(G)I-dle in January 2020
From left to right: Soojin, Miyeon, Soyeon, Yuqi, Shuhua and Minnie
|Origin||Seoul, South Korea|
(G)I-dle (Korean: (여자)아이들; RR: Yeoja Aideul), stylized as (G)I-DLE, is a South Korean multinational girl group formed by Cube Entertainment in 2018. The group consists of six members: Miyeon, Minnie, Soojin, Soyeon, Yuqi, and Shuhua. The group debuted on May 2, 2018, with their first extended play titled I Am and its lead single "Latata". A year later, the group debuted in Japan on July 31, 2019, under U-Cube with Latata.
(G)I-dle was dubbed the "monster rookie" of 2018 and has been considered one of the most successful South Korean girl groups to not hail from the "big three" record labels. Since their debut, the group has released five extended plays and eight singles including "Latata", "Hann (Alone)", "Senorita", "Uh-Oh", "Lion", "Oh My God" and "Dumdi Dumdi".
(G)I-dle has also stood out for their direct involvement in their music, with their leader, Soyeon, and members Minnie and Yuqi writing and co-producing their material. In conjunction with the release of their third EP I Trust in 2020, the group signed with American record label Republic Records to pursue expansion into the U.S. marketplace. Upon its release, the group set the highest record for a South Korean girl group to topped iTunes Top Albums chart and the fourth girl group to sell 100,000 copies in the first week of sales. Their 2020 single album, Dumdi Dumdi broke the single album sales record, making them the second best selling girl group's single album of all time. (G)I-dle also became the first k-pop group to get interviewed by Forbes China, and the first 4th generation girl group to have the most-streamed on Spotify.
In an interview with The Star, the leader of the group, Soyeon, revealed that the name "Idle" (아이들) came to her when she was composing the "Idle Song". She sent it to the company and the name was finalized after going through the company's competition. However, the name received mixed reactions in South Korea and internationally because "아이들" means "children" and "idle" in English refers to someone who avoids work. The group was thus named (G)I-dle, with the "I" standing for individuality, "‐" to show that the name has been divided into two parts and "Dle" as the plural form of "I" in Korean, meaning a group of six different personalities gathered together.
Soyeon was a female trainee who represented Cube Entertainment in the survival show Produce 101, peaking at 10th place on the fifth episode. however, she did not become a member of the winning girl group, I.O.I. Soyeon also competed in the third season of the rap competition show Unpretty Rapstar, where she finished as the second runner-up. She later debuted as a soloist, releasing two digital singles: "Jelly" and "Idle Song".
Miyeon had previously trained under YG Entertainment between 2010 and 2015, leaving the company after unknown complications regarding her debut. She then attended a vocal academy. Soojin was a former trainee under DN Entertainment in 2015. She trained as a member of girl group Vividiva, but left before the group's debut. Minnie was featured in Line Friends' album Dance Party, which was released in November 2017.
On April 5, 2018, Cube Entertainment revealed the name of their upcoming girl group, (G)I-dle. Before their debut date, Cube revealed the members to the public through Dingo Music's dance busking at Hongdae, Seoul. The busking performance video exceeded four million views on YouTube.
2018: Debut with I Am and "Hann (Alone)"
(G)I-dle released their debut EP, I Am, on May 2, 2018 with the lead single "Latata". The video for "Latata" exceeded 5.9 million views within the first week. The EP debuted at number 13 on the Gaon Album Chart issued on May 10. I Am also debuted at number seven and peaked at number five on Billboard's World Albums chart on May 9. A week after release, "Latata" debuted at number 35 on Gaon Digital Chart on May 17. (G)I-dle received their first-ever music show win on SBS MTV's The Show on May 22, twenty days after their debut. On June 5, they made their debut on Billboard's Social 50 Chart, charting at number 36.
In June, a survey was carried out among thirty-five participants in the music industry where (G)I-dle was voted the Next Generation of K-pop category with 39 points overall. On August 6, (G)I-dle held a small concert and recorded a flash-mob performance of "Latata" in Times Square and Washington Square Park.
On August 14, (G)I-dle's first digital single, "Hann (Alone)", was released. Within 24 hours, the music video surpassed 4.9 million views on YouTube. "Hann" topped domestic music charts including Bugs, Genie and Olleh Music on August 16 and reached a new peak on Billboard's World Digital Song Sales chart where they debut at No. 2. They received their first music show win on Show Champion on August 29 for "Hann". In September, the group made their first appearance at KCON in Thailand.
In November, Riot Games released a song called Pop/Stars which provided vocals from Soyeon and Miyeon along with American singers Madison Beer and Jaira Burns under a virtual girl group named K/DA which featured as Soyeon and Miyeon as Akali and Ahri respectively.Also they performed it on the League of Legends World Championship along with Beer and Burns and it reached number 1 on the Billboard World Digital Sales.
Throughout the rest of 2018, (G)I-dle earned several rookie awards at major Korean year-end music award shows, including the Asia Artist Awards, Gaon Chart Music Awards, Genie Music Awards, Golden Disc Awards, Korea Popular Music Awards and Melon Music Awards.
2019: I Made, "Uh-Oh", Japanese debut and Queendom
(G)I-dle released their second EP, I Made, on February 26, 2019. The EP contains five songs, including the lead single "Senorita", written and composed by member Soyeon and Big Sancho. On June 26, (G)I-dle released their second digital single, "Uh-Oh". The song ranked number 22 on NetEase Cloud Music China for the first half of 2019, making them the only K-pop group to chart on it.
In July, (G)I-dle held their first U.S. performance during the annual KCON convention and music festival at Javits Center, New York City. They later held a live showcase at the Mainabi Blitz Akasaka on July 23. The showcase sold over 1,000 tickets with an attendance of 1,500 people. It was reported that around 15,000 applied to attend but due to the capacity limit of the venue, some could not make it. On July 31, (G)I-dle debuted in the Japanese market with the release of their EP Latata. On August 19, (G)I-dle and makeup brand Kate collaborated to release a spin-off music video of "Latata (Japanese ver.)".
(G)I-dle subsequently participated in a reality girl group survival show created by Mnet, Queendom. In the first preliminary round, (G)I-dle finished first place after performing "Latata" re-imagined with a concept of shamanism. The introduction of the performance, Minnie's Thai "enchantment," was well received and became a hot topic among both Korean and Thai fans. In the second preliminary round (G)I-dle reinterpreted 2ne1's Fire, finishing in last place. In September, it was reported that Cube would partner with e2PR and Strategic Communications to establish a new promotion team for handling (G)I-dle's public international relations. That same month, the group held their first fan meeting, Welcome to the Neverland, at the Yes24 Live Hall in Seoul. Tickets to the show were sold out in two minutes.
On October 4, (G)I-dle performed as first-time main headliner at the Spotify On Stage Jakarta. They were one of the six acts including Rich Brian, Ateez, and more. On October 5, the group appeared on Immortal Songs 2, a KBS's reality television singing competition. This marks the group's first appearance on the program. They performed a rendition of Koyote's Sad Dream as a part of the group's 20th anniversary. (G)I-dle performed "Put It Straight" (Nightmare Version) for Queendom's "Fan-dora's Box" round. The stage performance reached one million views after 14 hours of release, and placed fourth in the round. On October 25, (G)I-dle released "Lion" as part of Queendom Final Comeback EP. As of November 2019, the live performances of "Latata" and "Fire" have surpassed 11 and 13 million views, respectively. (G)I-dle finished the show in third place. "Lion" became a sleeper hit after gaining popularity on their stage concept of The Queen's Royal Welcome, re-entering the real-time charts of various music sites. A music video for it was released on November 4. The video surpassed 5 million views in two days. The song debuted at number 13 on the World Digital Song Sales and peaked at number 5. Simultaneously, the single rose eighty-nine spots to number 19 on the Gaon Digital Chart and topped China's QQ Music Korean Song chart for two consecutive weeks. On December 21, (G)I-dle performed their hit singles at the 2020 Tainan Christmas & New Year Eve Party at Tainan City, Taiwan. Their stage was recorded the highest tide of the event of an appearance of 80,000 people.
2020: I Trust, I-Land: Who Am I online concert, "I'm The Trend", Dumdi Dumdi and Oh My God
On January 28, the group announced their first world tour, titled I-Land: Who Am I Tour, which would span 32 different cities around the world. Later, it was announced their commenced show in Bangkok and new album release project in mid-March was postponed in response to the coronavirus outbreak and to ensure the safety and health of the artists, fans, and staff. On January 31, the group appears on Two Yoo Project Sugar Man 3 performing Minnie's composed and rearranged Kim Won-jun's "Show".
On March 26, (G)I-dle was announced as part of the lineup of the 2020 Twitch Stream Aid, scheduled for March 28. The livestream is a 12-hour charity livestream concert aiming to raise money for COVID-19 relief. They are the first female K-pop group to participate.
On April 6, the group released their third EP titled I Trust with "Oh my god" as its lead single. The album consists of five songs including an English-language version of the title track. In conjunction with the release of I Trust, (G)I-dle had signed with Republic Records to help highlight and push their individuality into the U.S. marketplace. The album had over 91,311 pre-orders, making it their most pre-ordered EP, and became their highest selling album by selling 100,000 physical copies in three days. I Trust debuted atop the Gaon Album Chart becoming (G)I-dle's first number-one album in South Korea and achieved their highest-ever position on Billboard's World Albums chart at No. 4, and set the highest record for a South Korean girl group to topped iTunes Top Albums chart in 61 countries worldwide. The music video for "Oh my god" broke their personal record by amassing 17 million views within its first day of release, and was nominated for 2020 MTV Video Music Award for Best K-Pop Video and BreakTudo's International Music Video. The song also marked the first time the group has appeared on the Scottish Singles Chart and charted at number 97, becoming only the third K-pop artist and the second female act to appear on the chart. (G)I-dle's live promotions for "Oh My God" won four music show awards including their first grand slam public broadcast win on KBS's Music Bank, SBS's Inkigayo and MBC's Show! Music Core. On May 6, (G)I-dle breaks into Rolling Stone's Top 25 Breakthrough chart as the only K-Pop group to chart for the month of April at the top 20 spot with a unit growth of 3.3 million and over 5.5 million total on demand audio streams in the U.S.
In May, (G)I-dle released the official English version of their debut song "Latata" on May 15. On May 31, the group announced that they would be joining the 32-artist lineup at KCON:TACT 2020 Summer on June 23. The group are expected to release two albums in the second half of the year, including digital single according to EBest Investment & Securities Co., Ltd researcher. (G)I-dle held a live online concert 2020 (G)I-dle Online Concert 'I-Land: Who Am I' scheduled on July 5 after the cancellation of their first world tour. They performed songs from their debut album as well as Minnie and Yuqi's composed song "I'm the Trend", with a live audience of 11,000 paid real-time viewers. Subsequently, the group released the digital single, along with its music video on July 7 as a special present for their fans.
On August 3, (G)I-dle released its first single album Dumdi Dumdi, with a lead single of the same name. With this release, Dumdi Dumdi ranked second best selling girl group single album in history with 94,587 initial sales. However, the song had a slow rising on the Gaon and Billboard charts. It debuted at number 27 and 15 on the Gaon Digital Chart and the US Billboard World Digital Song Sales chart, and later peaked at number 8 and 13, respectively. On iTunes, the song became their most-number-one song in 42 regions around the world. The music video for "Dumdi Dumdi" garnered over 17.6 million views in a single day, breaking their previous record with "Oh My God". The group ended the promotions winning first place for two weeks in a row on Show Champion, M Countdown and Inkigayo, becoming the group's most-winning title track. On August 26, they make their first Japanese comeback with the release of their second extended play, Oh My God, along with the Japanese version of "Oh My God", "Uh-Oh", "Senorita", "Dumdi Dumdi" and an original Japanese track titled "Tung Tung (Empty)", which was composed by Minnie.
(G)I-dle was praised for their musicality and ambiguity. According to industry specialists and marketing researches, the group was noted that embodies the spirit a group like 2NE1 once had, but adapted for today's sensibilities.
The group has been often recognized for being a "self-producing" idol girl group and for breaking female idol stereotypes. Being the youngest group to appear on Queendom, the members were actively involved in their own music videos, jacket photoshoots, song arrangements, choreography, and outfits production. Instead of appealing to the opposite sex with its femininity, their fanbase collectively referred to as "Neverland", has a huge number of female fans. The release of "Oh my god" further led to a spike in having 70% of female listeners on Melon.
Natalie Morin from Refinery29 described them as individuals with different energies that complement each other. She also described them as "bold and sensual", characteristics which she asserts sets them apart from other K-pop girl groups. Mor.bo named them as a diverse group that is unafraid to try different music styles. Elle magazine named the group as "independent musicians and artists" where girl groups' concepts typically work within a mold that was made by someone else.
Musical style and themes
(G)I-dle's songs have covered a wide variety of genres, crossing from "Latata" (moombahton trap), "Hann (Alone)" (moombahton), "Senorita" (Latin pop), "Uh-Oh" (boom bap), "Oh My God" (urban hip-hop) and "Dumdi Dumdi" (tropical moombahton). In the music [K-Pop] world saturated with "Love" and "Farewell" songs, the group released "Lion", a song that diverges from a typical girl group song, comparing one's dignity to dignity of a lion. In I Trust, the group explored elements of EDM trap, hip hop and urban music, with themes of self-love and self-trust.
Taylor Glasby from MTV stated that (G)I-dle songs are steeped in their very essence — a girl's complex, internal house of mirrors that is constantly being broken, assessed, understood, and remade, where one style or sound is never enough to reflect who they are. (G)I-dle is the enticing tropical beats and coy finger snaps of "Latata" and the ominous, warning whistled hook of "Hann (Alone)". They are also the pensive harmonies and slow throb of bass on the R&B-infused ballad "Put It Straight," the whimsical words painted over the house music of "What's In Your House," and even the tango of "Senorita". Their lyrics push back, they beckon. They can be boring nonchalance or sharpening desire. Writing for Herald Pop, Kim Na-yul described (G)I-dle's genre can only be performed by them and made a good impression to the public. Melon magazine described (G)I-dle's music generally as "Uniqueness is (G)I-dle's most powerful weapon." Korea JoongAng Daily journalist Yoo Seong-woon complimented the group for utilizing a unique blend of different elements from various sources into a unique mix of concepts and creates into something new and fresh on the K-Pop scene.
The group was also praised for their stage presence during performances such as 2018 MMA's golden stage reminiscent of Cleopatra, and 2018 MAMA's stage performing with dozens of female dancers to emphasize the image of women. It is also stated that their performance for Fan-dora's Box was "another legendary stage" due to the emotional acting by the members where they expressed "anger in sadness". (G)I-dle gave their last Queendom stage, "Lion" with the Lion story which was narrated by Minnie, danced in golden robes ornately decorated with lion's mane and finished with a herd of lions [dancers] following (G)I-dle to the six thrones. The stage was described as "a world-class stage" and "a legendary stage". This resulted in winning several performance awards including Golden Disc Awards.
Impact and influences
The group was recognized for its brand recognition and marketing power, having topped the "Girl Group Brand Power Ranking" published by the Korean Business Research Institute. In 2018, they ranked #1 for June and September. Their highest brand reputation index was in September 2018. (G)I-dle has been dubbed the "monster rookie" of 2018. Billboard ranked them at the top of its list as the best new K-pop group of 2018. It was reported that Cube's music sales in 2018 increased by 58% to ₩8.8 billion due to the popularity of (G)I-dle's "Latata" and "Hann (一)".
In 2019, (G)I-dle gained more recognition in the general public after appearing on Queendom. The performance of their finale song "Lion" was considered as one of K-pop's biggest moments of 2019 by CTV News. This resulted in them topping the "Girl Group Brand Power Ranking" for two consecutive months, in October and November 2019, respectively. Rolling Stone India included "Lion" in their list of the 10 Best K-Pop Music Videos of 2019. The song was considered as "one of the most visceral tracks of 2019" and was listed number one out of 920 songs released in 2019.
In January 2020, (G)I-dle were voted as the Most Anticipated Singers/Groups in 2020 based on surveys of several Korean music agencies, broadcasting and program officials, composers and popular music critics. In February, the group achieved number 1 in brand power with the most-interacted topics "Lion" and world tour. According to Hyundai Motors Investment Firm, during the Coronavirus pandemic, Cube target shares increased by 36.67% due to (G)I-dle's growth with "Oh my god". On August 13, Cube released a report of their earnings in the second quarter of the year. The sales in the record and broadcasting sectors rose 349% (₩2 billion) from a year earlier due to the (G)I-dle's EP I Trust which sold 151,108 copies, I-Land: Who Am I concert and single album Dumdi Dumdi 98,587 album sales. The same month, they achieved 500 million streaming cumulatively on Spotify. They are the first K-pop 4th generation girl group and the fifth in the K-pop girl group's career in about two years and three months after their debut. On August 26, it was reported that they were the first K-pop group to get interviewed by Forbes China after a video interview was released through Forbes's official Weibo account.
Guinness World Record
(G)I-dle achieved a new Guinness World Record with 1theK Originals record challenge Kkinness Challenge on episode 4. Kkinness Challenge is an 'Idol Guinness Challenge' that contains the process by which an idol group enters Kkinness Village, an athlete village designed to challenge the world record of extreme events. In the video released on March 24, 2020, the group succeeded in achieving a new world record for the "Fastest time to hang up five T-shirts" in 25.41 seconds; the previous record-holder was held by Kaito Kozumi in 27.93 seconds. On the first attempt, member Soyeon scored 28.34 seconds, which was close to the Guinness record, but unfortunately failed. Subsequently, member Shuhua, took the challenge and recorded 26.81 seconds breaking the world record. However, Soyeon who re-challenged, recorded 25.41 seconds and breaking the previous record by Shuhua. The record will be recognized as the official world record by the world's top 3 record certification agency, Supertalent World Record, and will proceed with the official procedure for Guinness listing.
Seoul Metropolitan City appointed (G)I-dle as the city's goodwill ambassadors alongside Yura, Park Jin-Hee, and eight other nominees. They will hold the title "City Ambassadors" for two years. On the 10th annual Children's Diabetes Celebration Festival held at Lotte World Underground Kingdom in Eunpyeong-gu, Seoul, they were awarded as the new ambassador for Korean Children's Diabetes Association.
In 2019, (G)I-dle became the first Korean girl group to endorse with Kaja, a beauty brand co-created by Sephora and Memebox to create a new form combining K-beauty and K-pop. Through the partnership, To Neverland reality TV series and "Senorita" music video were released.
(G)I-dle were selected as Akiii Classic's new model in 2020 to reinforce the sensitivity of Gen Z culture and trend pioneering the brand image. In early April 2020, (G)I-dle was revealed as a promotional model for South Korea biggest contact lens brand, LensMe. A representative from LensMe explained that the group's unique music and charismatic stage performances matched well with their 'Basic, Trendy, Easy' company image.
Concerts and tours
- 2020 (G)I-dle Online Concert 'I-Land: Who Am I' (2020)
|2020||Life Co LTD (인생주식회사)||Lifetime|||
|2018–present||(G)I-dle: I-Talk||Ongoing||V Live, YouTube|
|2018||(G)I-dle: Vlog in New York||3||V Live|
|2019||To Neverland||6||M2, Naver TV Cast|
|(G)I-dle: Little but Certain Happiness (소확행)||4||V Live, YouTube|
|2020||(G)I-dle: Secret Folder (유출금지)||4 + 4 specials||1theK Originals|
|(G)I-DLE LIVE: 아이들라이브||5||YouTube Live|
|(G)I-dle X Star Road||10||V Live|
|Never Ending Neverland (네버엔딩 네버랜드)||5||Cube Tv|
Awards and nominations
Twenty days after debuting, on May 22, 2018, (G)I-dle received their first music show win on SBS MTV's The Show with "Latata". They won their first award, the "Female Rookie Idol of the Year", on July 24, 2018 at Brand of the Year Awards, and went on to receive a total of seven rookie awards at various awards ceremonies in their debut year.
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