The Mnet Asian Music Awards (also known as MAMA) gathers the best of the best annually to celebrate “outstanding achievements in the K-pop and Asian music industry.”
With the hottest acts gathered under one roof and the world watching, artists who perform make sure to leave a lasting impression. Over the years, MAMA evolved from the Mnet Video Music Awards in 1999 that celebrated music videos, to the elaborate award show we know today. Here are 10 MAMA moments that are hard to forget.
1. 2NE1’s surprise appearance and final group performance
In 2015, CL took the stage to perform her hit solo singles, “The Baddest Female” and “Hello Bitches.” At the time, 2NE1 had been inactive for a year so it took everyone by surprise when her fellow 2NE1 members raised from platforms to appear on the stage. Together they performed their iconic debut song “Fire” and legendary hit, “I Am The Best.” This ended up being their last performance before the group disbanded in 2016. They managed to pull off another surprise this year when they reunited at Coachella to the delight of Blackjacks!
2. BTS and Block B Battle It Out
Hailed as the “next generation of K-Pop,” these two groups took the stage for a friendly battle of skills. Fans were treated to a dance battle, a rap battle, and a shirtless Jimin. It was an amazing performance and a night to remember.
3. When Ylvis performed “The Fox (What Does The Fox Say)” and “Bar Bar Bar”
Norweigan comedy duo Ylvis joined the 2013 MAMAs to perform their viral song, “The Fox (What Does The Fox Say).” They then joined Crayon Pop on stage for the K-Pop group’s performance of “Bar Bar Bar.” SISTAR looked like they had a blast and I think Hyolyn‘s facial expression in reaction to the performance says it all.
4. When G-Dragon took the stage to diss the MAMAs… at the MAMAs
BIGBANG‘s G-Dragon delivered a powerful rap performance at the opening of his stage before fellow member Taeyang joined to perform their collaboration song “Good Boy” and the group’s “Fantastic Baby.” In his intro rap, G-Dragon jabbed at the MAMAs for seemingly handing out awards to any and everybody. Needless to say, you won’t find that part of the performance on Mnet‘s page.
5. When BTS’s RM’s enthusiastic cheering for Tiger JK was caught on camera
BTS’s RM turned into the ultimate fanboy at the 2018 MAMAs when legendary hip-hop pioneer Tiger JK took the stage with SEVENTEEN‘s Vernon. He was caught off guard when the camera was turned on him, causing his fellow members to crack up.
RM collaborated with Tiger JK on Drunken Tiger‘s song “Timeless” in 2018.
6. Jackson’s reaction to JYP and Hwasa’s collaboration stage
Park Jin Young (also known as JYP) and MAMAMOO‘s Hwasa performed JYP’s 1994 release, “Don’t Leave Me,” at the 2019 MAMAs. They both wore “plastic” pants in ode to the transparent pants JYP wore when he promoted the song in the 90s. After their performance ended, the camera panned to GOT7, who were managed by JYP Entertainment at the time, and hilariously captured member Jackson‘s stunned reaction.
7. Lee Hyori and BIGBANG’s T.O.P’s kiss
Lee Hyori joined BIGBANG on stage to perform a few of their hit songs at the 2008 MAMAs. BIGBANG’s T.O.P met Lee Hyori in the center of the stage and went in for what viewers assumed would be a kiss on the forehead, only for him to quickly peck her on the lips. At the time, Lee Hyori had just released her massive hit “U-Go-Girl” and BIGBANG had just released “Haru Haru.”
8. Trouble Maker’s shocking kiss
While HyunA was in 4Minute and Hyunseung was a member of BEAST, they formed a duo called Trouble Maker and became known for their sensual performances and catchy songs. After a theatrical performance of their song “Now” at the 2013 MAMAs, the two ended their dance with a kiss.
9. When AKB48 performed “Heavy Rotation” and Produce 101’s “Pick Me”
In 2017, the MAMAs took place in Japan giving us this iconic performance. AKB48 performed their 2010 smash hit “Heavy Rotation” and Produce 101‘s “Pick Me” with Chungha, PRISTIN, Weki Meki, fromis_9, and Idol School Class 1.
10. PSY’s performance of “Gangnam Style”
PSY treated the stage as his own personal concert as he performed his hit song “Gangnam Style” at the 2015 MAMAs. The impressive performance included an appearance by HyunA with a light show, confetti, smoke, and of course his unforgettable dancing.