From left to right: Dara, CL, Bom & Minzy
|Origin||Seoul, South Korea|
2NE1 is a four-member South Korean girl group formed by YG Entertainment in 2009. The name, pronounced to anyone or twenty one, combines the phrases "21st century" and "new evolution. The band consists of CL, Minzy, Dara, and Bom.
First appearing in "Lollipop", a commercial campaign with Big Bang for LG Electronics, 2NE1's debut single "Fire" was released on May 6, 2009. Since then, the group has released two eponymous extended plays, 2NE1 (2009) and 2NE1 (2011), and two studio albums, To Anyone and Crush. Their first EP spawned the number-one single "I Don't Care", which won them the "Song of the Year" award at the 2009 Mnet Asian Music Awards. Their follow-up singles, such as "Go Away", "Lonely" and "I Am the Best" were similarly successful, with "I Am the Best" winning 2NE1 their second "Song of the Year" award in 2011.
2NE1 officially debuted in Japan in September 2011 with a Japanese version of their second extended play as Nolza. Since then, the group has released one studio album, Collection, and two physical singles in Japan. In 2012, The New York Times named 2NE1's performance at the Prudential Center in New Jersey as one of the "Best Concerts of 2012". In October 2012, Zack Greenburg of Forbes Magazine noted that 2NE1 has sold 27 million digital downloads.
- 1 History
- 1.1 Conception
- 1.2 2009: Debut and first Korean EP
- 1.3 2010: To Anyone
- 1.4 2011: Second Korean EP and Japanese debut
- 1.5 2012: Collection, I Love You & New Evolution
- 1.6 2013: English releases, 2NE1Loves, new singles
- 1.7 2014: Crush and AON: All or Nothing World Tour
- 1.8 2015: International Album and CL's solo album
- 2 Members
- 3 Artistry and influences
- 4 Discography
- 5 Tours
- 6 Filmography
- 7 Awards and recognition
- 8 References
- 9 External links
2NE1 was first mentioned by South Korean press in late 2004. YG Entertainment formally announced in early 2009 that the group would consist of four members and debut sometime in May of that year. The company stated that the group had trained for four years, and that their debut album would contain songs produced by 1TYM's leader Teddy Park. The group's name was initially announced as "21," however, due to the discovery of a singer with the same name, the group was quickly renamed "2NE1".
2009: Debut and first Korean EP
In collaboration with Big Bang, 2NE1's first CF song "Lollipop", was digitally released on March 27, 2009. The song was created for LG to promote their Cyon phone. The music video was released on March 28, 2009. Although it was not a promoted single because it was an advertisement (there were problems with network chart eligibility), "Lollipop" went to number one on various online charts and topped the online chart of music television network Mnet for four weeks in a row.
On April 30, YG Entertainment's CEO Yang Hyun-suk revealed that 2NE1's debut song would contain elements of hip-hop and reggae, and that it would be digitally released on May 6, 2009. Titled "Fire", the song was written and produced by 1TYM's Teddy Park. Teasers of the song were released on their official website at the beginning of May, with a 20-second clip released on May 1.
"Fire" was released as planned on May 6, with two versions of the music video — a "space" version and a "street" version — released on the same day. Within the first 24 hours of release, the videos each received over one million views. The group held their first performance of "Fire" on May 17, 2009, on SBS's Inkigayo, marking the start of the group's activities. A reality show, 2NE1TV, was also launched in May to assist in the group's debut promotions.
Both the song and the group became popular online: "Fire" topped Mnet's online chart and 2NE1 became a popular search term. The group was awarded three Cyworld Digital Music Awards; "Lollipop" and "Fire" both won "Song of the Month" award and the group won "Rookie of the Month" for May 2009 2NE1 received their first Mutizen award after their fourth stage performance in SBS's Inkigayo (Popular Song) on June 14. They received their second Mutizen award on the same show on June 21. Two days afterwards, 2NE1 signed a deal with Fila to become the models for their new commercial campaign.
"I Don't Care" was released as the group's second single on July 1, 2009 along with the group's first extended play. Promotions for their new release officially commenced in early July. Yang Hyun Suk stated that the song would demonstrate a softer, more feminine image of the group than illustrated by "Fire". A reggae version of "I Don't Care" was debuted with a performance on SBS's Inkigayo in September, signaling the end of promotions for the song. Due to the remix's popularity, it was released to digital outlets on September 3 and became their next digital single.
In August, after finishing "I Don't Care" promotions, 2NE1 took a temporary hiatus with each member releasing their own solo singles. Sandara Park was the first to release her own digital single, titled "Kiss", in September 2009. The song featured fellow member CL as a rapper and was used in a commercial for Cass Beer Park Bom's single "You and I" was released next in October 2009; it proved to be the most successful of the group's solo singles, peaking at number one on the Gaon Chart. CL collaborated with Minzy in the following month for their joint single "Please Don't Go."
Along with three other groups representing Korea, 2NE1 performed in the 6th Asia Song Festival in September 2009, where they received the 2009's "Asian Newcomer's Award." 2NE1 received many year-end awards. Their hit single "I Don't Care" was named 2009's best selling song on music sites Mnet, Bugs, Monkey3, and Cyworld and second on Melon's chart. Their debut EP also reached a milestone 100,000 sales by the end of the 2009.
2010: To Anyone
On February 9, 2010, without previous announcement, "Follow Me" (Korean: "날 따라해봐요", "Nal ddara haebwayo") was released to digital outlets and used as the promotional song for Samsung's Corby Folder. Over the summer of 2010, 2NE1 traveled to Los Angeles and London in order to record English songs for an American debut album with The Black Eyed Peas's member and music producer will.i.am. The group recorded a total of 10 songs in their initial sesions.
The group's first full length album, To Anyone, was released on September 9, 2010 and proved to be a huge success. Upon release of the album, it achieved an all-kill as all six new songs in the album stayed in the Top 10 on various music charts for one week. The album also charted at No.1 on the iTunes Hip-hop chart, No. 7 on Billboard World Albums Chart, No.1 on HMV Japan, aside from topping various charts in Korea. Prior to the release of the album, it had already received 120,000 pre-orders. The album eventually sold 150,000 copies by the end of the year.
The album contains 12 tracks, including three title tracks, "Clap Your Hands" (Korean: "박수 쳐"), "Go Away" and "Can't Nobody", which were promoted simultaneously. 2NE1 won first place on Mnet's M! Countdown for "Clap Your Hands" on the day of their comeback, followed by a K-Chart win the next day on KBS Music Bank for "Go Away", and a Mutizen a week after for their SBS Inkigayo performance of "Can't Nobody". Overall, 2NE1 won first place eleven times on various music shows throughout the promotional period for To Anyone.
To promote the album, the group made its first entertainment show appearance as a group on KBS variety-talk show Win Win while also airing the second season of 2NE1TV.
On October 21, Yang Hyun Suk announced that 2NE1 would be releasing a follow-up single on October 31, later revealed to be "It Hurts (Slow)" (Korean: "아파"). It was first performed on SBS's Inkigayo. The music video was directed by Kim Hye Jung, who also directed G-Dragon's "Butterfly." The music video was released on November 1 and utilized a Halloween theme.
In addition, on October 28, it was revealed that 2NE1 would release Japanese material under the Avex Group, and that To Anyone would be re-released in Japan on December 8, 2010. However, the release was later delayed to early 2011. Other non-Korean promotions took place in Thailand, where To Anyone was released on October 28, 2010. On November 26, 2NE1 released the single "Don't Stop the Music" as a "special gift for Thai fans" and as the promotional accompaniment to the group's Yamaha Fiore endorsement.
At the end of 2010, 2NE1 took home the "Artist of the Year" award and the "Album of the Year" award at the 2010 Mnet Asian Music Awards, thus making them the only artist to win all 3 grand awards at the said award ceremony.
2011: Second Korean EP and Japanese debut
On January 19, 2011, "Can't Nobody (English Version)" was released on the Japanese digital retailer Recochoku as a ringtone and ringback tone. On February 2, the "Can't Nobody (English Version)" music video was made available for download through iTunes Japan. On February 22, Avex announced that 2NE1 would release their Japanese debut single "Go Away", previously used as a Korean promotional single, as a ringtone on March 9, 2011. It was later announced to be the theme song of Japanese television program Mezamashi TV. On March 16, the group released 2NE1, their first extended play, in Japan, with no promotions because of the Tōhoku Earthquake and tsunami. It debuted at #24 on the Oricon charts, selling 3,860 copies in its first week of release. 2NE1 initially planned to make their official Japanese debut live on Music Station, but instead postponed their debut to the fall of 2011 due to the earthquake. 2NE1 participated in the Naver "Pray for Japan" campaign alongside many other Korean celebrities, helping to raise funds for earthquake victims.
On April 18, 2NE1 announced their plans for a Korean comeback, pushing the release of their second self-titled EP, 2NE1, forward from the fall to "May or June". Park Bom's second solo single, "Don't Cry", was unveiled on April 21, 2011. The song climbed to the top of the charts and achieved an "All-Kill" on Korea’s real-time music charts (Bugs, Melon, Soribada, Monkey3, Dosirak,) within 24 hours of its release. Later on, the song went on to achieve a perfect all-kill.
After Park Bom concluded her solo promotions by singing an acoustic version of "Don't Cry" on YG on Air, the group officially confirmed that a new single titled "Lonely" would be released on May 12, 2011. A behind-the-scenes video of "Lonely" was shown on the second episode of YG on Air, with the full music video being released on May 11, 2011 on 2NE1's official YouTube account. The song enjoyed similar success to "Don't Cry", ranking #1 on live, daily, and weekly music charts. The music video also garnered over 4 million views over the course of four days and ranked #1 on Korean video portals like Gom TV. Later on, the song achieved a perfect all-kill.
On June 24, 2NE1 released a single produced by Teddy Park at midnight, titled "I Am The Best". Within 24 hours of release, "I Am the Best" topped all the major Korean charts, except for Monkey3 where the song was ranked second. As the day progressed, the song ultimately became first and was certified as another "perfect all-kill" for the group. On July 21, 2NE1 released an animated music video directed by Mari Kim for their next single, "Hate You", which proved to be another success for the group, peaking at #3 on the Gaon Chart. On July 28, along with the release of the full mini-album, the single "Ugly" and its music video were released, and again 2NE1 topped all major Korean charts with the single. The album itself was also a major success, topping the Gaon Chart and selling over 85,000 copies by year's end and over 100,000 copies by September 2012. 2NE1 became the first K-pop artist in history to release and reach five straight "all-kill" singles. Promotions for 2NE1's second Korean mini-album officially concluded in late August. Following the end of promotions, 2NE1 held their first sold-out solo concert at the Olympic Hall in the Chamsil Olympic Park on August 26, 27 and 28 in Seoul, South Korea.
After concluding Korean promotions for their second extended play, 2NE1 made their official debut in Japan in September 2011. They kicked off their official debut with a Japanese version of 2NE1 (2011) as Nolza, which was promoted by the release of various singles throughout the summer of 2011 – including Japanese versions of "I Am the Best", "Hate You", and "Lonely". On the day of its release, 2NE1 scored high points on various music charts, and landed in second place on the Japanese iTunes chart and fourth place on the Oricon charts. They began their Japanese debut tour "‘2NE1 First Japan Tour – NOLZA" on September 19 and 20 at the Yokohama Arena, attracting a combined total of 10,000 fans. Altogether, 2NE1 held six concerts during their ‘2NE1 First Japan Tour – NOLZA’ at three locations, including Yokohama Arena (9/19 – 9/20), Kobe World Commemoration Hall (9/24 – 9/25), and Chiba’s Makuhari Messe Hall. The concerts attracted an impressive figure of 70,000 fans and marked a strong debut in Japan.
2NE1 released their first official Japanese single, a Japanese version of "Go Away", on November 18, 2011 in three versions, following their September 2011 Japanese mini-album promotions. The music video for the Japanese version of "Go Away" showcased the JS Collage Wings x 2NE1 sneakers designed by American designer Jeremy Scott, who has been a contributing factor in their style and global attention.
In October 2011, MTV Iggy, an international branch of MTV that promotes new international music, held a global competition with 10 bands from all around the world who competed in a voting competition for the "Best New Band". With their song "I Am the Best", 2NE1 were crowned winners of this title on November 10, 2011, making this their first US Award. 2NE1 performed at Times Square in December 2011 to accept the honor.
2012: Collection, I Love You & New Evolution
On March 28, 2012, 2NE1 released their first full-length Japanese album titled Collection along with their second Japanese single "Scream". The album includes Japanese remakes of their Korean songs such as "Love Is Ouch", "Fire", and "I Don't Care", and a cover of Madonna's 1984 hit song "Like A Virgin". Multiple editions of the album were released to include a DVD containing the groups Japanese and Korean music videos, according to Oricon's music website. The album peaked at #4 on the Oricon Daily Chart and went on to sell over 40,000 copies in Japan.
The group and their fellow label-mates Big Bang were invited to perform for the first time at 2012's Springroove festival in Japan alongside some of the top American and Japanese hip hop artists. The previous year, 2NE1 and GD&TOP were invited, but due to the Japan tsunami and earthquake tragedy, the festival was cancelled.
The group collaborated with Japanese hip-hop group M-Flo for the song "She's So (Outta Control)", which was featured on the Japanese group's sixth studio album Square One. The song was released as the leading track from the album, two weeks before the album's release on February 29, 2012. The song reached number 43 on the Billboard Japan Hot 100 chart.
On June 6, 2012, the group released a promotional single for the Intel Make Thumb Noise Project, titled "Be Mine."
2NE1 performed at the 2012 MTV Video Music Awards Japan, which took place on June 23, 2012 at the Makuhari Messe, to conclude initial Japanese promotions. They also won the 'Best New Artist Video' award for their song "I Am The Best". The group served as the public speakers for the 59th ‘Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival’ in France in June 2012, along with the nation’s top advertising agency "Cheil Worldwide", after having been picked as the favorite K-pop group by French Hallyu fans. The seminar they gave was titled, “Korean Wave Through Digital Wave.”
Also confirmed in June 2012 was that 2NE1's first world tour, the New Evolution World Tour, would begin in Seoul, South Korea on July 28 and visit New Jersey and California in the United States in the following month before a September Japanese leg. Jeremy Scott designed the costumes for the concert, with Divinity Roxx assisting in music for the concert.
On September 26, a Japanese-language version of "I Love You" was released as the group's third official Japanese single.
In August, 2NE1 embarked on the US leg of their New Evolution tour. On August 24, 2NE1 held an independent concert at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles. 6,680 of the 6,714 tickets put on sale were sold, bringing in a gross sales of $653,716, and ranking at #29 on Billboard’s Current Box Score. This made 2NE1 the first girl group to rank on Billboard‘s Current Box Score.
In late summer of 2012 the group appeared alongside Nicki Minaj and other artists including Big Sean and athlete Derrick Rose promoting their own line of Adidas, marking their first entrance into American pop culture. The full video features them dancing in the heart of Tokyo having an impromptu concert for surprise fans. 2NE1 has their own line of Adidas with Jeremy Scott.
In December, 2NE1 and Big Bang made MTV Style’s list of ‘Best Band Style of 2012′. The two YG Entertainment groups are the only Asian artists to make the list of 10, which includes One Direction, The Wanted, Backstreet Boys, Spice Girls, Destiny's Child, Fun and No Doubt.
Initially, the group's second full-length Korean album was due to be released in July 2012, but was delayed until October 2012, but was delayed again for a scheduled release date of early 2013. YG cited potential stresses on the group as a result of its New Evolution Global Tour for the reason behind the delays.
2013: English releases, 2NE1Loves, new singles
In December 2012, YG Entertainment CEO Yang Hyun Suk announced album production and promotion plans for 2NE1 during the first half of 2013. On February 18, 2013, CL revealed in a Billboard interview that the group's comeback was set for April, with a lead single and concept still to be chosen.
On March 14, 2NE1 released a full version of "Take The World On", which was a collaboration in English with American singer will.i.am. The song had previously been used in an Intel Ultrabook commercial On March 21, in an interview with Elle, CL confirmed that the group has not yet planned an album for the United States, but wanted to produce more songs in English. On April 16, the group collaborated with will.i.am on a second song called "Gettin' Dumb"; this time with his bandmate apl.de.ap. The song was the sixth track on will.i.am's second album #willpower, which was released on April 23.
In early May, YG Entertainment released a teaser image with the caption "Who's Next? 2013.05.28"; surrounding the text were the names of YG's artists, including 2NE1 and CL. The website "2NE1Loves.com" was launched and contained with a video teaser of CL with the song "I'm Busy" as a background instrumental, which was also posted to Vimeo. A subsequent teaser image was released, but had highlighted a smaller list of names, including 2NE1, CL, and Taeyang. 2NE1Loves.com released a video teaser with Dara. After several more promotional teaser images and video teasers, the project was revealed to be 2NE1 Loves Shinsegae, an endorsement for a department store and brand Chrome Hearts.
On May 15, YG Entertainment announced that CL would release her first solo single. Originally titled "Bad Girls", the single was renamed to "The Baddest Female" because K-pop artist Lee Hyori had just released a single with the same title. "The Baddest Female" was released on May 28.
Following an announcement on June 17 where Yang Hyun Suk planned to release four new tracks from the group, 2NE1 released the single "Falling in Love" on July 8. The song was well-received on many of South Korea's music portal sites, becoming the group's ninth number one single on the Gaon Singles Chart. The next single, "Do You Love Me" was announced on July 28, and released online on August 7.
The group announced that its next world tour would start in March 2014 in Korea and visit seven countries in Asia. The group's next single, "Missing You", was released on November 21. The song proved to be highly successful, topping the Gaon Singles Chart in its first week and holding the #2 spot in its second week. It serves as 2NE1's 10th number-one single to date as a group.
2014: Crush and AON: All or Nothing World Tour
On December 26, 2013, 2NE1 posted on YG Life a teaser image that listed some of the cities and venues for the group's next world tour. The AON: All or Nothing tour includes stops in China, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, Philippines, Japan, Malaysia and Indonesia, as well as possible venues in America. In February 2014, YG-Life announced the group's second studio album Crush, with its online release date adjusted to February 26, and its singles "Come Back Home" and "Happy" were released on March 2. Their third title track "Gotta Be You" was released on May 20.
On June 26, 2014, they released the Japanese version of "Crush" which charted at #2 on the 'Oricon Daily Album Chart' and #1 on Japan's 'iTunes Top Pop Albums Chart' on the day of its release!
2015: International Album and CL's solo album
CL is set to release her debut album in 2015 after signing up to Scooter Braun's management.  Despite this their single, I Am The Best, was released December 11th in the States under Capitol records, with the announcement of an intentional album by the entire group. 
Artistry and influences
2NE1 debuted with a strong hip-hop sound in "Fire," a song that topped Korea's monthly chart.
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In 2NE1's debut EP 2NE1 (2009), the group was noted to have a distinct, mixed style. While "Lollipop" was categorized as for pop, debut single "Fire" is predominately influenced by hip hop. "I Don't Care," however, was intended as a song with a reggae feel.
Their comeback album, To Anyone, was marked by a strong shift into electronic music. "Go Away", the most successful promotional single from the album, is classified as dance. However, songs like "It Hurts (Slow)" are R&B, another style that also characterized their first EP. The three title tracks, "Clap Your Hands," "Go Away," and "Can't Nobody" were noted for their lasting impressions, as they topped music charts weeks after release.
Thematically, 2NE1's music explores independence and female empowerment, such as in songs like "Go Away" and "I Don't Care".
2NE1 is known for a "unique and edgier style". During their debut single, the group was noted for being "hip-hop" and the female counterpart to Big Bang but changed this perception with "I Don't Care" into strong, feminine women. During the "It Hurts (Slow)" music video, the members were noted for their Gothic, black attire and strange hair and wigs. Zack Greenburg from the American business magazine Forbes described 2NE1 as a pop group characterized by bold, bright outfits and big, catchy hooks punctuated by rap verses and an "in-your-face swagger". He also considers the group to be "bigger than Psy", singer of the worldwide hit single Gangnam Style.
2NE1 recorded R&B songs with styles that encompasses urban, contemporary and dance-pop. They have stated that Destiny's Child, Spice Girls and TLC are girl group influences.
Park Bom cited American singers, Beyoncé and Mariah Carey as her main influences because of their strong vocals and powerful performances. She has listed hip hop and R&B as her favorite music genres. Youngest member Minzy cited famous entertainer Michael Jackson, Kelly Rowland, while leader CL said producer Teddy Park and American entertainers Madonna, Lady Gaga and Lauryn Hill are her role models. Dara states that singer-actress Uhm Jung-hwa is her inspiration, and idolizes Regine Velasquez. She also enjoys Britney Spears's style and music, citing her as a role model, whose songs she often sang to while growing up, during American interviews stateside for their New Evolution World Tour stop in California.
- NOLZA (2011)
- NOLZA in Japan (2011)
- New Evolution World Tour (2012)
- AON: All or Nothing World Tour (2014)
- YG Family Concert (2010)
- YG Family 15th Anniversary Concert (2011–2012)
- 2009 Style (cameo)
- 2009 Girlfriends (cameo)
- 2009 2NE1TV
- 2010 2NE1TV Season 2
- 2011 2NE1TV Live: Worldwide (season 3)
Awards and recognition
When the group debuted, their song "Fire" and the subsequent live performances were dubbed unconventional and impressive. They won many awards on the weekly music shows, such as The Music Trend and Music Bank. "Fire" also brought them the Song of the Month and Rookie of the Month awards for May. "I Don't Care" brought them similar success and recognition and led 2NE1 to win the Song of the Year award at the 2009 Mnet Asian Music Awards. The same year, the group earned Cyworld Digital Music Awards for Top Selling Artist, Best Rookie Group, Bonsang Award, and Best Song for "I Don't Care". The group was also nominated at the 2009 Golden Disk Awards for the Popularity Award, Rookie Award, and the Digital Bonsang. At the Melon Music Awards, the group was one and the only rookie of the Top 10 artists in South Korea and the Best New Artist. They won This Year’s Stage, This Year's Album, This Year's Song on 2009 GQ Awards. They received 4 out of 10 nominations on Rhythmer Awards 2009 including Rookie of the Year, R&B Artist of the Year, R&B Single of the Year for "I Don't Care" and R&B Album of the Year for their 1st Mini Album. Rhythmer.net is famous for hip-hop and R&B promotion for both mainstream and underground Korean music.
2NE1 won their first Artist of the Year and Album of the Year award for To Anyone at the 2010 Mnet Asian Music Awards, in addition to awards for Best Female Group and Best music video for "Can't Nobody". They are the first artist who has won all 3 grand awards at Mnet Asian Music Awards.
On November 29, 2011, 2NE1 won the Best Vocal Performance by a Group for their song "Lonely" and was awarded their 2nd Song of the Year for "I Am the Best" at the 2011 Mnet Asian Music Awards. After 2011, 2NE1 has won the most grand awards in MAMA history with 4 wins (2 Song of the Years, 1 Album of the Year and 1 Artist of the Year).
- "2NE1 Comes Out on Top at Music Bank". The Korea Times. July 18, 2009.
"2NE1 officially to land to Vietnam on November 18", Thanh Niên, by: Hà Uyên, date: 2011-11-11.
"여자 빅뱅, '21(To Anyone)'으로 공식명칭 확정" (in Korean). The Chosun Ilbo. March 27, 2009. Retrieved May 22, 2009.. "To anyone" and "twenty-one" are written the same way in hangul except for spacing.
- "The Best Concerts of 2012, as Seen by Times Critics". The New York Times. Retrieved January 6, 2013.
This was the year K-pop arrived — not in the form of “Gangnam Style,” which was everywhere and yet completely evanescent — but in these arena shows, which were full of thousands of young, paying fans eager to see the girls of 2NE1 and the boys of BigBang, groups with zero American hits between them, but rabid American followings all the same.
- Greenburg, Zack (October 16, 2012). "Bigger Than Psy: 2NE1 And The Future Of K-Pop". Forbes Magazine. Retrieved January 25, 2013.
Known by many as the Korean version of the Spice Girls, the group has sold 27 million digital downloads to date, including the single “I Am The Best,” which moved 4.5 million units
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