Big Bang (South Korean band)

Big Bang (Korean: 빅뱅; commonly stylized as BIGBANG) is a South Korean contemporary R&B group under the management of YG Entertainment. Debut in August 2006, the group consists of five members G-Dragon, Taeyang, T.O.P, Daesung, and Seungri.

Big Bang had released several successful singles in 2006 with growing popularity before their first mini-album Always(2007). The album spawned their #1 single "Lies" (Korean: 거짓말; Revised Romanization: Geojitmal) which to this day is still considered one the best songs in Korean music, and catapulted them into instant stardom. Many media claimed them to be a one-hit wonder but their follow-up mini-albums Hot Issue and Stand Up were similarly successful. Songs like "Haru Haru (Day by Day)" and "Last Farewell" broke digital and physical sales records, with the latter remaining in the number one spot for 8 weeks consecutively.

Big Bang was different from other idol groups in that the members themselves contributed greatly to their sound and image. Group leader G-Dragon was the writer, composer, and producer for all the hit songs named above, and 80% of songs on their albums. T.O.P contributes to writing the rap section as well. This was unprecedented in Korean music.  During 2007 and 2008, the group had received the most coveted awards including "Song of the Year" and "Artist of the Year" at the Mnet Asian Music Awards, and the Daesang (Grand Award) at Seoul Music Awards.

At the peak of their careers, the members decided to branch out and pursue solo activities, all of which were prominent and successful:

    G-Dragon's debut solo album Heartbreaker, with him as the sole producer, became the best selling album of 2009 and the best selling album by a solo artist of all time in Korea. G-Dragon also contributes to the other member's solo albums, helping to either write or produce. He currently has over 100 songs registered under the Korea Copyright Association.
    Taeyang's first mini-album Hot was followed by his full length album Solar. Upon its release on iTunes, it became #1 and #2 on iTune's "R&B/Soul Album Charts" in Canada and the United States respectively, making him the first Asian Artist to do so.
    T.O.P ventured into acting in various TV series, including I Am Sam, and the hugely successful Iris. His performance in the movie 71: Into the Fire garnered public and critical acclaim, and won countless Best New Actor and Popularity Awards.
    Daesung became a permanent host of the reality TV show Family Outing, and the talk show Night After Night. Musically, his personality on TV was translated to his trot singles, "Look At Me Gwisoon" and "Big Hit", both were wildly successful especially with adults and elders. In 2010 he focused most of his time on acting in the TV drama What's Up. His first full solo album is scheduled to be released this year.
    Seungri played the main role in musicals such as Sonagi, and Shouting, and made his film debut in Did You Come to My House?. In 2010 he opened "Seungri Academy" in his hometown, providing singing and dancing training. The Academy has 3 branches to date, and Seungri said in an interviewed it provided stable income besides that of a singer. In 2011 he released his first mini-album "V.V.I.P.".
    GD & TOP is the sub-unit of T.O.P and G-Dragon whom released a collaboration album December 2010. A week after its release it ranked 3rd highest selling album 2010. The album focused more on their hip-hop upbringing and rapper roots. It's lead single "Knock Out" was banned from multiple TV broadcasts as it was deemed unfit for the national psych. In response, GD&TOP released a statement refusing to change the lyrics.

During this period, the group reunited and expanded their activities into Japan. Their materials did not receive major promotion until the following year with the release of their first physical Japanese single, "My Heaven". Since then, the group has achieved major success. In 2010, they became the first foreign group in Japan to receive the Japan Cable Broadcasting Award for "Best Newcomer", and the first from Korea to receive the Japan Records Award.

After a 2.5 year hiatus, a comeback was announced for the group. With huge anticipation, Big Bang's 4th mini-album Tonight was released in February 2011. Sales were going strong until a fatal car accident involving Daesung in May, and news of marijuana usage by G-Dragon in October, halted the group's activities that year. These incidents were seen as unforgivable by the nature of the Korean entertainment industry, and rumors rose that Big Bang was going to disband.

Big Bang's first award show as 5 came 6 months after Daesung's accident on November 15, 2011 at the MTV Europe Music Awards held in Belfast, Ireland. Big Bang won the title of Asia-Pacific Act and went on to winning the inaugural Best Worldwide Act, beating out other nominees including Britney Spears and Lana Del Rey. [4] At the EMA 2011, apart from Queen, Big Bang was the only winner not from North America.

Fans of Big Bang are known officially as VIPs, after their single "V.I.P".


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