Controversial nominations at 2021 MAMA: aespa is not up for “Best Female Group”, BTS might not win Daesang album?

After announcing the nominees on November 3, this year’s MAMA has sparked controversy and caused netizens to fiercely argue. 

Mnet Asian Music Awards (MAMA 2021) has officially unveiled its list of this year’s nominations on November 3.  On social media platforms, fans are excitedly discussing the best candidates who are most likely to become the winners in each category.

The most controversial category is probably “Best Female Group”, because aespa – this year’s hottest rookie Kpop girl group is absent from the list of nominees, which only include (G)I-DLE, ITZY, TWICE, Oh My Girl, Brave Girls and Red Velvet. aespa not getting a nomination for “Best Female Group” despite leading in digital performance and having the best-selling album on Hanteo in 2021, has caused fans to feel upset and disappointed. 

MAMA 2021
Netizens are surprised to not see aespa among the nominees for “Best Female Group”

Some netizens have expressed their dissatisfaction and even mocked that Mnet deliberately excluded aespa from the nominees to give the “Best Female Group” award to TWICE. Although TWICE records a good performance with the album “Taste Of Love” internationally, their achievements can’t surpass aespa and Brave Girls domestically. Therefore, if TWICE actually wins “Best Female Group”, it will definitely cause huge controversy. 

MAMA 2021

Many Kpop fans are also curious as to which artist will win one of the most important Daesangs – Album of the Year. Previously, MAMA announced that this year’s 3 Daesang awards, including Artist of the Year, Song of the Year and Album of the Year will no longer be fan voted. While “Artist of the Year” and “Song of the Year” is likely a competition between BTS and IU, the winner of “Album of the Year” is somewhat difficult to predict this year. The criteria for this category include 40% judges’ evaluations, 20% digital, 20% physical sales, 10% MV and 10% global music platforms.

MAMA 2021
MAMA 2021

With this major change, fans predict that the awards will be “equally split” between artists. Many BTS fans are worried because it is not clear whether the group’s album BE (released in November 2020) is eligible for nomination. The nominees for this category will only be announced on the day the awards take place. Moreover, “40% judges’ evaluations” is a vague criterion. If the judges do not recognize BE in the nominations (due to timing), it is likely that the Daesang “Album of the Year” will go to either NCT Dream‘s Hot Sauce or NCT 127’s Sticker for outstanding sales in 2021. 

Many fans predict that NCT 127 will win “Album of the Year” 
This year’s MAMA is scheduled to take place in Korea on December 11


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