South Korean boy band EXO proved its stature as a K-pop sensation across Asia by nabbing four awards at the 2014 Mnet Asian Music Awards held in Hong Kong on Wednesday.
EXO won four major prizes - Best Asian Style, Best Male Group of the Year, Asian Artist of the Year and Album of the Year for its third EP, "Overdose."
The Asian Artist of the Year, Album of the Year and Song of the Year awards are regarded as the top three among the 30 prizes at MAMA.
The band of Korean and Chinese singers seized the first two prizes, beating veteran idol groups such as Super Junior, TVXQ, JYJ and Big Bang. The Song of the Year award went to Taeyang, a member of the K-pop band Big Bang.
EXO's achievement comes despite defections by two Chinese members, Luhan and Kris. Both filed a lawsuit against their label SM Entertainment this year, demanding their exclusive contracts be nullified.
The EXO members did not mention the hardships they have been through, but expressed gratitude to fans who have been supporting the 10-member group no matter what.
During EXO's acceptance of the Album of the Year award, Suho said, "Thanks to our chairman Lee Soo-man, SM family, EXO members, EXO-L. EXO can exist thanks to our fans EXO-L. We are one. If we are one every day like today, we will always be EXO. Thank you for being here with us today."
"Thank you so much. (Despite difficulties we went through this year,) EXO remain strong. We will continue to make efforts for our fans to love us and be happy. Thanks to EXO-L who have faith in us despite whatever happens. Thank you, we love you," Chanyeol said.
A Chinese member, Tao, also conveyed a heartfelt message after receiving the award. "I didn't know we would win the award. This year has been a rough year for EXO, but we've come this far thanks to our fans who have been supporting us," said Tao.
They heated up the festive atmosphere, performing "Black Pearl," "Tell Me What Is Love," and "Overdose" for an audience of some 10,000 at MAMA.
The boys have been actively engaged in the K-pop scene in 2014 with their five-track EP "Overdose," released in May.
The idol group plans to make return to the K-pop scene early next year.
MAMA, hosted by cable-TV music channel Mnet, has awarded a slew of Asian artists, mostly K-pop musicians, since 2009, gaining recognition as an iconic pan-Asia music festival.
The annual award ceremony was previously held in Macau in 2010, Singapore in 2011 and Hong Kong in 2012 and 2013.