K-pop generations square off at Hanteo Music Awards

Boy band Ateez, one of the recipients of the Artist of the Year award, performs at the 2023 Hanteo Music Awards [HANTEO GLOBAL]

The so-called third- and fourth-generation K-pop artists went toe-to-toe at the Hanteo Music Awards, with boy band NCT Dream clinching the award for Best Artist and girl group IVE winning Best Song with its song “I AM” (2023).

The 31st Hanteo Music Awards was held over two days on Saturday and Sunday at Dongdaemun Design Plaza in eastern Seoul for the second offline edition of the awards ceremony.

The four grand prizes given out by Hanteo Music Awards were Best Artist, Best Song, Best Album and Best Performance.

Boy band NCT subunit NCT Dream won the award for Best Artist at the 2023 Hanteo Music Awards [HANTEO GLOBAL]

Boy band NCT’s subunit NCT Dream was awarded Best Artist this year, following up on their Best Album win at last year’s ceremony.

“What I’ve really noticed after our debut is that cheering someone on has a tremendous effect,” NCT Dream member Mark said during the acceptance speech. “I will try my best to make NCT Dream even better,” he said after thanking the NCT’s fan club, NCTzen, for their support.

It was boy band Stray Kids’ second time in a row winning Best Performance at the awards. Girl group IVE won Best Song with “I AM,” one of the lead tracks from the group’s first EP, “I’ve IVE” (2023), and boy band Seventeen won the prize for Best Album with its tenth EP, “FML” (2023).

Girl group aespa performing on the second day of the 2023 Hanteo Music Awards [HANTEO GLOBAL]

aespa won big with three awards, the most for a single artist or group at this year’s ceremony, picking up the prizes for Artist of The Year, Best Trend Leader and Global Generation Icon.

Old-timers were celebrated at the ceremony as well, with rock band YB getting a shoutout as Legend Rock Icon.

This year’s Hanteo Music Awards continued its theme of “connecting the past, present and future of K-pop,” according to host Hanteo Global. Veteran artists and producers including Yoon Il-sang, Danny Ahn, Kim Dong-wan, Kim Jong-seo, Lisa and Jung-in attended as presenters to hand out awards to the winners.

Girl group Billlie performing on the first day of the awards [HANTEO GLOBAL]

Rookie groups performed hit songs from the past at the ceremony, with girl group Billlie performing Girls’ Generation’s “The Boys” (2011), boy band Tempest covering BTS’s “Dynamite” (2020) and boy band Just B taking on Super Junior’s “Sorry, Sorry” (2009).

A total of 16 groups and solo artists received the Artist of the Year award, with the list of recipients being: NCT Dream, Stray Kids, Seventeen, IVE, Enhypen, aespa, Tomorrow X Together, NewJeans, Ateez, (G)I-DLE, Le Sserafim, Jungkook, Jimin, V, NCT 127 and ZeroBaseOne.