Welcome to the 2021 INSIDER Awards where all of the music industry peers vote and rank the best of Korean music in the year. To check out the nominees, go to the IAMCA’s official Fandom page.

Without further ado, let us present the winners of the 12th INSIDER Awards!

Artist of the Year


This is BTS’ sixth consecutive INSIDER for Artist of the Year, they have been nominated since 2015.

Album of the Year



This is the second INSIDER for Album of the Year of TOMORROW X TOGETHER, they have won previously for THE DREAM CHAPTER: MAGIC in 2019.

Seori, featured artist; Slow Rabbit, Bang Shi-hyuk, Aaron Hibell, Alex Hope, Ebenezer, EL CAPITXN, Kai Kamal Huening, Jacob Attwooll, Jacob Manson, Magnus, Ollipop & The Six, producers

Aaron Sterling, Alex Hope, EL CAPITXN, J.C. Powys, Juan Peña, Keith Parry, Michel Schulz, Richard Boardman, Slow Rabbit, Adam Hawkins, John Hanes, Yang Ga & YOUNG, engineers/mixers

January 8th, Aaron Hibell, Alex Hope, Andrew Migliore, Andy Love, Ashnikko, Choi Beomgyu, Conrad Sewell, danke, Ebenezer, EL CAPITXN, Frederick Cox, Gabriel Brandes, Gavin Jones, Gina Kushka, Bang Shi-hyuk, Kai Kamal Huening, Hwang In-chan, Jacob Attwooll, Jacob Manson, Cho Yoon-kyeong, Kim Bo-eun, Kim Seon-oh, Lee Seuran, LUTRA, Magnus, Matt Thomson, Max Lynedoch Graham, Melanie Joy Fontana, MOD SUN, Mood Melodies, Ollipop, Olly Murs, Pablo Bowman, Richard Boardman, Kim Namjoon, Ronnie Icon, Ryan Lawrie, salem ilese, Sarah Blanchard, Slow Rabbit, Song Jaekyung, Choi Soobin, Stella Jang, Kang Taehyun, Tristan Landymore, Will Simms & Choi Yeonjun, songwriters

Chris Gehringer, mastering engineer

Record of the Year

Beautiful Beautiful


This is the first INSIDER and second consecutive nomination for Record of the Year for ONF. ONF was previously nominated for New World, last year.

Hwang Hyun, producer

Kang Seon-yeong & Gu Jong-pil, engineers/mixers

Kwon Nam-woo, mastering engineer

Song of the Year

Beautiful Beautiful

Hwang Hyun & WYATT (ONF)

This is the first INSIDER for Song of the Year for Hwang Hyun and WYATT.

Best New Artist


This is the first INSIDER of aespa. They become the second girl group to win Best New Artist after Red Velvet in 2015.

Best New Album



This is the second INSIDER and the ninth nomination of aespa.

Best New Song



This is the first INSIDER and sixth nomination of KINGDOM.

Best-selling Artist of the Year


This is BTS’ fifth consecutive INSIDER for Best-selling Artist of the Year.

Best-selling Album of the Year

Hot Sauce

NCT Dream

This is the first INSIDER for NCT Dream. This is also Mark and Haechan’s second INSIDER and eleventh nomination, they previously won an INSIDER for Best New Album for NCT’s Regular-Irregular. This is Renjun, Jeno, Jaemin, Chenle, and Jisung’s first INSIDER and second nomination this year.

Best-selling Song of the Year



This is BTS’ fourth consecutive INSIDER for Best-selling Song of the Year. This is the third INSIDER of BTS this year.

Best Album Track

The Realist — ONF

The Realist becomes the inaugural winner of Best Album Track. This is ONF’s second INSIDER this year.

Best Pop Album

Game Changer — Golden Child

This is the second career INSIDER and sixth nomination of Golden Child. Last 2018, they won Best Pop Duo/Group Recording for It’s U.

Best Pop Solo Recording


This is IU’s ninth career INSIDER and first win for this category, which was established in 2017. She has 15 nominations this year.

Best Pop Duo/Group Recording

Beautiful Beautiful — IU

This is ONF’s third INSIDER this year. Beautiful Beautiful celebrates ONF’s first INSIDER and second nomination in this category.

Best Traditional Pop Album


This is the second INSIDER for KINGDOM.

Best Traditional Pop Recording

Right Now — Gaho

This is Gaho’s second INSIDER. He previously shared an INSIDER for Best Compilation Soundtrack for performing Start Over in JTBC’s Itaewon Class.

Best Traditional Pop Performance

Like Water — WENDY

This is WENDY’s first INSIDER as a soloist, and her third career INSIDER.

Best Electronic Album


This is KEY’s third career INSIDER. This is also his first win and fifth nomination as a soloist.

Best Electronic Recording


This is KEY’s second INSIDER this year, and fourth career INSIDER. Bad Love was also nominated for Record for the Year.

Best Rock Album


This is LUCY’s first INSIDER and second nomination.

Best Rock Song

I Know Where The Rainbow Has Fallen — JANNABI

This is JANNABI’s first INSIDER and eighth nomination. They were nominated last year for Best Indie Album and Best Rock Song.

Best Rock Performance

Poison — Pink Fantasy

This is Pink Fantasy’s first INSIDER and first nomination. They are the first female act to win this category.

Best Alternative Album

Instinct, Pt. 1 — OnlyOneOf

OnlyOneOf stuns their way with their second INSIDER and seventeenth nomination. This is their first win in this category since its formation last year.

Best Alternative Recording

libidO — OnlyOneOf

This is OnlyOneOf’s third INSIDER. OnlyOneOf racked ten nominations this year, they previously won in 2018 for Best Dance/Electronic Album (now called Best Electronic Album) for line sun goodness.

Best R&B Album

Romanticize — NU’EST

This is NU’EST first INSIDER, and second nomination. I cannot believe it took this look for them to get a win.

Best R&B Solo Recording

Waiting — WOODZ

This is WOODZ’ first INSIDER and first nomination.

Best R&B Duo/Group Recording


ONEUS has nine career INSIDER nominations and this marks their first win.

The second part of the 12th INSIDER Awards will be posted tomorrow. Please anticipate the winners in the other fields!

What did you think? Make sure to comment and let me know your thoughts!