2018 LWOS.Life K-Pop Awards: Top Award Nominees

The 2018 LWOS.Life K-Pop Awards are going to go down right here on the 27th of December, so let’s take a look at the nominees for the biggest of the 20 awards.

The 2018 LWOS.Life K-Pop Awards

Group of The Year

  2. BTS
  3. EXO
  4. Momoland
  5. NCT 127
  6. Red Velvet
  7. SHINee
  8. TWICE

Boy Group of the Year

  1. BTS
  2. EXO
  3. NCT 127
  4. SHINee

Girl Group of the Year

  2. Momoland
  3. Red Velvet
  4. TWICE

The first category we will talk about is group of the year. So before we dive into the nominees for this award, here is a quick explanation of how it works. Whoever wins group of the year is not allowed to win the award for boy group or girl group of the year. Because of this, the group of the year award is made up of the nominees from boy/girl group of the year categories combined. This way, three different groups can be recognized here.


Despite only having a short appearance in 2018, Blackpink made an impact with their music. The song “DDU-DU DDU-DU” went viral, currently sitting at over 550 million views. The music video had a simple and catchy dance routine that was remembered. The group was also featured on Dua Lipa’s latest album with the collaborative song “Kiss and Make Up.” This was what made the group BLACKPINK eligible for group of the year.


It cannot be understated how much of an asset BTS was to the K-Pop scene this year. The group put out hit title tracks “Fake Love” and “IDOL” and started a world tour. The members of the group are currently the poster boys for K-Pop and the gateway into the genre for many newcomer fans. Love Yourself: Answer and Love Yourself: Tear serve as amazing albums that both have album of the year potential.


As a whole group and a unit, EXO’s performance in 2018 was outstanding. The sub-unit EXO-CBX saw success with the song “Blooming Day” along with six other songs in the mini-album Blooming Days. The group as a whole became a big player late into 2018 with the music videos “Tempo” and “Love Shot.”


If you traveled back a year, chances are you wouldn’t expect to be seeing Momoland anywhere on this whole award show. The very early 2018 viral hit “Bboom Bboom” made the group the most listened to group that was not owned by a big three company. The choreography made the rounds online, and similar to “DDU-DU DDU-DU,” it was somewhat easy to pick up. The group also put out the song “BAAM” in what was a follow up track to their EDM club success.

NCT 127

Similar to related group EXO, NCT 127’s 2018 notoriety came late in the year. The group’s song “Regular” came out in October in both English and Korean, headlining the album Regular-Irregular. With a repackage of the album the group saw a return with the song “Simon Says.” Both epic songs had catchy choruses along with intense choreography.

Red Velvet

The group Red Velvet had a very busy 2018. The group started the year off with an album repackage that included “Bad Boy,” a R&B song that saw huge numbers on streaming platforms. In the summer the group came back with mini-album Summer Magic, with a much more uplifting sound in “Power Up.” Ending off the year the group tried to recreate the success of Bad Boy with sequel track “RBB (Really Bad Boy).” The song headlined another mini-album which included many notable songs.


SHINee had a year that will not be forgotten. The group tragically lost their member Jonghyun in December of 2017. The group since then has continued as four and has continued to put out amazing music. Their album The Story of Light was a culmination of a number of mini-albums released and numerous music videos were shot for it. Songs like “Countless,” “Good Evening,” and “Our Page” all had music videos, with other songs like “Electric” and “Retro” also appearing as great tracks. Despite losing a valuable member of the group, they have continued to be how they have been for a decade: unforgettable.


How TWICE has operated in 2018 is nothing short of phenomenal. This group found a way to have quantity and quality at the same time. Between Japan and Korean promotions, the group put out nine music videos with five total projects put out. Of all put out, most memorable was “What Is Love?,” a song which had it all. It was catchy, had great choreography, and above all had an amazing music video.

Song of the Year

  1. BTS – “Fake Love”
  2. Momoland – “Bboom Bboom”
  3. Red Velvet – “Bad Boy”
  4. TWICE – “What is Love?”

Song of the year is a close competition this year. This award focuses more on the song itself, with the visuals that accompanied being more spotlighted in the Music Video of the Year award.

BTS – “Fake Love”

“Fake Love” was a song from BTS that brought intensity and emotion. Between the two big BTS songs this year—”Fake Love” and “IDOL”—”Fake Love” was the better. But was it the best when compared to all songs released in 2018? We all know times that we have sacrificed things for others only to have a door shut in our face. This song perfectly encapsulates what that is like for a human to experience—the idea that a rough relationship can make you question your partner, but also yourself.

Momoland – “Bboom Bboom”

Not every song of the year nominee has to be sad or dramatic like BTS’s “Fake Love.” In the case of Momoland and their song “Bboom Bboom,” it’s simply a fun listen. The song became catchy very quickly for many people. The popularity that Momoland has currently stemmed from this song is insane. Bboom Bboom may be a song that was made to be played at parties, but it can’t be counted out for song of the year.

Red Velvet – “Bad Boy”

As many know, Red Velvet has two styles that they like to utilize. The first is their “Red” style, which is often associated with bubblegum pop. Their other style, “Velvet,” is a darker, more R&B style. In 2018, the “Velvet” side of the group came out to play and saw huge success through the song “Bad Boy.” “Bad Boy” became a beloved song by serious fans and the general public alike. The song received an English adaptation in the summer.

TWICE – “What is Love?”

Out of the many releases put out by TWICE in 2018, the one that stood most apparent as a Song of the Year contender was “What is Love?” The song had the amazing high register vocals that you can expect from a TWICE song along with an amazing chorus. The song is a lighthearted approach to the question of exactly what love is.

Album of the Year

  1. BTS – Love Yourself: Tear
  2. EXO – Love Shot
  3. Red Velvet – The Perfect Velvet
  4. SHINee – The Story of Light

Album of the year is going to be a close one, with EXO being a last minute addition. For this award an album should have good depth and not rely on a title track solely.

BTS – Love Yourself: Tear

BTS’s top 2018 song “Fake Love” was released on the album Love Yourself: Tear. The biggest songs on the album were of course “Fake Love,” but also “Airplane pt. 2” and “Anpanman.”

EXO – Love Shot

If it wasn’t for the group’s album release in the 12th hour of 2018, EXO wouldn’t find themselves on this list. The album Love Shot included title tracks “Love Shot” and “Tempo,” along with many replayable songs on the album like “Ooh La La La” and “With You.”

Red Velvet – The Perfect Velvet

Red Velvet’s repackage album The Perfect Velvet was the group’s greatest play on their R&B style. Along with famous song “Bad Boy” and the previously released “Peek-a-Boo,” the group from top to bottom put a great soundtrack to their concept at the time. No song on the album went unnoticed.

SHINee – The Story of Light

SHINee’s The Story of Light was a culmination of their biggest projects this year. The lengthy album included lots of pop songs that get stuck in your head easily. Although the album had many title tracks, it also had songs like “Electric” and “Retro” which could easily be mistaken for title tracks. The groups ability to keep creating hits is a testament to why they have been around for so long.

Mini Album/EP of the Year

  1. Fromis_9To. Heart
  2. (G)I-DLEI am
  3. GugudanAct.5 The New Action
  4. Momoland – GREAT!
  5. Red Velvet – Summer Magic

When you compare the nominees for album of the year and mini-album of the year, you might see a big difference. That difference is of course that boy groups are the majority of album of the year nominees, and that girl groups are all of the mini-album of the year nominees. While girl groups put out numerous hits in 2018, a lot of groups refused to put out full length albums. Because of this, the EP of the year award has five nominees, that’s one more than any of the other major awards.

Fromis_9 – To. Heart

In what was a very busy year for fromis_9, the best of their three mini-albums was their debut one, To. Heart. The title track “To Heart,” paired with the “Miracle” and “Pinocchio” made for a great release. “Miracle” sort of felt like a sequel to the song “To Heart.”

(G)I-DLE – I am

(G)I-DLE made a splash in 2018 with their debut mini-album I am. What I found interesting about this mini-album was how the group was able to change their style around. The title track “LATATA” is bad ass, but a song like “What’s in your house?” has more of a soft feel to it. “$$$” is also an interesting track as it shifts from style to style throughout.

Gugudan – Act.5 The New Action

The most recent addition to this list was Gugudan’s mini album The New Action. Similar to (G)I-DLE’s release, Gugudan expressed many styles in this project. They had the title track “Not That Type,” which had a girl crush sound concept, but also had more glittery songs like “Pastel Sweater” and “Dear.”

Momoland – GREAT!

Momoland’s successful track “Bboom Bboom” came from the album titled GREAT! What I felt went somewhat unnoticed was how the mini-album had many other songs with replay value. “Curious” and “Fly” had a more laid back EDM sound from the group while “Same Same” felt like it was more like the title track. I found myself listening to the b-side songs more than halfway into the year despite the EP coming out in January.

Red Velvet – Summer Magic

Red Velvet’s summer project Summer Magic was what showed the group’s bubblegum pop style in 2018. Songs like “Hit That Drum” and “Blue Lemonade” played as great b-sides for the song “Power Up.”

Music Video of the Year

  2. BTS – “Fake Love”
  3. BTS – “IDOL”
  4. TWICE – “What is Love?”


BLACKPINK’s major song of 2018 “DDU-DU DDU-DU” came with an amazing music video. While the video didn’t follow any sort of linear story, the visuals in it were stunning. From the clothing and scenery to the diamond encrusted tank with shopping bags over it—and of course to the four idols who absolutely owned the concept that they were given—it was hard to hate this video.

BTS – “Fake Love”

It’s not often that a group finds themselves nominated twice in the same category. The first of two nominated music videos from BTS is “Fake Love.” The video was extremely high production. One part of the video that sticks out is the interlude before the final chorus. When the video goes back to the chorus, it’s chilling. The camerawork did a great job at exaggerating the choreography. Overall, this video did an amazing job at portraying the emotions that the song is supposed to elicit.


The second nomination for BTS is for their song “IDOL.” The song has a fun and goofy music video paired with it. The video includes face filters, realistic animojis of the group members, and drawings done by the members. It was a complete 180 from “Fake Love,” but nonetheless was a great video.

TWICE – “What is Love?”

TWICE’s music video “What is Love?” managed to make a bubblegum pop song have a clever music video. We all know the songs that are great and have cute videos but don’t really try anything ambitious. In this video, TWICE parodied many famous scenes from movies like The Princess Diaries, Pulp Fiction, Romeo + Juliet and La La Land. The group told a story about love in their song, but also paid homage to some of pop culture’s famous love stories.

The Other Categories

Stay tuned to LWOS.Life: Music this weekend as the nominees for the smaller awards will be announced and broken down. Of course also keep an eye out on the 27th, when the article announcing all the winners will be dropped.

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