SEVENTEEN‘s Seungkwan recently paid tribute to the late ASTRO singer Moonbin during the group’s 2023 MAMA Awards acceptance speech.
Yesterday (November 29), SEVENTEEN took home the trophy for Album of the Year at the 2023 MAMA Awards. It was the third of three awards they took home that night, following Best Male Group and Best Dance Performance Male Group.
During the boyband’s nearly 10-minute acceptance speech, members of the 13-strong group took turns to give their thanks to fans and supporters for the award, with Seungkwan stepping up last.
“First, I would like to thank all the artists who performed today,” he said, per SBS Star. “Seeing your incredible performances made me respect you even more.”
“Whether you won an award or not, I just want to let you know that you rock, and I’ve learned a bunch from you today,” he added. “Being in the K-pop industry is certainly not easy. But let’s keep rooting for each other, and create good memories together.”
After a short pause, Seungkwan returned to the microphone, visibly more emotional, saying: “I’m not sure if it would be appropriate for me to say this here, but a lot has happened this year.”
“I would like to express my deepest gratitude to my friend Moonbin, who’s always shown his support for all members of SEVENTEEN,” the singer continued, as members of the boyband patted him on the shoulder. “He loved our team, and he’s been our greatest supporter. Thank you.”
Moonbin passed away in April 2023 at the age of 25. He was one of six founding members of ASTRO, along with MJ, JinJin, Cha Eun-woo, Yoon Sanha and ex-member Rocky. He was also the older brother of Moon Sua of the K-pop girl group Billlie.
Rocky also recently opened up about Moonbin’s passing in a new interview, where he spoke about their long friendship and how the death had affected him. “My world came crashing down,” he said.