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Dong Youngbae (born May 18, 1988), better known by his stage name Taeyang (Hangul: 태양, Hanja: 太陽, meaning Solar) or Sol, and is a South Korean recording artist and model. After appearing in Jinusean's music video "A-yo", Taeyang began training under YG Entertainment at the age of 12 alongside fellow member and leader G-Dragon. After six years of vocal and dance training, he made his debut in 2006 as a member of popular Korean boy band, Big Bang.
2000—2008: Early beginnings and debut with Big Bang
Main article: Big Bang (Korean band)
Taeyang's first appearance in the entertainment industry was with Maddie in the hip-hop group Jinusean's music video "A-yo". The collaboration eventually lead him to successfully auditioning into the group's record label YG Entertainment, where he became one of the rappers alongside fellow trainee G-Dragon and former trainee (now a member of 2PM) Kim Junsu. The two were later coined as GDYB. In 2003, Taeyang provided the rap verse in singer Wheesung's single "Player" on the latter's second album.
Although Taeyang was scheduled to debut alongside G-Dragon as the duo GDYB, the plan was scrapped by their record label. Instead, they were joined by four other trainees (T.O.P., Daesung, Seungri, and Hyun Seung) to form the group Big Bang. The group's formation was documented on television as a documentary. Before their official debut, however, Hyun Seung was dropped and their final lineup consisted of five members. Choosing the stage-name Taeyang (Korean: 태양, meaning sun), Taeyang abandoned the idea of rapping to focus on singing. Their first album, Since 2007, was a fair success, and included Taeyang's first solo song "Ma Girl." The group achieved mainstream success with the release of the song "Lies" (Korean: 거짓말; Revised Romanization: Geojitmal) from their 2007 mini-album Always, which topped several charts upon its release. The singles, "Last Farewell" (Korean: 마지막 인사; Revised Romanization: Majimak Insa) from the mini-album Hot Issue and "Day by Day" (Korean: 하루하루; Revised Romanization: Haru Haru) from Stand Up, became chart-toppers as well.
2008—present: Solo career establishment
After contributing to singer Lexy's album, Taeyang was scheduled to release a solo album. Initially scheduled for a September release, the project was pushed back due to conflicting schedules with his group. Taeyang released his debut mini-album Hot on May 22, 2008, backed by a production team that included 1TYM's Teddy Park, Yang Hyun Suk, Kush, and his fellow member G-Dragon.[nb 1] Moving beyond the hip-hop genre of Big Bang, Taeyang incorporated mainly R&B songs into his album, stating that it was his "main focus". He expressed disappointment with the album, however, admitting that he did not write any of the songs. He later stated that he would do so in the future to fully express and corporate his "thoughts and ideas" into his music.
The first single released was "Only Look At Me" (Korean: 나만 바라봐), an R&B song written by Teddy and Kush. G-Dragon later recorded a "Part Two" version to the song. The second single was "Prayer (Korean: 기도)" which featured Teddy of 1TYM. Promotional videos were shot for both. In support of his album, he also staged his first solo concert, Hot. Later on, Taeyang received two awards from the 7th Korean Music Awards: Best R&B/Soul Song for "Only Look At Me" and Best R&B/Soul Album. Taeyang is the first "Idol group" or boyband member to receive such awards.
Throughout the majority of 2009, Taeyang contributed to his group's activities, recording the song "Lollipop" with his group and labelmate 2NE1. He later flew to Japan to promote the group's Japanese albums. After Big Bang's activities have ended, he went back to the studio to prepare for his next solo activities. Taeyang released his first digital single "Where U At", followed by another digital single, "Wedding Dress". Promotional videos were filmed for both "Where U At" and "Wedding Dress." "Wedding Dress" was voted #3 on an online poll for a Dutch radio station.
Taeyang's first full-length album Solar was released on July 1, 2010. Two versions of this album - the "Regular Edition" and the "Deluxe Edition" - was released. The regular edition contained 11 songs, while the deluxe edition, limited to 30,000 copies worldwide, had 13 songs, including "Only Look At Me" and "Prayer" from Hot. On the first day of sales for the limited deluxe edition, the 30,000 copies released by YG entertainment were sold out in both online and offline stores. The album was later released on iTunes, charting at the number-two spot on the iTunes' Top R&B-Soul albums chart in the United States and number-one in Canada's, making him the first Asian musician to do so. Two singles were released for promotions: "I Need A Girl" featuring bandmate G-Dragon and "I'll Be There." At the end of 2010, Taeyang won the "Best Male Artist" award at the 2010 Mnet Asian Music Awards at the end of the year.
Currently, Taeyang is scheduled to release his third solo album sometime in 2012.
Main article: Taeyang discography
See also: Big Bang discography
2001 Besame Mucho
2001 Jinusean - "AYO" Younger version of Sean
2003 1TYM - "Hot" Himself
2011 Tablo - "Tomorrow" Himself
- The 6th Korean Music Awards: Best R&B/Soul Song - 나만 바라봐 (Only Look At Me)
- The 6th Korean Music Awards: Best R&B/Soul Album - Hot
- 2008 Naver Music Song of the Year – "Only Look At Me"
- 12th Mnet Asian Music Awards: Best Male Singer Award
- 2010 Allkpop Awards: Best Male Solo Artist
- 8th Korean Music Awards: Male Musician of the Year Netizen Vote
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Love HIM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! His song I'll be there was one of the first K-pop songs i ever heard. Can't say its the first for sure because I truly can't not remember which was my first. BUT LOVE HIM!!!! Before I knew there was a big bang I knew there was a Taeyang, and I found out he was really popular from my friend :)