On November 28th and 29th, the Mnet Asian Music Awards (MAMA) took place at the Tokyo Dome in Japan. The yearly award ceremony celebrates Asian talent in music. The ceremony is organized by CJ ENM and broadcasted through the music channel Mnet. Many K-pop fans eagerly await the annual ceremony, hoping for their favorite group to win some awards or give large performances.
Seventeen is a male K-pop group from Pledis Entertainment, a small company founded in 2007. Seventeen debuted on May 26th, 2015, with thirteen members and their mini album, 17 Carat. Despite Seventeen being from a small company and being a large group in the K-pop scene, they have gained countless fans throughout the years. Due to their vocal and hip-hop subunits, the group has consistently presented incredible performances. In 2020, Pledis Entertainment became a sub-label of Big Hit Entertainment, as BigHit became the majority shareholder of Pledis Entertainment.
Since their debut, member Woozi has produced all Seventeen’s songs and is credited with writing the majority of their songs with the collaborations of other members. While Woozi has been responsible for most of the music, performance subunit leader Hoshi has been credited with most of the choreography of the group’s performances.
Seventeen’s tenth mini-album FML, was released on April 24th with two title tracks, one titled ‘Super’ and the other titled ‘F*ck My Life’. Super’s music video was also posted on April 24th and currently has 158 million views, while ‘F*ck My Life’ music video was posted on May 7th and only has 29 million views.
Super gained much attention for Seventeen; however, the group’s leader, S.Coups suffered a tear on his anterior cruciate ligament of his left knee on August 10th. He underwent pre-surgical treatment, followed by surgery to restore his ACL and anterolateral ligament on August 21st and was discharged from the hospital after the successful surgery on August 24th. Due to the severity of his injury, S. Coups was put on a temporary hiatus to ensure a full recovery, meaning Seventeen has been performing as twelve members since early August. Fans and members alike have missed the leader dearly.
Numerous acceptance speeches from Seventeen members dedicated awards received since August to their leader, since despite his absence, S.Coups was not able to celebrate most of their FML awards. Seventeen was awarded MAMA’s Fan’s Choice Award on November 28th with their speech thanking their fans for their love and support, as well as mentioning Dino’s solo debut, which had been released the day before. In their first speech of the night, they thanked their CEO and staff and “sincerely congratulate everyone who received awards” that evening.
On MAMA's red carpet, it was mentioned that Seventeen’s eleventh mini-album ‘Seventeenth Heaven’, released on October 23rd, sold five million copies within one week. Additionally, Seventeen has ranked number one in Billboard’s Artist one-hundred with four of their albums scoring on the top ten of Billboard’s two hundred in a row.
The second day of the MAMA Awards welcomed Seventeen with even more awards for the group. Firstly, they were awarded the Bibigo’s Culture & Style award with their short speech emphasizing that they will continue to work hard and give positive energy through their music and dance. Secondly, they were awarded Best Dance Performance Male Group due to their large-scale choreography of Super, with the MAMA Awards regarding it as a “mega-performance”. Their acceptance speech mentioned S.Coups absence at the end, but mainly focused on their hard work in preparation for Super being recognised and hyping the crowd for their performance later in the evening.
Before their performance, Seventeen was awarded again for Best Male Group. Mingyu’s acceptance speech for the award included “becoming a group that rewards you with better stages and better music” in the future, with their third speech focusing more on their leader’s absence yet promising to come back with him.
Seventeen’s performance, titled “The Feast in Seventeenth Heaven," was a large production, starting with the encouragement of Seventeen for the crowd and artists to enjoy the performance by clapping along. Followed by numerous members dancing as all attendees started clapping, Hoshi had numerous LED panels surrounding him for his introduction dance break.
Once Hoshi’s dance break concluded, their performance of ‘God of Music’ started, with their upbeat song made for other artists and the crowd to enjoy their performance. As all members returned to the start of the catwalk, there was a drastic change in the stage lighting. Woozi steps forward and closes a panel of LED lights in a briefcase manner, introducing the second half of their performance as Super. Half way through the performance of Super as member Minghao, also known by stage name The8, made his appearance, he led a dance break for this special performance.
After Minghao’s dance break, supported by numerous backup dancers, his lyrics brought members back on stage for the continuation of the Super performance. Minghao had suggested his important role in the MAMA performance when Seventeen was accepting the Culture & Style award, as he asked for fans to look forward to it.
The final award of the award ceremony on the 29th is the highest honor album of the year, also known as Daesang. Actress Uhm Jung Hwa announced “It’s finally them, everyone. It’s finally them” before revealing Seventeen as this year’s winner. Before Seventeen got up on stage, group leader S.Coups can be seen sitting with the group, and all thirteen members embraced on a hug before getting on stage. Their 10-minute acceptance speech mostly focused on their dedication and fans winning the Daesang since Hoshi mentioned nine years ago on their first MAMA appearance they went back home without any awards.
The speech became more heartfelt as each member spoke, including Woozi, who mentioned the early criticism the group faced after debuting yet working hard as self-producing artists. Seungkwan was the last member to speak. He started his speech by telling all the artists present, despite them being awarded or not, that he “learned a bunch from you today”. He added that since being in the K-pop industry is “certainly not easy. Let’s keep rooting for each other, and create good memories together”.
After a brief pause, Seungkwan wondered whether his next sentiment would be appropriate for the moment. Then expressing his “deepest gratitude” to his friend Moonbin, who has “always shown his support for all members of Seventeen”. The idol Moonbin passed away at the young age of 25 in April. He was a member of Astro and an ex-member of Rocky, along with his younger sister, Moon Sua, who was also an idol in Billie. Seungkwan emphasized the camaraderie that Moonbin always showed in the K-pop industry while honoring him.
Overall, Seventeen were awarded a total of five MAMA awards in the ceremony on November 28th and 29th. Their performance on the evening of the 29th was a breathtaking, large production that artists and fans thoroughly enjoyed. Their final acceptance speech for the album of the year award showed all thirteen members reunited, followed by an emotional reflection of all members, with Seungkwan extending an honorable mention to their late friend Moonbin.
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