K Pop at the 2022 VMA Awards: BTS, Blackpink, and Seventeen Win Big

(New Jersey) The 2022 MTV VMAs featured an enormous winning streak for multiple K-Pop artists. Among the final winners, BTS, Blackpink, and Seventeen were recognized as global leaders in numerous award categories and marked an extraordinary feat for the K-Pop industry.

The MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs) is an annual award show celebrating artists, songs, and videos of the year. It stands alongside the Grammy Awards, Billboard Music Awards, and the American Music Awards as a pillar of the major music award ceremonies in the US. It’s no surprise that K-pop has been reaching unprecedented levels of popularity in the past year but scoring numerous accolades at one of the biggest ceremonies shows it’s here to stay and proves K-Pop as a genre is no one hit wonder.

VMA Win #1: BTS wins ‘Group of the Year’

While BTS members were unable to attend the ceremony in person this year, thousands of fans gathered outside the Prudential Center to root for the band. BTS was singlehandedly the most-nominated group of the awards show, contending in the “Group of the Year”, “Best K-Pop”, “Best Choreography”, “Best Visual Effects”, and “Best Metaverse Performance” categories.

At the night’s end, BTS was announced as the “Group of the Year” for the fourth consecutive year, an achievement no other band has ever made. Notable runner-ups included: Blackpink, City Girls, Imagine Dragons, Silk Sonic, and Red Hot Chili Peppers. Army fans around the world called for a virtual Twitter party in celebration of the band writing history as one of the most successful performers of our time.

In light of their recent announcement that members would pursue individual projects, BTS member Jung Kook was also nominated for “Song of the Summer” for his single Left and Right featuring Charlie Puth. BTS has successfully continued a hot streak ever since their first victory in 2019 as the best group, winning four trophies in 2020 and three more in 2021.

VMA Win #2: Blackpink wins ‘Best Metaverse Performance’ and Lisa wins ‘Best K-Pop’

Another K-Pop group that rewrote history at the VMAs was none other than the iconic Blackpink. The girl group previously took home “Song of the Summer” in 2020 for their single How You Like That. This year, Blackpink was nominated for “Group of the Year” and “Best Metaverse Performance” for their recent in-game concert in PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. After a stunning live performance of their newest single Pink Venom, Blackpink was called to the stage for showcasing the “Best Metaverse Performance”, defeating nominees such as BTS, Justin Bieber, Charli XCX, and Twenty One Pilots. Notably, Blackpink was the first female K-Pop band—and only the fourth female group in the world—to perform at the VMAs.

Individually, Blackpink member Lisa also won the “Best K-Pop” award for her solo album LaLisa. Lisa was the first-ever K-Pop soloist to win a title at the prestigious ceremony, beating notable group contenders such as BTS, Itzy, Seventeen, Stray Kids, and Twice. Watch Lisa’s full VMAs acceptance speech in the tweet below.


VMA Win #3: Seventeen wins ‘Push Performance of the Year’

As a rising superstar band, Seventeen won their first VMA award this year for “Push Performance of the Year”, with additional nominations in the “Best New Artist” and “Best K-Pop” categories. The group’s song Rock With You was met with tremendous popularity and success, reaching over 75 million views on YouTube. Competing in the same category was Gayle’s viral hit abcdefu, which reached over 172 million views on YouTube and was one of TikTok’s highest trending songs for the past 6-months. While they were not able to attend the awards ceremony in person, Seventeen published an acceptance speech on Twitter thanking their fans for supporting their growth throughout the past year.

Michelle Lee is a recent UC Berkeley graduate with a BA in Political Science and Economics. She lives in the US but frequently travels to Korea to visit family. She is currently working as a paralegal at a law firm in LA and enjoys staying on top of Korean dramas and movies.

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