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Chocolat (Hangul: 쇼콜라), commonly stylized as ChoColat, is a South Koreangirl group created by Paramount Music in 2011. Their group name means "Chocolate" in French. The concept behind the group's name is that each member is reminiscent of a different type of chocolate. The groups's name was initially going to be Chocolate, however there was already a group with that name, so Paramount Music decided to use the French word chocolat instead. The group consists of five members: four are mixed race Korean, (Juliane, Lori, Tia and Melanie), and the other one is full Korean (Min Soa).
In early August, Paramount Music Entertainment announced that they'd be debuting their first idol girl group, Chocolat, a group consisting of mixed race members, on August 17, 2011 with the release of their first digital single "Syndrome" (Korean: "신드롬"). Shortly after the group released teasers for their debut Music Video, Syndrome as well as the members' individual profiles, revealing that the mixed race members had American fathers and Korean mothers. Alongside the released teasers, their YouTube page already featured a few videos of the members introducing themselves to the public as well as showcasing their talents after two years of training. Prior to their debut single release, their music had been described to be electronic club music, a mix of the disco of T-ara's "Roly-Poly" and the club sounds of 2NE1's "I Am The Best". Additionally they revealed that their role model group was also girl group, 2NE1.
The group debuted with "Syndrome" on August 17, 2011 and on the live music program M! Countdown on August 18, 2011, later performing on August 19, 2011 on KBS Music Bank, on August 20, 2011 on MBC Music Core and finally a week later on SBS Inkigayo, on September 4, 2011. The group had also made a movie debut with a cameo on the film "Mr. Idol", before their debut, as Korea's best group.
Later in the year, it was revealed that the group would be holding their first comeback with a mini-album in December. Promotions for "I Like It" began on December 3, 2011 at the music show K-pop Con. The mini-album was planned to be released on December 13. On December 6, as a response to fans' questions, Paramount Music revealed that the mini-album's release date was delayed to December 15, 2011. Due to severe illness, member Jaeyoon was unable to attend recording sessions for the title track and therefore had to miss the "I Like It" promotional period altogether, going into a hiatus for the time being. The mini-album was then released on December 15, 2011, including their title track "I Like It", an English version of the single, and three other tracks, likely to have been amongst the seven previously recorded songs the group had prior to debuting.
On January 5, it was announced that Chocolat had been chosen as new models for NBA Korea. On New Year's Day, the group had performed at the half-time of a game. NBA Korea hopes to spread awareness of their brand with their global image.
On January 21, through Twitter, member Tia announced that the group wouldn't be going back home to celebrate the Korean New Year and would instead spend the holiday practicing for promotions for their follow-up single "하루만 더 (One More Day)". The first performance for "하루만 더 (One More Day)" was broadcast through KBS's Music Bank on February 3, officially starting their follow-up promotions.
The music video teaser for "One More Day" was released a week later, after the start of their promotions, on February 7, 2012. The full music video was released two days later on February 9, 2012 coinciding with the release of the physical and digital single album, which included the title track, a B-side song title "Get Up", as well as their two respective instrumentals. Though having a long hiatus without promotions, Chocolat's members Tia and Melanie came back on Twitter in late November reassuring fans that they hadn't disbanded. Their only schedule after the end of the promotions was an Arirang Radio talk show interview on December 31, 2012, during which they hinted at a comeback in the beginning of 2013.
On May 29, it was confirmed, after rumors and speculations had been brought up by the members' Twitter accounts, that ChoColat would be proceeding with their 2013 comeback in June, releasing an official teaser picture. A week earlier the members had been reported to have been filming their upcoming music video for their comeback. The group has since been a four-membered piece, as their former main vocalist was also absent from this comeback.
On June 5 ChoColat performed a preview of Black Tinkerbell for the first time on ArirangTV's Afterschool Club, as the teaser for their new single. The first official announcement through news websites in Korea was released on June 6, with the additional release of their music video teaser and still cuts from the music video recording. After a year and 3 months of hiatus, the four-membered piece was to release their new digital single on the 11th with the release of their third digital single "Black Tinkerbell". A minute long second teaser was released on June 9, 2013. They released the single album and their music video for Black Tinkerbell on June 11, 2013 in South Korea.
Choi MinJi (최민지), better known by her stage name Min Soa (민소아) is the leader and a vocalist of the group. She was born in Korea on (1989-06-10) June 10, 1989 (age 25). She was raised in Korea until the age of 17, when she moved to study abroad in Brisbane, Australia. Though having majored in art in college, her dreams of becoming a singer lead her to be introduced by a friend to her current CEO, to whom she sent a demo and through that, she was invited to join Chocolat as the oldest member to help as being the unnie (언니), the oldest sister of the group.
Juliane Alfieri (쥴리엔 알피에리), commonly known as Juliane (쥴리앤), is a vocalist of the group. She was born on (1993-12-12) December 12, 1993 (age 21). Though born in Korea, she moved to Texas at the age of 6 and stayed there for 5 years before going back to Korea. Melanie's mother was the key connection between Juliane and her joining the group, since she was well acquainted with Juliane's mother, through which Juliane was able to audition and join the group. She is of Korean descent through her mother's side, and through her father's side, who was in the U.S. Armed Forces in Korea, she is of German and Italian descent.
Tia Jasmine Hwang Cuevas (티아 자스민 황 쿠에바스), commonly known as Tia (티아), is the main dancer and a vocalist of the group. She was born on (1997-03-15) March 15, 1997 (age 17) in California. According to her parents, Tia moved to Japan when she was six months old but relocated to Korea at age 6. She moved back to Japan three years later, though she wasn't able to learn very much Japanese because her family lived in units. When she turned 12, Tia started dreaming of becoming a singer which lead her to meeting her current CEO and starting the girl group, Chocolat. Originally, Tia debuted in the music industry at the age of 8 as an English tutor on children TV shows; in channels such as Arirang TV and KBS. Also prior to her debut she was in a photoshoot with fellow labelmate, guitarist of "The Nuts", Ji Hyun Woo. Shortly after Chocolat's debut, Tia was appointed as a model for make-up brand, "Lioele". Tia is half Korean, through her mother's side and through her father, former soldier in the U.S. Armed Forces in Korea, she is of Puerto-Rican and German descent.
Melanie Aurora Lee (멜라니 오로라 이), also known as Melanie (멜라니), is the main vocalist (upon Jaeyoon's departure) and youngest member of the group. She was born on (1997-05-05) May 5, 1997 (age 17) in South Korea. She moved to Hawaii when she was 8 years old, staying there for a year and a half before going back to Korea. She and Tia met in school together, learning that both their mothers had known each other for 30 years, after getting more acquainted, Melanie auditioned and joined the group with Tia. Her special skill is cheerleading. Through her mother's side, she is half Korean, and through her father's side, who was in the U.S. Armed Forces in Korea, she is of Italian and German descent. Melanie was revealed to have left the group in 2014.
Lee Eunjung (이은정), better known by her stage name Jaeyoon (제윤), was the main vocalist of the group. She was born on (1991-05-15) May 15, 1991 (age 23) and raised in Korea. While in college, she auditioned after hearing about Chocolat on another audition, and passed to be given the role as the main vocalist of the group. Jaeyoon left the group in December 2011 due to problems with the company. Although rumors exist that Jaeyoon had been absent due to health reasons, she has since been seen now as a soloist jazz vocalist, officially marking her debut as an ex-member of ChoColat.