BTS absence is opening for new stars at 38th Golden Disc Awards

The 38th Golden Disc Awards will be held on Jan. 6 at the Jakarta International Stadium in Indonesia. Fans will be able to vote for Favorite Artist awards on Favorite, a fan platform created by streaming service Bugs and the JoongAng Group [NHN BUGS]

Who will win at the 38th Golden Disc Awards next month? The answer is up in the air as BTS — which dominated the awards and won six Album of the Year titles in a row — has not been collectively nominated this time around. The boy band slowed down its group activities to complete their mandatory military services.

The 38th Golden Disc Awards, organized by the JoongAng Group to honor Korean artists and their achievements, will be held on Jan. 6 at the Jakarta International Stadium (JIS) in Indonesia. Twenty acts each were nominated in the Digital Song of the Year and Album of the Year categories, while 10 artists are up for the Rookie Artist of the Year award.

BTS has reigned strong since it took its first Album of the Year award for its fifth EP, “Love Yourself: Her,” at the 32nd Golden Disc Awards in 2018. The boy band won the title again in 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022 and 2023. BTS also became the first and only artist to win both the Album of the Year and Digital Song of the Year awards in 2020 with the album “Map of the Soul: Persona” and its lead track, “Boy with Luv.”

BTS was nominated for neither Album of the Year nor Song of the Year for the 38th Golden Disc Awards. Jimin, however, was nominated for Digital Song of the Year with “Like Crazy,” Suga for Digital Album of the Year with his first full-length album, “D-DAY,” under his solo stage name Agust D and Jungkook for both awards for his song “Seven (feat. Latto) and album “Golden.”

The three members aren't just competing against each other. This year’s album category includes strong competition from other boy bands. Seventeen, who took the Album of the Year title at the 2023 MAMA awards, is nominated for its tenth EP, “FML.” Stray Kids is also up for the honor with its third full-length album, “5-STAR,” as is NCT Dream for full-length album “ISTJ.” FML, upon its launch in April, became the most-sold K-pop album in the first week of release — a record that Stray Kids' “5-STAR” broke in June. “ISTJ,” too, saw exceptionally strong sales, selling 3.65 million copies in its first week.

IVE, who won Digital Song of the Year in 2023, is nominated again for that title, this time for the song “I AM.” The category includes a number of strong girl group contenders, including NewJeans, Fifty Fifty, Le Sserafim, aespa and H1-KEY.

The winner of the Most Popular Artist award, voted on by worldwide fans of K-pop, will also see a change this year. BTS, which has won that title for five years running, is not eligible for it this year, as only candidates for the three main awards — Album of the Year, Digital Song of the Year, and Rookie Artist of the Year — are included on the ballot. BTS members, however, will compete for this award as solo artists alongside 26 other male acts and 13 female acts.

Fans can vote for this award, which is divided into Most Popular Female Artist and Most Popular Male Artist categories, using Favorite, a new fan platform created in collaboration with streaming platform Bugs and the JoongAng Group. The vote for the Most Popular Artist award ends on Dec. 27. Trot singer Lim Young-woong and girl group Twice are in the lead as of Wednesday.

Separately, Celeb Confirmed, an entertainment news and community platform run by the JoongAng Group group's English newspaper arm, Korea JoongAng Daily, is offering a free ticket to the ceremony packaged with a one-day accommodation in Jakarta. The event runs until Dec. 17. Guidelines on how to participate can be found on the Celeb Confirmed website's community section.

The Golden Disc Awards, which the JoongAng Group hosts, is considered one of Korea's most prestigious music awards ceremonies. Its unique format recognizes dozens of nominees and multiple winners in each of the three main categories.

JIS, where the upcoming ceremony will take place, can house up to 80,000 audience members. Mandiri, the event's sponsor, is the largest commercial bank in Indonesia.

This is the fifth time that the music awards ceremony will be held outside of Korea, following its 26th edition in Japan, 27th in Malaysia, 29th in China and 37th in Thailand.

Singer and actor Cha Eun-woo and singer Sung Si-kyung will host the event. This is Sung's eighth time hosting the Golden Disc Awards and Cha's first. Cha won Best Performance as a member of boy band Astro at the 34th Golden Disc Awards.

Visit Celeb Confirmed for more information about the Golden Disc Awards!