The early planning stages of the 2013 Mnet Asian Music Awards (MAMAs) revealed an emphasis on culture-mashing collaboration stages as a top priority for Asia’s biggest music award show. The ceremony booked top talent outside of the continent for suitable and appropriate pairings alongside the impressive stages put on by Asian performers.
Check out five video highlights below.
Ylvis Joins Crayon Pop to Perform “Bar Bar Bar”
After “The Fox” duo performed their breakout novelty hit, the Norwegians joined K-pop girl group Crayon Pop to perform “Bar Bar Bar,” the accompanying viral video for which helped the girls break out in the K-pop scene. After storming the MAMA stage in their color-coordinated track suits, the quintet and Ylvis performed the signature move from “Bar Bar Bar,” the “straight-five engine dance.” (Though, some spotty filming ultimately missed most of the signature move.)
The pairing was appropriate for placing two of 2013’s sillier acts together for a quick, tasty performance surely pleasing all who watched even if they didn’t know the videos.
CL Lays Down a Verse for Icona Pop
Nothing screams girl power like pairing up two badass female acts. And Icona Pop’s MAMA performance was full of it. The Swedish duo kicked off their set with “All Night,” a party jam off debut LP “This Is…Icona Pop,” before moving into breakout smash “I Love It.” 2NE1 leader, “The Baddest Female,” CL came in midway to add a quick rap verse before strutting the stage with the Stockholm natives. While it would have been nice to see all the 2NE1 girls join the Swedes for a rare girl group collab (perhaps a big sing-along on the last “I Love It” chorus?), CL was definitely a nice partner for a strong female collab.
Stevie Wonder Sings a Pop Classic With Hyorin and Aaron Kwok
As the show closer, Stevie Wonder fronted what might have been the most inclusive stage of the night. The 63-year-old was joined by 48-year-old Aaron Kwok, a Chinese singer/actor, and 22-year-old Hyorin, leader of K-pop girl group SISTAR. The age span essentially respresented almost all generations for a charming duet.
4. Rain Makes a Grand Return
Veteran K-pop star Rain — who just completed his two-year South Korean military service last month — used the MAMAs to signal his comeback to the Asian music scene. The 31-year-old began by staring into the screaming audience, smiled and put on a pair of sunglasses before nailing live renditions of singles like ’03 R&B track “How to Avoid the Sun” and dance tracks “It’s Raining” and “Hip Song.” Look out for several excited idol groups enthusiasm caught on tape including girl groups 2NE1 and Apink.
5. INFINITE Scale Their Discography
A testament to how far K-pop boy band INFINITE has come in three years, the septet beat out veteran group Shinwa and big-sellers EXO and SHINee to win the award for Best Male Group. Their performance included 2011 single “BTD,” that wasn’t much of a hit on the charts, but became notable for the way-cool “scorpion dance” — a nod to INFINITE’s early indication of big things. The medley ended with most-recent single “Destiny,” a big hit on the K-Pop Hot 100 with a No. 3 peak, reminding the audience of their current success like four successful U.S. stops on their world tour.