KPMA Under Fire For Selecting Two Popularity Award Winners

They’ve selected two Popularity Award winners without prior notice.

The Korea Popular Music Awards (KPMA), which held its first event this year, is under fire for selecting two winners for the Popularity Award.


The KPMA is a music award ceremony that was jointly hosted by 6 music and entertainment organizations including the Korea Singers Association, Korea Entertainment Producers’ Association, Korea Music Copyright Association, Korea Culture Industry’s Federation, Federation of Korean Music Performers and Recording Industry Association of Korea, who sought to create the fairest prize ceremony that is differentiated from the existing ones.

The controversy arose when KPMA selected two winners for the Popularity Award. For this category, fans had to pay to vote for their favorite artists. The award was to be selected mainly based on the number of votes, so fans had made a great effort to vote for their artist, especially when the votes for the top 2 artists were neck in neck.


In the end, the polls closed with Wanna One in first place with 1,517,900 votes, EXO in second place with 1,496,101 votes and BTS in third with 697,886 votes. The Popularity Award, however, was given to both Wanna One and EXO despite the 21,700-vote difference.


Fans are furious at KPMA for not stating that there will be 2 prizes given for the Popularity Award beforehand, claiming that they would not have paid money to vote if they had known this crucial fact. Fans who feel like they have been exploited have been spreading the hashtag #KMPA_PopularityAward_Explain and demanding an explanation, apology and refund for the money they paid to vote.


In response to the outrage, KMPA has released a statement apologizing for the inconvenience and explaining the situation.

“Hello, this is the KMPA Organizing Committee.

First of all, we’d like to thank everyone for their support for the KMP held on December 20.

At the same time, we bow our heads and sincerely apologize for the controvery regarding the 2018 KMPA Popularity Award. In addition, here is our statement regarding the two winners of the Popularity Award category. This category was based 100% on votes with Wanna One in 1st place (1,517,900 votes) and EXO in 2nd place (1,496,101 votes). As this was the category that received the most attention from fans, the winner was unpredictable as the votes between the 1st and 2nd place were neck in neck until the very last moment. As a result, the KMPA Orgainzing Committee had decided to make it ‘a festival for everyone’ and present the award to runner-up, EXO, as well. However, we admit our negligence of not fully announcing this decision and not explaining the situation beforehand.

Once again, KMPA sincerely apologizes to all those who have been inconvenienced and who have supported KMPA including Wanna One and EXO fans. We will promise to do our best so that such controversies do not arise in the future and we will grow to become a respectable award ceremony.”

KMPA Organizing Committee


Source: Donga Ilbo