Big Bang (Korean: 빅뱅; often stylized as BIGBANG) is a South Korean boy band formed by YG Entertainment. Leader G-Dragon, T.O.P, Taeyang, Daesung, and Seungri officially debuted as a five-member group on August 19, 2006.
Labeled as the "Nation's Boy Band," the members' involvement in composing and producing their own music, most notably G-Dragon's, has earned the group respect and praise from the music industry. They currently hold the record for being the all-time best-selling artist in Cyworld.
Predominantly a hip hop group, Big Bang found success with their breakthrough hit "Lies," which stayed at number one on major Korean music charts for a record-breaking seven consecutive weeks. The group received the Song of the Year award at the 2007 Mnet Korean Music Festival.
Big Bang's follow up releases furthered their success and popularity, spawning chart-topping hits "Last Farewell" and "Haru Haru." After receiving the Artist of the Year award from the 2008 Mnet Korean Music Festival, the group expanded their endeavors to Japan, winning three awards at the 9th MTV Video Music Awards Japan.
Amidst their Japanese promotions, the members branched out to do solo activities; Taeyang and G-Dragon released solo albums, G-Dragon and T.O.P formed a sub-unit, Seungri and Daesung acted in musicals and hosted variety shows, and T.O.P became a highly acclaimed film star.
After a two-year hiatus in South Korea, Big Bang reunited in 2011 with their album Tonight. Promotions, however, were cut short when multiple members encountered legal issues. By the end of the year, Big Bang emerged as the inaugural Best Worldwide Act winner at the 2011 MTV Europe Music Awards.
Three months after their win in Europe, Big Bang released their most successful physical album, Alive, the first Korean album to chart on Billboard 200, before embarking on their first ever world tour which concluded in early 2013.
Prior to the group's debut, a few of the members were already exposed to the entertainment industry. G-Dragon and Taeyang were the first ones to receive training under YG Entertainment at the age of eleven. They were child actors/stars first cast as the younger version of YG duo, Jinusean in their music video "A-YO". Mesmerized by the experience of being cast in a hip hop music video, both of the children made the decision to cast into YGE, even though they were rejected in the beginning. The duo released two tracks under the name GDYB, and were often featured in label mate Wheesung, Gummy, Perry, Masta Wu, and Se7en's albums and music videos. One of their well-known pieces is "Unfold to Higher Place", featuring Perry and Gummy. G-Dragon also participated in promotional activities with YG Family which consisted mostly all of YG label mates. The young trainees had planned to release an album together, but was later pushed aside as YGE had decided to debut an idol group with them participating.
T.O.P was an underground rapper under the stage name "Tempo". One of his most popular track was "Buckwild" with NBK Gray. G-Dragon contacted T.O.P, with whom he was childhood friends, when YG Entertainment was scouting for candidates to create a boy group. The pair recorded several demos and sent them to Yang Hyun-suk, who later asked T.O.P to audition. However, he was rejected by the record label because he was deemed too "chubby" to fit the "idealistic version" of an idol. Six months later, he was recruited after losing weight. T.O.P reportedly lost twenty kg (44 lbs) in forty days.
Seungri was a leader of a local dance team in his hometown, Gwangju. He first appeared on the reality television series Let's Cokeplay: Mnet Battle Shinhwa, a show in which idol group Shinhwa search for members to make up the "second-generation Shinhwa". His lack of vocal skills did not charm the panel and led to his elimination from the Top 4. He then auditioned and was accepted to train under YG, but in Big Bang's Documentary series, it was revealed his position was in jeopardy but he later impressed Yang Hyun-suk and made the cut. At the time, Seungri competed against another trainee, Hyunseung (now of BEAST fame), who was cut from Big Bang. Hyunseung, who went under the homonym of So-1, meaning "wish" in Korean, was shown in 10 out of 11 episodes but was cut from the final episode because Hyun-suk felt that he was not ready and needed more time.
Daesung was recruited in an open audition. He is well known for his strong singing ability. He was trained under Wheesung's supervision. Before the debut of Big Bang, he was diagnosed with vocal fold nodules, caused by strain on the vocal cords.
Big Bang held their debut on August 19, 2006 at the Gymnastics Arena in Seoul Olympic Park during the YG Family 10th Year Concert. On September 23, 2006, the group had their debut performance on television broadcast.
Following the performance, the group's first single, Bigbang, was released. It contained the songs "We Belong Together", featuring labelmate Park Bom; "A Fool's Only Tears" (Korean: 눈물뿐인 바보; Revised Romanization: Nunmulppunin Babo); and "This Love", an adaptation of the American rock band Maroon 5 song, rewritten and performed by G-Dragon. The single went on to sell nearly 40,000 copies. The second single, BigBang Is V.I.P, was released in September, eventually topping 32,000 copies sold. Their last single, Bigbang 03, followed, with final sales nearing 40,000 copies. At the end of December 2006, Big Bang held their very first concert, The Real. The following month, their debut album, Since 2007, was released, selling 48,000 copies by the end of February 2007.
2007-2008: Breakthrough success and Japanese debut:
On February 8, 2007, Big Bang released their live concert album, The First / Real Live Concert, which sold 30,000 copies by the end of the year. The group also began their Want You tour, visiting five cities: Incheon, Daegu, Changwon, Jeonju and Busan. Their first mini-album, Always, was also released in 2007, and marked several changes for the group. Though previously already writing and composing, the group has decided to take more control over their music. G-Dragon composed and wrote most of the tracks included in their first mini-album including the title single, "Lies" (Korean: 거짓말; Revised Romanization: Geojitmal). The mini-album also saw the introduction of electronic music for Big Bang. Reception was fairly positive, most notably in regards to the song "Lies", which critics described as "through the roof". Released as the lead single, it became their first number one hit. The album itself sold 87,000 copies.
Their second mini-album, Hot Issue, released that same year, followed its predecessor's success: the lead-single, "Last Farewell", (Korean: 마지막 인사; Revised Romanization: Majimak Insa) topped various charts, including the Juke-On's chart for eight consecutive weeks. It also garnered the "Song of the Month (Digital Music)" award from Cyworld. Tickets for their Big Bang Is Great concert were also reportedly sold out in just nearly 10 minutes.
At the end of 2007, it was reported that members of the band were hospitalized from over-performing and exhaustion, halting their promotional activities. Reports were later released that Big Bang's albums and singles were in very high demand, causing the record company to reprint and repackage them for re-release. Riding on the success of their mini-album, the group collected numerous awards, including "Best Male Group" and "Song of The Year" from the 2007 Mnet Asian Music Awards. They later received the "Artist of the Year" award from the 17th Seoul Music Awards. The group earned a total of ₩12 billion ($10.6 million) by year's end.
As 2007 came to a close, Big Bang ventured overseas to Japan. Their first Japanese extended play, For the World, released in early 2008, charted at number 10 on the Oricon chart with a little promotion only. The group also held a concert at the JCB Hall in Tokyo Dome City. Big Bang returned to South Korea after their promotions in Japan ended. Although group activities were delayed due to solo projects, their third mini-album of 2008, Stand Up, was released. Featuring Daishi Dance and the Korean rock-band No Brain, Stand Up exceeded the 100,000 mark in sales. "Day By Day" (Korean: 하루하루; Revised Romanization: Haru Haru), the lead single, topped several online charts and held the number 1 position for six consecutive weeks. Following the lead single's success, other songs also charted within the Top 20, with "Heaven" reaching the second spot, "Oh My Friend" hitting the ninth spot, "A Good Man" at number 12, and "Lady" peaking at number 16 - a total of five songs in the Top 20 for the group.
During the release of their Korean materials, Big Bang released the Japanese song, Number 1, from their album of the same name, performing the song on Japanese radio programs and TV shows, the album peaked at number three on the Japan's Oricon daily album chart. Their Korean follow-up album, Remember, also released in 2008, yielded the number 1 single, "Sunset Glow" (Korean: 붉은노을; Revised Romanization: Byulkeun Noeul). "Strong Baby", performed solely by Seungri, was released as the second single. The album went on to sell over 200,000 copies. Big Bang received their second "Artist of the Year" award from the 2008 Mnet Asian Music Awards. At the end of 2008, it was reported that Big Bang earned a total of ₩36 billion ($24.5 million).
2009-2010: Solo activities:
While the group was on a break in early 2009, the members pursued solo activities. They reunited to collaborate with 2NE1, their label's new girl group who had been dubbed as "The Female Big Bang", for the song "Lollipop". A music video was also filmed for promotion. Initially used to promote a cellphone, "Lollipop" reached the number one spot on various online charts. Big Bang also released their third endorsement digital single "So Fresh, So Cool" to promote the beer brand "Hite", although Seungri wasn't in the commercial due to the fact he was not of drinking age. Their first self-titled full-length Japanese album was released under Universal Music in August 2009 and was promoted with two singles: My Heaven and Gara Gara Go!! (ガラガラ GO!!).My Heaven, a Japanese translation of their Korean single, "Heaven" (Korean: 천국; Revised Romanization: Cheonguk) from Stand Up, was composed by Japanese composer Daishi Dance and debuted at number 3 on the Oricon Music Chart. "Gara Gara Go!" charted at the fifth spot and the album itself peaked at number 3. After their return to Korea, the members went back to their solo activities. On August 18, G-Dragon released his debut album, Heartbreaker, promoting it with the album's title track. The album went on to win the "Album of the Year" at the 2009 Mnet Asian Music Awards, selling over 210,000 units. Taeyang released two digital singles, "Where U At?" and "Wedding Dress" to promote his second album released in 2010. T.O.P joined the cast of the Korean thriller drama Iris, playing the assassin Vick. Daesung and Seungri both pursued various individual activities in acting and hosting. They later reunited to record the song "Koe wo Kikasete" for the Japanese drama Ohitorisama ( おひとりさま, One Person). The song was later released as a single, peaking at #4.
For several days in January 2010, Big Bang performed their 2010 Big Bang Concert Big Show in the Seoul Olympic Stadium. The following month, they embarked on their Electric Love tour in Japan. Although no official albums were recorded, 2010 saw the release of several singles for the group with promotional ties. The release of "Lollipop Part 2" in February, the follow-up to their single, "Lollipop"' with 2NE1, was used to coincide with promotions for LG Cyon's Lollipop phone. The single also reached number one on digital charts. Their next single, Tell Me Goodbye, was recorded for the Japanese re-release of Korean drama Iris. The song proved to be popular and gained favorable reviews, winning the "Song of the Year" award at the 52nd Japan Record Awards. Additionally, tying in with the 2010 World Cup, the group released the song "Shout of the Reds" featuring the Korean rock band Transfixion and ice skater Kim Yu-na.
For most of the year, the members individually promoted their own solo works and solo activities, including the release of the GD & TOP unit with their collaboration album and the release of Seungri's first mini-album entitled VVIP. Big Bang also won several notable awards, including the Best 5 New Artists award from the 24th Japan Gold Disc Awards as well as the "Best New Artist" award. Near the end of May, the group received the awards for "Best Pop Video" and "Best New Artist" from the MTV Video Music Awards Japan 2010. They released their latest Japanese single Beautiful Hangover on August 25, 2010.
2011: Tonight and MTV EMA:
After nearly two-year hiatus as a full group, Big Bang returned to South Korea with their 2011 Big Show concert. They also showcased songs from their latest extended play Tonight, which went on to become a chart-topper upon its release on many Korean music charts. The album also became the very first K-pop album to reach the Top 10 on US iTunes chart and is the only non-English language album in the Top 100. The album had a pre-sale order of 10,000 copies in Cyworld, beating the record set by TVXQ's 6,500 copies back in 2008. Aside from shattering records for their mini-album preorders, Big Bang achieved an "all-kill" on the top real-time charts in South Korea (Soribada, Melon, Dosirak, Bugs and Cyworld) shortly after the release. Over-all reception for the extended play has been positive, with Choi Jun of Asiae complimenting the group's new direction in their music, acknowledging that during the two years hiatus, the group's "style and musical sensibility had deepened." Seven days after the album's release, it was reported that Big Bang had already earned ₩7 billion (USD$6.2 million). In just a week, 100,000 copies of the album were sold. Its lead-single of the same name became a chart-topper on the Gaon Chart.
After promotions for Tonight was finished, Big Bang released a special edition album with two new tracks: "Love Song" and "Stupid Liar". "Love Song"'s music video on YouTube gained 2 million views within just two days. The group kicked off their Love & Hope Tour in May of the same year.
Big Bang won the 2011 MTV EMA's "Best Worldwide Act" award as representatives of the Asia-Pacific region with over 58 million votes. All five members were present at the awards show to receive the award, making it especially memorable since it was Daesung and G-Dragon's first public appearance since Daesung's car accident and G-Dragon's accused marijuana scandal. On November 29, the group also won the award for "Best Music Video" award with their "Love Song" music video at the 2011 Mnet Asian Music Awards.
YG Entertainment celebrated its 15th anniversary by putting on the 2011 YG Family Concert Tour, which opened its first show on December 3 in Seoul, South Korea. Big Bang's member Daesung made his first stage appearance since his car accident involving the death of a motorcyclist in late May there.
Big Bang released their third Greatest Hits album The Best of Big Bang on December 14, which contained a Japanese version of their all-time #1 hit "Haru Haru". The album topped the Oricon Daily chart on its first day of release and went on to sell over 14,000 copies in the first week, proving the group's consistent popularity. It was reported that Big Bang earned ₩88 billion (USD$77.5 million) in 2011 even though they had just promoted for half a year. The earnings included Big Bang's revenue concert for SBS's Big Bang Show, their 2011 Big Show Concert and their Love and Hope Tour in Japan.
2012-2013: Alive and first world tour:
Beginning from January 20, 2012, YG Entertainment began releasing teasers for Big Bang's 5th mini-album Alive, which was released in both digital and physical formats on February 29. Preorders for Alive amounted to 260,000 copies in two weeks. Its lead single, Blue, was released a week prior to the album's release and has reached the number one position on all major domestic charts. The mini-album was a commercial success, selling in excess of 200,000 copies in its first month of release. Internationally, Big Bang obtained 5 spots out of the Top 10 on Billboard K-pop's Hot 100 and charted at 150 on Billboard 200, making them the first Korean artist with a Korean album to do so. Their popularity also boosted them onto the Billboard Social 50, entering at #24. Since the release of Alive, Big Bang has received recognition from notable sites such as Time magazine, and a photo was featured on the Grammy Awards homepage.
The album release coincided with their annual concert, Big Show 2012, held at Seoul Olympic Park Stadium from March 2-4 to a sold-out crowd of 40,000 fans. This marked the official kick off of their first world tour Big Bang Alive Galaxy Tour 2012, in partnership with Live Nation. It was directed by renowned choreographer Laurieann Gibson, with Big Bang performing at 21 cities over 13 countries. Concert footage from Big Show was broadcast in 160 countries through MTV World Stage, which pushed the promotion for their world tour.
On March 6, 2012, the music video for "Fantastic Baby" was released on YouTube. This is currently the band's most popular song, having received more than ninety million views on YouTube.
The Japanese version of Alive was released on March 28 both digitally and physically, with 2 additional Japanese tracks. Included with the physical copy of their album was a bonus Japanese version of their hit song, Haru Haru. It sold over 23,000 copies on its first day of release and peaked at #2 on the Oricon charts. It eventually sold over 100,000 copies in its first month and has since been certified gold by the RIAJ. Japanese promotions began with a performance at 2012's Springroove Festival alongside top American and Japanese hip hop artists. Big Bang was the first Korean act to be invited along with label-mates 2NE1.
Following the success of their comeback, Big Bang released a special edition album titled Still Alive, on June 3. It featured four new tracks including two new Korean tracks of which their lead single was titled Monster, as well as Korean remakes of the two additional tracks in the Japanese version of Alive. The album sold over 100,000 copies in its first month of release. A special Monster edition of their Japanese Alive album was also released on June 20, following its Korean counterpart. The success of their special edition album further boosted the group's global recognition, peaking at #11 on the Billboard Social 50.
Throughout May and June, the group focused on the Japanese leg of their world tour, visiting cities such as Nagoya, Yokohama, Osaka, Saitama and Fukuoka. A shorter Chinese leg of the tour succeeded the Japanese leg from late July to early August, with Big Bang visiting Shanghai, Guangzhou and Beijing. The group then toured South East Asia from late September to October, touring Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Taiwan, the Philippines and Malaysia. The group then began their American leg of their tour in early November, visiting New Jersey and Los Angeles in the United States and Lima, Peru. There was initially a stop planned in Brazil, but this was later cancelled. After several performances in the Americas, the group went back to Japan for their "Special Final in Dome Tour," stopping at some of the largest stadiums in Japan including Osaka Dome, Tokyo Dome and Fukuoka Dome. Big Bang performed in Hong Kong and England in December 2012. One concert was scheduled in London, England but another date was added to their tour due to popular demand. The group concluded the tour with concerts in Osaka on January 12 and 13 and a three night stint at the Olympic Gymnastics Arena in Seoul on January 25, 26, and 27, 2013.
On November 30, 2012, Big Bang received a total of three awards at the 14th Mnet Asian Music Awards, including Best Male Group and Artist of the Year. Leader, G-Dragon, also received the Best Male Solo award at the event.
2013-: Solo Activities:
Daesung released his first solo album, D'scover, on February 27, 2013. The solo album was in Japanese and had a total of 12 tracks with mostly covers of Japanese originals. It also included Daesung's solo tracks, "Wings" and "Baby Don't Cry". Initially, it was announced that Daesung would hold a total of four concerts at Kobe and Tokyo to promote the album. However, on February 28, it was announced that due to high demand, Daesung would be holding an additional 21 concerts over 17 cities, bringing the total to 25 concerts over 18 cities. The concert tour kicked off on March 23 at Kobe's World Memorial Hall and ended on June 18 at Kanagawa's Yokohama Arena.
Seungri's second solo EP, Let's Talk About Love, was released digitally on August 19, 2013, while the physical album was released on August 21, 2013. Promotion in South Korea lasted until the end of September. A Japanese version of the album was also released on October 9, 2013, it included an extra track: 空に描く思い (The Feelings Painted in the Sky), which will be used in the upcoming Japanese Drama Yubikoi kimi ni Okuru message.
G-Dragon released his second solo album, Coup D'Etat Part I digitally on September 2, 2013. The second part of the album was released digitally September 5, 2013. The physical album was released on September 13, 2013 with two physical album only bonus tracks. With the release of his solo album, G-Dragon was awarded the "Most Popular International Artist Award" at the Todou Young Choice Music Awards on November 20, 2013. G-Dragon was also the recipient for "Artist of the Year", "Best Music Video", "Best Male Artist", and "Best Dance Performance" at the 2013 Mnet Asian Music Awards (MAMA) on November 22, 2013.
T.O.P's movie, The Commitment was released on November 6, 2013. The movie has attracted 1 million viewers in 15 days after it was released. With its popularity growing, it has been revealed that T.O.P's movie will be shown in several cities across North America. T.O.P has also released his second single, Doom Dada, on November 15, 2013. It ranked first in several South Korean music charts and in iTunes. T.O.P. performed his first performance of "Doom Dada" on November 22, 2013, at the 2013 MAMA.
Taeyang returned as a solo artist in 2013 with the release of his song, Ringa Linga, on November 8, 2013. Ringa Linga ranked first in not only South Korean music charts, but foreign music charts as well. YG Entertainment has revealed that Taeyang's song has been attracting a lot of attention overseas, and that Taeyang has received several offers from entertainment agencies in the U.S.
While the group has branched out for solo activities, they are scheduled to release a new album in August 2014.
Date of birth
(1987-11-04) November 4, 1987 (age 26)
(1988-05-18) May 18, 1988 (age 26)
(1988-08-18) August 18, 1988 (age 25)
(1989-04-26) April 26, 1989 (age 25)
(1990-12-12) December 12, 1990 (age 23)