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 6:43 AM EDT, Mon July 14, 2014
For the first time in 24 years, Germany has lifted the World Cup after beating Argentina 1-0 in extra time.
updated 5:45 PM EDT, Fri July 11, 2014
Do you know your gurkentruppe from your bananenflanken? CNN helps.
updated 7:29 AM EDT, Mon July 14, 2014
Police moved in just one hour before Rui Chenggang was due to appear on air, leaving his anchor chair empty.
updated 5:27 AM EDT, Mon July 14, 2014
A salvage team will attempt to float the ill-fated Costa Concordia again. CNN's Erin McLaughlin reports.
updated 4:58 PM EDT, Sun July 13, 2014
Tichleman 1
A makeup artist, writer and model who loves monkeys and struggles with demons.
updated 6:29 AM EDT, Fri July 11, 2014
Why are Iraqi politicians dragging their feet while ISIS militants fortify their foothold across the country?
updated 9:32 AM EDT, Fri July 11, 2014
An elephant, who was chained for 50 years, cries tears of joy after being freed in India. CNN's Sumnima Udas reports.
updated 12:34 PM EDT, Fri July 11, 2014
People walk with their luggage at the Maiquetia international airport that serves Caracas on July 3, 2014. A survey by pollster Datanalisis revealed that 25% of the population surveyed (end of May) has at least one family member or friend who has emigrated from the country. AFP PHOTO/Leo RAMIREZ (Photo credit should read LEO RAMIREZ/AFP/Getty Images)
Plane passengers are used to paying additional fees, but one airport in Venezuela is now charging for the ultimate hidden extra -- air.
updated 3:32 AM EDT, Fri July 11, 2014
Beneath a dusty town in northeastern Pakistan, CNN explores a cold labyrinth of hidden tunnels that was once a safe haven for militants.
updated 12:44 AM EDT, Thu July 10, 2014
CNN's Ben Wedeman visits the Yazji family and finds out what it's like living life in the middle of conflict.
CNN joins the fight to end modern-day slavery by shining a spotlight on its horrors and highlighting success stories.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT