Billboard recognizes YG CEO as ‘international power player’

By Korea Herald
  • Published : Jan 20, 2014 - 19:19
  • Updated : Jan 20, 2014 - 19:19
Yang Hyun-suk. (Yonhap News)
YG Entertainment CEO and producer Yang Hyun-suk has been recognized by U.S. Billboard magazine as an “international power player” for bringing about significant changes in the dynamics of the world music market.

According to a press release on Saturday by YG Entertainment, Yang was the only South Korean leader on the list of “international power players” recognizing world-renowned leaders in the music business. The list was compiled for the first time by Billboard magazine and Midem, an annual international exhibition and conference dedicated to the music industry.

Notable music business leaders listed alongside Yang included AVEX CEO Matsuura, Sony Music U.K. CEO Nick Gatfield, SYCO Entertainment CEO Simon Cowell and Live Nation Europe CEO John Reid. Live Nation cooperated with YG Entertainment in preparing the world tours of Big Bang and 2NE1.

Billboard described Yang as the K-pop star who established the genre of modern pop in South Korea with his debut as a member of the ’90s hit group Seotaiji and Boys, as well as his achievements as the founder of YG Entertainment.

The music magazine not only introduced Yang but also spotlighted YG artists who have become K-pop’s most popular acts globally, including Psy, whose hallmark songs “Gangnam Style” and “Gentleman” ranked No. 1 on Billboard’s “Korea Hot 100” music chart, and Big Bang, whose world tour attracted more than 800,000 fans in 12 countries, according to YG Entertainment.

Highlighting YG’s success, Billboard magazine recently recognized the top 10 best-selling K-pop songs in the U.S. in 2013, seven of which were songs by YG artists including Psy, Big Bang and 2NE1. The first and second places went to Psy’s “Gangnam Style” and “Gentleman,” respectively, while the third spot went to Big Bang’s “Fantastic Baby.” 2NE1’s “I Am the Best” ranked sixth while 2NE1 leader CL’s “The Baddest Female” placed seventh. The eighth berth was captured by Psy’s “Right Now,” while 2NE1’s “Falling in Love” took 10th place.

Yang expressed high hopes for another fruitful year for the company: “Entertainment business is not limited to one country. With Psy’s success, the world turned their attention to GD, Taeyang, Big Bang, CL and 2NE1. The year 2014 will be a year of great success and achievement for YG.”

By Sohn Ji-young (jiyoung.sohn@heraldcorp.com)