Who Is Girls Generation, the Group That Beat Bieber for Video of the Year?

A K-pop group beat out some big names for video of the year

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Han Myung-Gu/WireImage/Getty Images

Girls' Generation on Aug. 25, 2012, in Yeosu, South Korea.

At the first-ever YouTube Music Awards, webcasted last night, Nov. 3, one big take-away was the importance of audience and viewer participation. The nominees were chosen based on their YouTube video stats and voting took place via video sharing.

But, while that meant that few of the nominees were folks new to YouTube’s audience, it didn’t mean there were no upsets. Take the Video of the Year category, for example, the category meant to acknowledge the “biggest” videos, based on views, shares, likes and comments. The ten nominees were:

  • Girls’ Generation, “I Got A Boy”
  • Demi Lovato, “Heart Attack”
  • Epic Rap Battles Of History, “Barack Obama vs Mitt Romney”
  • Justin Bieber (feat. Nicki Minaj), “Beauty and a Beat”
  • Lady Gaga, “Applause”
  • Macklemore & Ryan Lewis (feat. Mary Lambert) “Same Love”
  • Miley Cyrus, “We Can’t Stop”
  • One Direction, “Best Song Ever”
  • PSY, “Gentleman”
  • Selena Gomez, “Come & Get It”

And the winner, despite big names like Bieber and Cyrus, was Girls’ Generation — a K-pop group that is still in the process of achieving the fame enjoyed by fellow nominee PSY. As CNN notes, audience reaction to the announcement of their win (made at the awards ceremony in New York) was muted.

(MORE: K-Pop’s Unlikeliest Fans: Middle-Age Males)

But, while some U.S. viewers may have been surprised by the result, it’s not actually all that surprising. (In fact, TIME sort of predicted something like this back in January.) One of YouTube’s quirks, compared to older models of music consumption, is its global nature. That’s part of the reason PSY got so big in the first place, and it means that YouTube becomes a major way for K-pop fans around the world — for example, in places where albums from groups like Girls’ Generation may only be available as imports — to find new tracks. While Lady Gaga gets more radio and TV play in the States, YouTube may matter more, overall, to Girls’ Generation.

So who are Girls Generation? The nine women, known as SNSD in Korea, have been a group since 2007. They also scored the top-selling K-pop album of 2012. Check out their award-winning video here:

(MORE Beyond PSY: 5 Essential K-Pop Tracks)

29 comments
jasminelep
jasminelep

"Girls’ Generation — a K-pop group that is still in the process of achieving the fame enjoyed by fellow nominee PSY."


Please. The 1mil+++ shares were made entirely by the worldwide fanbase of Girls Generation, it's not even related to PSY or his success in any way.

MEMENTO1305
MEMENTO1305

They are actually very talented ladies.  I got to see their concert in New York...and it was awesome!!! They can dance like amazing, and sing as well, who knew you didn't need autotune anymore like some of the "artists" here in America. I had never heard of them before the Yew York concert ( a friend invited me), so looked them up, first video I saw was "Geenie",,OMG is all I can say...they move like one contiguous person, yet with many parts like synchronized movement. Congratulations SNSD, aka Girls Generation,  you deserve it!!

JoseReyes
JoseReyes

The only reason they haven't achieved more fame is because SM doesn't promote them a lot more. These girls have star power and if their stuff was released globally then they would skyrocket to No. 1!

Russ_Wilkinson
Russ_Wilkinson

Time gets it wrong. Psy wishes he had SNSD"s (aka Girls Generation) fame. BoA, Girls Generation, Shinee, 2pm, miss A, Wonder Girls...these groups have all achieved a level of fame comperable or exceeding Psy's.
It's time for American's to realize that there's more to pop music than American bilboard.
It's also time for KPop to realize there's more to it than Asians. (bigotry works both ways people)

ElijahWatson
ElijahWatson

K-pop wins over Justin Bieber and 1D anyday.


Congrats SNSD

LelosaImasuen
LelosaImasuen

I am so happy that Girls' Generation won being a SONE I'm just so happy even more that the whole k-pop community came together to make sure of this win. Now let's gather together to have EXO win MTV EMA Award they deserve it 

Ilovekpop_017
Ilovekpop_017

I am so happy Girls Generation won.  I might not be the biggest GG fan but i am sure  happy that people who are apart of kpop won. They are helping spreading kpop to America and hopefully, since alot of people are being ignorant and racist about this, that this will show Kpop is nothing to joke about . They work as hard as any artist and sometimes harder. It is definitely  not as easy to spread their music across the world as it is  for american music. Many korean artists look up to some of the most popular or talented American artist yet if vice versa it would not be the same. Im not saying people have love kpop and eat breath and sleep kpop but at least show the appreciation and look at the dedication it takes to be where they are now. 

Sunyeon
Sunyeon

This article really makes it seem that they were popular only after Psy's success, when in fact, they had the highest viewed K-pop video ("Gee"), they have a ton of awards and are massively successful in Asia, as well as having a large global fanbase.

It's through the media not hitting up on new things fast enough, and lazy writers like here, that Americans are surprised. They shouldn't have been because there are fellow Americans who are desperate for GG to be noticed, and Kpop to be recognised as more than Psy. 

GG have had global tours that have been to Paris, Tokyo, etc. (they sold out Madison Square Garden, with their labelmates, before Psy's popularity).

This really wasn't a surprise and it's not purely down to the asian fanbase.

Kria88
Kria88

"Flower Power" would be a better introduction to U.S audiences, IMO.

KrysDannielle
KrysDannielle

It seems like a dumb question to ask who Girls' Generation is and the only thing you can talk about is how they beat out Justin Beiber and Miley Cyrus. HELLO, they beat out PSY as well and in cause you forgotten PSY IS KOREAN!! And no offense but Americans like you do nothing but hate on anything different. Face it America, K-Pop will be a thing and you'll see more K-Pop artists in the future. And next time, do some research before you come up with articles like this.

darkmax1974
darkmax1974

Wow! South Korea's plastic fantasticks are ruining the mainstream music.

lyngenberry
lyngenberry

MTV isn't a music channel or website, despite what it's name implies, so it cannot be relied on as any meter for music popularity or relevance.  They're a reality TV channel bent on bringing fame and attention to talentless individuals willing to expose or humiliate themselves as public spectacles.

And this is why, by and large, the entire US music industry is in decline.  Attention is not given to the musicians that could matter to others.  Compare that with the Kpop media that not only has Youtube and many of their own regional, live streaming and online social events, but weekly high profile live music shows that actually show live music and dance with an audience.  Viewers get a chance to discover new music, give support to the musicians they favor, and get to know some of the personalities of the people performing. The US has things they can learn from Kpop: there's a reason why people around the world become passionate about it.

柯佳均
柯佳均

Girls Generation Daebak!! Let's go sosi Let's go!!!!

Marie72
Marie72

This article is a little bit disappointing :/ the title reads: " Who Is Girls Generation, the Group That Beat Bieber for Video of the Year?"--yet you waste the whole thing talking about the same things other websites have already talked about... Then you go ahead and close the article amswering the question in your headline very briefly. Hmm I'm confused here.

Who is Girl's Generation? One of the biggest acts in Asia, if not the biggest. Nine women with amazing passion and multiple talents who lead a "pink army" of Sones. Go ahead and Google them -.-

SP2013
SP2013

The US music market and film industries are so insular that Americans tend to remain ignorant of what is going on in the rest of the world.  For example, when BIGBANG (K-pop) won Best World Act at the MTV EMA Awards, MTV.com did not even feature them on their site!!!  MTV.com tends to be very stingy with popular international bands and artists, focusing mainly on North Americans and a few acceptable Europeans (particularly British). 

This keeps Americans safe and ignorant.

KweenSooyoung
KweenSooyoung

YAAAAS! Stan for Global Generation! Please anticipate Girls' Generation - SHY, the new subunit!

Russ_Wilkinson
Russ_Wilkinson

@Kria88 I'm thinking Great Escape or You aholic would have worked better. More of a club feel and more of a chance for them to show off.

xSufice
xSufice

@KrysDannielle

I don't get why you are so hysteric. The question he wrote was not because he didn't know the group, but a question that was raised by a lot of people who didn't know about them. He wrote the answer to the question after the summary of the event. The comparison between PSY and SNSD is the same. Although SNSD's fame was, is and will always be higher than PSYs, it's a fact that Gangnam Style was an international hype. Even people who never heard about K-Pop knew the song. It was played everywhere. I'm German by the way.

I don't want to start anything but insulting someone just because you didn't understand the article correctly is wrong.

He also said that they beat PSY and also mentioned that he was Korean:"a K-pop group that is still in the process of achieving the fame enjoyed by fellow nominee PSY."

Reading your comment I could even see you only reading the title of the article before commenting.

So next time please read the article a few times before writing an comment like this.

Before you say that an article has to be understandable after reading it for the first time: I only read it once.

PS: Hell yeah. SNSD fighting!!!

Russ_Wilkinson
Russ_Wilkinson

@darkmax1974 They put on shows that put Broadway productions to shame.
They have record sales that American record companies would trade body parts for.
They consistantly cover American songs with comperable ability to the original artists.
Compared to the stagnation that we've seen here in America for the past 5-10 years, what KPop is doing is a VERY welcome change.
Bieber and Miley...go away.

XxRxX5
XxRxX5

@darkmax1974 

Man FU, How is GG plastic? They never got plastic surgery in their life

And you make it seem like kpop would be ruining mainstream music, your are extremely close minded and racist and ignorant people like you are the reason this country is going down the drain

Ilovekpop_017
Ilovekpop_017

@darkmax1974 if your going to talk about South Korea and plastic surgery... America is sometimes no better. If you think they ruin mainstream music i think you may have to go back in look. 

parkelsey
parkelsey

@darkmax1974 "ruining" the mainstream music???? By mainstream are you talking about american pop music? You think that korean pop music is somehow dirtying or degrading american pop music??? do you understand how racist you are being by now???

MikeSchuder
MikeSchuder

@Russ_Wilkinson @Kria88 I agree. Great Escape is IMHO, their best dance routine and the tune has a lot of harmony parts to show off their singing and arranging....