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(LEAD) BIGBANG members set to return to show biz amid ongoing scandal

K-pop 10:53 November 10, 2019

(ATTN: UPDATES with discharge in para 6, minor edits throughout; ADDS photos)

SEOUL, Nov. 10 (Yonhap) -- With all of its members returning to public life over the weekend, popular K-pop band BIGBANG is set to make a comeback, but the future of the group remains unclear due to an ongoing corruption scandal.

As a well-known fashion icon across Asia, band leader G-Dragon, who was discharged from the military on Oct. 26, resumed his entertainment activities with a fashion collaboration with Nike.

He contributed to the design of the U.S.-based firm's flagship sneaker line Air Force 1 Para-noise, which features daisy images from G-Dragon's fashion brand PEACEMINUSONE on the tongue.

After completing his 18-month mandatory service, the singer, whose real name is Kwon Ji-yong, said he will commit himself to his music.

"Now, I'll do my best in my main business," the 31-year-old, who has enjoyed global stardom as a solo artist and as a member of BIGBANG, told his fans on the day of his discharge last month.

G-Dragon, leader of K-pop boy band BIGBANG, salutes in front of fans who welcomed his discharge from military service at the Ground Operations Command in Yongin, south of Seoul, on Oct. 26, 2019. (Yonhap)

Two of his bandmates, Daesung and Taeyang, completed their military duty Sunday, while in July, T.O.P was the first BIGBANG member to finish his service.

Daesung (L) and Taeyang of K-pop band BIGBANG salute after being discharged from military service at the Ground Operations Command in Yongin, south of Seoul, on Nov. 10, 2019. (Yonhap)

But people have cast doubt on the reunion of the now-four-member band, which made its debut in 2006, and the release of its first album in three years. BIGBANG has been regarded as one of the most influential Korean acts in the K-pop industry and has led the Korean wave during its heyday, along with BTS and EXO.

Former member Seungri left the group and the music industry in March amid a series of criminal investigations earlier this year.

Yang Hyun-suk, the founder of YG Entertainment, BIGBANG's agency, resigned from the top post at the firm as police deepened a probe into allegations of illegal overseas gambling.

Social media postings by G-Dragon made about a month before his discharge have fueled speculation about of the disbandment of the 13-year-old group.

"Live for yourself," one of his posts read. "Let the world turn without you. It's not the end of the world without you."

T.O.P has already said he has "no plan to come back" to the band, while YG Entertainment has not yet made any official announcement on the future of the band.

This photo provided by YG Entertainment shows a BIGBANG concert in Seoul on Dec. 31, 2017. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)


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