YG Entertainment is one of the biggest music companies in the K-pop industry, one of the institutions considered a part of the “Big Three” label groups in South Korea (which also includes SM Entertainment and JYP Entertainment). Today, it’s been announced that founder Yang Hyun-suk and his brother, CEO Yang Min-suk, have resigned from the company following sustained allegations of the company’s involvement in drug scandals involving artists that were signed to their roster, as Billboard reports.
“I’ve dedicated the past 23 years of my life to YG Entertainment. It was my greatest joy to support the best music and the best artists,” Yang Hyun-suk wrote in a statement posted to the YG Entertainment website earlier today. “From today onward, however, I have decided to step down from my responsibilities and positions at YG.”
Founded in 1996, YG has served the label home for various notable K-pop acts including Big Bang, Psy, and recently, BLACKPINK. The company came under scrutiny earlier this year after the “Burning Sun” scandal, in which reports emerged that drug use and sexual abuse had taken place at the Burning Sun nightclub, owned by Big Bang member Seungri. On Tuesday, June 11, a whistleblower filed a report with South Korea’s Anti-Corruption and Civil Rights Commission regarding alleged collusion by the label to cover up a drug offense by another artist, the rapper and singer-songwriter B.I of iKON, as Korea Herald reports. This development led to Yang Hyun-suk’s resignation earlier today.
A member of the seminal K-pop group Seo Taiji & Boys in the 1990s, Yang became a household name in Korea through YG and his tenure as a judge on various South Korean singing competition shows in the 2010s. In concluding his resignation statement, Yang wrote: “Finally—through thorough investigation of the media reports and the facts, I believe that the truth will come to light.”
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