Hallyu superstar group Big Bang has definitely lived up to its name. Since Big Bang debuted in 2006, this groundbreaking five-member idol group has collectively sold over one million albums and EPs in Korea and Japan. Known for their uniquely spicy hip-hop meets pop-rock blend, the members of Big Bang - G-Dragon, Taeyang, T.O.P., Daesung, and Seungri - have collected almost a dozen number 1 radio singles and carved for themselves a respected niche in Korean entertainment. The group recently solidified their Hallyu star status by taking home the 2011 MTV Europe Music Award for Best Worldwide Act.
Big Bang and Music
While other idol groups are accused of being "manufactured" and "artificial", singing and performing songs taught to them by their managers, this cannot be said of Big Bang. The individual and collective talents of Big Bang members are just so obvious that it is impossible to fit them into the usual "idol group mold".
As a group, Big Bang is largely credited for reinventing K-Pop music through their use of innovative electronic influences in hip-hop and R&B back in 2007. When others were afraid of using technology, Big Bang used it unashamedly. G-Dragon, the leader of Big Bang, is revered as a songwriting genius able to create music that transcends the usual. G-Dragon was behind such Big Bang hits like "Lies", "Haru Haru", "Last Farewell" and "Heaven". Recently, lead rapper T.O.P. collaborated with G-Dragon in penning their latest hits including "Hands Up", "Tonight", "Love Song" and fan favorite "Cafe". Big Bang has also successfully recorded English versions of their songs making their group one of the most accessible to fans outside Korea.
Aside from their projects as a group, all Big Bang members have ventured into independent music projects (and a duo project GD&TOP) where their own unique styles shone even more. G-Dragon released his critically acclaimed album "Heartbreaker" in 2009. Taeyang, the groups principal dancer and singer also released a highly successful solo album entitled "Solar" in 2010. Seungri, the youngest member, also released a solo EP entitled "VVIP". GD&TOP released their own duo-collaboration in 2010 featuring the hit "High High". Daesung has released several singles apart from Big Bang.
The musical influence of Big Bang in K-Pop cannot be denied. This is why Big Bang is deemed as K-Pop royalty and never defined by formulas and trends. Here are some music videos featuring Big Bang's music through the years. For more Big Bang music, visit their official YouTube channel here.
Big Bang and Fashion
Whenever Big Bang is discussed, talk of fashion is never far behind. Just like how Big Bang changed the landscape of K-Pop music, the group also spearheaded a fashion revolution. Since their debut, Big Bang has set the standard for high-end hip-hop fashion. The "Big Bang" style characterized by the bold use of colors, oversized jeans (and later skinny jeans), high-top sneakers, accessories, and even scarves defined what hip-hop style with taste looks like. The boys also started the trend of wearing guy-liner make-up as early as their debut.
Aside from their clothes, the innovative hairstyles of Big Bang members specially Taeyang's cool redefined mohawk, G-Dragon's platinum blond hair, and T.O.P's ever-changing hair color and cuts have consistently been copied by fans. The influence of Big Bang in the world of fashion is further cemented by their countless fashion endorsements and fashion spreads.
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Why is Big Bang so Big?
The year 2011 have been particularly trying for Big Bang with two members having been involved in separate controversies. Daesung was involved in a fatal car accident while G-Dragon was involved in a drug-related incident. Still, I feel that these controversies cannot take away the fact that Big Bang is still big.
So, why is Big Bang so big? There are three main reasons for Big Bang's superstar status regardless of the controversies they face. First, the sheer talent all members possess is enough to keep their followers hooked. Second, their fearless innovative spirit to push the envelope makes them essentially immune to irrelevance and third, their ever loyal fans, the VIPs, who commit to support them no matter what.
Catherine Deen blogs for Yahoo! Philippines OMG!. She lives, eats and breathes Korean music, cuisine, telenovelas, and pop culture. Follow her on Twitter @cathsdeen.