SMA – the most controversial awards ceremony of the year: BTS did not win Daesang, neither aespa nor IVE won Rookie Award

The Seoul Music Awards (SMA) have ignited a heated debate concerning the fairness of the awards ceremony.

On January 23, the Seoul Music Awards 2022 (SMA 2022) officially took place with the participation of artists such as NCT 127, NCT Dream, HyunA, Wendy (Red Velvet), Oh My Girl, The Boyz , Kang Daniel, STAYC, ENHYPEN… This year’s SMA 2022 awards sparked debate concerning the fairness of the categories, particularly the Rookie of the Year and Daesang awards.

Rookie of the Year:

aespa, STAYC, IVE, KEP1ER… are rookies with excellent results in 2021 and early January 2022. The Rookie of the Year title, on the other hand, went to Lee Mujin, EPEX, and OMEGA X. Except for Lee Mujin, who had the popular song Traffic Light, the other two groups, EPEX and OMEGA X, did not have notable accomplishments, leaving fans perplexed.

Lee Mujin
Lee Mujin

Let’s take a look at the results of other awards at this year’s SMA.

Best ballad song:

Like Water (Wendy)
Like Water (Wendy)

Best R&B/HipHop Song:

I'm Not Cool - HyunA
I’m Not Cool – HyunA

Best performance:


K-Wave Popularity Award:

EXO (Kai represents EXO to receive the award)
EXO (Kai represents EXO to receive the award)

Best song Award:


Best Album Award:

NCT Dream
NCT Dream

World Best Artist Award



Daesang is another controversial award at SMA 2022. NCT 127 has outstanding achievements in 2021, however, BTS is said to be the group that most deserves the only Daesang award. SMA is the first award show in 2021 – early 2022 that BTS did not get the Daesang award.

NCT 127 wins Daesang at SMA 2022
NCT 127 wins Daesang at SMA 2022

All awards at the Seoul Music Awards 2022:

  • Daesang: NCT 127
  • Best Digital Award: IU
  • Best Album Award: NCT DREAM
  • World Best Artist: BTS
  • Rookie Of The Year: Lee Mujin, OMEGA X, EPEX
  • Best OST Song: “Love Always Run Away” – Lim Yoong Woong
  • Best Ballad Song: “Like Water” – Wendy (Red Velvet)
  • Best R&B Song: “I’m Not Cool” – HyunA
  • Best Trot Song: “My Starry Love” – Lim Yoong Woong
  • Discovery of the year: Lang Lee
  • Judges Special Award: Jung Dong Ha
  • Best Performance: STAYC, ENHYPEN
  • Bonsang:
    • Heize
    • Brave Girls
    • OH MY GIRL
    • Kang Daniel
    • aespa
    • ATEEZ
    • NCT 127
    • THE BOYZ
    • Lim Young Woong
    • BTS
    • IU
  • U+ IDOL Live Best Artist: BTS
  • K-Wave Popularity Award: EXO
  • Popularity Award: Lim Young Woong
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