we have one special award to give out. This year, we saw a bright light in the industry fade out. One light that shined bright on so many causes and now UnitedKpop wish to give back and shine the light on those who do so much for the industry itself and also the fans that support it. We introduce to you the Shining Light award.
For this award, it is only fair that we give the first Shining Light to the person the award honours. SHINee’s Kim Jonghyun has been an inspiration for many idols and fans throughout his ten year career. Admired for his singing and song-writing skills, he was also an advocate for many sensitive issues within South Korea; including the country’s education policy and also speaking out for LGBT rights by openly supporting fans who identified as transgender. For this and many more, it brings UnitedKpop great honour to bestow the late Kim Jonghyun the first Shining Light award. Jonghyun, you did well and we are proud of you.
That is it! All Nineteen winners as chosen by you as the fans. Do you believe in the choices? Should there be some honorary mentions? Let us know in the comments below but until the next year, here is to an amazing 2018 for K-Culture and from all of us at UnitedKpop, have a happy and blessed new year!