BigBang Member G-Dragon Officially Departs YG Entertainment After Beating Drug-Use Investigation

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g-dragon yg entertainment split
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A live performance from G-Dragon, who’s parted ways with YG Entertainment. Photo Credit: Nicole Voon

Days after South Korean police cleared BigBang member G-Dragon on suspicion of drug use, the 35-year-old has exited YG Entertainment, the K-pop agency has confirmed.

G-Dragon’s win over drug-use allegations entered the media spotlight in reports from regional outlets earlier this week. But each of these sources seems to have touched upon only a portion of the multifaceted, long-running situation’s details while omitting various pieces of pertinent information.

According to the Korea Times, the drug-use investigation stemmed from allegations made by a bar hostess. This individual, the outlet communicated, told police that she had seen G-Dragon (real name Kwon Ji-yong) take illegal drugs at her place of employment way back in December of 2022.

The comments then set in motion the initially highlighted investigation, per reports. G-Dragon denied the claims when speaking with the media as well as police and, according to the Times, tested negative for illicit narcotics on multiple occasions after the fact.

Additionally, at least six individuals who accompanied or saw G-Dragon on the night of the alleged crime reportedly told police during interviews they hadn’t witnessed drug use on the part of the K-pop star.

On Monday, roughly one year following the purported criminal episode, besides these witness statements as well as the mentioned drug tests and police interviews, the artist was finally cleared by the Incheon Metropolitan Police Agency.

Not hesitating to make a major professional move, G-Dragon has reportedly parted ways with YG Entertainment to sign with a new K-pop agency called Galaxy Corporation.

This exit has arrived months after the reported expiration of G-Dragon’s YG contract and nearly 18 years after the debut of BigBang, which boasts 3.21 million monthly listeners on Spotify. While a number of K-pop-focused outlets have penned pieces about the split, G-Dragon doesn’t appear to have directly confirmed the news.

But YG indicated in a statement, published on its website and forwarded to media, that it wishes the “iconic” G-Dragon “blessings on his new start,” according to Google’s translation of the Korean-language text. “We ask for a lot of support and encouragement from our fans,” the brief message reads in conclusion.

Lastly, though Galaxy Corporation appears to have a decidedly light digital presence, the entity is reportedly preparing to hold a press conference about G-Dragon’s signing tomorrow. Even so, the artist himself won’t be on hand for the event, per the same reports.

Despite the news, the stock price of YG Entertainment (KRX: 122870) slipped only slightly during today’s trading. Earlier in December, when the company inked an expanded deal with Blackpink, shares recorded a double-digit valuation spike, however.