Big Bang (South Korean band)
Big Bang (Korean: 빅뱅) is a South Korean boy band formed by YG Entertainment. Consisting of members G-Dragon, T.O.P, Taeyang, Daesung, and Seungri, the group officially debuted on August 19, 2006. Despite initial lukewarm receptions, their breakthrough came with the extended play, Always (2007), which yielded the number one song "Lies" (Korean: 거짓말; Revised Romanization: Geojitmal). The song went on to top major Korean music charts for a record-breaking seven consecutive weeks, and won the group the Song of the Year award at the 9th Mnet Korean Music Festival.
Big Bang's follow-up releases furthered their success and popularity: Hot Issue (2007) spawned the chart-topping song "Last Farewell," (Korean: 마지막 인사; Revised Romanization: Majimak Insa), while Stand Up (2008) produced "Day by Day" (Korean: 하루하루, Revised Romanization: Haru Haru). After receiving the Artist of the Year award from the 2008 Mnet Korean Music Festival, the group expanded their endeavors to Japan, releasing both their second Korean studio-album, Remember, and their first Japanese album, Number 1, in the same year, and consequently winning three awards at the 9th MTV Video Music Awards Japan. They would go on to release three more Japanese studio albums: Big Bang (2009), Big Bang 2 (2011), and the Japanese-language edition of Alive (2012). 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 went on to star in various films and television shows.
After a two-year hiatus in South Korea, Big Bang reunited in 2011 with their EP Tonight (2011). Promotions 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, the Korean EP Alive (2012), which won them their second Artist of the Year Award at the 14th Mnet Asian Music Awards. Alive became the first Korean album to chart on the Billboard 200, with the group embarking on their first ever world tour that concluded in early 2013. In 2015, after a three-year hiatus, Big Bang made their highly anticipated comeback in their native country with the release of four singles, "M", "A", "D", and "E", to precede their third Korean studio album, Made, released in 2016. Their singles were met with critical and commercial success, netting in sales of over 15 million copies throughout Asia and winning the group their third Artist of the Year Award at the 17th Mnet Asian Music Awards.
Labeled as the "Kings of K-pop" and "Nation's Boy Band," the members’ involvement in composing and producing their own music, most notably G-Dragon, has earned the group respect and praise from the music industry. Since the Gaon Chart began tracking sales, Big Bang — including members' solo releases - has sold over 93 million records, and with the previous releases including the sales from Music Industry Association of Korea (MIAK), The Korea Music Content Industry Association (KMCIA) and international sales they have sold over 137 million records, with over 130 million digital singles and 6.7 million albums in Korea, Japan, and the rest of Asian continent, making them the best-selling digital group of all-time in Asia. They have won numerous awards and set several records, including being the act who spent the most months at number one on the Gaon Chart and the most weeks at number one on Melon, besides being the all-time best-selling artist in Cyworld. Big Bang was the first Korean artist to enter Forbes Magazine's Celebrity 100 and the 30 under 30 most influential musicians in the world lists. Citing their global popularity and contribution to K-pop, The Washington Post have described them as "the biggest band in Asia" and the Hollywood Reporter as "the biggest boy band in the world."