K-pop mogul resigns as drug, sex scandals rock YG Entertainment


YG Entertainment founder and chief producer Yang Hyun-suk. Reuters/file

K-pop mogul Yang Hyun-suk resigned Friday as head of South Korea’s major record agency YG Entertainment amid drug and sex scandals that have rocked his company.

Yang, founder and chief producer of YG Entertainment, said he would “step down from all positions and responsibilities” in the agency effective Friday.

His younger brother Yang Min-suk, who is the company CEO, also announced his resignation.

Himself a member of the popular boyband Seo Tae Ji and Boys in the 1990s, Yang Hyun-suk developed YG into a K-pop powerhouse with the success of idol groups such as BIGBANG and BLACKPINK.

YG was also behind the 2012 mega hit “Gangnam Style” by Psy that elevated the standing of K-pop to another level.

“I have dedicated the last 23 years of my life to YG Entertainment,” Yang, 49, said in a statement.

But he could no longer withstand “humiliating” allegations of his involvement in a drug scandal that have been “taken as if they were true”, he added.

The announcement came after a report by South Korean broadcaster KBS that Yang had tried to silence a person who had provided illegal drugs to one of his artists.

YG Entertainment, considered one of South Korea’s top three entertainment agencies alongside SM and JYP, has been in hot water after some of its singers were implicated in a spate of scandals.

K-pop star Seungri, a BIGBANG member whose real name is Lee Seung-hyun, retired from show business in March after he was accused of arranging sex services for potential investors in his business.

Fellow YG artist Kim Han-bin, a member of boyband iKon, left the group on Wednesday amid allegations he had bought illegal drugs three years ago in a case Yang is accused of trying to cover up.


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