This year’s Asia Artist Awards (AAA) was held on Thursday, December 14, 2023, at the Philippine Arena in Bulacan, Philippines, marking the first time it took place in the country. The star-studded event — often called the Asian GRAMMYs and Oscars — showcased a dazzling array of talent from across Asia, including Filipino artists and Hallyu icons.
On AAA day, Filo stans paid tribute to their favorites in different ways, such as dressing in outfits inspired by them and bringing lightsticks, photocards, and other merchandise to the venue. The good vibes continued during the main show, where fans chanted the artists’ names. Cheered fanchants during songs made for an extra memorable night as well.
The winners expressed deep appreciation for their fans’ love and support. They also promised to continue working hard to earn their fans’ appreciation. NewJeans, Le Sserafim, ZEROBASEONE, BOYNEXTDOOR, and many more idols visited the Philippines for the first time and expressed their luck in receiving so much love. Some expressed their anticipation in holding their first concert in the Philippines as they received so much love and support from the fans during the awards ceremony.
EXO’s Suho, also known as Kim Jun-myeon, reflected on their year of happiness and challenges. Upon winning the AAA Best Emotive award, he told EXO-Ls, “From now, I’ll continuously stay stable like how I was till now so I can move your emotions. I’ll continuously act and sing well and live well so I won’t be an embarrassing idol.”
Filipino actress Melai Cantiveros — who starred in PULP Studios’ first offering Ma’am Chief — drew laughs with her quips when she accepted her Best Actor Award. She joked, “If someone (questions) why I have (an) award, don’t worry. I question too. I just receive an award all my life from my mother and father when they are angry with me. Tonight, my heart is ‘kuwan.’ I think it’s because God moves in mysterious ways.”
Actors Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla, among other Filipino artists, bagged the AAA Fabulous Award. Daniel thanked his fans and ended with a peace sign, while Kathryn expressed her gratitude for those supporting Filipino-made series and movies. Other Filipino acts like Ben&Ben and SB19 also won awards, as did Filipino-Argentinian Chanty and her group Lapillus.
Jung Sung-il, who rose to prominence as Ha Do-yeong in “The Glory,” won his first-ever award, the AAA Scene Stealer. He remarked, “I think the reason why I received an award so late is because there are so many amazing artists.”
Lee Dong-hwi, known for starring in “Reply 1988” and “Extreme Job,” won the AAA Best Actor trophy. He shared his connection with the Philippines, saying, “First of all, the Philippines is like a hometown for me. We shot the casino drama ‘Big Bet’ for around two months here in the Philippines. I am very grateful to all heartwarming Filipinos. If not because of you, there’s no casino K-drama.”
SEVENTEEN’s BSS subunit members thanked their collaborator Lee Young-ji as they won the AAA Grand Prize for Album of the Year. BSS said “If not for her, we wouldn’t be able to receive this award.” Seungkwan also went down from the stage to give her the trophy.
ZEROBASEONE dedicated their AAA Best Musician award to their member Ricky, who was unable to make it to the event. Meanwhile, Stray Kids promised their fans to stay tuned for their “new version” in 2024 when they accepted the AAA Grand Prize for Stage of the Year.
The night was filled with Korean artists saying Tagalog phrases like “kumusta ka,” “salamat,” and “mahal ko kayo.” Halfway through the show, MC and soloist Kang Daniel turned to the crowd and asked, “Nasisiyahan ba kayo?” showcasing the Koreans’ love for their Filipino fans. In a surprising turn, ATBO’s Won Bin gave his acceptance speech in Tagalog, revealing he grew up in the Philippines before addressing their fans in Tagalog.
The AAA promised a night of more than many massive hit songs performed over six hours, and the artists delivered with dance breaks, theatricality, audience interactions, pyro, graphics, and idol skills. WHIB kicked off the show with a “Bang!” followed by SB19 with a medley. &TEAM joined them with a collaborative stage to the P-pop group’s top hit “GENTO.” AKMU, ATBO, Dindin, HORI7ON, KARD, KINGDOM, Kim Jae-joong, LUN8, Paul Blanco, STAYC, and Yaochen followed with exciting performances of their own.
Ash Island, Dreamcatcher, NMIXX, and TEMPEST brought high-energy stages, as did top Japanese girl group Sakurazaka46. Kep1er, Kwon Eun-bi, and ONEUS gave theatrical and sultry performances. &TEAM, BOYNEXTDOOR, Kang Daniel, Lim Young Woong, and ZEROBASEONE charmed audiences with their stages. ITZY and THE BOYZ gave edgy, memorable performances, complete with props and pyro.
NewJeans and Le Sserafim got everyone dancing and singing along with their hits. Stray Kids turned up the heat. SEVENTEEN’s BSS closed the awards show with a 12-minute performance that had everything from high energy, stage presence, synchronization, theatricality, and true artistry. Lee Young-ji even joined them onstage.
The 2023 Asia Artist Awards, a celebration of Asian talent and a testament to the unifying power of music and entertainment, was more than just an award ceremony. Showcasing the best of Asian entertainment, it fostered a deeper connection between artists and fans, making it a memorable night indeed.
AAA 2023 was made possible through the efforts of StarNews, TONZ Entertainment, and PULP Live World, the Philippines’ trailblazer in live Hallyu events.
Check out the complete list of AAA 2023 winners in this article.