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BTS and IU cap off ‘unbelievable’ year: Exo, Wanna One and more were big winners at the 32nd Golden Disc Awards

Jan 13,2018
BTS took home the Album of the Year award on the second day of the two-day Golden Disc Awards on Thursday for their September release “Love Yourself: Her.” [ILGAN SPORTS]
Exo took home four Golden Disc awards, the most for any group this year, including the Global Popular Artist and Most Popular Star of Genie Music awards. [ILGAN SPORTS]
Wanna One, left, was named Digital Song Rookie Artist while Blackpink, middle, won a second-level prize in the digital song category. IU won the grand prize in the digital song category for “Through the Night,” which was the first time a solo female artist won the award since 2007. [ILGAN SPORTS]
The grand prizes of the two-day Golden Disc Awards went to solo singer IU for her song “Through the Night” and boy band BTS for their album “Love Yourself: Her.”

A day after BTS took home a prize in the digital song category on the first day of the annual music awards held on Wednesday night at Kintex in Ilsan, Gyeonggi, the Korean heartthrobs scooped up the Album of the Year award for their record, “Love Yourself: Her,” despite fierce competition from boy band Exo, who has taken home the Album of the Year award every year since 2014. BTS’ second-level prize in the digital song category was shared with Blackpink, Heize, Bolbbalgan4, Akdong Musician, Twice, Winner, Big Bang, Yoon Jong-shin and Red Velvet.

“I really love you fans. I picked up a fortune cookie yesterday at the Golden Disc Awards ceremony. It said that darkness will clear up and light will enter in 2018. I think this grand prize has become our first light [of the year],” said BTS leader RM in the group’s acceptance speech.

BTS member Jimin said, “We are very grateful for having received Bonsang [second-level prize] in the digital song category and the grand prize for the Album of the Year. Last year, lots of unbelievable things happened to us, and I believe we could only achieve this much thanks to our agency, members, and most importantly, to our [fan club] ARMY, who has always loved and supported us.”

This year’s event marked BTS’ fourth consecutive year of winning an award at the major K-pop event. BTS, which found success in the United States last year, bagged their first Golden Disc Award in 2014, when they received the Rookie Artist award.

The scoring for the awards are calculated based on the total number of albums sold (80 percent) and an expert evaluation (20 percent). BTS’ “Love Yourself: Her,” released September, sold a total of 1.49 million - the highest sales recorded since Gaon Chart, the country’s benchmark music sales tracker, started collecting data in 2011. Exo’s “The War,” unveiled in July, sold 1.08 million, including both the Korean and Chinese versions. Combining the fourth repackaged album, “The Power of Music” (511,856) Exo sold a total of almost 1.6 million albums, but the Golden Disc Awards counts a repackaged album as a separate record.

“We’re very happy to have received so many awards. We will continue to do our best in 2018,” said Exo, who was the most awarded group at the event, taking home four awards: Global Popular Artist, Most Popular Star of Genie Music, Ceci Asia Icon Award, and the Most Popular Star of Asia Award.

Wanna One, a male act formed from the second season of Mnet audition program “Produce 101,” was named Digital Song Rookie Artist while female act Twice took home three awards over the course of the two-day event, including the Ceci Asia Icon Award.

On the previous day, IU was honored the Digital Song of the Year award for her song “Through the Night.”

“‘Through the Night’ came out last March. Thank you to everyone who has loved it for the past four seasons. Ever since I received the demo, and while I wrote the lyrics, I’ve felt so lucky to have been given the song. I’m so grateful for the existence of ‘Through the Night,’” she said in her acceptance speech.

It was the first time a solo female artist has received the Grand Prize since 2007, when Ivy was honored for her song “If You’re Gonna Be Like This.”

In its 32nd year, Golden Disc Awards is an annual awards show organized to recognize outstanding achievements in the local music industry. Since the event started in 1986, it has grown to become one of the most prestigious awards ceremonies in Korea. This year’s event was co-hosted by JTBC Plus and Ilgan Sports.

BY JIN MIN-JI [jin.minji@joongang.co.kr]