WATCH: YouTube Video of the Year
(CNN) — The South Korean girls group Girls’ Generation beat the likes of Miley Cyrus, Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga and their compatriot Psy to win the top award for video of the year at the inaugural YouTube Music Awards.
The K-pop group, which is one of Asia’s biggest musical acts, won for their video “I Got a Boy.”
While massively popular in Asia, the reaction to their win from the American audience was muted — with scattered applause, but mostly a long, deafening silence.
While they may be unknown to an American audience, the pop group is a national phenomenon in Korea. Their record releases are a national event with every news outlet running stories and inciting fans to near-hysteria.
The group might be likened to an Asian version of Spice Girls, with pop sounds, costumes and synchronized dancing. They sing and also rap.
The YouTube Music Awards nominees were based on views, likes and comments and subscriptions over the last 12 months and fans voted for the winners.
The “I Got a Boy” video features the nine members in a pink house and then moves to the girls gyrating in front of random settings. They intermittently have random English lyrics, but mostly sing in Korean.
It’s not their first foray into the United States, as they appeared on the “Late Show with David Letterman” and also “Live! With Kelly” last year.
Artist of the Year went to rapper Eminem and the award ceremony, which was streamed live online, was hosted by actor Jason Schwartzman and musician Reggie Watts. The awards reflect the growing tendency for people to turn to the internet, rather than television or radio, for music and video.
However, according to Variety magazine, at most 220,000 people watched the event online, a fraction of the 10.1 million who tuned in for the MTV Video and Music Awards in August.
–By CNN Staff