Gaon Chart K-Pop Awards: Voting System, Venue, Event Rundown

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Find Out More About Korea’s Gaon Chart K-Pop Awards

The Gaon Chart K-Pop Awards are held annually to grant outstanding achievements to K-Pop artists and musicians. Although recently there are various K-Pop awarding ceremonies, the Gaon Chart Awards are considered one of the most prestigious awards due to the long-standing history and accurate compilation of sale, streaming, and download data.

In this article, Channel-Korea will provide you with a rundown of everything about the Gaon Chart K-Pop Awards. So, stay tuned!

Introduction to The Gaon Chart K-Pop Awards

The Gaon Chart K-Pop Awards is an annual music event for awarding the excellence in Korean music industry. The award event was formed by Gaon Chart to show appreciation for accomplishing certain features in the sales of music albums and singles.

The Gaon Chart was formed by the Korea Music Content Association and funded by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism. The Gaon Chart resembles the American Billboard Music Chart and the Japanese Oricon Chart. The Gaon Chart collects information from record labels, music distributors, and online music streaming sites such as Naver Music, Kakao Music, Genie, MelOn, Mnet, Soribada, and Bugs.

The Gaon Chart K-Pop Awards debuted on February 22nd, 2012. The award was based on music sales records in the previous year. The inception event was held at Blue Square Samsung Card Hall and was hosted by SNSD’s Taeyeon and singer-songwriter Joo Young-hoon.

The Gaon Chart K-Pop Awards set the gold standard for musical achievements and have become an important indicator for future superstars in the Korean music industry.

Voting System

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The Gaon Chart records two sets of charts: album chart and digital chart. Both charts compile sales achievements from domestic and international artists. The Gaon Chart collects information from record labels, music distributors, and online music streaming sites such as Naver Music, Kakao Music, Genie, MelOn, Mnet, Soribada, and Bugs.

Currently, there are 7 chart categories in the Gaon music chart: album chart, digital chart, download chart, streaming chart, BGM chart, mobile chart, and noraebang chart.

List of Venues for the Event

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The Gaon Chart Award Event is held annually in Seoul, South Korea.

Year Date Venue Hosts
2011 February 22nd, 2012 Blue Square Samsung Card Hall Taeyeon and Joo Young-hoon
2012 February 13th, 2013 Olympic Hall Gain and Joo Young-hoon
2013 February 12th, 2014 Olympic Gymnastics Arena Yuri and Oh Sang-jin
2014 January 28th, 2015 Olympic Gymnastics Arena Leeteuk and Hyeri
2015 February 17th, 2016 Olympic Hall Leeteuk and Yura
2016 February 22nd, 2017 Jamsil Arena Leeteuk and Solar
2017 February 14th, 2018 Jamsil Arena Leeteuk and Dahyun
2018 January 23rd, 2019 Jamsil Arena Kim Jong-kook and Nancy
2019 January 8th, 2020 Jamsil Arena Leeteuk and Lia

Event Rundown

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The Gaon Chart Awards are held annually to give appreciation for outstanding performance or contribution to the music industry and fans. The awarding event is usually held around the month of February in Seoul, South Korea. The 2020 Gaon Chart Award was held in January, less than a month after December 2019. Therefore, the winner of the December category will be announced the following year.

The award is usually held around 7 p.m. KST. Lately, Jamsil Arena holds successive Gaon Chart Award events. Super Junior’s Lee Teuk has hosted the event 5 times with different female celebrities.

The Red Carpet is held several hours earlier before the main awarding ceremony. Performers, candidates, award presenters, and hosts greet the fans and the audience at the red carpet stage platform before heading to the main stage.

Award Categories

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Currently, there are 19 active and 6 discontinued award categories in the Gaon Chart Awards.

Active Award Categories

Year Award Category
2011 – 2019 Artist of the Year – Physical
2011 – 2019 Artist of the Year – Digital
2011 – 2019 New Artist of the Year
2011 – 2019 Discovery of the Year
2013 – 2019 Music Steady Seller of the Year
2019 Retail Album of the Year
2019 Top Kit Seller of the Year
2013 – 2019 Popular Singer of the Year
2011 – 2019 International of the Year
2011 – 2019 Composer/Lyricist of the Year
2011 – 2019 Performers of the Year
2011 – 2019 Style of the Year
2011 – 2019 Producer/Record Production of the Year
2019 Social Hot Star of the Year
2011 – 2018 K-pop contribution Award/Lifetime Achievement Award
2013 – 2019 Hot Performance of the Year
2013 – 2019 World K-pop Star
2013 – 2019 World K-pop Rookie
2016 – 2019 International Rising Star of The Year

 

Discontinued Award Categories

Year Award Category
2013 – 2017 Mobile Vote Popularity Award
2011 – 2016 Special Award
2012 – 2015 Hot Trend Award
2011 – 2014 New Media Platform
2012 – 2014 Music Distribution
2011 – 2013 Sound Engineer of the Year

 

List of Winners Throughout Time

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Year 1st quarter 2nd quarter 3rd quarter 4th quarter

2011

TVXQ Beast Super Junior SNSD
2012 BIGBANG SNSD-TTS Super Junior TVXQ
2013 SNSD Cho Yong-pil EXO EXO
2014 TVXQ EXO Super Junior Super Junior
2015 EXO EXO Super Junior EXO
2016 Got7 EXO EXO BTS
2017 BTS Seventeen BTS Wanna One
2018 Wanna One BTS EXO EXO
2019 Seventeen EXO Seventeen EXO

 

Artist of the Year – Digital Music

Year

Winner

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun
2011 Secret IU K.Will BIGBANG 2NE1 SECRET
Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
T-ARA Leessang Davichi Lee Seung-gi Wonder Girls IU
Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun
2012 T-ARA BIGBANG BIGBANG Busker Busker SNSD-TTS Wonder Girls
Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
2NE1 PSY Jung Eun-ji &

Seo In-guk

Gain Lee Hi Lee Seung Gi
Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun
2013 Girls’ Generation SISTAR Davichi PSY 4MINUTE SISTAR
Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Dynamic Duo San E Soyou & Mad Clown IU MISS A Seo In-guk & Zia
Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun
2014 Girl’s Day Soyou &

Junggigo

2NE1 AKMU g.o.d Taeyang
Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
San E & Raina Park Bo-ram SISTAR Kim Dong-ryool MC Mong APINK
Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun
2015 Mad Clown Naul MC Mong MISS A BIGBANG BIGBANG
Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
BIGBANG BIGBANG iKon Taeyeon Zico PSY
Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun
2016 GFRIEND MAMAMOO Jang Beom-june TWICE Urban Zakapa SISTAR
Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Wonder Girls BLACKPINK Im Chang-jung TWICE BLACKPINK BIGBANG
Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun
2017 AKMU TWICE IU IU PSY G-Dragon
Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
EXO Sunmi SECHKIES Epik High WANNAONE TWICE
Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun
2018 iKon Roy Kim Big Bang Twice Bol4 Blackpink
Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Twice RED VELVET Im Chang-jung IU Jennie Ben
Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun
2019 MC the Max Hwasa Taeyeon BOL4 Davichi Jang Hye-jin and Yoon Min-soo
Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Ben Sunmi AKMU MC Mong IU RED VELVET

 

New Artist of the Year

Year Winner
Male Group Female Group Male Solo Female Solo
2011 B1A4 APINK Huh Gak Kim Bo-kyung
2012 B.A.P Hello Venus John Park Ailee
2013 BTS Ladies’ Code Jung Joon-young Lim Kim
2014 Winner MAMAMOO
2015 iKon GFRIEND
2016 NCT 127 BLACKPINK
2017 WANNA ONE Woo Won-jae
2018 Stray Kids (G)I-dle & Iz*One Haon
2019 TXT ITZY

 

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International Song of the Year

Year Winner Song
2011 Maroon 5 feat. Christina Aguilera Moves like Jagger
2012 Maroon 5 Payphone
2013 DJ Gollum he Bad Touch
2014 Maroon 5 Maps
2015 Adele Hello
2016 Maroon 5 Don’t Wanna Know
2017 Ed Sheeran Shape of You
2018 Camila Cabello Havana
2019 Anne-Marie 2002

 

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Composer/Lyricist of the Year

Year Composer Lyricist
2011 Yoon Il-sang Kim Eana
2012 Teddy Kim Eana
2013 Duble Sidekick Kim Eana
2014 Min Yeon-jae Kim Do-hoon
2015 Black Eyed Pilseung Kim Eana
2016 Black Eyed Pilseung Jo Yoon-kyung
2017 Pdogg IU
2018 Teddy Seo Ji-eum
2019 Black Eyed Pilseung Min Yeon-jae

 

Performer of the Year

Year Backup Vocal Instrumental
2011 Kim Hyun-a Kang Soo-ho
2012 Kim Hyo-soo Shin Hyun-kwon
2013 Gil Eun-kyung Tommy Kim
2014 Kang Tae-woo Jang-hyeok
2015 Lee Tae-yoon Kang Sung-ho
2016 Kim Ryeong Lee Seong-yeol & Choi Tae-wan
2017 Kang Tae-woo Lee Seung-yeob
2018 Jun Jae Hee Kim Mi-jung & Shin Sang-won
2019 Joo Chan Yang Choi Hun

 

Style of the Year

Year Choreographer Stylist
2011 Prepix Seo Soo-kyung
2012 Lee Ju-sun Song Jeong-ok
2013 Yama & Hot Chicks Jung Bo-yoon
2014 Choreography Team DQ Park Seo-hyun, Choi Ji-hyang
2015 Yama & Hot Chicks Ji Eunie
2016 Son Sung-deuk Choi Hee-sun
2017 Lia Kim Kim Ye-jin, Choi Kyung-won
2018 Son Sung-deuk Ji Eunie
2019 Choi Ri-an Choi Hee-sun

 

Producer/Record Production of the Year

Year Winner Record
2011 Kim Kwang-soo (Core Contents Media)
2012 Yang Hyun-suk (YG Entertainment)
2013 Yang Hyun-suk (YG Entertainment)
2014 Kim Shi-dae (Starship Entertainment)
2015 Yang Hyun-suk (YG Entertainment)
2016 Bang Si-hyuk (Big Hit Entertainment)
2017 Fave Entertainment IU – “Through the Night”
2018 YG Entertainment iKon – “Love Scenario”
2019 MNH Entertainment Chungha – “Gotta Go”

 

Event Trivia

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At the 7th Gaon Chart Awards, IU, Wanna One, Seckhkies were expected to perform at the closing stage. However, instead of them, Seventeen made the last performance. Fans criticized the Gaon Chart awards for this situation.

For years, EXO continuously received the fan choice popularity award. At the 7th Gaon Chart Award, Wanna One knocked their senior to claim the award.

At the 2019 Gaon Chart Awards, Seventing was chosen to make a closing performance. They performed 4 songs at the closing stage.

Memorable Moments

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Since 2018, there was an indication of viral marketing to enhance the winning chance of certain artists. This condition caused huge criticism, especially since the artist won the award by means of cheating. Due to this criticism, the judges’ panel was formed to give more fairness to the Gaon Chart Award.

The Gaon Chart Music award decided to remove the fan choice popularity awards starting from 2018. The director decided to close the category due to causing unnecessary extra attention for the artists and fans.

At the 6th Gaon Chart Awards, BTS was criticized for copying the background video of their performance. Fans noticed the similarity of the video with the previous performer.

That was all the information about the Gaon Chart K-Pop Awards. Don’t forget to kindly share your opinion about the award show, deserving winners, and future superstars in the comment section below!