One of the largest K-pop festivals in the world, the annual K-pop World Festival, wrapped up recently last month. The event took place in Changwon this year – close to 400 kilometers southeast of Korean capital Seoul – last September 30. K-pop cover soloist Britaney Chanel from the United States won the grand prize and first place – following her was cover team Supreme Task, hailing from Nigeria, clinching the second place prize in the Performance category.

Britaney Chanel performed a winning cover of Ailee’s “U&I”, while Supreme Task performed an awesome cover of the hit BTS track “Fire” – in front of a huge audience of 20,000, the Mayor of the City of Changwon, representatives from SM Entertainment, the largest K-pop agency in the world, 14 other K-pop cover teams representing their home countries, 5 K-pop groups, several K-pop personalities, and a whole lot more.

 

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First place winner Britaney Chanel from the United States, performing Ailee’s “U&I”.
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Second place (performance category) winners Supreme Task from Nigeria

 

For this year’s K-pop World Festival, 15 finalists – mostly cover groups, and other cover soloists – were chosen to perform in Changwon. Dozens of teams and individuals from 65 countries competed in the preliminary and regional events on the road to the main event.

The K-pop World Festival is produced by KBS, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Korean Culture and Information Service – to promote the global following and reach of K-pop and Korean popular culture. The 2016 event in Changwon was the K-pop World Festival’s sixth run overall.

Britaney Chanel won first place in the event, performing Ailee’s “U&I”. Following her are Supreme Task, achieving the second place (Performance category) victory with their performance of BTS’ “Fire” – the second time that Nigeria ranked in the top 3 at this worldwide K-pop event. Last year in 2015, Nigerian cover team Pacific Stars emerged on top at the 2015 K-pop World Festival – with the BTS song “Dope” to boot.

The other top 3 winners were: second place in the Vocal category was won by the KARMA cover team from Italy – and the third place Vocal prize was won by India’s priyanka and the Performance prize by Sweden’s TOXIC$. The Popularity Award was awarded to the 4Divas from Hungary and M2D from Russia.

Pacific Stars were also the first team from Africa to win #1 – making Supreme Task not only the second, but also the second consecutive African group, to reach high-ranking victory at the global K-pop competition.

 

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Britaney Chanel posing with the grand prize of 12 million Korean won (around $10,600)
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Supreme Task performing BTS – “Fire” before the event

 

The 15 finalists represented the countries of Ni­geria, Nepal, Russia, Ma­laysia, Mexico, the United States, Vietnam, Sweden, Israel, Italy, India, Indo­nesia, Japan, China, and Hungary. The finalists were divided into the two categories of Performance and Vocal.

In addition to the international K-pop cover groups and soloists each representing their home countries, several K-pop groups also graced the event with their rockstar presence and performances. BTS, EXID, TWICE, Monsta X, and Astro joined the event and performed alongside the K-pop cover artists.

BTS must have been thrilled that once again, an international K-pop cover group won – this time with a cover performance of their song, “Fire”. This could also be a considered a win for BTS as well, since last year, a cover group performing their song “Dope” also came out on top for the victory.

 

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The 15 finalists of the 2016 K-pop World Festival gathering together for a group photo

 

The event was aired live in around 100 countries via KBS’ TV platform, and online through its mobile app KBS myK, Naver Cast, and the KBS’ official YouTube channel. KBS also uploaded the full event on YouTube this week, linked here on GMM.

 

Check out the individual winning cover performances and the full event here:

Grand Prize, First Place: Britaney Chanel from the United States – “U&I” by Ailee:

Second Place, Performance Category: Supreme Task from Nigeria – “Fire” by BTS

Second Place, Vocal Category: KARMA from Italy:

Third Place, Vocal Category: priyanka from India – “You & I” by 2NE1:

Third Place, Performance Category: ToXIC$ from Sweden – “Cheer Up” by Twice:

Popularity Award: 4Divas from Hungary – “4 Walls” by f(x)

Popularity Award: M2D from Russia, “Ringa Linga” by BIGBANG’s Taeyang:

 

Check out the other top 15 finalists and their cover performances here:

Fuxion from Malaysia – “Fly” by GOT7:

mongolian namja from Nepal – “Monster ” by EXO:

LGND from Mexico – “This Love” by Shinhwa:

WINK from Shanghai, China – “I Like That” by SISTAR:

Lotus from Vietnam – “Rough” by Gfriend:

ABSunit from Israel – “Dumb & Dumber” by iKON:

KRYPTONITE from Indonesia – “Stuck” by Monsta X:

Yamaguchi & Kuroki from Japan – “Person, Love” by Lena Park and Kim Bumsoo:

 

Watch the 2016 K-pop World Festival full event on YouTube now:

 

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