Skip to main content

K-pop group Girls' Generation beats Miley, Lady Gaga at first YouTube awards

By CNN Staff
updated 12:06 PM EST, Mon November 4, 2013
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • South Korea's Girls' Generation wins year's best video at YouTube awards
  • The K-pop group beat Miley Cyrus, Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga
  • The group is massively popular in Asia
  • The inaugural YouTube awards were streamed online

(CNN) -- The South Korean girls group Girls' Generation beat the likes of Miley Cyrus, Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga and its compatriot Psy to win the top award for video of the year at the inaugural YouTube Music Awards.

The K-pop group, which is one of Asia's biggest musical acts, won for the video "I Got a Boy."

While massively popular in Asia, the reaction to its win from the American audience was muted -- with scattered applause, but mostly a long, deafening silence.

Meet the 'YouTube famous'

While Girls' Generation may be unknown to an American audience, the pop group is a national phenomenon in Korea. The group's record releases are a national event with every news outlet running stories and inciting fans to near-hysteria.

'K-pop' goes global
The rise of 'K-Pop'

READ: How far would you travel to see Girls' Generation?

The group might be likened to an Asian version of Spice Girls, with pop sounds, costumes and synchronized dancing. The members sing and also rap.

The YouTube Music Awards nominees were based on views, likes and comments and subscriptions over the last 12 months and fans voted for the winners.

The "I Got a Boy" video features the nine members in a pink house and then moves to the girls gyrating in front of random settings. They intermittently have random English lyrics, but mostly sing in Korean.

It's not the group's first foray into the United States, as the ladies appeared on the "Late Show with David Letterman" and also "Live! With Kelly" last year.

READ: What does the U.S. think of Girls' Generation ?

Artist of the Year went to rapper Eminem and the award ceremony, which was streamed live online, was hosted by actor Jason Schwartzman and musician Reggie Watts. The awards reflect the growing tendency for people to turn to the internet, rather than television or radio, for music and video.

However, according to Variety magazine, at most 220,000 people watched the event online, a fraction of the 10.1 million who tuned in for the MTV Video and Music Awards in August.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 10:39 AM EDT, Fri April 18, 2014
Tethered to an IV drip, 71-year-old Shin Young Ja lies under a thin fleece blanket, nursing a broken back and wracked with survivor's guilt.
updated 7:23 AM EDT, Fri April 18, 2014
Family members of the missing passengers are pinning slim hopes on floundering air pockets.
updated 12:14 PM EDT, Thu April 17, 2014
An Iranian mother slaps and then forgives her 17-year old son's murderer in dramatic scenes at the gallows.
updated 7:35 AM EDT, Wed April 16, 2014
An "extraordinary" video shows what looks like the largest and most dangerous gathering of al Qaeda in years.
updated 8:30 AM EDT, Mon April 14, 2014
Explore each side's case, reconstructed from Pistorius' court affidavit and the prosecution's case during last year's bail hearing.
updated 8:37 AM EDT, Wed April 16, 2014
Mentions of the 1989 Tiananmen Square student protests or political reform are still censored in China.
updated 5:34 AM EDT, Fri April 18, 2014
The Hadza are one of the last communities of hunter-gatherers in the world -- but losing their land.
updated 9:22 PM EDT, Fri April 18, 2014
In choosing to change a traditional practice, Francis is being as radical as Jesus was in his own time.
updated 7:13 AM EDT, Fri April 18, 2014
Too weak. Can't handle pressure. Unattractive to sponsors. Susie Wolff has heard it all.
updated 11:56 PM EDT, Fri April 18, 2014
Browse through images you don't always see on news reports from CNN teams around the world.
updated 8:30 AM EDT, Fri April 18, 2014
It's like finding a needle in a universe-wide haystack. Researchers have located a planet roughly the size of Earth that could be habitable.
updated 5:40 AM EDT, Fri April 18, 2014
Dubai, long champion of all things biggest, longest and most expensive, will soon have some competition from a neighboring country.
ADVERTISEMENT