The 2019 VMAs are finally here, guys. I don't know about y'all, but I'm here for Missy Elliott's performance. However, I know all the K-Pop lovers of the world were pumped to see EXO at the 2019 VMAs! As they should have been. It's been a big year for K-Pop, with groups like EXO and BTS reaching more and more milestones of musical success with American audiences. Fans were wondering if the nine-member group EXO was going to show up to this year's award show, but unfortunately for their fandom, they did not.
For the first time ever, the VMAs included a K-Pop category among its slew of other awards. EXO was one of the five K-Pop groups nominated for Best K-Pop Music Video. EXO was nominated for their "Tempo" video, BTS got a nomination for "Boy With Luv," BLACKPINK's "Kill This Love" was nominated (and was also the only female-led K-Pop group in this category — werk!), NCT-127's "Regular" snagged a nom, and TXT (BTS' new sibling group) got a nom for their "Cat and Dog" video. Some hefty competition for sure, and BTS ended up bringing the award home. Unfortunately, none of these groups were slated to perform during the show. Bummer. I guess I'll just have to jump back onto YouTube and watch all their videos over and over again.
Regardless of their lack of a performance, fans are still thrilled EXO was nominated at the VMAs representing K-Pop. But fans were understandably upset that the band wasn't able to make the show. While it's not confirmed, the reason for their absence may be their upcoming tour. The group is gearing up for performances all over Singapore, Thailand, Taiwan, and Japan through the rest of the year.
So, who is EXO? In case your knowledge of K-Pop stops with BTS, allow me to welcome you to the world of EXO with a lil bit o' knowledge. EXO (pronounced like you're saying the letters X and O) is a nine-member K-Pop group. Their members' names are Xiumin, Baekhyun, Chen, Suho, Lay, Chanyeol, D.O., Kai, and Sehun. They're so popular in South Korea, they helped close the 2018 Olympic Games in PyeongChang!
The unique thing about EXO's sound is that it's rather experimental, meaning they don't stick to just one genre. They like to explore hip-hop, R&B, rap, and rock. They're K-Pop, but don't call them pop. They're also in the Guinness Book of World Records. Like, really. That book is a thing I completely forgot about, but they're in it! The hold the record for winning the most daesang ("grand prize") awards at the Mnet Asian Music Awards (they've won seven from 2013 to now).
It is upsetting fans won't be able to see EXO at the 2019 VMAs, but at least there's been more space created for K-Pop in this American award show. The Billboard Music Awards have done the same. Between the various K-Pop groups bursting into American award shows and the success of the genre's music stacking up on American music charts, K-Pop is basically the modern equivalent of the British Invasion.