Which singers won out during the first major Korean music awards? Which idols, according to online sales and votes, were deemed the most popular this year? The 2014 MelOn Music Awards answered these questions and more.

Last week, the awards show took place here in Seoul. The awards show was the first major one so far, with the MAMA Music Awards, Golden Disk Awards, and Gaon Music Awards coming in the upcoming months.

Many watched the show streamed online or read the next day and had their take on the show and the state of K-pop this year. Here are eight things I noticed attending the music awards show.

1.  YG Family came out in force

Akdong Musician, Winner,  and Taeyang all came out to cheers and massive applause. Both groups and Taeyang had hit songs popular in Korea and even among many oversea K-pop artists and showed that YG had a good year.

2.  SM and JYP were missing

While YG Family showed up to the music awards, the other big labels, SM Entertainment and JYP, were missing. During the show, speculation and theories were thrown around why the two labels were missing. Yet, there was no official press release or reason why none of the artists came to the show. 

It is widely assumed that SM Entertainment decided to lay low after their recent scandals with EXO's Luhan wanting to leave his group and Girls' Generation's Jessica (pictured above) abruptly being cut from the nine-girl group. As for JYP, perhaps their artists are busy or they have something brewing in the works.

3.  The cheers for Winner, Beast, and IU

The loudest cheers were for the big three: Winner, Beast, and IU. This could be largely due to nearly all fans being teenage females (see next point), as they typically are all about the male groups.

An exception is IU, who is a well-respected singer, regardless of fandom or gender.

Female groups, unfortunately, did not get much applause. I think I'm one of the only ones who clapped when Sistar came out, for instance. Yet, many of these same girl groups get more love from university students and overseas fans.

4.  Nearly all the fans were teenage females

Just a quick glance to the fans reveals that probably 95% (if not pretty much all) fans were female teenage fans. The fans were mostly junior high students, with perhaps a couple of high school students. The reason more high school students didn't come out was that MelOn was held on the same day as the "suneung". This is the national test held yearly that determines which university students will attend the following year.

While seeing your favorite bias is great in itself, I'm taking it that the "suneung" is a lot more important.

5.  Not many hip-hop stars

In fact, from the hip-hop realm, only one performer came out: San E. However, he represented the hip-hop scene well. His collaboration with Raina from Orange Caramel, "A Midsummer Night's Sweetness," was one of the highlights of the night. 

Speaking of collabs...

6.  Collab heaven

There were a slew of great collabs in 2014. It is of this author's humble opinion that the best songs this year come from collaborations. From IU and High4's "Not Spring, Love, or Cherry Blossoms" to Soyou and Junggigo's "Some", collabs were a popular choice for many K-pop singers.

7.  No dominant song

Unlike last year, where EXO’s “Growl” and Crayon Pop’s “Bar Bar Bar” ran rampant in the music industry, this year had no dominant song. I feel that’s a good thing, as this opens up the K-pop world more to the fans, instead of being drowned out by two songs.

2014 had some good, catchy songs, as Block B's "Her" can testify (see photo above).

8.  Korea is pretty cold now

Lastly, winter has come to Korea a bit early this year. Anyonewho has visited or lived in Korea before knows how cold it can get here.

Waiting outside for the red carpet event for over an hour, you can see your breath. Korean media were also saying “chupda” (춥다), while rubbing their hands. The weather on this day was -7 Celsius, or about 19.4 Fahrenheit on the coldest point. It’s going to get a lot colder before the month is over.

What’s your take on this year’s MelOn?

Did you see the music event? What do you think about the 2014 MelOn Music Awards?

And for the upcoming music awards show, who are you most excited to see?

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Jason Yu works in the Korean music industry as a media member. He writes for Green Tea Graffiti, a site about introducing people to Asian pop culture. To see more of the event, check out the photos from the 2014 MelOn Music Awards.