Ed Sheeran to Perform at 2021 MAMA Awards, K-Pop Ceremony Eyeing U.S. Move

This year's awards show will take place Dec. 11 in Seoul.

The MAMA (Mnet Asian Music) Awards, the biggest ceremony honoring and celebrating K-pop artists, just got a little bit bigger.

Ed Sheeran has been tapped to perform at this year's ceremony, to be held Saturday, Dec. 11 in Seoul, South Korea, it was announced during a global press conference. The "Shivers" singer's latest album, =, was just recently released.

Sheeran has ties to the K-pop world, having co-written BTS' 2019 song, "Make It Right," off the group's Map of the Soul: Persona and collaborating on their recent single, 2021's "Permission to Dance."

Additionally, the MAMA Awards are eyeing a move to the U.S. in the coming years, a major relocation for the awards ceremony that has honored top K-pop artists like BTS, Blackpink, Exo, Twice and Big Bang. The ceremony has primarily been held in South Korea or neighboring cities and countries. If it does relocate to the U.S., as is currently the plan, the judging criteria will also be tweaked to reflect K-pop's international influence.

“MAMA has been hosted mainly in Asia such as Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore and Korea. As K-pop continues to grow in influence globally, we plan on expanding our presence to regions bordering Asia and beyond. In a few years, we plan to host MAMA in the U.S., the world’s biggest music market," CJ ENM Director-General of Music Content Headquarters Kim Hyun-soo said in a statement.

“This is an important year for MAMA to really solidify its presence as a global K-pop music awards ceremony," he continued. "We plan to include global indicators and judging criteria to reflect K-POP’s global status, which will further heighten MAMA as one of the top tier global awards shows.”

The 2021 MAMA Awards will be broadcast worldwide on Saturday, Dec. 11 at 6 p.m. KST/4 a.m. EST/1 a.m. PST from South Korea.

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