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The Wrangler

The #1 student news site of Yorba Linda High School

The Wrangler

K-pop at the VMAs 2023

Dimitrios Kambouris
Stray Kids at the VMAs 2023 posing for red carpet after winning their award for Best K-pop

During the VMAs 2023, history was made in the K-pop industry. The MTV Video Music Awards, also known as the VMAs,  is an award show that attracts people from all around the world. There were multiple attendees and big stars that attended such as Taylor Swift, Selena Gomez, Olivia Rodrigo, Shakira, and even more. As K-pop rises in popularity, it gets more recognition in the Western music industry and even makes its way to Western award shows. In 2023, two 4th generation K-pop groups, TOMORROW X TOGETHER and Stray Kids, had their first performance at the VMAs 2023, and 5 awards were won.


Stray Kids was the first group to perform live on the big stage in front of hundreds in person and thousands online. Their song of choice was a high-energy, remixed version of  “S-Class”. The eight-member group captured the stage with their amazing choreography and stage presence. Hyunjin from Stray Kids explains, “While all of the tracks we considered for the title were great, we ended up choosing ‘S-Class’ as the title because this was the song that really screamed Stray Kids”. Stray Kids hoped to be able to show their specialty to the vast world, and it is safe to say they did. Taylor Swift, a global star, was captured multiple times on camera vibing to the song, clearly impressed by the group’s talents.


TOMORROW X TOGETHER was the next K-pop group to perform at the VMAs 2023. During the interview on the red carpet before the performance, TOMORROW X TOGETHER kept many fans curious about what song they were going to perform.

Alongside Anita, a Brazilian singer and songwriter, the five-member boy group performed their song “Back for More” for the first time. They dominated the stage with a Micheal Jackson-themed performance and their sharp choreography. Many fans were wowed by the illusion of dancing on the water stage and the catchy chorus. 


The Best K-pop Award is a fan-voted award given to a group that fans think deserves recognition. Day by day, K-pop fans get up to vote for their favorite groups and songs. Fans waited to see who would win this award and suspense was all around. It was announced that Stray Kids won with their song “S-class” from the album 5 Star. Although the group came in thinking they would only perform, they were visibly surprised to learn they had won an award.

As I started investing my time into Stray Kids ever since 2021, I am really proud of their amazing accomplishments and milestones, and will I stick by their side until the end.”

— Eunice Kim

The Push Performance of the Year is for the most outstanding artist who was selected by MTV’s PUSH campaign. This is a process where one artist was chosen for every month of the year for a descriptive interview, performance, and overall digital content. There were 12 nominees for the Push Performance of the Year. This award was given to TOMORROW X TOGETHER with their song “Sugar Rush Ride” from the album The Name Chapter: TEMPTATION.

TOMORROW X TOGETHER’s stunning visuals at the VMAs 2023 red carpet. (Dimitrios Kambouris)


The Best Choreography Award is designed for the best dance. It was voted by judges rather than fan votes. “Pink Venom” in the album “Born Pink” by Blackpink won this award. This award is specially given to the artist, the artist’s manager, and the music video’s choreographer. Although Blackpink did not perform during the VMAs 2023, they received their award after the event passed.


The Group of the Year is given to the group that had the most votes throughout multiple social media platforms. Out of eight nominees, Blackpink won the Group of the Year for the VMAs 2023. The girl group has won 5 VMAs including the ones they have earned in the year during the VMAs 2023.


The Song of the Summer is a fan-voted award, in which people vote on the song they think is the best for the summer. Junkook, a soloist from BTS, released a single called Seven featuring Latto. This song was loved by many and ended up winning the Song of the Summer award. Similar to Blackpink, Jungkook did not perform at the VMAs 2023, but his award was collected.


Being able to attend and win awards at the MTV Video Music Awards is a huge accomplishment for many. K-pop, a genre that many are fond of, has made its way into the Western world and was able to experience new things. As time passes by, new achievements are made daily and these are the K-pop highlights of the VMAs 2023.

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  • M

    Milla JansOct 26, 2023 at 7:24 AM

    This is very well-written! I liked reading about the two K-pop groups and their accomplishments.

  • J

    JourneyOct 26, 2023 at 7:23 AM

    This was very well written, and it was fun to read about the impact K-pop is making to the world.