The UnitedKpop team debated long and hard over our awards this year, and although they’re fun we felt they often lean towards the same small handful of artists. It’s great to show our favourites and the favourites of our readers that we appreciate them, but are they really important?
In majority, we decided, no, they’re not! Though we do have one award we feel extremely passionate about – the Shining Light Award – named in honour of SHINee’s Jonghyun (the first recipient), the Shining Light Award honours an individual or group who goes above and beyond to make a difference outside of their music.
Jonghyun himself received the award for being a strong advocate for mental health, and while he lost his own battle his legacy still lives on.
Last year, the award was won by Holland for steadfast commitment and bravery towards LGBTQIA+ rights and representation in South Korea.
Instead of awards based on music, we have chosen to award 9 Shining Light awards (as we are in our ninth year) to acts of philanthropy over the last decade.
The winners will be revealed on our social media over the next week, and you can return here to find out more about why we awarded each Shining Light Award.