Kang Dae-sung (Hangul: 강대성; born April 26, 1989), better known by his stage name Daesung and his Japanese stage name D-Lite, is a South Korean singer, actor and television host who made his musical debut in 2006 as a member of the South Korean boy band Big Bang under the record label YG Entertainment. He debuted as a solo artist in South Korea with the number one trot song “Look at Me, Gwisoon” in 2008. Since the inception of the Gaon Digital Chart in 2010, Daesung achieved two Top 10 songs, the digital single “Cotton Candy” and “Wings” from the Big Bang album Alive (2012).
In 2013, he released his first solo album in Japan, D’scover, under the label YGEX and embarked on his first Japanese tour. The following year, he released two more albums, D’slove and his first chart-topper, Delight. D’slove Tour made him the first Korean soloist to gather over 100,000 fans for two Japanese tours in a row. In 2017, he held his first solo Japanese dome tour, performing for over 150,000 people from four shows, and released his second number one album, D-Day, that made him the second foreign male solo artist to have two consecutive number one albums in Japan after Michael Jackson.
In South Korean television, he was a part of the main cast of the top-rated comedy show Family Outing from 2008 to 2010, the musical drama series What’s Up (2011), and was one of the hosts of the talk show Night After Night (2010).
Daesung was born in Itaewon and attended high school at Kyeongin High School, but dropped out after a year to focus on his activities with Big Bang. Eventually, he passed his college entrance exams in 2008 and got admitted into the post-modern music department at Kyung Hee University in 2008.
Although his parents were strongly against the idea of him becoming a singer, Daesung pursued a singing career and was eventually recruited by YG Entertainment after auditioning. He later appeared on a reality show which documented the formation of Big Bang with five other trainees: G-Dragon, T.O.P, Taeyang, Seungri, and So-1 (Hyunseung). Hyunseung was eventually dropped and Big Bang debuted in 2006 with five members. Big Bang made their first appearance as a group on August 19, 2006, at YG Family’s 10th Anniversary concert. On September 23, 2006, they had their debut performance on television broadcast.
Big Bang’s debut was fairly successful, with their first single netting in sales of over 40,000 copies. It spawned several airplay titles, including “La La La”, “We Belong Together” and “Forever with You” which featured label-mate Park Bom. Daesung also recorded his first solo song “Try Smiling” (Korean: 웃어본다; Revised Romanization: Useo Bonda) for Big Bang’s first album Since 2007. The group’s breakthrough came with the release of their first extended play, Always (2007), which included the number one song “Lies” (Korean: 거짓말; Revised Romanization: Geojitmal). The song went on to top major Korean music charts for a record-breaking seven consecutive weeks, Their following EPs followed its predecessor’s footsteps: Hot Issue yielded “Last Farewell” (Korean: 마지막 인사; Revised Romanization: Majimak Insa) while Stand Up spawned “Day by Day” (Korean: 하루하루; Revised Romanization: Haru Haru); both singles were chart-toppers.
Shortly after the debut of Big Bang, Daesung was diagnosed with voice chord nodules. For nearly a year, he struggled with his voice and developed sociophobia and stage fright. However, he was able to recover with the help of fellow singer and label-mate Gummy, who had been previously diagnosed with the illness, and the two became close because of this situation. Before the release of Big Bang’s second album, Daesung’s condition improved drastically.
Daesung released his first trot single “Look at Me, Gwisoon” (Korean: 날봐, 귀순; Revised Romanization: Nal Bwa Gwisun) in 2008. He stated that although he was worried about dampening the group’s image, he wanted to try something different. The same year, he joined SBS reality variety show Family Outing as a permanent cast member. He also made his musical debut in Korean production of Cats, playing the role of Rum Tum Tugger. Daesung then became a host for MBC’s music program Show! Music Core, alongside fellow member Seungri.
Daesung released his second trot single titled “Big Hit” (Korean: 대박이야; Revised Romanization: Daebakiya) in 2009. He was also scheduled to join bandmate Seungri in the autobiographical musical Shouting. In August 2009, however, Daesung was injured in a car accident shortly before the musical opened. He was returning to Seoul from a filming location for Family Outing when the accident occurred on the Pyeongtaek Express highway, Gyeonggi Province. The van hit the guardrail as it skidded in the pouring rain, according to YG Entertainment. Daesung, who was in the passenger seat, broke his nose, injured his back, and sustained minor bruises on his face and arms. Daesung fully recovered and made his return to Big Bang in October 2009, joining the group to perform at the Dream Concert.
Daesung released a new single, “Cotton Candy” (Korean: 솜사탕), at the end of January 2010. It was composed by Jung Ji-chen, with Daesung penning the lyrics.
In 2010, Daesung began his shoot for MBC’s pre-produced musical drama What’s Up, written by Song Ji-na. It started airing on MBN channel on December 3, 2011. “Lunatic”, a track sung by Daesung for the drama’s OST, was also released online on the same day. Since November 2010, Daesung also became a host for the variety-talk show Night After Night. That same year, Daesung recorded a duet with Family Outing co-star Lee Hyori titled “How Did We Get”, featured on the latter’s album.
In 2011, Daesung released a solo song, “Baby Don’t Cry”, which was included in Big Bang’s 4th mini album. The song was first performed in Big Show 2011 concert in February.
Daesung had his first public appearance after the incident on November 6, 2011 when he attended the MTV Europe Music Awards in Belfast, Northern Ireland. From December 2011 to January 2012, he also performed for YG Family concerts which took place in South Korea and Japan. Daesung made a comeback with the rest of the Big Bang members in March 2012 with their new mini-album Alive, which includes a solo track sung by Daesung titled “Wings”, an “uplifting rock ballad” that received positive reviews.
Daesung released his first solo Japanese album, D’scover on February 27, 2013. It has a total of 12 tracks with mostly remakes of Japanese originals, and also includes Daesung’s solo tracks, “Wings” and “Baby Don’t Cry”. D’scover ranked No. 2 on Oricon Albums Chart. and also ranked No. 2 on Oricon Weekly Album Chart. It was then announced that Daesung would hold a total of four solo concerts at Kobe and Tokyo to promote the album. However, due to popular demand, an additional 21 concerts over 17 cities were added, bringing the total to 25 concerts over 18 cities. The D’scover Tour kicked off on March 23 at Kobe’s World Memorial Hall and ended on June 18 at Kanagawa’s Yokohama Arena, with an attendance of 100,000 fans.
In February 2014, YGEX announced that Daesung will hold a second tour in Japan. The D’slove 2014 in Japan tour kick start on June 11, 2014 at the Yokohama Arena. The same day, he released a mini digital album Rainy Rainy containing 4 songs, to celebrate the start of his tour. The album topped Japan’s iTunes charts.
Daesung released his second Japanese album, D’slove on July 16. The album ranked No. 1 on Oricon’s Daily Album Chart on the day of release with total of 30,090 copies sold. The track “I Love You”, featuring Taro Hakase, was released as a physical single and peaked at number five in Oricon’s Weekly Album Chart. To support his album, Daesung continued with his second Japanese tour, visiting 9 cities and drew a total of 170,000 fans from 17 shows. Daesung become the first K-Pop artist to bring in more than 100,000 fans to his concert tour for two consecutive years.
On October 19, Daesung released his third Japanese mini-album, Delight (Japanese:『でぃらいと』). The album includes 9 version of 4 songs; containing remakes of his Korean trot singles and cover songs of famous Japanese songs from 70s. He received good comments from the 2 original singers. Delight topped the Oricon Daily Albums Chart on the day of its release, with 65,048 copies sold. The album eventually ranked No. 64 on the Oricon Yearly Album Chart with 79,000 copies sold, the highest ranking achieved by the singer so far.
To thank fans for their support, YGEX announced that Daesung will hold an encore solo concert in Japan. The concerts were held at Yoyogi National Stadium on January 31 and February 1, 2015 and then at Osaka-jō Hall on February 10 and 11. On the 2nd show at Yoyogi, Linda Yamamoto, who is the original singer of the song “Donimo Tomaranai”, made a surprise appearance.
On December 2, 2016, YGEX announced that Daesung would be holding his first solo dome tour in Japan, titled the D-lite Japan Dome Tour 2017. The tour started at the Seibu Prince Dome on April 15 and 16, and was completed at the Kyocera Dome on April 22 and 23. The tour attracted 150,000 fans to the two cities. Later, YGEX announced that Daesung will embark on a nationwide hall tour named DNA Show Vol.1, with 28 shows to start on August. As more than 350,000 people applied to buy tickets to his concerts, which was six times bigger than the expected, eleven additional shows were announced, totalizing 39 concerts in 18 cities, making it his biggest tour in the country. A total of 88,000 fans are expected to attended.
His second Japanese mini-album, named D-Day, was released simultaneously in South Korea and Japan on April 12, 2017. The album contained seven songs written and composed by top Japanese artists, including Ayaka, Hata Motohiro, Kameda Seiji, and Daesung himself. D-Day peaked at number one in the Oricon Albums Chart and on the Billboard Japan Albums chart.
Daesung was featured on an official cover album of the Japanese band Dreams Come True, covering the song “Egao no Yukue” (笑顔の行方, “The Direction of My Smiling Face”), originally released in 1990. He also released the digital extended play Delight 2 on October 12, 2017, containing three covers and one original song. Upon release, the EP topped several Japanese online music services. Due to its popularity it was announced that Delight 2 would be released in a physical format on December 20 with seven additional tracks. Upon its physical release, the EP debuted at number three on Oricon, with 45,267 copies sold.
Daesung began his two-year mandatory military service on March 13, 2018 by entering the 27th Infantry Division’s boot camp in Hwacheon, Gangwon Province as an active duty soldier, where he is set to be discharged on December 13, 2019 after completing the requirements.
On May 31, 2011 Daesung was involved in a car accident in which a motorcyclist died. An investigation cleared the singer of charges, but he had to suspend his public activities with Big Bang for a period of time.
Daesung is a devout Christian, and said that his faith was a big influence in re-evaluating his life after a tragic life event.