Big Bang vs. EXO

Big Bang vs. EXO
South Korean K-pop group Exo (top) and K-pop boyband Big Bang (bottom).

This spring will bring not only a frosty breeze, but also a nip-and-tuck battle between popular boy bands EXO and Big Bang.

Both the 10-member EXO and five-member Big Bang will make their long-awaited returns to the music scene in March, heralding the fierce competition to win the hearts of K-pop fans.

EXO plans to start fresh as a 10-member group and release a new album in March.

The boy band had a turbulent year in 2014, losing two Chinese members -? Kris and Luhan. The idols filed for termination of their contracts, citing what they called unfair treatment and exploitation of human rights.

The ruckus, however, did not seem to deal a blow to EXO's steadfast popularity.

The boys dominated year-end music awards with their third EP "Overdose," proving their elevated standing across Asia.

Just in time for the album release, EXO will hold the second exclusive concert "EXO PLANET #2 - The EXO'luXion" on March 7-8 and 14-15 at the Olympic Gymnastics Arena in eastern Seoul.

Another sought-after band Big Bang, which has been actively pursuing activities individually and in subgroups, will likely release a new album in mid-March.

"We are working on a new album.

Our comeback has been delayed because we want to bring you good music, but we are not ready yet," Big Bang leader G-Dragon said in an interview last November.

YG Entertainment also backed his claim, saying that its recording studios are working around the clock as the company's male artists prepare new releases.

Big Bang's return as a group is attracting the spotlight as some of its members put out highly successful albums last year.

Its subunit GD X TAEYANG, composed of G-Dragon and Taeyang, topped local music charts and TV programs with its track "Good Boy" last December. Taeyang also made a splash across Asia with his solo award-winning track "Eyes, Nose, Lips."

(laeticia.ock@heraldcorp.com)

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