Controversy arises regarding the ‘empty-handed’ situation of the ‘Monster Rookie’ NewJeans at MAMA 2022, what does the CJ ENM official have to say? 

Despite their remarkable debut performance, NewJeans did not receive any awards for rookie groups, drawing confusion. 

MAMA 2022 officially took place at the Kyocera Dome Osaka, Japan in two days, 29th and 30th last month. While the Daesangs (Grand Prizes) are undisputable, it is the rookie award categories that are drawing attention and debates. Next generation girl groups are the talk of the town with NewJeans and IVE the most frequently mentioned names in these discussions. 

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NewJeans at the “MAMA Awards” 2022 

The ongoing dispute exploded when NewJeans came home without a “Favorite New Artist” Award while their peer groups such as NMIXX, LE SSERAFIM, IVE and Kep1er all received  one, drawing attention to the award criteria.

In terms of media effect and achievement, except IVE, NewJeans surpassed other girl groups and earned their title as a “Monster Rookie”. They created a global sensation, led a trend and further established the Y2K popularity in Korea with just their debut. The group recorded first-week album sales with 311.271 copies sold. Their two tracks “Attention” and “Hybe Boy” alternately topped the digital charts and emerged as a tough competition to other groups promoting in the same period. 

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NewJeans’ debut did not only form a trend but also was chosen by the Rolling Stone as one of the “100 Best Albums of 2022” 

NewJeans’ debut EP broke into the “100 Best Albums of 2022” chosen by Rolling Stone, alongside two other Kpop names. Based on this impressive achievement, NewJeans and IVE were the winners of the “New Artist of the Year”. However, when it came to MAMA 2022, NewJeans came home empty-handed. 


According to an earlier release, the “Favorite New Artist” is a new award by MAMA presented to the rookie groups with album sales of more than 1 million copies. Therefore, with a figure of 440 thousand copies sold for NewJeans’ first EP,  the group did not meet the standard. An official from CJ ENM later released a statement amidst the controversy: “For the special awards, the winners were selected by comprehensively evaluating various data and the meaning of its achievements in cases where the (winner) shows outstanding results or has achieved unrivaled achievement in each category.” However, the official did not refer to the 1-million figure, hence creating further confusion among fans. 

Source: k14

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