Big Bang’s follow up releases furthered their success and popularity, spawning chart-topping hits “Last Farewell” and “Haru Haru.” After receiving the Artist of the Year award from the 2008 Mnet Korean Music Festival, the group expanded their endeavors to Japan, winning three awards at the 9th MTV Video Music Awards Japan. Amidst their Japanese promotions, the members branched out to do solo activities; Taeyang and G-Dragon released solo albums, G-Dragon and T.O.P formed a sub-unit, Seungri and Daesung acted in musicals and hosted variety shows, and T.O.P became a highly acclaimed film star.
After a two-year hiatus in South Korea, Big Bang reunited in 2011 with their album Tonight. Promotions, however, were cut short when multiple members encountered legal issues. By the end of the year, Big Bang emerged as the inaugural Best Worldwide Act winner at the 2011 MTV Europe Music Awards. Three months after their win in Europe, Big Bang released their most successful physical album, Alive, the first Korean album to chart on Billboard 200, before embarking on their first ever world tour which concluded in early 2013. Labeled as the "Nation's Boy Band," the members’ involvement in composing and producing their own music, most notably G-Dragon’s, has earned the group respect and praise from the music industry. They currently hold the record for being the all-time best-selling artist in Cyworld.
Prior to the group's debut, a few of the members were already exposed to the entertainment industry. G-Dragon and Taeyang were the first ones to receive training under YG Entertainment at the age of eleven. T.O.P was an underground rapper under the stage name "Tempo". One of his most popular track was "Buckwild" with NBK Gray. After G-Dragon was approached by YG-Entertainment for possible candidates to start a boy group, G-Dragon contacted T.O.P, with whom he was childhood friend with, leading to the latter to audition in. Seungri first appeared on the reality television series Let's Cokeplay: Mnet Battle Shinhwa, a show in which idol group Shinhwa search for members to make up the "second-generation Shinhwa." The original lineup consisted of 6 members: the aforementioned ones along with Daesung and So-1, who were both auditioned in. Their formation was documented on television; prior to their official debut, So-1 was dropped.
Big Bang held their official debut on August 19, 2006 at the Gymnastics Arena in Seoul Olympic Park during the YG Family 10th Year Concert. On September 23, 2006, the group had their debut performance on television broadcast. Following the performance, the group's first single, Bigbang, was released. It contained the songs "We Belong Together", featuring labelmate Park Bom; "A Fool's Only Tears" (Korean: 눈물뿐인 바보; Revised Romanization: Nunmulppunin Babo); and "This Love", an adaptation of the American rock band Maroon 5 song, rewritten and performed by G-Dragon. The single went on to sell nearly 40,000 copies. The second single, BigBang Is V.I.P, was released in September, eventually topping 32,000 copies sold. Their last single, Bigbang 03, followed, with final sales nearing 40,000 copies. At the end of December 2006, Big Bang held their very first concert, The Real. The following month, their debut album, Since 2007, was released, selling 48,000 copies by the end of February 2007.
Beginning from January 20, 2012, YG Entertainment began releasing teasers for Big Bang's 5th EP Alive, which was released in both digital and physical formats on February 29. Preorders for Alive amounted to 260,000 copies in two weeks. Its lead single, "Blue", was released a week prior to the album's release and has reached the number one position on all major domestic charts. The EP was a commercial success, selling in excess of 200,000 copies in its first month of release. Internationally, Big Bang obtained 5 spots out of the Top 10 on Billboard K-pop's Hot 100 and charted at 150 on Billboard 200, making them the first Korean artist with a Korean album to do so. Their popularity also boosted them onto the Billboard Social 50, entering at #24. They later received recognition from notable sites such as Time magazine, and a photo was featured on the Grammy Awards homepage.
The album release coincided with their annual concert, Big Show 2012, held at Seoul Olympic Park Stadium from March 2–4 to a sold-out crowd of 40,000 fans. This marked the official kick off of their first world tour Big Bang Alive Galaxy Tour 2012, in partnership with Live Nation. It was directed by renowned choreographer Laurieann Gibson, with Big Bang performing at 21 cities over 13 countries. Concert footage from Big Show was broadcast in 160 countries through MTV World Stage, which pushed the promotion for their world tour. On March 6, 2012, the music video for "Fantastic Baby" was released on YouTube. This is currently the band's most popular song, having received more than one hundred eleven million views on YouTube.
The Japanese version of Alive was released on March 28 both digitally and physically, with 2 additional Japanese tracks. Included with the physical copy of their album was a bonus Japanese version of their hit song, Haru Haru. It sold over 23,000 copies on its first day of release and peaked at #2 on the Oricon charts. It eventually sold over 200,000 copies total and has since been certified gold by the RIAJ. Japanese promotions began with a performance at 2012's Springroove Festival alongside top American and Japanese hip hop artists. Big Bang was the first Korean act to be invited along with label-mates 2NE1. Following the success of their comeback, Big Bang released a special edition album titled Still Alive, on June 3. It featured four new tracks including two new Korean tracks of which their lead single was titled "Monster," as well as Korean remakes of the two additional tracks in the Japanese version of Alive. The album sold over 100,000 copies in its first month of release. A special Monster edition of their Japanese Alive album was also released on June 20, following its Korean counterpart.
The success of their special edition album further boosted the group's global recognition, peaking at #11 on the Billboard Social 50.The group toured extensively throughout the rest of the year, spanning several countries: Japan (May to June), China (July to August), South East Asia (September to October), and the Americas (November). After touring the Americas, the group went back to Japan for their "Special Final in Dome Tour," stopping at some of the largest stadiums in Japan including Osaka Dome, Tokyo Dome and Fukuoka Dome. Big Bang also performed in Hong Kong and England in December 2012. One concert was scheduled in London, England but another date was added to their tour due to popular demand. The group concluded the tour with concerts in Osaka in mid-January along with a three night stint at the Olympic Gymnastics Arena in Seoul later that month. On November 30, 2012, Big Bang received a total of three awards at the 14th Mnet Asian Music Awards, including Best Male Group and Artist of the Year. Leader, G-Dragon, also took home Best Male Solo award at the event. They also received the Best Fan category award at the Italian TRL Awards.
The following year, the members took a break from group activities to release and promote their own materials, including Daesung's first album D'scover, Seungri's second EP, Let's Talk About Love, and G-Dragon's second album, Coup D'Etat. T.O.P involved himself with the film, The Commitment, and also released the song "Doom Dada", while Taeyang returned as a solo artist with the release of his song, "Ringa Linga."
In April 2015 YG Entertainment released a statement about the band's return with a new studio album, Made, which will be released on 1 September. Prior to that, special "project singles" will be released from the album, on the first day of each month, starting from 1 May with the single "M", followed up by "A", "D" and "E".