International acts at Mnet Music Awards

International acts at Mnet Music Awards
Stevie Wonder.

SEOUL - Legendary American music icon Stevie Wonder, internationally recognised music acts Ylvis of Norway and Icona Pop from Sweden, and Hollywood celebrity starlet Paris Hilton are all on the guest list for the fifth annual Mnet Asian Music Awards, or Mama, in Hong Kong tonight.

One of the most anticipated awards ceremonies in Asia, Mama attracts some of the top names in the South Korean entertainment industry; however, officials of CJ E&M have stated that it is continuing its attempts to turn the awards ceremony into a more internationally recognised event.

"As Stevie Wonder's appearance this year demonstrates, this year's Mama is much more than a simple music-awards show, but a true festival uniting Asia through music and culture, and promoting a message of hope throughout the world," said Mnet production director Shin Hyung Kwan in a press release.

The awards show recognises the year's most popular music acts and gives fans the opportunity to vote for their favourite nominated artists.

Some of this year's nominees include G-Dragon, Psy, Cho Yong Pil, Lee Seung Ki and Lee Seung Chul battling it out for male artist of the year.

Meanwhile, Baek Ji Young, Sunmi of Wonder Girls, IU, Ailee and Lee Hyori are contending for the title of this year's best female artist.

Other nominees of the night include 2NE1, Girls' Generation, Sistar, 4minute, f(x), EXO, SHINee, Shinhwa, Infinite, Lee Hi and Crayon Pop.

Since the worldwide online fan-voting period opened on Oct 24, more than 10 million people in 191 countries and territories have cast votes for their favourite South Korean artists, according to an Mnet official.

Chinese fans accounted for nearly half of the votes at 48 per cent (approximately 4.5 million votes), followed by South Korea at 13.5 per cent, Taiwan at 6.8 per cent, Malaysia at 5 per cent and Thailand and the United States at 3.8 and 3.7 per cent, respectively.

Mr Shin said: "The number of participants in the online voting confirms the interest and anticipation of Mama.

"We hope to put on fun performances that audiences around the world can enjoy."

Mama will be held at the Hong Kong Asian Expo Arena tonight and air in more than 93 countries across Asia, Europe, North America, Africa and Oceania.

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