5 Pleasant Surprises in Kpop from 2013

5 Pleasant Surprises in Kpop from 2013

Howdy, I"mNoodle, a new Op-Ed and Features writer for allkpop. I grew up inHouston, Texas and through my interest in Starcraft2, I"ve come to gain an interest in Korean music,television, and culture as a whole. My favorite solo artist is BoAand my favorite group is After School. I hope that I can neatly mergemy interest in kpop with my development as a writer to delivercontent that you can enjoy.

Life is full ofsurprises and every now and then you receive surprises within K-Pop that pleaseyou in an unexpected way. Here"s a list of my five pleasant surprises within thelast year of K-Pop that have left fans with a good aftertaste.

5dolls Gets Successfully Rebuilt asF-ve Dolls with "Can You Love Me"

5dolls was never very active,nor was their main group Co-ed School. After overa year without any releases and a scandal, the announcementof additional members and the re-branding as "F-ve Dolls" left thegroup with few lasting fans and a large mountain to climb in order toget back to the level of success that the group achieved with "LikeThis or That".

With their comeback single "Soulmate #1" lookingand sounding like a weak "Roly-Poly" rehash and the announcementthat Dani, the young and unproven member of T-ara N4, would befeatured on "Can You Love Me," expectations for the song werevery low.

But "Can You Love Me" turned out tobe one of the most underrated songs of 2013. It carries a verypleasant harmony and allows the members to showcase their vocaltalent. The new additions to the group get their chance to show thattheir inclusion was not for naught and allow the group to begin building an identity as the re-branded "F-ve Dolls." The use of Daniproved most surprising: CCM may not have given her a token rapsolo (her notes are pitched), but the unproven 14-year-old managed todo a good job, anyway. With this single, 5Dolls showed thatthey should not be looked over the next time they announce acomeback.

Lim Chang Jung"s "Open the Door"

Announced as a cover of theunderwhelming Wonder Boyz track, nobody was really sure quite what toexpect out of actor and veteran singer Lim Chang Jung"s release.

The musicvideo turned out to be super entertaining with a very fun dance andfunny story line. The song itself manages to sound catchier than theoriginal version and the overall product stands out as a success. A very nice and pleasant surprise.

Nine Muses Gets Productive  5 Pleasant Surprises in Kpop from 2013

As a group ofmodels, Nine Muses" first few years had lineup changes and few produced songs. In 2010 they put out only two songs, in 2011 they became aseven member group and released only a single song, and in early 2012they added Kyung Li and put out their mini album Sweet Rendezvous.

But after adding SungA to the lineup in mid 2012, Nine Muses showeda surprisingly substantial increase in activities in 2013. Over theyear, the group released their second mini album as well as theirfirst full length album and two single albums. From January throughDecember, Nine Muses constantly placed themselves in the limelight,giving content to their starved existing supporters while gaining newfans.

Tiny-G"s "Miss You"

Tiny-G"sinitiation as a girl group full of short members standing 159cm (5"2") orshorter seemed like a weird concept at the start. Their debut hip-hopthemed music video featured a cringe-inducing part where they playbasketball and their second single"s aegyo concept didn"t reallystand out.

So it came as a surprise when their single "Miss You"ditched their previous showcasing of their height and hit the ballout of the park with one of the catchiest tunes of 2013. The song hasa guilt-free addictive chorus with good choreography to accompanyit, solid verses, and a nice high note in the bridge. Over a yearafter their debut, Tiny-G managed to strike gold with "Miss You".

Crayon Pop Makes it Big in SouthKorea  5 Pleasant Surprises in Kpop from 2013

Crayon Pop debutedas simple girl group from a new company. Without the advantages ofbigger label, they focused on creating catchy and fun songs andmanage to gain a fair amount of attention from foreign fans sincetheir debut song "Bing Bing."

But struggling to get time on themajor music television shows in South Korea, the group remainedalmost unheard of in their home country and foreign fans wondered ifthey"d ever be able to generate enough revenue to keep them andChrome Entertainment from having to disband. And then Crayon Popreleased their music video for "Bar Bar Bar," which paired theirsignature simple and catchy songs with attention-drawing outfits andchoreography. The group"s recognition and popularity exploded andforeign fans no longer had to worry about Crayon Pop dying outwithout every achieving any success or recognition in their nativecountry of South Korea.

SEE ALSO: [OP-ED] 5 Pleasant Surprises in Kpop from 2013


Girls' Generation Yuri and Oh Sang Jin to host 2013 Gaon Chart Kpop Awards

Girls' Generation Yuri and Oh Sang Jin to host 2013 Gaon Chart Kpop Awards

Girls' Generation Yuri and Oh Sang Jin to host 2013 Gaon Chart Kpop Awards

It was revealed that Girls' Generation Yuri along with Oh Sang Jin will be the MCs for 2013 Gaon Chart Kpop Awards which will be hold on February 12th at Seoul Olympic Park's Gymnastics Stadium.

Gaon Chart Kpop Awards is an awards show which focus on the sales of songs and album. For this year many stars are nominated such as Cho Yong Pil, PSY, Girls' Generation, EXO, Sistar, San-E, IU, Davichi, Dynamic Duo, 4Minute, Miss A, SoyuMad Clown, Seo In Guk, Jia and etc.

You can find more info about the nominees through its official site.


Billboard picks 'Growl' as Top Kpop Song of 2013

Billboard picks 'Growl' as Top Kpop Song of 2013

Billboard picks 'Growl' as Top Kpop Song of 2013

Billboard America chose EXO's "Growl" as the no.1 song in Top 20 Kpop Songs of 2013.

According to Billboard, "Growl" was the crown jewel in boy band EXO's fantastic 2013. While past singles like "Mama" and "Wolf" were based around complex concepts and busy production, "Growl" used a sparse, Southern hip-hop beat that let the 12 boys' talents shine through. A blend of rap, R and B melody and pop hooks, the breakout single had something for all listeners. Its accompanying video focused on a straight-forward, one-take video, again allowing for EXO's talents -- in this case, choreography -- to shine, not detracting from over-the-top high fashion. Along with high interest from the United States -- the boy band is the newest act to land among the top-selling K-pop tracks in America -- "Growl" solidifies EXO as the act to watch in K-pop's continuing international advancement."

EXO is steadily rising as one of the next top global stars. They have achieved many awards this year from Korea and China, such as 2 Daesang Awards from MelOn Music Award and MAMA, "Most Popular Group Award" from "Baidu The Hottest Awards","Best Group Award" at "Top Chinese Music Billboard Newcomer Awards"


K-Pop Crossover: Photo Of 2NE1 Meeting Stevie Wonder Uploaded By 2013 MAMA!

K-Pop Crossover: Photo Of 2NE1 Meeting Stevie Wonder Uploaded By 2013 MAMA!

K-Pop Crossover: Photo Of 2NE1 Meeting Stevie Wonder Uploaded By 2013 MAMA! (Photo : Instagram)2NE1 recently got a chance to meet Stevie Wonder at the 2013 Mama Awards, and now fans can check out the moment in a new photo!

In the backstage photo, Minzy of 2NE1 and Taeyang of Big Bang can be seen meeting and greeting Stevie Wonder, who is shaking hands with someone else.

Scene of #2013MAMABackstage with #1stLook(@firstlook_T)! Stevie Wonder, MINZY, TAEYANG pic.twitter.com/W7XzO4WfiE

2013MAMA(엠넷아시안뮤직어워즈) (@MnetMAMA) December 5, 2013

"I met Stevie Wonder at MAMA 2013 and had a [great talk] with him," said 2NE1 leader CL."He gave me many words of good advice. Listening to him, I thought that we have been using the power of music for other purposes rather than for sharing love. I reflected on myself and on that [subject], a lot."

At the 2013 MAMA Awards, Stevie Wonder also performed a duet with Sistar singer Hyolyn, who can be seen preparing for her performance below.

#2013MAMABackstage with #1stLook(@firstlook_T)! #EXOLay #SandaraPark(@krungy21),#CL,#Hyolyn#INFINITESungyeol pic.twitter.com/dKdqayYob02013MAMA(엠넷아시안뮤직어워즈) (@MnetMAMA) December 5, 2013 But it seemed like CL was the one who gained the most wisdom from the legendary singer, who has 10 number one singles under his belt.

"Stevie Wonder is a person who has a great and broad-minded view of the world," CL said.

"I thought a lot of things, seeing his mind [which is clearly] beyond that of ordinary people. As a musician, having a boyfriend and relationship is very important, but I came to think that I want to use the power of music for bigger purposes, too."

"Spreading warmth to as many people as possible and making them unite is something that only music can do," she added. "I want to do such things with my music, and that is my concept of love."


Stevie Wonder Takes Photos with Hyorin and Big Bang at 2013 MAMA

Stevie Wonder Takes Photos with Hyorin and Big Bang at 2013 MAMA

Stevie Wonder Takes Photos with Hyorin and Big Bang at 2013 MAMAMusical legend Stevie Wonder not only performed at the 2013 Mnet Asian Music Awards, but also took the time to take two friendly photos with some of K-Pops hottest celebrities.

The day after the award show, Sistars Hyorin tweeted a photo she took with Stevie Wonder and wrote, I still feel like Im dreaming after this performing on a dream-like stage. I will mature to show a more impressive self. I love you Stevie Wonder.

Hyorin had shared a special stage with Stevie Wonder at 2013 MAMA, and it looks like the two took a photo together backstage after their performance.

G-Dragon, Taeyang, and Seungri from Big Bang also had a chance to take a picture with Stevie Wonder backstage. A photo of the four was shared through Big Bangs official Twitter account. 

Check out our recap of the 2013 MAMA and watch the performances. 

Stevie Wonder Takes Photos with Hyorin and Big Bang at 2013 MAMA


EXOs D.O Injured During 2013 MAMA Performance

EXOs D.O Injured During 2013 MAMA Performance

EXO’s D.O Injured During 2013 MAMA PerformanceEXO’s D.O had his right ankle injured during the group’s performance at the 2013 Mnet Asian Music Awards on November 22. He ended up seeking treatment for his injury at a local hospital.

EXO’s agency, SM Entertainment, said that D.O complained of pain in his right ankle after EXO finished their MAMA performance, and he was immediately taken to a nearby hospital in Hong Kong for medical examination and emergency treatment. As a result, he was not on stage with the rest of the EXO members to receive the Album of the Year award.

According to hospital results, D.O did not suffer any damage to the bone, and is planning to receive physical treatment as soon as he returns to Korea on November 23. According to the representative, D.O’s injury is not serious and can be treated adequately with physical therapy.

EXO performed hit songs “Growl” and “Wolf” and received a warm response for their top-notch performance. The performance, titled “A Sweet Dream,” began with the EXO members tied to their desks, with the members breaking free from their bonds and launching into an energetic performance of “Growl.” This was followed by a martial arts-dance battle between Kai and Luhan. Their next song, “Wolf,” moved to the center stage and made good use of the floor lighting to amplify their performance. Despite injuring his ankle while performing, D.O displayed his fighting spirit, finishing off the performance without even a hint of injury.

Singer-songwriter Yoon Jong Shin left a positive comment on his Twitter account, saying, “Ah cool. That’s why EXO is EXO.”

EXO released their first studio album, “XOXO,” this year and are approaching the 1 million mark in album sales. They won the Album of the Year at the 2013 MAMA, and in their acceptance speeches, one comment that struck a note was to “just enjoy the moment.” I’m sure they’ll be doing just that!

EXO’s D.O Injured During 2013 MAMA Performance


Big Bang's G-Dragon & 2NE1's CL Start Off 2013 MAMA On A Winning Note

Big Bang's G-Dragon & 2NE1's CL Start Off 2013 MAMA On A Winning Note

MAMA 2013, G-Dragon, CL, INFINITE, Crayon Pop, 2NE1, Seungri, Big Bang

Big Bang's G-Dragon2NE1's CL Start Off 2013 MAMA On A Winning Note G-Dragon wins the Best Music Video Award. Within the first hour of the four hour 2013 MAMA ceremony Big Bang's leader G-Dragon received the Nissan Juke Best Music Video Award and 2NE1's CL was the winner of the Best Dance Performance-Female Solo Award.During the Red Carpet, many artists expressed excitement for the comeback stages of Big Bang, TOP's solo stage, as well as 2NE1.G-Dragon also received the award for Best Male Artist, which was given to him by America's very own living Barbie, Paris Hilton.G-Dragon thanked YG Family and his fans, VIP for the win. Audiences were treated to humorous expressions and plenty of aegyo from G-Dragon, as well as his group mate Seungri.

MAMA 2013 opened with performances by Jaurim, Jay Park, and Lee Ha Neul with the Enter the Dragon stage.It was a fusion of rock and hip hop that was very well received by the audience.

Other performance highlights included a very sexy stage by Trouble Maker of Now.Audiences went wild for HyunA's sensual dance and a very passionate kiss at the end of the stage.Big Bang's G-Dragon and Seungri were particularly funny throughout this performance showing approval for the artists.

INFINITE delivered a very powerful rendition of BTD which segued into Destiny.The group highlighted their trademark synchronization, as well as their rap skills throughout their performance.It is obvious that the group has gained a lot of skill from their world tour.

2NE1 closed out the first hour of MAMA, beginning with their performance of Lonely which led to the live stage of their new ballad Missing You.

Other winners in the first hour of the award included Sistar's win for Best Dance Performance-Female Group and Crayon Pop for Best New Female Artist. The Discovery of the Year award was given to BaechiGi and Best Asian Artist China was awarded to Aaron Kwok.

With the performances and awards just beginning, it is obvious that there will be many more surprises to come.2013 MAMA is definitely a reflection of the worldwide votes and the 2 billion plus worldwide viewers. With broadcasts and live streams held throughout the world, 2013 MAMA has proven to be an event for true music fans.

Photo Credit: Mnet America


Paris Hilton Spotted Rehearsing for "2013 MAMA"

Paris Hilton Spotted Rehearsing for "2013 MAMA"

Paris Hilton Spotted Rehearsing for 2013 MAMAParis Hilton rehearsed in Hong Kong for her performance on Mnet Asian Music Awards (MAMA).

On November 21, Paris Hilton uploaded on her Instagram, “In Hong Kong at rehearsal for #MAMA Music Award Show.” Along with the message, the heiress uploaded a photo of herself preparing for her performance.

Paris Hilton Spotted Rehearsing for 2013 MAMA

The photo reveals Paris Hilton on stage, posing in front of a DJ mixer, hinting at her upcoming stage. Although an unlikely guest, Paris Hilton’s involvement in MAMA exemplifies the award show’s ability to cross cultural boundaries through music. Besides Paris Hilton, Stevie Wonder is also expected to appear on the music award show, performing a duet with Sistar’s Hyorin.

  The 2013 Mnet Asian Music Awards is set to have appearances by artists such as BIG BANG, 2NE1, EXO, Lee Hyori, and more. 2013 MAMA will broadcast live on November 22 at 8PM KST.


K-Pop Rewind: Lee Seung Hwan 'A Request' [Special 2013 MAMA Edition]

K-Pop Rewind: Lee Seung Hwan 'A Request' [Special 2013 MAMA Edition]

Lee Seung Hwan, 2013, MAMA

K-Pop Rewind: Lee Seung Hwan 'A Request' [Special 2013 MAMA Edition] Lee Seung Hwan - A Request With the 2013 Mnet Asian Music Awards ready to air on Friday, November 22, K-Pop's biggest stars are in Hong Kong ready to celebrate the K-Pop achievements of the past year.

MAMA began in 1999 as the Mnet Korean Music Festival (MKMF) before changing its name in 2009.

At the onset, the awards ceremony had two top prizes, Music Video of the Year and Best Popular Music Video.In 2006 the top categories were changed to Album of the Year, Song of the Year, and Artist of the Year.

However, for the first time around, it was Lee Seung Hwan who took home the coveted distinction of Music Video of the Year for his single "A Request."

"A Request" came off the singer's sixth album The War in Life and was released in March 1999.

The music video accompanies the soft, solemn ballad with its old-timey feel, and is set in the distant past.

In addition to winning the award for Music Video of the Year, Lee Seung Hwan also took home the Best Male Solo prize that year.

The 2013 MAMA will air on Friday, November 22 live from Hong Kong. Tune in to see which of your favorite artists will be the big winners of the night!