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BTS' J-Hope to headline 2022 Mama Awards

CJ ENM plans to hold K-pop awards in US within 3 years

Officials of CJ ENM, Chief Producer Yoon Shin-hye (left), head of music content Kim Hyun-soo (center) and live entertainment business manager Lee Sun-hung, hold the 2022 Mama Awards global conference at CJ ENM Studio in Seoul on Wednesday. (CJ ENM)
Officials of CJ ENM, Chief Producer Yoon Shin-hye (left), head of music content Kim Hyun-soo (center) and live entertainment business manager Lee Sun-hung, hold the 2022 Mama Awards global conference at CJ ENM Studio in Seoul on Wednesday. (CJ ENM)

The Mama Awards, the annual K-pop celebration hosted by CJ ENM, are taking another leap forward in efforts to evolve into a global K-pop festival.

Ahead of the 2022 Mama Awards set to take place at the end of the month in Japan, a global press conference about the event took place Wednesday at CJ ENM Studio in Sangam-dong, western Seoul.

A lineup of special performers for this year's ceremony, including J-Hope of BTS, was also revealed during the conference.

This year marks the first time the event is being held under its newly revised name, the Mama Awards. In August, CJ ENM announced the rebranding of the Mnet Asian Music Awards to the Mama Awards to demonstrate its new goal to take the event beyond the realm of Asia to the bigger world.

"With the ever-expanding influence of K-pop in the global community, we came to wonder whether the awards could stay limited to Asia," said Kim Hyun-soo, head of music content at CJ ENM.

Kim added that the company plans to take the awards to the US within three years.

"I announced last year our new challenge to take the Mama Awards to the US. We're currently planning to launch an offline event in the US within three years," Kim said, adding that the country is among the top five regions from which fans took part in the awards' fan-voted categories.

Under the slogan "We Are K-pop," the 2022 Mama Awards will be held Nov. 29-30 at Kyocera Dome Osaka in Japan. The event will also be livestreamed via online platforms.

The first day will be devoted to global fans of K-pop and the top 10 fan-voted groups of the Worldwide Fans' Choice will be named then. Winners of the general categories will be announced on the second night. This is the first time that the event is taking place over two days.

Hosting the event will be K-pop singer Jeon Somi on the first night and actor Park Bo-gum the next day. This is the first time Jeon is taking up the role as a host of a major music awards show. Park, who previously hosted in 2018 and 2019, is returning for a third go.

The special lineup of performers has been revealed, and fronting the list was BTS' J-Hope, who made his solo debut with the album "Jack in the Box" this year.

"J-Hope will be the first from BTS to reveal a solo performance on a TV broadcast. All Mama performances have become legendary, and J-Hope is also preparing to write history," CJ ENM's Chief Producer Yoon Shin-hye said, adding that J-Hope's performance will be named "I'm Your Hope."

A massive collaboration of five big-name rookie girl groups -- Ive, Le Sserafim, NewJeans, NMIXX and Kep1er -- will also be a highlight of the awards show. The 32 members of the five bands will take the stage together, the organizers said.

More never-before-seen collaborations, one featuring Stray Kids' production trio 3Racha, music director Jung Jae-il of Oscar-winning film "Parasite" and legendary hip-hop artist Tiger JK, as well as another between K-pop act (G)I-dle and rock band Jaurim, are also in the works.

"We wanted to show performances that were only possible at Mama. We thought about what kind of performances made through collaborations between different artists could inspire viewers and the public. Our initiative lies in showing everyone becoming one through music, regardless of the boundaries, generations and genres," Yoon explained.

The previously announced lineup of performers includes Kara, Hyolyn, Forestella, Bibi, NMIXX, Le Sserafim and the crews of Mnet's popular "Street Man Fighter" on the first day, and Zico, Lim Young-woong, (G)I-dle, NiziU, INI and NewJeans on the second day.

Kicking off in 1999 as the nation's first video music awards under the name Mnet Video Music Awards, the event changed its name to the Mnet Asian Music Awards in 2009. The ceremony has been held annually in numerous locations around Asia, including Japan, Singapore and Hong Kong, and has grown to become Asia's biggest music award shows.



By Choi Ji-won (jwc@heraldcorp.com)
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