[OPINION] Who Created Today’s Seungri?

Who exactly is Seungri, the hallyu star currently surrounded by various controversies in Korea?

Right now, whenever a Korean individual or Kpop fan hears or reads the 2 syllables Seungri, the first thing that comes to mind would be that celebrity who is in the news for various scandals. Keywords are likely to be Burning Sun assault, offering women to investors, illegal filming of sexual content, retirement, nation’s traitor etc. But just prior to a few months ago, Seungri was not a hated individual but a world star who’s influence was especially prominent in Asia.

Who is Seungri?

Seungri also known as Lee Seung Hyun was the maknae of Kpop’s global idol group, Big Bang. The 29 year old idol made his debut under YG Entertainment in 2006 with Big Bang to later become one of the most popular boy groups in the world. Seungri was one of the youngest singers during that time, merely 16 years old, when he stepped into the entertainment industry. Over the years, Seungri experienced various roles in the entertainment industry as singer, songwriter, actor, producer and entrepreneur.

Prior to controversy


Big Bang had their first break through in 2007 with the release of their first extended play ‘Always’, Big Bang took their place as one of the most influential artists as they focused on producing and creating their own songs. During this time, leader and producer G-Dragon was gaining more attention as fans from the group as his songs became hits setting records for continuously topping charts and sales. Some of G-Dragon’s earliest hits were ‘Lies’ (2007), ‘Last Farewell’ (2007), ‘But I Love U’ (2007).



With Big Bang’s continuously growing popularity, the group was having concerts within 7 months of debuting. As they continued to rise in popularity in Korea, they set their sights for Japan just one year after debut. During that year, the members had hectic schedules letting exhaustion pile up to the point G-Dragon, T.O.P and Seungri became hospitalized halting activities. Seungri already had an ankle injury when it was reported he later lost consciousness towards the end of a show on December 29, 2007. Later it was reported Big Bang had earned over $11.5 Million USD just in 2007. Considering inflation in 2019, 11.5 Million dollars was worth a lot more 12 years ago.

The following year in 2008, Big Bang was very successful in Japan becoming one of the groups to solidify the hallyu wave. By 2009, the group was pursuing solo activities during which each member focused on nurturing their individual talents. Seungri was well known for wanting to “shed” his maknae image at this time for a more mature look. He won his first award with his solo ‘Strong Baby’ tasting his individual success at the age of 19.


In the following years, Seungri continued his solo activities while also promoting as a member of Big Bang. He took on various acting roles, released more solo music, developed his DJ skills etc. Seungri was in some ways overshadowed by other Big Bang members in the entertainment industry. Once his hyungs went on hiatus for military service, Seungri’s popularity and activities undeniably surged.


Just a year ago, Seungri was the only Big Bang member who was not serving mandatory military service yet. As a result, his popularity was growing not only in South Korea but also abroad as the only Big Bang member ‘to hold the fort’ before he went on hiatus for his own mandatory military service in Spring 2019. He made several guest appearances on MBC’s ‘I Live Alone’ increasing his popularity as viewers learned he was a considerate, detail oriented person in addition to being a successful businessman.


After his segment in ‘I Live Alone’ was aired, Seungri was widely complimented for his successful ramen franchise company that has over 45 locations all over the world claiming annual earnings of approximately $96 Million USD. From then on, other successful businesses of the idol/entrepreneur was in the headlines like dance academy, clubs, DJ label etc.. Public perspective of Big Bang Seungri was shifting from an immature playboy often in the headlines because of scandals, clubbing and such to a mature and charismatic man. He went on to explain his tendency to pursue all forms of entertainment led him his success today as an entrepreneur in the show.

Seungri further explained on ‘I Live Alone’ that while his current businesses may seem successful he has experienced failure in previous business ventures. He stated he lost many things but learned from those incidents leading to his current identity (in 2018).


Shortly after Seungri’s image as a successful businessman continued to garner positive reception, he was reported to be the new CEO of YGX in June 2018. YGX is a subsidiary of YG Entertainment that merged with Seungri’s DJ label NHR.


For the following months until the Burning Sun controversy was in the headlines, Seungri’s popularity was at its peak. He was appearing in various shows, held his first solo tour and his first studio album was well received. The idol was holding multiple executive positions in various companies and his businesses were growing. Seungri ended 2018 with on a good note, even hosting the 2018 MBC entertainment awards ceremony with Jun Hyun Moo and Hyeri.

Controversy Recap (up to March 11)

This momentum unfortunately did not last as news about his club, Burning Sun’s alleged assault broke the headlines in January 2019. Kim posted online he was assaulted by security and police when he tried to help a female at the club. This case is currently under investigation and with so many articles with various information, the exact details has become unclear.

Soon after, news about Seungri lobbying to investors with prostitutes joined the headlines. It led to chaos in the entertainment industry as various prominent figures were identified during the investigation.

In courtesy of YG Entertainment (left) and SBS funE (right).

Park Han Byul’s husband was identified to be involved in this case affecting the actress’s long awaited return to the small screen in MBC’s ‘Love in Sadness’.


Amidst the growing controversy surrounding Seungri, on March 11 everything changed. News reported Seungri to be a part of a group chatroom that had illegally filmed sexual content. What made this worse was the report of other celebrities being a part of the chatroom. Some of the females illegal filmed were reported to be idols.  

Shortly after, various celebrities including idols were implicated as many forms of “evidence” circulated on the Internet. Hours later, Seungri declared he would retire on his Instagram which was met with derision.

Society’s role 

There are various rumors and speculations about the controversies surrounding Seungri, but this article will not be delving in that direction. Instead, the focus will be what may have led to such controversies in the first place. What makes this such a big deal would be because it forced a lot of the “dirty laundry” in the entertainment industry to become public. It’s not a simple matter of someone caught breaking the law. But of a world star as the cause of the controversies that led to implicating other influential people.

In Korea, there are many situations where superficially everyone verbally supports gender equality and put their faith in the LAW. However, behind closed quarters there’s corruption, bribery and connections that can solve many things. A common plot seen in Korean drama where a chaebol uses their power, money and influence to be above the law is not completely without a grain of truth. In reality, it isn’t just chaebols but also influential figures in all parts of society, not only in South Korea but in every other country of the world. Just a couple years ago, Korea was in complete chaos as a nation because of abused power. If you’re unaware, the previous Korean president was impeached in 2016.

Many foreigners are unaware of Korean culture that takes hierarchy, social connections, “specs” (Korean term for social economic status) etc. very seriously. For a general idea, I would personally recommend watching Misaeng (2014) starring Im Si Wan, Lee Sung Min and Kang Sora.


In Korea, there are still many people who work overtime without being able to request for overtime pay, sick leave and vacations. This is something I myself have experienced when I interned in Korea just a few years ago. Additionally, female employees are still pressured to pour alcohol for male colleagues. An example would be a scene in the beginning of episode 2 in JTBC’s ‘Pretty Noona Who Buys Me Food’ (2018). Furthermore, prostitution is illegal but ‘red light districts’ do exist.

Interestingly, Seungri was previously in the headlines for having Gugudan’s Sejong pour drinks to “her favorite man” on TVN’s ‘Cheap Tour’ last October. But rather than the media focusing to criticize Seungri for his actions, it was the broadcasting company who was under fire for broadcasting that scene during “ safe hours for adolescent television viewing time.” (Note: Jung Joon Young was also in this episode)

This isn’t the first time YG’s celebrities have caused waves in the industry because of scandals. There have been previous scandals in the entertainment industry because of sexual and physical assault, harassment, prostitution, illegal drugs, drunk driving, tax evasion, sponsorship, adultery, underage drinking etc. in all areas of the entertainment world. 

Many of the celebrities who were implicated in various scandals mentioned above were able to return to the entertainment industry after a few years. This itself shows society may easily forget and forgive while failing to fix the actual problem resulting in lofty disdain for indiscretions and breaking the law.


The controversies surrounding Seungri aren’t exactly new in Korean society. Seungri’s status whether guilty or innocent doesn’t matter as much as the fact that he isn’t the first nor the last person who will be accused, indicted, investigated etc. There are others who have probably done the same things mentioned in the controversies and there may be more in the future regardless of whether indicted or not. Aside from investigating to find out the truth, I think it is important to consider what this means for Korean society and what can be done to prevent it from reoccurring in the future.

There are a lot of things I could say about Seungri’s controversies that many may agree or disagree. No doubt I would be using lots of colorful vocabulary if I was to write about it. But taking a step back to see how someone who debuted at the young age of 16 ended up becoming called out as the “nation’s traitor” 14 years later, there’s probably various factors in the entertainment industry and society that played a significant role in Seungri’s current situation. 

Passing Thoughts

Could it be Seungri’s controversies are being used to cover something even bigger? Just a passing thought seeing all the attention focused on entertainment these days instead of fine dust levels from China, N.Korea, economy etc. I suddenly remembered SBS’s drama Pinocchio (2014) starring Park Shin Hye and Lee Jong Suk. It’s a drama where the most powerful people hyped up celebrity news to hide conspiracies. (Crying because of Lee Jong Suk’s upcoming military hiatus.)



Disclaimer: The opinions or views contained in this article may not represent the opinions or views of Kpoplove, The Korea Daily, its employees, agents or affiliates.

2019 Idol Star Athletics Championship Announces Final Lineup of Participants

2019 Idol Star Athletics Championship has announced the lineup of participants!

On December 11, MBC announced the final lineup for this year’s Idol Star Athletics Championship. In celebration of its 10th anniversary, the lineup for the upcoming event is more legendary and epic than ever before.

According to the notice, this year’s event will feature artists from the Big 3 companies – JYP, SM, and YG for the first time. More in detail, the lineup includes Super Junior, TWICE, SEVENTEEN, Red Velvet, MONSTA X, NCT 127, Stray Kids, (G)I-DLE, Momoland, ASTRO, The Boyz, gugudan, Celeb Five, and Golden Child. Moreover, iKon has announced their first-ever appearance in this particular annual event.

Furthermore, MBC had also previously announced a new category that’s been added to the event called a Penalty Shootout. For this particular event, iKon, SEVENTEEN, MONSTA X, ASTRO, NCT 127, The Boyz, Stary Kids, and Golden Child have confirmed participation.

Meanwhile, 2019 Idol Star Athletics Championships will air over the Korean Lunar New Year holidays.

Image Source – MBC, JYP Entertainment, SM Entertainment, YG Entertainment, Pledis Entertainment

Original Article
Translated by Dasol Kim


Jellyfish Entertainment’s New Boy Group VERIVERY Announces Official Debut

Jellyfish Entertainment’s new boy group VERIVERY is ready to dominate the music market and year 2019 with their grand debut!

On December 6, Jellyfish Entertainment officially confirmed the debut of a new boy group VERIVERY. According to the company, VERIVERY is a 7-member boy group, who is ready to follow the footsteps of their successful seniors, such as VIXX and Gugudan.

Image Source – Jellyfish Entertainment

The name VERIVERY is a combination of a Latin word “Veri,” which means the truth, and the English word “Very,” to suggest that this group is the real deal. From producing to performance and visual, the members hope to showcase their unlimited talent and potential to lead the next generation of K-Pop and idols.

Jellyfish first introduced the members to the public in September. Ever since then, the members starred in their own reality show ahead of their debut, giving their prospective fans to go through their debut process together.

Furthermore, they have also been actively communicating with their fans via social network platforms, hoping to create a rapport that will help them to grow more as the next top idols. At last, they also released an OST to their reality show “Super Special,” allowing a sneak peek at their charms and skills.

Meanwhile, VERIVERY is aiming for a debut sometime in January, 2019.

Original Article
Translated by Dasol Kim


Producer of “Show! Music Core” Compliment Ong Sung-Woo, Mina, and Mark

Producer of MBC “Show! Music Core” compliment Wanna One’s Ong Sung-Woo, Gugudan’s Mina, and NCT’s Mark on their diligence as MC’s of the show!

On November 2 broadcast of MBC’s “Idol Radio,” producer Heo Hang came on as a guest to talk about the three MC’s of MBC’s “Show! Music Core.”

The producer had been working closely with the team of “Music Core” for the past 2 years. As one of the main producers of the show, Heo says he grew close to the three MC’s of the show – Wanna One’s Ong Sung-WOO, Gugudan’s Min, and NCT’s Mark.

Image Source – MBC

Producer Heo began, “the three all work so hard. One specific memory that I have of them is when they prepared a special stage to make their debut as MC’s.”

He continued, “Mark prepared a rap, and Mina and Ong Sung-Woo had prepared a dance. All three of them were very busy with their owns schedules, but they still gave in 100% effort into making their debut stage. We wanted the audience to see that, so we pre-recorded the whole performance. Thankfully, it received lots of praise from the audience.”

At the end, producer Heo concluded with his first impression of the three. He said, “I remember the first time I met them. They were so prepared that their first time hosting the show together went flawlessly. Afterwards, there was not a single day that they were late or making mistakes due to lack of preparation.”

Original Article
Translated by Dasol Kim


Hyeyeon to Discontinue Activities as gugudan’s Member

Jellyfish Entertainment officially announced that Hyeyeon will discontinue activities as a member of gugudan.

Jellyfish Entertainment

On October 25, gugudan’s agency Jellyfish Entertainment released an official statement through the group’s official fan page.

“First of all, we appreciate all the fans who send love and support to the group,” the statement writes. “Previous to gugudan’s comeback, we’re sharing the official statement about member Hyeyeon’s future activities.”

The statement continues, “Hyeyeon has been taking a rest from group activities and been focusing on her study due to health issues. We’ve continuously been discussing about her future and entertainment activities with the artist.”

“After a long discussion, we’ve agreed that Hyeyeon will wrap up the activities as a member of gugudan and will focus on her health and study. Even though she is no longer participating in gugudan activities, she is still with Jellyfish Entertainment.”

The statement added, “gugudan will release a new album on November 6 and present new looks,” asking fans to support now an 8-member group.

gugudan is releasing the third mini album on November 6. The group will also have the first solo concert “gu9udan 1st Concert PLAY” on December 1.


Original article


tvN ‘Cheap Tour’ Violates Broadcasting Laws With Seungri Ordering Sejeong to Pour Drinks for Male Guests

On October 10th, KCSC (Korea Communications Standard Commission) announced that a tvN show ‘Cheap Tour’ has severely violated gender equality laws with a scene that started with BIGBANG Seungri’s suggestion.

On August 18th’s episode of ‘Cheap Tour’, BIGBANG’s member Seungri told Gugudan’s Sejeong to “pour drinks to her favorite men’s glasses”. Sejeong, the 22-year-old singer and actress, looked embarrassed and confused, but she later poured beer into two of the five male guests’ glasses.

KCSC announced, “After reviewing, we have decided to bring in the tvN, XtvN, and OtvN’s ‘Cheap Tour’ case to our general meeting considering the travel show aired a scene where a female guest had to pour drinks to male guests to indicate favorable impression”.

“tvN has been repeatedly violating gender equality laws, and XtvN and OtvN aired the episode during the safe hours for adolescents television viewing”, KCSC continued.


by Audrey Joung


Wanna One Ong Seong-Woo to Step Down from “Music Core”

Ong Seong-Woo will no longer serve as the MC of MBC’s “Show! Music Core”

On September 20, reports stated that Wanna One’s Ong Seong-Woo will step down from his MC position for MBC’s “Music Core.” With the upcoming September 22 broadcast as his last episode, the Wanna One member will no longer host the program.

Image Source – MBC “Music Core”

It’s been 8 months since the artist was selected as one of the MC’s alongside NCT’s Mark and Gugudan’s Mina. During their first episode as MC’s, the three put on an impressive and fierce performance and generated much excitement from fans. Afterwards, Ong Seong-Woo led the troop as the oldest one, creating much synergy between the three.

Regarding the news, Ong said, “I want to thank everyone who has encouraged me even though I lacked many skills. I’m very glad I had the opportunity to host such a great show. Even though we have unfortunately come to an end with this journey, I promise to continue to better myself to show an improved side of me the next time we see each other again. Once again, I’m very grateful for your support.”

Original Article
Translated by Dasol Kim


Jellyfish Entertainment Announces to Launch New Boy Group

Jellyfish Entertainment says VIXX is getting a brother group!

On August 23, news outlet OSEN reported that Jellyfish Entertainment is planning to launch a new boy group in the second half of the year. The company has finished the basic outline regarding the members and staff, who are currently training hard for the upcoming debut.

After debuting their first boy group VIXX in 2012, Jellyfish had held off to launch another for 6 years. With the news, much anticipation arises among the public as to under what unique concept this upcoming group will debut.

Moreover, the members reportedly have excellent vocals, dance skills, as well as visuals. In addition, they also possess a creativity that will help them to thrive in this competitive market.

Stay tuned for more information!

Original Article
Translated by Dasol Kim


SHINee Min-Ho and Noh Hong-chul to MC ‘Show! Music Core’ 600th Episode Special

Singer Min-ho from SHINee and entertainer Noh Hong-chul have agreed to host a special episode for MBC’s “Show! Music Core.”

Image source – OSEN News

MBC has a variety of different stages and performances prepared for fans and viewers to celebrate the 600th episode of their weekly music show “Show! Music Core.”

For the celebration, MBC has brought back the previous MCs NCT Mark and Gugudan Mina for a collaboration stage with Min-ho and Noh. In Addition to the hosts’ collaboration, Cosmic Girls and Red Velvet are going to have a joint performance that is sure to be fresh and perfect for summer.

However, the broadcast company has invited some artists that don’t fit the typical K-pop mold. Female rapper Yoon Mi-rae will take the stage with boy group Winner in what is sure to be one of the best performances of the night. Additionally, Reggae Peace like a River (RPR) composed of HaHa and Skull, blaze the stage with a topical number.

Further, groups Celeb Five, a group of five of Korea’s funniest women who transformed into K-pop stars, will perform a remixed version of “I Wanna Be a Celeb,” which they released earlier this year. Moreover, NCT U will take on the role as a male version of the comedian filled group, an endeavor that will probably earn laughs and praise.

The special will air on August 11 at 3:25 pm.



Original article

Translated by O.C


BIGBANG Seungri Shares Backstage Pictures of Him and Junior Artists

Seungri is truly the star for stars!

On July 26, BIGBANG’s Seungri shared a several photos he took backstage at SBS “Inkigayo” with his junior artists. In the pictures, several idol groups including TWICE, Apink, SEVENTEEN, and GFRIEND posted with their senior, rooting for his solo promotions.

In addition, the singer wrote along with the picture, “the singers who are currently promoting their albums rooted for me. Let’s all have hwaiting together!”

Check out the photos below!

Meanwhile, Seungri returned as a soloist with a new album “The Great Seungri” on July 20. After the promotions, he plans to go on a world tour while military enlistment awaits him next year.

Image Source – Instagram @Seungriseyo

Original Article
Translated by Dasol Kim