CL (singer)

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This is a Korean name; the family name is Lee.
Lee Chae-Rin.jpg
CL in 2011
Background information
Native name 이채린
Birth name Lee Chae-rin
Born (1991-02-26) February 26, 1991 (age 24)
Seoul, South Korea
Instruments Vocals
Years active 2007–present
Labels YG Entertainment, School Boy
Associated acts
Korean name
Hanja 李彩麟
Revised Romanization I Chae-rin
McCune–Reischauer Yi Ch'ae-rin

Lee Chae-rin (born February 26, 1991[1]), better known by her stage name CL, is a South Korean rapper and singer-songwriter.[2] She was born in Seoul, South Korea and spent much of her early life in Japan and France, where she learned English, French and Japanese.[3] She previously trained in JYP Entertainment before joining YG Entertainment. In 2009, she officially debuted as a member of the South Korean girl group 2NE1, along with label mates Sandara Park, Minzy and Park Bom.[4]


Early life and career[edit]

CL was born in Seoul, South Korea. She comes from a family of academics: her grandfather is a physicist; her uncle is an economist; her aunt runs an art gallery; and her father is a physics professor.[better source needed][5][6]

CL spent most of her childhood living in Paris, Tsukuba Science City and Tokyo. She attended international schools throughout her school-days. Her father encouraged her to listen to different genres of music. And she dreamed of becoming a singer when she was about 10. She had sent demo tapes to YG Entertainment since elementary school but did not get a reply. When she was 13, she moved back to Paris alone where she studied for two years.[6] At the age of 15, she went to YG building and waited for a long time to meet CEO Yang Hyun-suk. She gave him her demo tape and then she landed a successful audition.[3][6] CL has mentioned that over several months as a trainee for YG, she would practice until 3-4 in the morning and attend school the next day.[3][6]

CL's first feature on a song recording was Big Bang's "Intro (Hot Issue)" in 2007. Later that year, she had her first stage debut at Seoul Broadcasting System's Music Awards alongside her label mates at YG Entertainment.[citation needed] Her first credited appearance in a song was in 2008, with Uhm Jung-hwa's "DJ," in which she rapped.[7] CL also appeared on YMGA's track "What" as part of the YG Family.[5]


Main article: 2NE1

2NE1 debuted in SBS's The Music Trend on May 17, 2009 where they performed their digital single Fire produced by Teddy Park of 1TYM. With the release of their self-titled extended play, the group started the promotions of their title track I Don’t Care. Their mini album hit the no. 3 spot at the Hanteo's "Best-selling Album of 2009" with over 100,000 copies sold.

In October 2010, 2NE1 returned with their first full-length studio album To Anyone,[8] which was released on September 9, 2010. Promotions started with the simultaneous showcase of the three title tracks of the album, "Clap Your Hands", "Go Away" and "Can't Nobody". Following those promotions, another song "It Hurts (Slow)" [9][10] was released on October 31 for Halloween. The album garnered huge success and 2NE1 won an overall 11 times on various music shows from their promotions.[11] The album went on to sell over 150,000 copies.[citation needed]

In 2NE1’s second album Crush, CL wrote the lyrics and co-composed the music for the tracks "Crush", "If I Were You", and "Baby I Miss You". She also did the lyrics for her solo track "MTBD", as well as the track "Scream".[citation needed]

Solo activities[edit]

In August 2009, CL also collaborated with label-mates G-Dragon of Big Bang and Teddy Park of 1TYM for "The Leaders", which was featured on G-Dragon's first solo album Heartbreaker. It was revealed that CL wrote her own lyrics to the song.

In August, after finishing "I Don't Care" promotions, 2NE1 took a temporary hiatus with each member releasing their own solo singles. First, Dara released "Kiss" which featured CL. The song peaked at number five on the Gaon monthly charts.[12] CL then collaborated with fellow member Minzy for "Please Don't Go," which charted at number six by the end of November.[13]

In March 2012, CL and rapper Kim Jin Pyo were featured in a new rap campaign "all Originals Make Moves" for Adidas Originals. Both CL and Kim were noted for writing the lyrics for the raps which where presented as two videos.[14]

In May 2013, YG Entertainment announced that CL will release her first solo single on the label in over five years at the end of the month with a promotions circuit to follow.[15] The single title was originally intended to be "Bad Girl", but was retitled "The Baddest Female" following the release of Lee Hyori's "Bad Girls" music video.[16] It was released on 28 May 2013 as well as the official music video that debuts on the same day.[17]

CL had her second solo song, titled "MTBD" on 2NE1's newest album Crush.

In March 2014, CL and G-Dragon both appeared on Skrillex's song "Dirty Vibe" from his 2014 album Recess.

In October 2014, YG Entertainment announced that CL would be making an official debut in the US as a solo artist in Spring 2015. On 1 November 2014, Scooter Braun, who will be her manager in the US, officially announced the news on his official homepage, with a caption, “Welcome to the SB Projects Family, CL!” celebrating her American debut.[18][19]

Musical style and influences[edit]

CL is the leader, vocalist and rapper in her group.[20] She cites 1TYM leader Teddy Park who produces much of 2NE1's music as influences and inspirations, as well as Madonna,[3]Queen and Lauryn Hill (influenced by her father).[21] In an Elle magazine interview, she said that she has an alter-ego between CL and Chaerin, with the former as "the baddest female onstage" and the latter as her personality when she is with her family and friends.[22]


For CL's works with 2NE1, see 2NE1 discography.


Year Song Peak position Digital Sales Album
2009 "Please Don't Go" (with Minzy) 6 To Anyone
2013 "The Baddest Female" 4 518,856
2014 "MTBD (Mental Breakdown)" 11 647,690 Crush
Featured singles
2007 "Hot Issue" (G-Dragon feat. CL) Hot Issue
2008 "DJ" (Uhm Jung-hwa feat. CL) D.I.S.C.O
"A Good Man" (BIGBANG) Stand Up
"What" (YMGA feat. YG Family & DJ Wreckx)
2009 "The Leaders" (G-Dragon feat. CL & Teddy) 38 Heartbreaker
"Kiss" (Dara feat. CL) 5 To Anyone
2012 "She's So (Outta Control)" (M-Flo feat. 2NE1) - Square One (album)
2013 "Gettin' Dumb" ( feat. 2NE1) and - Willpower ( album)
2014 "Dirty Vibe" (Skrillex feat. Diplo, G-Dragon, and CL)[23] Recess

List of songs written by CL[edit]

Year Album Song Lyrics Music
Credited With Credited With
2008 Made in R.O.K (YMGA) What Yes GDragon, Digital Masta, MastaWu, Teddy, Kush
2009 Heartbreaker (GDragon) The Leaders (feat. CL & Teddy) Yes GDragon, Teddy Teddy
2013 The Baddest Female - Single The Baddest Female Yes Teddy Teddy
2014 Crush Crush Yes Yes Choice37
If I Were You Yes Yes DEE.P
MTBD Yes Teddy Teddy
Scream (Korean ver.) Yes Teddy, DEE.P
Baby I Miss You Yes Yes Choice37, Peejay



  • 2009: Girlfriends (Korean: 걸프렌즈) (cameo)

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Nominated work Result
Mnet 20's Choice Awards
20's Style Award N/A Won
15th Mnet Asian Music Awards
Best Dance Performance – Female Solo[24] The Baddest Female Won
Song of the Year Nominated
MYX Philippines
Hottest Female Star of 2013 N/A Won
SBS MTV Best of the Best
Best Female Solo N/A Nominated
23rd Seoul Music Awards
Bonsang Awards The Baddest Female Nominated
Popularity Awards Nominated
2nd YinYueTai V-Chart Awards
Top Female Artist (Korean)[25] N/A Won
7th Style Icon Awards
Top 10 Style Icons N/A Nominated

Music programs[edit]


Year Date Song
2013 June 9 "The Baddest Female"


  1. ^ Mark Russell (29 April 2014). K-Pop Now!: The Korean Music Revolution. Tuttle Publishing. p. 77. ISBN 978-1-4629-1411-1. 
  2. ^ "CL at Naver Music". Naver Music (in Korean). NHN Corp. Retrieved November 13, 2010. 
  3. ^ a b c d Park, Mi-ae (May 22, 2009). "CL, "데모 테이프 들고 무작정 YG 문 노크"" [CL, "knocked on the YG Entertainment door to hand in my demo tape"]. eDaily SPN (in Korean). eDaily. Retrieved November 23, 2010. 
  4. ^ "Female Big Bang to be Unveiled". KBS Global. Korea Broadcasting System. March 25, 2009. Retrieved November 13, 2010. 
  5. ^ a b "CL&Minzy". YG Entertainment (in Korean). Retrieved 22 August 2013. 
  6. ^ a b c d "[CL] 1부. 새해 첫 날, 눈물 젖은 자장면 드셔보셨나요?". OSEN (in Korean). Retrieved June 13, 2013. 
  7. ^ "Uhm Jung Hwa 2008 Mini Album – D.I.S.C.O". Retrieved November 13, 2010. 
  8. ^ "2NE1 9월9일 ‘트리플타이틀’로 출격" (in Korean). Newsen. August 17, 2010. Retrieved August 20, 2010. 
  9. ^ (Korean) Park, Mi Yae (October 23, 2010). "양현석 "2NE1 후속곡..할로윈 공개" 호기심" [Yang Hyun Suk: "2NE1 follow up song on Halloween," sparks public curiosity]. SPN (in Korean). eDaily. Retrieved October 23, 2010. 
  10. ^ "2NE1 후속곡 아파" [2NE1 Follow Up Song It Hurts]. YG Life (in Korean). YG Entertainment. October 30, 2010. Retrieved October 29, 2010. [dead link]
  11. ^ Gil, Hye-seong (October 17, 2010). "2NE1, '인기가요' 초유 4주연속 1위" [2NE1, 4 unprecedented first place titles on Inkigayo]. Star News (in Korean). MoneyToday. Retrieved November 13, 2010. 
  12. ^ "Gaon Chart Search: 다라" [Gaon Chart Search: Dara]. Gaon Chart (in Korean). Korea Music Content Industry Association. Retrieved November 13, 2010. 
  13. ^ a b "Gaon Chart Search: CL". Gaon Chart (in Korean). Korea Music Content Industry Association. Retrieved November 13, 2010. 
  14. ^ "Adidas Originals release rap campaign videos featuring 2NE1′s CL & Kim Jin Pyo". Allkpop. 6Theory Media. March 12, 2012. 
  15. ^ ""Who’s Next?"- CL is, with her first solo single!". allkpop. 2013-05-15. 
  16. ^ "2NE1's CL officially changes title of solo debut song to "The Baddest Female"". allkpop. 2013-05-23. 
  17. ^ "The Baddest Female CL releases her solo debut MV". allkpop. 2013-05-28. 
  18. ^ "[Exclusive] CL Debuts in the U.S. as a Soloist Next Spring… To Be Supported by Scooter Braun". YG-LIFE. 2014-10-16. 
  19. ^ "[Exclusive] Scooter Braun Officially Announces CL’s American Debut". YG-LIFE. 2014-11-01. 
  20. ^ "Member Profile: CL". 2NE1 Japanese Website (in Japanese). YG Entertainment. Retrieved November 13, 2010. 
  21. ^ Park Yeong-ung (October 13, 2010). ""박봄은 비욘세?"..2NE1이 밝힌 롤모델은?" ["Park Bom and Beyoncé?" Who are 2NE1's role models?]. Star News (in Korean). MoneyToday. Retrieved November 13, 2010. 
  22. ^ Yi, David (2013-03-21). "Meet Jeremy Scott's Muse: K-Pop Star CL". Elle. Retrieved 2013-12-15. 
  23. ^
  24. ^ "2013 Korean Music Festival Winners list". MAMA. Retrieved 2014-06-12.
  25. ^

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]