BIGBANG have reached their 16th debut anniversary. However, they have yet to remove the label of “criminal idol” and is receiving unfavorable attention.
BIGBANG, a group of YG Entertainment, celebrated their 16th anniversary on August 19th. BIGBANG debuted on August 19th, 2006 at the YG Family’s 10th-anniversary concert.
BIGBANG, who have been successful with every song they released including “Last Farewell,” “Haru Haru” and “Fantastic Baby” led by their debut song “Lie,” has grown into being a representative group of K-pop. In addition to group activities, unit activities such as GD&TOP and GD X Taeyang, as well as solo activities of the members were also very popular.
However, the situation of BIGBANG in 2022 is not very pleasant. Except for Taeyang, the members have all been embroiled in, or caused, various controversies.
G-Dragon was questioned by prosecutors in 2011 for smoking cannabis at a club in Japan. In response, G-Dragon explained, “I mistook it for cigarettes and smoked it,” and was later suspended from prosecution.
T.O.P was indicted the following year on charges of smoking cannabis twice with idol trainee A at home in 2016 and smoking e-cigarette juice containing marijuana twice. The court sentenced T.O.P to 10 months in prison and a two-year suspended sentence. As he was serving as a compulsory police officer at the time, T.O.P was judged to be unfit for police service and continued his remaining service as a social service agent at the Yongsan-gu Office.
Daesung was hit by controversy due to allegations from illegal businesses including prostitution and drug distribution at his building in Gangnam-gu, Seoul, which he purchased for about 31 billion won in 2017. Daesung stated that he had no idea that there was such unauthorized business happening in his building, and the police cleared him of the charges.
The member who caused the biggest incident to cover up other members’ controversy was their youngest member, Seungri. Seungri was indicted on nine charges, including prostitution, prostitution mediation, sexual violence punishment law, aggravated punishment of certain economic crimes, business embezzlement, food sanitation law, habitual gambling, foreign exchange trading law, and special assault instigation. Eventually, Seungri left the group in March 2019 and retired from the music industry.
Seungri, who was under investigation without detention, later joined the military and was tried by the military court. The Yongin Ground Operations Command’s ordinary military court sentenced him to three years in prison. However, Seungri filed an appeal against the first trial’s ruling and was sentenced to one and a half years in prison, with his sentence reduced in half by the appeal. Seungri, who was imprisoned in the Armed Forces Prison, was discharged from the military on June 9th and transferred to the Yeoju Prison, a civilian prison.
Seungri, who was embroiled in such a big controversy, has already left the team, but BIGBANG’s comeback was not easy. The remaining four members renewed their contracts with YG Entertainment in March 2020 after completing their military service but did not immediately release any new songs. In addition, they were scheduled to appear at the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival, but it was canceled due to the aftermath of the pandemic at the time.
Since then, rumors of BIGBANG’s comeback have steadily appeared, and eventually, BIGBANG released their new song “Still Life” in April. It is their first new song to be released in about four years since “Flower Road” was released in March 2018. The song topped major music charts at home and abroad with much interest from the public.
In addition, BIGBANG underwent another change with the release of their new song. T.O.P terminated his contract with YG Entertainment and started to go on his own way. YG Entertainment said, “We respect T.O.P’s opinion that he wants to expand his personal activities,” adding, “He will join BIGBANG activities whenever he can.” Since then, T.O.P has announced various solo activities, such as launching a wine brand and filming art content.
With the cancellation of T.O.P’s contract, only three members of BIGBANG, including G-Dragon, Taeyang, and Daesung, remain at YG Entertainment. G-Dragon released a music video for his new song “Can’t Help Falling In Love” on August 18th, which was a collaboration with director Baz Luhrmann of the movie “Elvis.” Daesung is active on his YouTube channel ‘D’splay’ which is centered on drum cover videos. Daesung’s YouTube subscribers are on the verge of surpassing 450,000. Taeyang married actor Min Hyo-rin in 2018 and welcomed their first child in December last year.
BIGBANG, who returned through “Still Life” after four years, continues their activities by communicating with fans in various ways, but many still don’t have a very positive look about them. Will BIGBANG, who has only three members left now, be able to take off the label of “criminal idol” and regain their heyday?