Here are all the winners from the 19th Korean Music Awards

aespa, BTS and IU led the night

The 19th Korean Music Awards ceremony recently took place on March 1. The KMAs recognises artists based not on record sales, as other South Korean music award shows, but on the recommendations of a panel composed of music critics, radio show producers and other music industry professionals.

The year’s awards saw rookie girl group aespa dominate the ceremony, with the quartet taking home the Rookie Of The Year award, as well as Song Of The Year and Best K-Pop song for ‘Next Level’. IU, meanwhile, bagged Best Pop Album for ‘Lilac’ and was one of the Best Pop Song awardees for ‘Nakka’, her collaboration with AKMU.

In addition, BTS took home the Artist of the Year award for the third time in their career. They previously won the category in 2019 and 2018. Chung Ha also walked home a winner, taking the trophy for Best K-pop album with ‘Querencia’.


The four K-pop acts, particularly IU and BTS, have achieved great results at most of South Korea’s awards shows for 2021, including the Mnet Asian Music Awards, Melon Music Awards and the Golden Disc Awards.

chung ha mnh 88 rising
Chung Ha. Credits: MNH Entertainment / 88rising

The 19th Korean Music Awards winners are as follows:

Album of the Year

‘Next Episode’, AKMU
‘City Breeze & Love Song’, Kim Hyun-chul
‘Drowned’, Chun Yong-sung
‘Lilac’, IU
‘There is a Wolf’, Lang Lee – Winner

Song of the Year


‘Butter’, BTS
‘Nakka’, AKMU ft. IU
‘Next Level’, aespa – Winner
‘There is a Wolf’, Lang Lee
‘Traffic Light’, Lee Mu-jin

Musician of the Year

BTS – Winner
Kim Hyun-chul
Lang Lee
The Volunteers

Rookie of the Year

aespa – Winner
Lee Mu-jin

Best K-Pop Album

‘Alpha’, CL
‘Atlantis’, SHINee
‘Better’, BoA
‘Querencia’, Chungha – Winner
‘Savage’, aespa

Best K-Pop Song

‘0X1=Lovesong (I Know I Love You)’, Tomorrow X Together
‘After School’, Weeekly
‘Butter’, BTS
‘Next Level’, aespa – Winner

Best Pop Album

‘City Breeze & Love Song’, ’Kim Hyun-chul
‘Fragile’, eAeon
‘Lilac’, IU – Winner
‘Next Episode’, AKMU
‘Night Driving’, Jeong Cha-sik

Best Pop Song

‘How Could You’, Lee Seung-hwan and Sunwoo Jung-a
‘Lilac’, IU
‘Nakka’, AKMU ft. IU – Winner
‘Traffic Light’, Lee Mu-jin
‘When This Rain Stops’, Wendy

akmu next episode review nakka
AKMU. Credit: YG Entertainment

Best Rock Album

‘Chilgasal’, Pakk
‘Exile of iZm’, Atom Music Heart
‘Happiness, Flower’, ’Soumbalgwang – Winner
‘Psyche of Eons’, Zeonpasa
‘Trap’, Trap

Best Rock Song

‘Dance’, Soumbalgwang – Winner
‘Lie’, Zeonpasa
‘Noon Moment’, Badlamb
‘One Corner’, Trap
‘Rock & Roll Night’, ’Wabi King ft. Shin Young

Best Modern Rock Album

‘Sand’, Bosudong Cooler
‘The Borderline Between Hope and Despair’, Wings of the Isang – Winner
‘The Land of Fantasy’, Jannabi
‘The Volunteers’, The Volunteers
‘Wave’, Yang Chang-keun

Best Modern Rock Song

‘Dancing in the Rain’, ’Meaningful Stone
‘Desert Eagle’, Silica Gel – Winner
‘Farewell, My Books!’, Leaves Black
‘Let Me Go!’, The Volunteers
‘Twenty Years Old’, Wings of the Isang

Best Electronic Album

‘Born By Gorgeousness’, Haepaary – Winner
‘Earwitness’, Joyul
‘Monika’, Leesuho
‘Owhere’, Haihm
‘Shinpa’, Net Gala

Best Electronic Song

‘Forest Illumination’, Doildoshi
‘Go to GPD and Then’, Haepaary – Winner
‘HRT’, Kirara
‘The Song of Hope’, Eobchae
‘Tom’, Moonsun

Best Rap and Hip-Hop Album

‘Fragment’, Mild Beats
‘Independent Music’, Choi LB – Winner
‘Net, Trap, Launcher, Capture’, Unofficialboyy & Haifhaif
‘Skandalouz’, Los
‘Underground Rockstar’, Changmo

Best Rap and Hip-Hop Song

‘420 Flow’, Bill Stax ft. Lobonabeat
‘Blue Lemonade’, Los ft. Hwaji
‘Daebak Life’, Don Mills ft. Northfacegawd, Uneducated Kid
‘Spring Rain’, Since ft. Rakon
‘Taiji’, Changmo – Winner

Best R&B and Soul Album

‘A.M.P.’, Jerd
‘Circle’, Mind Combined
‘Don’t Die Colors’, Thama – Winner
‘It’s Not Your Fault’, Dvwn
‘Miniseries’, Sumin & Slom
‘Precious’, Sogumm

Best R&B and Soul Song

‘Blessed’, Thama ft. G.Soul
‘H.K.S.T.’, Lee Hi ft. Wonstein
‘Mimi’, Youra
‘The Gonlan Song’, ’Sumin & Slom – Winner
‘Time Goes By’, Hiko ft. George

Best Folk Album

‘Ballad’, Lee Joo-young
‘Cosmos’, Jeon Ho-kwon
‘Drowned’, Chun Yong-sung
‘Petrichor’, Jang Pill-soon
‘There is a Wolf’, Lang Lee – Winner

Best Folk Song

‘Barley Tea’, Chun Yong-sung ft. Kang Mal-geum – Winner
‘It’s Snowing’, Lee Joo-young ft. Earip
‘Petrichor’, Jang Pill-soon
‘The Generation of Tribulation’, Lang Lee
‘There is a Wolf’, Lang Lee

Best Jazz Album

‘Blue Flower’, Lee Jiyeun Jazz Orchestra
‘Daring Mind’, Jihye Lee Orchestra – Winner
‘Pseudoscience’, SB Circle
‘The New Old One’, Yongseok Lee
‘Things We Lost & Found’, Nam Yoo-sun

Best Jazz Vocal Album

‘Golden Rules’, Golden Swing Band
‘Love, Like A Song’, Bu-young Lee
‘My Funny Valentine: Kim Ju-hwan Sings Richard Rodgers Songbook’, Kim Ju-hwan
‘We All Started in Jazz Club’, Korea Jazz Guardians
‘With Strings: Dream of You’, Maria Kim – Winner

Best Metal and Hardcore Album

‘1st Album’, Slant
‘Detritus of Elysian Creation’, Ambroxiak
‘Hegemony Shift,’ Agnes – Winner
‘Libera Me’, Hammering
‘Necrosis’, Spit On My Tomb
‘Who Defines What’s Divine’, Crux

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