NCT Dream’s “Daesang” Win At The 2023 Melon Music Awards Sparks Intense Debate


On December 2 (KST), the 15th Melon Music Awards were held to celebrate 2023’s greatest K-Pop accomplishments.

| Melon

Alongside NewJeans, who won “Song of the Year” and “Artist of the Year,” and IVE, who won “Album of the Year,” NCT Dream took home the “Record of the Year” award.

Here Are All The Winners From The 2023 Melon Music Awards (MMA2023)

However, when the winning criteria for the “Record of the Year” award were revealed, K-Pop fans raised questions about the legitimacy.

NCT Dream | @NCTsmtown_DREAM/Twitter

According to the official website for Melon Music Awards, three out of the four Daesang (Grand Prize) awards were based on a combination of sales, judge evaluations, and votes. The “Record of the Year” award was the only one based on 100% judge evaluations.

| Melon

[Album of the Year] For the most popular album
*Producers awarded together
60% Sales Score + 20% Evaluation Score + 20% Votes

[Artist of the Year] For the most popular artist
60% Sales Score + 20% Evaluation Score + 20% Votes

[Song of the Year] For the most popular song
*Lyricists/composers awarded together
60% Sales Score + 20% Evaluation Score + 20% Votes

[Record of the Year] For the artist and producer(s) who made
the most noteworthy musical accomplishments for the year
100% Evaluation Score

[Rookie of the Year] For the most popular rookie
60% Sales Score + 20% Evaluation Score + 20% Votes

Discussing NCT Dream’s track record for 2023, some fans became convinced that the inclusion of the group in the Daesang lineup was some sort of a business deal between Melon and SM Entertainment.

Others believed, while accepting the need for a evaluation-based award, that the presentation of the award didn’t have to be a part of the Daesang lineup—nevermind the grand finale of the whole award.

| Nate Pann “Upvote if you think SM Entertainment is disgusting.” “What did NCT Dream accomplish, compared to NewJeans and IVE, to win a Daesang and put on the grand finale show?” “How did NCT Dream land the Daesang and the grand finale performance, though?” “Meanwhile, BTS has been snubbed countless times. SM Entertainment has a track record of turning award shows into their own parties. I’m not surprised.” “Did NOT think I’d see this happen… SM Entertainment is on another level.” | theqoo “It’s ALWAYS NCT and some nonsense Daesang. I wonder if the members feel embarrassed for having accepted it.” “Of course, it’s SM Entertainment. As always, at every award ceremony.” “A made-up Daesang for the group, LOL.” “SM Entertainment doesn’t care. It’s disgusting. No one is going to remember this Daesang. Instead, it’ll go down in history as one of the most nonsense wins.” “Here we go again, with SM Entertainment stealing the award from some other group. So shameless to be doing this EVERY YEAR. No wonder the company is on the brink of going under.” “Congrats.” “So… What musical accomplishment are we exactly talking about? LOL.” “Oh, SM Entertainment is STILL doing this? HA.” “Well, their remake of H.O.T’s ‘Candy’ did well.” “WTF? This makes no sense, LOL. I can’t believe NCT Dream won. SM Entertainment must have splurged a sh*t ton of corrupt money on this win.” “Record of the Year…? I bet NCT Dream members themselves aren’t sure about what record they’re being awarded for.”

Amid the backlash, NCT Dream’s more supportive fans argued that the group won what it won because it was deemed deserved by none other than judges who hold professional positions in the entertainment business.

Regardless, NCT Dream members were distinguished gentlemen at the award. Read more about their kindness toward aespa members below.

NCT DREAM’s Kind Treatment Of aespa At The “2023 Melon Music Awards” Didn’t Go Unnoticed

 Some K-Pop fans are questioning the criteria for the “Record of the Year” award. 

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