Big Bang

Korean quintet Big Bang were one of the most popular international K-pop groups to emerge in the 2000s. The size and membership of the R&B-influenced outfit -- the brainchild of the YG Entertainment Group -- was determined via an 11-part documentary television series that made its debut in 2006. For the most part, the bandmembers had previous experience in the pop music world; for example, members G-Dragon and Taeyang were signed to YG at the age of 12 and had been performing together for some time. After vying for the final five spots in Big Bang during the television show, the band roster was determined -- G-Dragon, Taeyang, T.O.P., Dae Sung, and Seung Ri -- and the group released a series of singles in 2006, which were followed by an album, Big Bang, Vol. 1, in December of that year. The group expanded its performance schedule in 2007 and 2008 to include a national tour, and released a live album (1st Concert: Live Album) and a series of three EPs, Always (August 2007), Hot Issue (November 2007), and For the World (January 2008). The band's full-length sophomore album, Remember, featuring the single "Strong Baby," was also released in 2008. In 2011, after an extended hiatus, Big Bang became the first K-pop act to hit the digital charts with the release of the EP Tonight. In 2012, the band released its fifth EP, Alive, which included the singles "Bad Boy," "Blue," and "Fantastic Baby." After an extended hiatus, Big Bang made a return in 2015 with a series of Japanese singles titled M, A, D, and E. The MADE series compilation, their first Korean album in eight years, was released in Korea in late 2016. In addition to the eight Japanese singles, the LP also included three additional tracks ("Fxxk It," "Last Dance," and "Girlfriend"). On MADE, the band's trademark mix of dance-pop and R&B was blended with contemporary tropical and trap influences. Featuring production by Teddy Park, G-Dragon, T.O.P., and Taeyang, it topped the charts in Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, and the United States, claiming the top spots on the Billboard independent and world charts. ~ Chris True & Neil Z. Yeung

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