[GOLDEN DISC] ZeroBaseOne, Fifty Fifty are rookies of the year at Golden Disc Awards

Boy band ZeroBaseOne gives a speech after winning the Rookie of the Year award at the 38th Golden Disc Awards on Saturday at the Jakarta International Stadium (JIS) in Indonesia. [GOLDEN DISC AWARDS ORGANIZING COMMITTEE]

Boy band ZeroBaseOne and girl group Fifty Fifty won the Rookie of the Year awards at the 38th Golden Disc Awards on Saturday, honored as the two most promising newbies of 2023 K-pop.

The 38th Golden Disc Awards took place at the Jakarta International Stadium (JIS) with some 80,000 audience members filling up the venue with thunderous roars at every minute. It was hosted by singer and actor Cha Eun-woo and singer Sung Si-kyung and sponsored by Mandiri, the largest commercial bank in Indonesia.

The Golden Disc Awards, hosted by the JoongAng Group, is a unique pop music ceremony that gives out multiple honors and one grand prize in three main categories — Digital Song of the Year, Album of the Year and Rookie Artist of the Year — and popular vote awards for male and female acts.

The two acts beat eight other candidates in the rookie category: BoyNextDoor, Evnne, Plave, Riize, xikers, Lun8, n.SSign and Hwang Yeong-woong.

“Thank you so much for this award,” member Sung Han-bin of ZeroBaseOne said. “We will be a ZeroBaseOne that does not forget the meaning of this award and leaps on forward.”

Keena of girl group Fifty Fifty gives a speech after winning the Rookie of the Year award at the 38th Golden Disc Awards on Saturday at the Jakarta International Stadium (JIS) in Indonesia. [GOLDEN DISC AWARDS ORGANIZING COMMITTEE]

“I’m so honored to be given this award that you can only get once in your career, especially at the Golden Disc Awards,” Keena, the only remaining member of Fifty Fifty, said. “Thanks to everyone including CEO Oscar Chun and the staff at [my agency] Attrakt and my most beloved family.”

ZeroBaseOne and Fifty Fifty have been the hottest newbies in the 2023 K-pop town.

ZeroBaseOne debuted through one of Korea’s largest TV audition programs with the aim of becoming “the one” to lead the next chapter in K-pop, like its predecessors Wanna One, Enhypen and more.

As a boy band put together through the votes of global fans, ZeroBaseOne got off to one of the smoothest starts for a newly-debuting group.

Boy band ZeroBaseOne [WAKEONE]

Its debut album “Youth in the Shade” (2023) sold 1.2 million copies on the day of its release alone, becoming the first ever debuting K-pop act to sell over a million copies of its album in a day. The album also sat at No. 182 on the Billboard Global 200 chart.

Fifty Fifty was perhaps one of the hottest acts of 2023, for better or for worse.

The group debuted as a quartet on Nov. 18, 2022, and shot to the top of the charts last year when its dance track “Cupid” (2023) went viral, especially on TikTok. The group was dubbed “the miracle” of its small K-pop agency, which typically struggles to compete with larger companies loaded with money and manpower.

Things took a turn for the worse when the four members filed for an injunction against their agency Attrakt, claiming that the company mistreated them and refused to share the income with the members. In a surprise turn of events, however, the public and the court sided with the agency rather than the members, and three members were kicked out of the agency and the group — with the exception of Keena, who returned to the agency after apologizing to the CEO.

Fifty Fifty is now a one-woman band with Keena as the sole remaining member.

Boy band BoyNextDoor at the 38th Golden Disc Awards on Saturday in Jakarta, Indonesia [GOLDEN DISC AWARDS ORGANIZING COMMITTEE]

The 38th Golden Disc Awards was the fifth time that the music awards ceremony was held outside of Korea, following the 26th edition in Japan, 27th in Malaysia, 29th in China and 37th in Thailand. The Golden Disc Awards began in 1986 with an aim to recognize and honor the popular music that garners significant attention each year.

K-pop's biggest stars shone at the awards ceremony, putting on never-before-seen performances for the global audience.

Boy bands Seventeen, Stray Kids, Tomorrow X Together, Enhypen, BoyNextDoor, Parc Jae-jung, La Poem and ZeroBaseOne and girl groups NewJeans, IVE, Le Sserafim, STAYC and Fifty Fifty’s Keena all took the stage, while hosts Sung and Cha also flaunted their soft vocals in a special duet stage for the show.