Big Bang (Korean: ??), commonly stylized as BIGBANG, is a Korean boyband made up of five Korean singers. When they first debuted, they were considered to be the new face of the YG Family, a pet name for their management company YG Entertainment. Although their debut was somewhat successful, it was not until the release of "???" ("Lies") that the group gained mainstream success.
Before Big Bang's major debut, each member had his own degree of success and popularity in the entertainment industry. Leader G-Dragon and lead vocalist Taeyang had already been with YG Entertainment since they were both twelve years old, known as GD and YB back then. Member T.O.P was well known as an underground hip-hop rapper while Seungri was first introduced to the entertainment industry through the show Let's Cokeplay Battle Shinhwa.
After the lineups for the group was finally made, the television network MTV Korea released a ten-episode documentary that showed the members in training before their debut as an official group (an eleventh episode was added after final members were decided). The first six episodes detailed each individual member's background and motivation for becoming a singer. The documentary portrayed the arduous process of training by showing their dancing and singing practice sessions. Beyond being just a behind-the-scenes reality show, the series also eliminated various candidates unfit for Big Bang. Two members, SO-1 and Seungri (Lee Seung Hyun) were considered for elimination, but they were given second chances to showcase their abilities in singing, dancing, and performing. However, this eventually resulted in Yang Hyun Suk (the producer and founder of YG Entertainment) dropping SO-1 because he lacked stage presence and was "too shy". On the other hand, Seungri was able to successfully impress Yang with his dancing and singing skills, thus making the group. This documentary helped gain recognition for the group.
Before deciding on an official name for the group, the members had suggested several names, such as "Apex", "Stump," and "Diamond". Finally it was decided on "Big Bang" as Yang Hyun Suk thought the other names were too childish. Big Bang made their official debut at the YG Family concert, held on August 19, 2006 at the Gymnastics Arena in Seoul Olympic Park.
Prior to the release of their first album, the group had a unique release schedule, with three EPs released within a span of a few months. Their first EP was The First Single Album, which spawned the top-ten hit single "This Love", a remake of the American boy band Maroon 5's own single. The single debuted with over 17,000 copies sold in the month of August and later went on to sell approximately nearly 40,000 copies. The second EP Big Bang is V.I.P. was released a month later, selling 21,000 copies in that month. It finally netted sales of 32,000 copies. Their third and last EP, B I G B A N G 0 3, followed the success of their previous EPs with final sales nearing 30,000 copies.
Later in the year, Big Bang's own official fan club was created, calling themselves the "V.I.P." (in reflection of their second single "Big Bang is V.I.P."). Unlike other fan clubs, Big Bang's fans do not have a balloon color for showing support at concerts; instead, fans wave black and white BB (obviously standing for Big Bang) handkerchiefs/bandannas. At the end of December 2006, Big Bang held their very first concert titled The Real. The following month, their first debut album Since 2007, which was essentially a compilation of songs from their previous singles, was released; it sold 48,009 copies by the end of February 2007.
2007?2008: Breakthrough success
On February 8, 2007, Big Bang released their live concert album entitled The First / Real Live Concert, which sold almost 30,000 copies by the end of 2007. From May to July 2007, the group also held their first national tour concert in Korea, with the headline Want You, touring a total of five cities: Incheon, Daegu, Changwon, Jeonju and Busan.
In August, the group released what would become one of their first mini albums Always, with the group holding a Showcase/Fanmeeting for promotional activities. Taking control over their music, group-leader G-Dragon began producing and writing some of the songs on the album. The mini-album was released to positive reviews from fans and critics alike, especially the song "???" ("Lies"). "Lies" became the group's first song to be a breakout hit, reaching number-one on SBS Hit Songs, their first to do so, followed by MBC's Music Core, KBS Music Bank and Mnet's Countdown and numerous online and offline charts for many consecutive weeks.
The mini-album was successful enough for Big Bang to collect numerous awards by the end of 2007, including "Best Male Group" and "Song Of The Year" from the 2007 M.NET/KM Music Festival. Later in 2008, Big Bang also collected the prestigious "Daesang" from the 17th Seoul Music Awards.
Their second mini album, Hot Issue, was released a few months after Always and yielded another strong single for the group, "Last Farewell" (""). It mirrored the success of "Lies," topping various music charts, and winning "Song of the Month Digital Music Award" from Cyworld , beating strong competitors such as the Wonder Girls and F.T. Island. It also topped Juke-On's chart for eight consecutive weeks. The group then held their second round of concerts from December 28 to 30, 2008, with the headline Big Bang Is Great, where tickets were reportedly sold out in 10 minutes. Despite this, various members were hospitalized due to sickness and injuries from over performing and exhaustion, thus halting and limiting their promotional activities. A representative for YG Entertainment then addressed the issue by stating that though the group would perform at the MBC Music Festival on the 31st, they would cancel everything else on their schedule for the first week of next year. It was later reported in the year that Big Bang's albums and singles had been in high demand, causing the record company to reprint and repackage it for re-releases.
After the success in South Korea, Big Bang ventured out overseas towards Japan. Kicking off 2008, their first Japanese album For the World was released, with previous Korean singles appearing on the album, in addition to a Japan-only song, "How Gee" (a new remix version from "How Gee" by the Japanese group Black Machine). For The World debuted at #14 on the Oricon chart and eventually crawled its way to #10, despite lack of promotions. On the 28th and 29th of March, Big Bang held a concert in JCB Hall in Tokyo Dome City. Additionally, the group also released a Japanese mini-album in late May titled With U, with a corresponding single of the same name.
The group returned to Korea mid-2008 after their activities in Japan ended. Despite their activities being delayed several time due to solo activities, Big Bang eventually released their third mini-album Stand Up ? which featured collaborations with the group Daishi Dance, and the Korean rock-band No Brain with their latest punk rock single Oh My Friend. The band's first release was "Day By Day" (""). Like previous albums, leader G-Dragon was heavily involved with the production of the album, having composed and written a majority of the songs with the exception of "A Good Man", which was composed by fellow group member T.O.P. The mini-album went on to exceed the 100,000 mark in sales and also yielded some of the group's strongest singles, with the lead single "Day By Day" topping several online charts and staying at the number-one spot for 6 consecutive weeks. In addition, several of their songs also made it to the Top 20 of the charts, with "Heaven" at the number-two spot, "Oh My Friend" being ninth, "A Good Man" at twelfth and "Lady" being sixteenth ? a total of five songs in the Top 20 for the group.
At the same time, Big Bang released the Japanese song "Number 1" from their album of the same name and introduced the song through Japanese radio programs and TV shows; the album peaked at #3 on the Japan's Oricon daily album chart. Towards the end of 2008, Big Bang released their Korean follow-up album, Remember, yielding the single "???? ("Sunset Glow"), which peaked at number-one on various charts in Korea. At the end of 2008, Big Bang collected their second "Artist of the Year" from the 2008 M.NET KM Music Festival award ceremony.
2009: Branching out
The group went on a break in early 2009, with all of them pursuing solo activities. During this time, they collaborated with 2NE1, a new girl group from their entertainment company and also being called The Female Big Bang, for the song "Lollipop"; they filmed a music video for it as well. Although it was a song used to promote a cell phone, it has since hit #1 on various online charts.
After their success with "Lollipop", the group released their first Japanese single named "My Heaven" in May 2009, their major debut in Japan. The song is a Japanese translation of their song "Heaven" from the EP Stand Up., and was composed by acclaimed Japanese composer Daishi Dance. Due to an interesting promotional campaign in which the group performed on several Morning News programs, Big Bang's single debuted at a surprisingly high no. 3 on the Oricon Charts.
Later in 2?0, Big Bang released their second Japanese single titled "Gara Gara Go!" on July 8, 2009 which reached number 5 on the Oricon charts. "Gara Gara Go!!" marked the group's first performances on some of Japan's major music shows, like Hey!Hey!Hey! Music Champ and Music Station. With the release of two successful Japanese singles, Big Bang released their first full-length Japanese album under Universal Music, aptly titled Big Bang, which charted in at No. 3.
Almost immediately after the release of their first album, Big Bang returned to Korea. On August 18, G-Dragon released his first solo album titled Heartbreaker which was, despite fair amounts of criticism, a great success. Fellow member Taeyang is set to release his second solo during November and it has been confirmed that filming for his single "Where U At" has been completed.
On October 15, 2009, Big Bang announced their first tie-up with a Japanese drama; they will be providing the theme song for TBS's Friday night drama Ohitorisama starring Alisa Mizuki and Teppei Koike. The official release of this new Japanese single entitled "Koe Wo Kikasete" will be on November 4, 2009.
Big Bang was accused of plagiarism by Sony Music, as their track "With U" from album Number 1 was alleged to sound similar to Joe's "Ride Wit U" from his And Then... album.
Artistry and influences
Big Bang's music style can be classified for the most part as hip pop music (as seen with the songs "La, La, La" and "Goodbye Baby"), with a little vibe of R&B (as seen with the songs "We Belong Together" and "Forever With You"), dance ("Shake It") and mainstream ("This Love") music. Rock with "Oh My Friend". Finally, becoming the greatest hit songs of 2007, (as seen with the songs "Lies", "Last Farewell", and "Haru Haru (Day By Day)") electronica is seemingly becoming the new music trend in Korea. However, the members have branched out into different genres in their solo work, including singing ballads and mainstream pop music. Big Bang even once mentioned in an interview that if they want to, they might do trot someday. Daesung's first digital single, "Look at Me, GwiSun" (""), was a trot song, which had been somewhat controversial considering Big Bang's primary focus on hip-hop.
The members of Big Bang often contribute to writing lyrics for their own music as well as composing despite only debuting in 2006. The most notable from the group to compose and write is leader G-Dragon, as he has composed and written numerous songs for the group, including "Lies" and "Last Farewell." Aside from G-Dragon, the others members have contributed to writing lyrics as well. T.O.P has also written a song for their third mini album Stand up, called "Good Man". On a whole, Big Bang has received praises from critics, fans, and other singers alike for contributions to their own materials.
Big Bang often rely on free style and street dancing (as evidenced in their music video for "Good Bye Baby"). They are choreographed by world-class choreographer Shaun Evaristo, (as seen in "Number 1" and "With U" music videos) who also choreographs their concerts and Taeyang's solo projects. They do break dancing as well. Like the popular boy band Shinhwa, Big Bang's own unique style of dancing is credited to a member of theirs, Seungri. Seungri has choreographed some of Big Bang's moves (such as the jump rope dance from "Last Farewell") and has been noted for this.
Image and cultural impact
Big Bang adopted the "hip hop" image concept, with some of the members slanting their caps in many promotional photos, live performances, music videos, and even having cornrows (most notably Taeyang) during the early days of their career. The group continued this image concept for the rest of 2006 and into 2007 until the release of their mini-album Always, which showcased the group in a more preppy-ish punk style, sporting modern day fashion (such as the skinny jeans with Converse or high-top sneakers as seen within the music video of their song "Lies"). Moving further away from the "gangster" look, Taeyang also cut off his cornrows into a faux hawk. Additionally, Big Bang has been noted for being a fashionable group, inspiring teenagers with street-originated flamboyant style.
Big Bang's unique and urban hip-up sense of style has quickly become popular in Korea as a result, known as the "Big Bang fashion". Usually, the group prefers brands such as Bape, 10 deep, Louis Vuitton, Phenomenon, and others and are often seen in customized printed hoodies. The group has been noted as well to have brought back the old school fashion, high-top shoes, such as the Nike and Reebok high-top shoes.
Leader G-Dragon is consider by many to be the most fashionable one of the group, where he tends to wear triangular scarves (shemagh/keffiyeh) around his neck, known as "Big Bang scarves" or "Jeong Ryeo-won scarves", when the actress of the same name began to sport them as well. Additionally, member T.O.P. is also seen sporting sunglasses, most notably shutter shades, which are worn by American rapper Kanye West. Big Bang's fashion trends are well known throughout the internet fashion portals, thus making them one of the most sought after artists for endorsement products. The group's unique imagery and fashion has led them to release their own fragrance, entitled "BB Bud's My First Fragrance (?? ??? ??)" in early 2007.
Big Bang endorsed a Korean online FPS titled Sudden Attack. All 5 members will have their own characters with special dialogue and sound effects.
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Real Name: Kwon, Ji Yong (, ???)
Date of Birth: August 18, 1988 )
Position: Leader, Rapper, Composer,
Education: Seoul Korean Traditional Arts Middle & High School , KyungHee University
G-Dragon is the leader of Big Bang. He has been trained by YG Entertainment since the age of twelve, often at the side of fellow member Taeyang. He often composes the group's material, such as "Lies", "Last Farewell", etc. He is now working closely with producing the music of one of the newest girl groups with Teddy, from YG Entertainment, 2NE1. His first full solo album, Heartbreaker, was released on August 18, 2009, which is also his birthday, also released other songs of his album(Heart Breaker). As a child, he was in a group of Mini Roo'ra as a kids version of the original Roo'ra group.
Real Name: Dong, Young Bae (, ???)
Date of Birth: May 18, 1988 )
Position: Main Vocalist
Education: Daejin University
Taeyang's first appearance, along with G-Dragon, was made in one of 1TYM's music video. Taeyang started out as a rapper, but is now the main vocalist of Big Bang. He was the first one to release a solo album called HOT during the summer of 2008 and had his first solo concert. On 2008-8-7 he opened a concert for Alicia Keys in South Korea, where he performed his 2 singles: ?? (Prayer) and ?? ??? (Look Only At Me). Taeyang is also known for his free style dancing ability, which has become more prominent since the band's debut. According to Naver, Taeyang's next album was expected to be a full album, but YG later announced the change and it is now expected to be another mini; it is scheduled to be released in October 2009. It will be produced by YG Entertainment's rising producer and 1TYM Member Teddy (Park Hong-joon). Taeyang's digital single "Where U At" from his second solo full album which he composed also with the wedding dress single (TBA), was released on 15 October 2009. The digital single topped Mnet and Cyworld charts shortly after release on the same day, standing at the #1 spot.
Real Name: Choi, Seung Hyun (, ???)
Date of Birth: November 4, 1987 )
Position: Rapper, Beat-Boxer, Composer
Education: Seoul Art College , but switched to Dankook University
He is the oldest in the group. Before joining Big Bang, T.O.P received recognition by winning KBS's "Rap Battle" in 2003. He acted in the Korean television drama I Am Sam. He has also done a teenage suspense teledrama 19 in SBS alongside fellow Big Bang member Seungri and fellow YG actress Heo I Jae. He is currently filming in the new KBS2 drama IRIS alongside actors Kim Tae Hee and Lee Byung Hun which was initially aried last October 14, 2009. Aside from his role in Big Bang, he has collaborated with various artists, including Red Roc for "Hello," singer Gummy's "Mianhaeyo" ("????", "I'm Sorry"), and Uhm Jung-hwa for "D.I.S.C.O."
Real Name: Kang, Dae Sung (, ???)
Date of Birth: April 26, 1989 )
Education: KyeongIn High School , KyungHee University
Daesung was recruited in an audition, and even though he was jokingly known as "unpretty boy" among the staff, he turned out to be extremely popular. While being trained, he received vocal training from Wheesung, one of his favorite artists. Wheesung also helped other members from Big Bang. Also during training, he was diagnosed with vocal cord nodules. He was the first member of Big Bang to be a permanent-member of a variety show, appearing regularly on Family Outing since 2008. He is close with fellow Korean celebrities Yoo Jae Seok, Lee Hyori, and Kim Jong Kook. Daesung was also the second member to appear in a musical. He debuted in a Korean version of Cats, which members from the variety show Family Outing came to support. In April 2007, Daesung decided to quit high school in order to focus on his work in Big Bang full time. He has expressed however, a desire to pass his college entrance exams sometime in the future. In August 11, 2009, Daesung was injured in an unfortunate car accident. Reports claimed that the 20 year old member of Big Bang was heading back to Seoul after shooting SBS television program Family Outing. The incident happened on Pyeongtaek Express highway. The van where whom he and his manager as well as stylist was sitting in, skidded along the road as it was heavily pouring out. The vehicle hit a rail and also crashed into a tree, almost uprooting it. Daesung broke his nose, a rib, and had bruises on his arms and face. YG Entertainment said that it would be a minimum of 4 weeks rest, but since they found an eye injury, it would be a minimum of 8 weeks instead. YG Entertainment later stated that Daesung would not be attending his musical and they would use this time to let him rest.
Seungri (V.I, Victory)
Real Name: Lee, Seung Hyun (, ???)
Date of Birth: December 12, 1990 )
Seungri, the youngest member of Big Bang, also known as the Maknae, was born in Gwangju. Before Big Bang, he was a member of Ilhwa, a Gwangju dance team. In the summer 2005, Seungri appeared on an episode of "Let's Cokeplay: M.net Battle Shinhwa", a TV show to find the second Shinhwa through auditions. The band Battle is the result of that TV show. In the thirteenth episode, he was cut from the show because his singing wasn?t impressive enough, though his dancing was. He also won couple of awards for his solo album single "Strong Baby". He debuted in the musical "Sonagi" 2008 and in the movie "Why Did You Come To My House" 2008. He is starring in a musical call "Shouting". Daesung was also to participate in "Shouting" but due to Daesung's car accident, Seungri will be doing "Shouting" alone. He is featured in the upcoming drama "19" with fellow member, T.O.P. Seungri appeared on the popular variety show Family Outing as a temporary replacement for Daesung on August 24.
Real Name: Jang Hyun Seung (, ???)
Date of Birth: September 3, 1989 )
SO-1 was eliminated from Big Bang in the ninth episode of their documentary because he lacked stage presence and was too shy. In the 10th episode, he was announced to be eliminated from Big Bang as YG thought he was not ready to join the rest of the group. In August 2006, YG Entertainment stated (via their homepage) that Hyun Seung would remain with YG to be given more training and eventually debut. Since then, he has performed several times as a backup dancer for YG artists. He later decided to leave YG Entertainment and is now with Cube Entertainment. He is now part of six-member boy band BEAST, originally known as B2ST (pronounced "Beast").
2007 M.NET/KM Music Festival: Song of the Year
2007 M.NET/KM Music Festival: Best Male Group
2007 M.NET/KM Music Festival: Music Arrangement
2007 22nd Annual Golden Disk Awards: Bonsang (Dirty Cash)
SBS Inkigayo Awards: Gold Award
5th Annual Korean People's Music Choice Award. Netizen Award : Dance & Electronic Section Prize
17th Seoul Music Awards: Digital Music Award
17th Seoul Music Awards: Top Artist Award
17th Seoul Music Awards: Artist Of The Year
2008 M.NET/KM Music Festival: Artist of the Year
2008 M.NET/KM Music Festival: Best Male Group of the Year
2008 M.NET/KM Music Festival: Digital Music Award
2008 M.NET/KM Music Festival: Musical Portal M.NET Award
18th Seoul Music Awards: High 1 Award
18th Seoul Music Awards: Best Album Award
18th Seoul Music Awards: Mobile Popularity Award
18th Seoul Music Awards: Bonsang
21st Korea PD Awards: Best Singer Award
2009 Nickelodeon Korea Kids Choice Awards: Best Male Singer Award
Cyworld Digital Music Awards: Song of the month (April) "Lollipop"
3rd MNet 20's Choice Awards: Hot CF Star "Lollipop"