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2NE1 from acrofan 2.jpg
Left to right: Dara, CL, Bom and Minzy
Background information
Origin Seoul, South Korea
Years active 2009 (2009)–2016 (2016)[1]
Associated acts
Website yg-2ne1.com
Past members

2NE1 (Korean: 투애니원, IPA: [tʰu.ɛ.ni.wʌn]) was a South Korean girl group formed by YG Entertainment in 2009. 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 (2010) and Crush (2014). 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 EP, titled 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".[2] As of 2015, they have sold 66.5 million records, making them one of the best selling girl groups of all time.[3]

The youngest member, Minzy, officially left the group on April 5, 2016,[4] while the rest of the group disbanded on November 25, 2016. It was revealed that although CL and Dara would remain signed to YG Entertainment, Park Bom did not have her contract renewed.[1] Their final single "Good Bye" was released on January 21, 2017.[5]



2NE1 was first mentioned by South Korean press in late 2004. Both Spica's Bohyung and Fiestar's Linzy were trainees alongside the 2NE1 members. However, they were eliminated before debut.[6] YG Entertainment formally announced in early 2009 that the group would consist of four members and debut sometime in May of that year.[7] 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.[7][8][9] 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".[10] The name, pronounced in Korean to approximate English as "To Anyone" or (US) "Twenty One", combines the phrases "21st century" and "New Evolution".[11]

2009–10: 2NE1 1st Mini Album and To Anyone[edit]

2NE1 at 2009 Mnet Asian Music Awards. Left to right: Bom, CL, Dara and Minzy

In collaboration with Big Bang, 2NE1's first CF song, "Lollipop", was digitally released on March 27, 2009.[7] The song was created for LG to promote their Cyon phone. The music video was released on March 28.[12] "Lollipop" was not a promoted single because it was an advertisement (there were problems with network chart eligibility).[13]

2NE1's debut song, "Fire", was released on May 6. The song was written and produced by 1TYM's Teddy Park,[14] and contained elements of hip-hop and reggae.[15] Its music video had two versions — a "space" version and a "street" version.[16] Within the first 24 hours of release, the videos each received over one million views.[17] The group held their first performance of "Fire" on May 17 on SBS's Inkigayo,[18] marking the start of the group's activities. 2NE1 also launched their first reality show, 2NE1TV to assist the group in their debut promotions. Both the song "Fire" and the group became popular online search terms.[19] 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.[20] 2NE1 received their first Mutizen award after their fourth stage performance in SBS's Inkigayo on June 14. They received their second Mutizen award on the same show the week after. In the same month, 2NE1 signed a deal with Fila to become the models for their new commercial campaign.[21]

"I Don't Care" was released as the group's second single on July 1, along with the group's first extended play, 2NE1.[22] Promotions for their new release officially commenced in early July.[23] Yang Hyun Suk stated that the song would demonstrate a softer, more feminine image of the group in contrast to "Fire".[22] The single became the most downloaded song of that month. 2NE1 ended promotions for the song by performing a reggae version of "I Don't Care" on Inkigayo in September.[24] Due to the remix's popularity, it was released to digital outlets on September 3 as their next digital single.[24]

In August, 2NE1 took a temporary hiatus from group promotions, with each member releasing their own solo singles. Along with three other groups representing Korea, 2NE1 performed at the 6th Asia Song Festival in September, where they received the 2009's "Asian Newcomer's Award".[25] 2NE1 received many year-end awards, including the "Song of the Year" award at Mnet Asian Music Awards. Their debut EP also reached sold a total of 100,000 copies by the end of the year.

On February 9, 2010, without previous announcement, "Follow Me" was released via digital outlets and used as the promotional song for Samsung's Corby Folder.[26] 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 sessions.[27]

The group's first full-length album, To Anyone, was released on September 9, and debuted at number 7 on the Billboard World Album Chart. Prior to the release of the album, it had already received 120,000 preorders. The album contains 12 tracks, including three title tracks, "Clap Your Hands", "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's Music Bank for "Go Away", and a Mutizen a week after for their SBS's Inkigayo performance of "Can't Nobody". Overall, 2NE1 won first place eleven times on various music shows throughout the promotional period for To Anyone.[28] To promote the album, the group made their first entertainment show appearance as a group on KBS variety-talk show Win Win[29] 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)".[30][31] It was first performed on SBS's Inkigayo. The music video for the single was released on November 1 and utilized a Halloween theme.[32] 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.[33]

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.

2011–12: 2NE1 2nd Mini Album, Japanese releases and New Evolution[edit]

2NE1 at 2011 MTV Daum Music Fest, February 19, 2011

On January 19, 2011, "Can't Nobody (English Version)" was released on the Japanese digital retailer Recochoku as a ringtone and ringback tone.[34] 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.[35] It was later announced to be the theme song of Japanese television program Mezamashi TV.[36] On March 16, the group released their first Japanese extended play, 2NE1, with no promotions held because of the Tōhoku Earthquake and tsunami.[37] It debuted at #24 on the Oricon charts, selling 3,860 copies in its first week of release.[38] 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.[39] 2NE1 participated in the Naver "Pray for Japan" campaign alongside many other Korean celebrities, helping to raise funds for earthquake victims.[40]

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".[37] Park Bom's second solo single, "Don't Cry", was unveiled on April 21. 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. 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 via 2NE1's official YouTube account. The song enjoyed similar success to "Don't Cry", ranking number one on the Gaon Singles Chart. The music video also garnered over 4 million views over the course of four days. On June 24, 2NE1 released a single produced by Teddy Park at midnight, titled "I Am the Best". Initially debuting at the number four on the Gaon Chart, the song rose three positions and peaked at number one after a week; and eventually went on to become one the 4th most downloaded single of the year in South Korea. "I Am The Best" was awarded the "Song of the Year" award at the Mnet Asian Music Awards. 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 number three on the Gaon Chart. On July 28, along with the release of the full mini-album, the final promotional single "Ugly" and its music video were released. 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. 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.

2NE1 at Nikon's 'A Shot A Day' event

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 the release of a Japanese version of their second Korean extended play 2NE1 (2011), titled Nolza. The album 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". Nolza debuted at #4 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 for their first tour 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 altogether drew 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 in three versions, following their September Japanese mini-album promotions.[41] 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.[42]

In October, MTV Iggy held a global competition, in which 10 bands from all around the world competed in a voting competition for the title of "Best New Band".[43] With their song "I Am the Best",[44] 2NE1 was crowned winners of the title on November 10, 2011, making this their first US award. 2NE1 performed at Times Square in December to accept the honor. At the end of 2011, 2NE1 was also nominated for the Japan Record Award for "Best New Artist", but lost to the Japanese girl group Fairies.[45][46]

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.[47] 2NE1 also collaborated with Japanese hip-hop group M-Flo for the song "She's So (Outta Control)", which was featured on the artist's sixth studio album Square One. It was released as the leading track from the album, two weeks before the album's release on February 29.[48] "She's So (Outta Control)" reached number 43 on the Billboard Japan Hot 100 chart.[49] 2NE1 subsequently concluded their Japanese promotions by performing at the 2012 MTV Video Music Awards Japan, which took place on June 23 at the Makuhari Messe. They also won the "Best New Artist Video" award for their song "I Am the Best".

On June 6, the group released a promotional single for the Intel Make Thumb Noise Project, titled "Be Mine".[50][unreliable source] The group served as the public speakers for the 59th Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival in France in the same month, 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.”

The group made their official Korean comeback on July 5 with "I Love You".[51] The song received positive reviews from critics. Christopher Weingarten of Spin stated that the song was a "perfect summation of pop's present and future", and compared the production similar to that of David Guetta, especially the use of synths and "ghostly" background vocals, while also comparing the rap-style vocals to that of American singer Kesha.

2NE1 also announced their first world tour, the New Evolution World Tour would be held, and would start off in Seoul, South Korea on July 28. Jeremy Scott designed the costumes for the concert, with Divinity Roxx assisting in music for the concert. 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.[52][unreliable source] The group also appeared alongside Nicki Minaj and other artists including Big Sean and athlete Derrick Rose to promote their own line of Adidas (a collaboration with Jeremy Scott), 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.

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.[53]

2013–14: Single releases, CRUSH and All or Nothing World Tour[edit]

2NE1 performing at Samsung Passion Talk, September 2013

In December 2012, YG Entertainment CEO Yang Hyun Suk announced album production and promotion plans for 2NE1 during the first half of 2013. Initially scheduled to be released in July 2012, the album was delayed until October 2012, and delayed again for a scheduled release date of early 2013 due to potential stresses on the group as a result of its New Evolution Global Tour.[54] 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 yet to be chosen.[55]

On March 14, 2NE1 released a full version of an English single "Take the World On", which was a collaboration with American singer will.i.am. The song had previously been used in an Intel Ultrabook commercial[56][57] 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.[58] On April 16, the group collaborated with will.i.am on a second song called "Gettin' Dumb"; this time including his bandmate apl.de.ap. The song was featured on will.i.am's second album #willpower, which was released on April 23.[59]

In early May, the website "2NE1Loves.com" was launched along with mysterious videos of the members.[60] The project was later revealed to be 2NE1 Loves Shinsegae, an endorsement for a department store and brand Chrome Hearts.[61]

Following an announcement on June 17 where Yang Hyun Suk planned to release four new tracks from the group preceding their album release, 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's third single, "Missing You", was released on November 21.[62] 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.[63] It serves as 2NE1's 10th number-one single to date as a group.

Prior to their comeback, 2NE1 appeared on an episode of The Bachelor in January 2014 and appeared on the finale for America's Next Top Model where the latter show was filmed in South Korea.[64][65] In February 2014, YG-Life announced the group's second studio album, Crush,[66] with its online release date adjusted to February 26.[67] The album's lead singles "Come Back Home" and "Happy" were released on March 2. "Come Back Home" peaked at number one on the Gaon Singles Chart and maintained its spot for two weeks, thus making it the number one charting song for the whole month in March. Their third single from the album, "Gotta Be You" was subsequently released on May 20 along with a music video. Crush sold 5,000 copies in 4 days in America, making it chart #61 on Billboard 200 and sets a new U.S record for "Highest Charting and Best Selling Kpop Album", beating other big groups like Girls' Generation and Big Bang.[68] On June 26, they released the Japanese version of Crush which charted at #2 on the Oricon Daily Album Chart. The group had their fourth concert tour during the year, AON: All or Nothing. It included stops in China, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, Philippines, Japan, Malaysia and Indonesia. From March to October, they performed a total of twenty concerts across 16 cities. The tour received a total of 180,000 attendees.[69][70][71]

2NE1's previous single, "I Am The Best", was released on December 11 in the U.S. under Capitol Records. On December 18, their song "Gotta Be You" was crowned "Song of the Year" by MTV Iggy.[72] The group continued to achieve success at the end of 2014 in both South Korea and America. Crush was the only record by an Asian artist to make it to Fuse TV's "40 Best Albums of 2014", and named the "#1 Best Kpop Album of 2014" according to Billboard, ranking #9 for Billboard's World Artist and #11 for World Album. Tracks in Crush have been downloaded over 5.2 million times in South Korea, making 2NE1 the most downloaded girl group of the year. 2NE1 also won "Best Female Group" and "Top 10 Artist" awards at SBS Gayo Daejeon.

2015: Group hiatus and individual activities[edit]

2015 saw the members explore ventures outside of the group. Dara, from the beginning of 2015, re-established her acting career throughout the web dramas Dr.Ian and We Broke Up, as well as KBS's Missing You. Being the dancer of the group, Minzy opened a dance school by the name of 'Millennium Dance Academy' during the promotional quiet.[73] CL further embarked on her solo career aspirations in America and released the single "HELLO BI+CHES" from her upcoming EP Lifted.

The group's only activity in 2015 was a surprise performance at the 2015 Mnet Asian Music Awards in Hong Kong. After CL's performance of her solo singles "The Baddest Female" and the newly released "HELLO BI+CHES", all members reunited to perform their hit songs "Fire" and "I Am the Best".[74] The performance is now the most-viewed MAMA performance by a girl-group. It was applauded and as a result, was listed as one of the best performances of 2015 by Fuse.[75]

Despite not having made a comeback, 2NE1 nonetheless was the 16th most reblogged K-pop group on Tumblr for 2015.[76] Additionally, both 2NE1 and CL were given a nod by Spotify in their 'Year in Music' Twitter Campaign for each achieving over one million listeners, and being played a 'staggering' 165 years worth when combined. They also won China's '2016 Korea First Brand Grand Prize' award for "Top 10 Most Anticipated K-Stars of 2016".[77]

2016–2017: Minzy's departure, disbandment and final release[edit]

On April 5, 2016, YG Entertainment confirmed that Minzy did not renew her contract and was officially leaving the group, and stated that the group will carry on as a trio.[4][78][79] Later on November 25, 2016, YG Entertainment announced the disbandment of the group, with CL and Sandara signed their contract as a solo artist, while Park Bom left the agency and did not re-sign her contract.[80]

On January 5, 2017, it was announced that 2NE1 would be releasing a final single, titled "Goodbye", as a farewell song to their fans.[5] It was released on January 21, with lyrics being credited to CL, who had originally written the song as a letter for Minzy.[81] The song topped Billboard World Digital Songs.[82]

Artistry and influences[edit]

Musical styles[edit]

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.[83]

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.[84] However, songs like "It Hurts (Slow)" are R&B, another style that also characterized their first EP.[85] The three title tracks, "Clap Your Hands," "Go Away," and "Can't Nobody" were noted for their lasting impressions.[86]


2NE1 was known for a "unique and edgier style".[87] 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.[22] During the "It Hurts (Slow)" music video, the members were noted for their Gothic, black attire[88] and strange hair and wigs.[89] 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.[90]


2NE1 recorded R&B songs with styles that encompasses urban and dance-pop.[91] They have credited the Spice Girls and TLC as girl group influences.[92]

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.[93] Youngest member Minzy cited famous entertainer Michael Jackson, Rihanna,[94] while leader CL said producer Teddy Park and American entertainers Madonna and Lauryn Hill are her role models.[95] Dara states that singer-actress Uhm Jung-hwa is her inspiration, and idolizes Regine Velasquez, a well-known Filipino singer and also known as being Asia's songbird. 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.[94]




  • The Party in Philippines (2011)
  • Nolza (2011)
  • New Evolution Global Tour (2012)
  • AON: All or Nothing World Tour (2014)

Other concerts[edit]


  • 2009 Style (cameo)
  • 2009 Girlfriends (cameo)
  • 2009 2NE1TV
  • 2010 2NE1TV Season 2
  • 2011 2NE1TV Live: Worldwide (season 3)
  • 2014 America´s Next Top Model CBSTV
  • 2014 The Bachelor - Juan Pablo
  • 2014 The Tim Yap Show

Awards and recognitions[edit]

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.[21] "Fire" also brought them the Song of the Month and Rookie of the Month awards for May.[96] "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.[97] 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".[98] The group was also nominated at the 2009 Golden Disk Awards for the Popularity Award, Rookie Award, and the Digital Bonsang.[99] 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.[100] 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".[101] 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, for a female artist, in MAMA history with 4 wins (2 Song of the Years, 1 Album of the Year and 1 Artist of the Year).


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External links[edit]