Find Out More About K-pop’s ‘Big Three’ Companies

YG Entertainment


Following the establishment of SM Entertainment, YG Entertainment was born in 1996 and was founded by Yang Hyun-suk. Yang Hyun-suk is a former member of Seo Taiji & Boys. After the boy-group disbanded, Yang Hyun-suk formed YG Entertainment agency. Unlike SM Entertainment, YG Entertainment is known as an agency that puts out hip-hop artists worldwide. “YG” is an abbreviation of Yang-gun (양군), taken from the nickname of the founder and executive director, Yang Hyun-suk. The company operates as a record label, a talent search agency, music production and concert companies, event management company, and music publisher. In addition, the company also operates a number of subsidiary companies, including clothing lines, golf management, and cosmetic brands. YG Entertainment is one of the three leading record labels in the K-pop industry, along with SM Entertainment and JYP Entertainment.

After overseeing the hip-hop group 1TYM, YG Entertainment is now home to a number of famous K-pop singers who have managed to attract international attention, such as Big Bang, 2NE1, iKON, WINNER, Blackpink, and Treasure, as well as actors and actresses such as Kang Dong-won, Choi Ji-woo, Cha Seung-won, and Lee Jong-suk. In terms of the company’s revenue contribution, Big Bang is the largest revenue contributor, with 4.2 million copies of Made in China, and more than 13.3 million copies throughout Asia. All official content released by YG Entertainment and its artists has been viewed more than 7 billion times on YouTube.


Big Bang or BIGBANG is a five-member boy-group under the YG Entertainment. The group consists of G-Dragon, T.O.P, Taeyang, Daesung, and Seungri. Since their debut on August 19, 2006, Big Bang gained popularity in 2007 with the mini album Always, with its flagship song Lies.

In early 2008, Big Bang expanded to their neighboring country, Japan. They debuted there. They launched the mini album For The World, and made it into the top 10 on the Oricon chart with a little promotion.

In 2017, T.O.P, who was conscripted, was proven to consume marijuana. T.O.P received a 10-month prison sentence that was suspended for two years, and he was expelled from his military service. In 2019, the maknae (the youngest member) Seungri decided to leave the group and the entertainment world, because of the burning sun scandal that befell him.



2NE1 is a girl-group formed by YG Entertainment in 2009. 2NE1 consists of CL, Bom, Dara, and Minzi. 2NE1 first appeared with Big Bang, in the song Lollipop for product advertisements for the well-known electronics company, LG.

The group officially debuted on May 6, 2009, with a debut single titled Fire. During the summer of 2010, the group traveled to LA and London to record English songs, for a total of ten songs for their debut in the United States.

Long time, no news. 2NE1 lost one member, namely Minzy. Minzy officially left the group on April 5, 2016, because her contract with YG Entertainment was over and did not renew. After losing one member, 2NE1 was rumored to be coming back soon. However, the opposite happened, 2NE1 was reportedly disbanded instead. YG Entertainment confirmed the news, and 2NE1 officially disbanded on November 25, 2016. Of the remaining three members, CL and Dara decided to extend their contract with YG Entertainment, while Park Bom left the agency. In November 2019, CL finally decided to terminate her contract with YG Entertainment.


iKON is a boy-group formed by YG Entertainment. Before their debut, the iKON members participated in a survival program titled Who Is Next: Win in 2013, with members B.I, Bobby, Jinhwan, Junhoe, Yunhyeong, and Donghyuk. They all joined Team B and competed against Team A. Unfortunately, Team B had to acknowledge Team A’s victory, that was achieved through voting. Despite losing, Team B remained as trainees at YG Entertainment.

In June 2014, Team B returned to a survival program titled Mix & Match with the addition of three new trainees namely, Chanwoo, Jinhyeong, and Hongseok. YG Entertainment announced that B.I, Bobby, and Jinhwan have become iKON members, so there were only six members left to fight for four empty seats, and the winners were Junhoe, Yunhyeong, Chanwoo, and Donghyuk. As a warmup, iKON released a debut single, titled My Type, on September 15, 2015.

A successful debut in Korea, iKON also debuted in Japan by releasing the Japanese version of the album ‘Welcome Back’ in early January 2016. In mid-2019, or precisely June 12, BI revealed through his personal Instagram account that he officially left iKON after news was released by Dispatch about his involvement in drug cases in 2016. Meanwhile, iKON continued to carry on with six members.



BLACKPINK or BLΛƆKPIИK is a group formed by YG Entertainment, or it can be said that it’s the second girl-group after 2NE1 debuted in 2009. This new group consists of four members, namely Jisoo, Jennie, Rose, and Lisa.

Officially, YG Entertainment introduced this new girl-group on June 1, 2016, through a photo teaser. In order, the first member introduced to the public was Jennie. Then Lisa, Jisoo, and finally, Rose. YG Entertainment also announced that Blackpink would not have a leader. Not because no one can be a leader, the reason is that the members of the group have been friends for a long time, and they also want all members to support one another.

Blackpink officially debuted on August 8, 2016, with a single album titled Square One. They also released two music video at once, which were Whistle and their main debut song, BOOMBAYAH. In May 2017, Blackpink debuted in Japan. Before officially debuting in Japan, they held a showcase beforehand in Tokyo on July 20, 2017.