We’re back with The Kraze Awards for its second year! 2017 has proven to be another record-breaking year for K-Pop, with international attention growing by the month as groups continue to have stellar releases that prove the immense talent K-Pop groups have to offer. With so many outstanding releases to choose from this year, who will take home the awards in each category?
Best Debuts: Male and Female
Our winner for “Best Male Debut” will certainly not come as a shock to anyone, as Wanna One has become something of a craze not just in Korea, but around the world. The 11-membered group was formed via mega popular variety show Produce 101 Season 2, and is composed of the top picks of the audience, so it is not difficult to imagine why Wanna One has had such an explosive debut. The group continues to top Korean charts with each released and will likely do so in the coming year.
The ladies certainly haven’t let us down in the year 2017, especially with their debuts! While amazing groups such as PRISTIN and Weki Meki joined the talented girl group lineup, Dreamcatcher took the top spot for female debut this year, having left a lasting impression on K-Pop fans with their unique concept. Unlike many girl groups, Dreamcatcher totally avoids the stereotypical cutesy concept and instead integrates darker and sometimes even gothic themes into their comebacks. The refreshing change in formula has stolen our hearts!
Drama of the Year
2017 has been an amazing year for the K-Drama fan, from early in the year with Strong Woman Do Bong Soon to even recently aired While You Were Sleeping gaining fantastic ratings across the board. However, Goblin has found itself at the top of the list of dramas despite numerous other series challenging it throughout the year. Goblin took South Korea by storm with stellar performances from veteran actor Gong Yoo (his last production before enlisting in the military), Kim Goeun, Lee Dongwook, Yoo Inna, and Yook Sungjae of BTOB. What is it about Goblin that is so captivating? All signs point to its delightful mix of supernatural, angst, romance, and comedy perfectly intertwined in the story.
Best Solo Artists: Male and Female
For the second year in a row, SHINee’s maknae TAEMIN has once again secured the top spot among male solo artists. His latest release “Move” topped the charts in multiple countries, including the United States. TAEMIN has continued to prove his immense talent through solo activities as SHINee hasn’t been active, earning a name for himself as a top tier solo artist.
As for the female soloists, Sunmi and IU tied for the title. Sunmi took the world by storm with hit song “Gashina,” while IU also made her long awaited return after two years with a perfect all-kill with her album, Palette, as well as a remake of 2014 album A Flower Bookmark. Both women have proven the power of female soloists, and thus both deserve the title of “Best Female Solo Artist.”
There are only a few bands that rise to fame in the Hallyu Wave, but winner of “Best Band” in 2017, DAY6, is certainly one of them! DAY6 has had an eventful year with their monthly releases, Every Day6, releasing an amazing amount of music in the period of a year with a single released each month. The group has been active around the world, most recently finishing up a North American fanmeeting. With an impressive amount of exposure in 2017, DAY6 has managed to beat out veteran band groups such as CNBLUE and FTISLAND.
Best Rap Song
Literally a surprise to no one, the overwhelming winner of “Best Rap Song” this year is mega-collaboration song “Bermuda Triangle” by Block B’s leader ZICO, featuring R&B superstars Crush and DEAN. The collaboration of the three huge artists makes “Bermuda Triangle” full of a monstrous amount of talent even just on the surface, but the song itself lives up to the hype without question. With these three legends in Korean hip-hop and R&B collaborating on a piece, how could it possibly not be the best? Though the single of the song was released in late 2016, the song was also included on ZICO’s 2017 solo album Artist.
Best Female Group
Red Velvet takes home the title of “Best Female Group!” They have been on fire in 2017, releasing hit titles “Rookie,” “Red Flavor,” and “Peek-a-Boo” across the span of the year. The girls continue to prove their talents with each release, experimenting with different concepts as they go. The group commands attention and dominates the music charts, leaving fans on the edge of their seats as teasers are released in anticipation for the undoubtedly fantastic comeback to follow.
Unstoppable Behemoth: BTS
As reflected in the Korean awards ceremonies, BTS takes home a whopping five awards brought by The Kraze. The group has certainly dominated the charts, and the world, in 2017 and deserves not only the title of “Artist of the Year,” but “Song of the Year” with “DNA” and “Album of the Year” with Love Yourself: Her, in addition to “Best Male Group” and “Best Music Video” for “Spring Day.” BTS has been steadily rising among the K-Pop industry since their breakout title “I Need U” and the following The Most Beautiful Moment in Life series. Though it didn’t seem possible for the boys to climb much higher after the WINGS era, they continue to prove their talent and popularity in astronomical ways.
Fan Favorite Award
The fans have spoken! Once again fans were able to take part in The Kraze Awards by sharing their favorites, and after weeks of voting, one winner finally came out on top. The winner of the “Fan Favorite Award” goes to GOT7 for the second year in a row! The group has been busy with the final release of the FLIGHT LOG series, along with an unexpected return of JJ Project before concluding the year with new album 7 for 7. The GOT7 fandom is no joke, always loud and proud in their support of the boys. Just as this group has extremely dedicated and loyal fans, GOT7 makes sure to return the love and dedication right back by their various activities throughout the year. Congratulations on your achievement for the second year in a row, Ahgases!