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MAMA award performances of 2023

The M-Net Asian Music Awards (MAMA) are a major music awards ceremony that takes place annually. It is organized by CJ Entertainment and broadcasted through its music channel, M-net. Each year, the MAMA Awards honor numerous artists with prizes. Many K-pop fans look forward to the event each year, hoping for their favorite artists to perform.


This year’s ceremony was a two day event, taking place on the 28th and 29th of November. The venue was the Tokyo Dome stadium in Japan, with both days of the event having incredible performances of large productions,special stages, and collaborations. Since the first MAMA Awards in 1999, the ceremony’s performances have become more grand each year, and the 2023 event did not disappoint.


On the 28th of November, MAMA Day One was hosted by 2022’s returning host, Jeon Somi. The first performance was Tomorrow X Together’s special stage titled “Where’s the happy ending?” which was a six minute long performance filled with dance as well as a mashup of their two most recent title tracks released this year, Chasing That Feeling and Sugar Rush Ride. HYBE Entertainment juniors of Tomorrow X Together, Enhypen, also performed a six-minute special stage.


Enhypen’s performance was titled “From Eternity Into Mortality”. Their outfits for this performance were white suits with red rhinestones decorating different sections of their suits, mimicking blood. Apart from their striking outfits, Enhypen performed their most recent title tracks, Bite Me and Sweet Venom. Despite Sweet Venom only being released a month before the event fans cheered in excitement when the melody started.


Host Jeon Somi also performed two songs on the MAMA stage. The Black Label artist performed The Way and Fast Forward from her album Game Plan. In Mnet's'seality show competition, the Girls Planet 999 girl group, Kep1er, performed their latest Japanese single, Grand Prix.


SM Entertainment had a special collaboration stage between their recently debuted boy group, Riize, and two members of senior group TVXQ!. The performance was titled ‘Rising Sun’ as it performed a modernized version of the TVXQ! single from 2005. Riize was joined on stage by their seniors, Changmin and Yunho, who joined their juniors on stage halfway through the performance. 


MAMA’s wonder stage was titled “Music Goes Infinity and Beyond”. The special performance was a collaboration between Japanese songwriter Yoshiniki performing his song Endless Rain with Tomorrow X Together members Taehyun and Huening Kai. Jaehyun from Boynextdoor performed on the Wonder stage too. Anton from Riize joined the performance by playing the cello, and Han Yu Jin from Zerobaseone performed an elegant dance as Anton and Yoshiniki continued playing Endless Rain on the piano and cello.


Bluedot Entertainment’s Just B performed their most recent title track, Medusa, from their 2023 album Nanugi. KQ Entertainment’s Xikers performed Xikey from their first album, House of Tricky: Doorbell Ringing, as half of their performance. After a short dance break, the rest of their performance was their title track, Do or Die, from their most recent album, House of Tricky: How To Play.


Hybe Labels Japan’s boy band, formed from the reality-survival show &Audition, also performed at the MAMA Awards. &Team debuted in 2022 after their reality-survival show and performed War Cry. The title track of their first full-length album, First Howling : Now. Other Japanese artists that performed in the MAMA Awards include JO1 and INI, who performed Venus.


MAMA’s themed stage was an eight minute performance titled ‘I Am Special’. The stage started with rapper Lee Young-Ji alone on stage, talking to the crowd at the event. She rapped a verse written for this performance and ended her section of the performance with a short dance. Followed by Le Sserafim’s maknae Hong Eunchae, whose performance focused on a pre-recorded narration of hers that was danced throughout by her and backup dancers. After Eunchae’s dance concluded, it was followed by Zerobaseone’s Zhang Hao playing the violin. The last section of the performance was Treasure’s Choi Hyun Suk, Yoshi, and Haruto rapping and later joining previously performing artists on the main stage to dance until the end of the performance.


MAMA’s exclusive stage was centered around Dynamicduo’s performance. The duo’s performance started with their song Aeao, which ended with the names of all dance groups from the cast of Street Women Fighter 2 appearing on the screen behind them. The second half of the performance was Dynamicduo’s Smoke, starting the performance with choreographer Smoke and winner of Street Women Fighter 2 Bada Lee.


November 29th’s MAMA Awards opened with a cinematic stage from KQ Entertainment’s Ateez. Ateez’ performance included a special cameo from actor Ryu Seung Ryong, with half of the performance being Ateez’s latest title track Bouncy. Half way through, Ryu Seung Ryong and Ateez’s San had an acting moment, concluding with Ryu Seung Ryong introducing Ateez’s upcoming comeback title track, Crazy Form. The rest of Ateez’s performance continued as a teaser for the song that became available on December 1st.


Mnet’s reality competition show, Queendom Puzzle Group, El7z Up, also performed on MAMA’s second day. The girl group’s performance was titled ‘Master Piece’ and lasted five minutes. El7z Up debuted in mid-September under DG Entertainment, with their 7+Up album title track Cheeky being used as the introduction for their performance. The rest of their performance was Snap, a song they have previously performed but not yet officially released.


KOZ Entertainment’s Boynextdoor, whose performance was titled ‘Knock on Your Heart’.Half of the performance was their single One and Only from their debut single album Who!, followed by a dance break. However, most of their performance time focused on the boy group’s most recent title track, But Sometimes, from their first full length album, Why.


Followed by one of MAMA’s superstages titled ‘Goddess Awakened’ as a collaboration between numerous female artists. Each artist represented a powerful mythical female character, including a siren, Medusa, Chimera, and Sphinx. Le Sserafim’s Huh Yunjin represented the siren, Kep1er’s Xiaoting represented Medusa, Monika and Bada Lee represented Chimera, and (G)I-dle’s Minnie represented the Sphinx. The ten minute super stage focuses on a cohesive dance performance between all five artists.


SM Entertainment’s most recently debuted boy group, Riize, took to the MAMA stage again on the second day of the event. Their performance was titled ‘We All Rise’ and they performed Talk Saxy and Siren. Both singles were released closely following the group’s debut in early September. After Riize’s performance came JYP Entertainment and Sony Music Entertainment Japan’s girl group NiziU. NiziU performed their Korean single album and Korean debut release, Heartris. Their performance was titled ‘Start to Love’ and was one of the few performances with no backup dancers at the MAMA Awards.


Zerobaseone’s performance was after NiziU's, and it was titled ‘Because You Saved’. After some Zerobaseone members participated in collaboration stages with other artists, many looked forward to their own performances on the MAMA stage. Their performance lasted almost seven minutes as they performed their songs In Bloom, Take My Hand and Crush.


Source Music’s Le Sserafim’s performance took place after Zerobaseone. Their performance was titled ‘Revolution on the Street’. Le Sserafim fans were pleasantly surprised to see the group’s leader, Kim Chae-won present for their performance, as she had been unable to participate in recent performances due to health issues. Their reunion made the performance of Eve, Psyche, and the Bluebeard’s wife even more exciting.


Following Le Sserafim’s performance was Treasure, who also had a long performance time; however, their performance titled ‘I Need Your Love’ had an almost two minute video introduction. Once their video introduction was over, their performance started with Move, followed by Bona Bona.


Cube Entertainment’s (G)I-dle finally took their place on the MAMA stage as a group, almost at the end of the night. (G)I-dle performed a super stage of their song Queencard. The title track to their recent album, I Feel, was released earlier this year. (G)I-dle’s performance included the crowd being encouraged to sing the ending chorus of the song with the members as they finished their large-scale performance.


Closing the 2023 MAMA Awards performances on the second day was legendary Pledis Entertainment group Seventeen. Seventeen’s performance was titled ‘The Feast in the Seventeenth Heaven’ ; they performed God of Music and Super from their most recent album, FML. 


Overall, the MAMA Awards are highly anticipated by J-Pop and K-Pop fans alike for numerous reasons. One of the main reasons was their incredible performances showcased at the elaborate event, with special collaborations between artists and exclusive stage performances. This year’s MAMA Awards were filled with a strong line-up of performances throughout the two day event.

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