When TWICE performed “Cry for Me” at the 2020 Mnet Asian Music Awards (MAMA), everyone was surprised that they performed an unreleased song. Back then, nobody knew that they had to fight against JYP Entertainment to perform and release the track.
In a mini-documentary called “MAMA Legend TWICE” on Mnet’s YouTube channel, Nayeon, Sana, and Jihyo took a look back on the group’s performances at the Mnet Asian Music Awards over the years.
They looked back on their entire history with the award show, including their win for Best New Female Artist in 2015 and their first performance at MAMA in 2016.
Of course, they also looked back on their iconic 2020 performance. That year, they performed their hits “More & More” and “I Can’t Stop Me,” along with the never-before-released song, “Cry for Me.”
While their entire 3-song performance was great, “Cry for Me” captured everyone’s attention. The dark and moody concept was different from anything TWICE had ever released before.
In “MAMA Legend TWICE,” Sana and Jihyo revealed that the performance almost never happened. Jihyo explained that the group wanted to present something different to their fans since they hadn’t been able to meet in person because of the pandemic.
She said, “We can’t meet our fans at the moment, so we wanted to present something new for our fans. ‘Why don’t we perform ‘Cry for Me’ for the first time at MAMA?’ Someone brought that up, and MAMA thankfully said yes.”
Although the members and the runners of the Mnet Asian Music Awards were on board with the “Cry for Me” performance, the JYP Entertainment staff was hesitant to allow TWICE to perform the song. Jihyo said, “The agency was hesitant. But most of the members insisted that we want to do ‘Cry for Me.'”
Sana said, “We kept doing meetings with the director of the agency. We want to do this no matter what. We said it’d be great to do a performance even if we don’t release an album, so we got to prepare ‘Cry for Me’ in a hurry.”
TWICE’s fight to perform “Cry for Me” paid off, and people all around the world couldn’t stop talking about the group’s performance. Sana said, “Not only Korea and Japan, but we received passionate reactions from overseas.”
“Cry for Me” became the most talked-about performance from the 2020 Mnet Asian Music Awards, and the performance quickly racked up millions of views on YouTube.
Jihyo also revealed that the explosive popularity of TWICE’s “Cry for Me” performance led the group to release the song as a single. She said, “Since we had no plans for an album, we were quite astonished by the reactions and being on the search box. Shouldn’t we drop an album quickly? Should we just release a track? The power of MAMA got us to release a song.”
We’re glad TWICE trusted their instincts and fought to perform and release “Cry for Me!” Check out the full mini-documentary below.