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From left to right: CL, Dara, Minzy, Bom


2NE1 was an 4-piece all-female musical group from South Korea, consisting of Lee "CL" Chae-rin, Gong "Minzy" Min-ji, Sandara "Dara" Park, and Park "Bom" Bom. Since their debut in 2009, the group garnered an international following for their K-Pop style of music with a hip hop influence, as well as their edgy, bright appearance before their disbanding in 2016.

Online History

Debut and Early Career

2NE1 were officially formed in 2009 by the South Korean company YG Entertainment, and their first single was a collaboration with another group on the YG label, Big Bang, for a song called "Lollipop," which was created as a commercial for a new LG mobile phone. Between its upload date of May 15th, 2009 and August 2015, the song has received over 56 million views on YouTube. It also sold over 3.3 million digital copies and topped the Gaon musical chart in April 2009.[1]

Their first single by the group, released in May 2009 and titled "Fire," incorporated many hip hop elements into a K-pop song written by producer Teddy Park. The group released two videos for the single, a "Space" version and a "Street" version. The "Space" version is more popular, with over 39 million views, while the "Street" version has over 12 million views. The single topped all of the Korean charts.[4]

Japanese Debut and Later Albums

The group planned to debut in Japan in 2011, but after the 2011 Japanese Earthquake and Tsunami the group released their record 2NE1 with no promotion or fanfare. Despite this, the record still reached number 36 on the Japanese charts, and the group performed for relief fundraisers with many other Korean stars.[1]

2NE1 produced the group's most popular single, "I Am the Best (내가 제일 잘 나가)", which was first uploaded to YouTube on June 27th, 2011 and between then and August 2015 has received more than 130 million views and the single topped the world digital sales charts in 2014 after it was used in advertisement for the Microsoft Surface 3 tablet.[23][24]

World Tour and Drug Scandal

In 2014, 2NE1 released a full length record entitled Crush and embarked on the "All: Or Nothing" world tour, which gained them more international notoriety; in addition, they released "I am the Best" in America, where it became popular.[24]

During the tour, news broke that Park Bom had attempted to smuggle 82 pills of medical narcotic amphetamines into South Korea in October of 2010. Prescribed the amphetamines by a doctor in the United States, where they are legal, Bom nonetheless attempted to use international mail to illegally transport the pills to South Korea. Although the incident was only discovered four years later, Bom withdrew her participation from all awards ceremonies in 2014, and only re-emerged to the public in 2015 after a long reclusive period.[17][18]


The group officially disbanded in November 2016. Bom was officially released from her contract with YG Entertainment while Minzy left in April of that year. Both CL and Dara would still be signed to YG though as solo artists. In January 2017, the group put out one last single, "Goodbye." (shown below)

Solo Careers

Three members of 2NE1 are currently pursuing solo careers in addition to their work through the group. Park Bom has released two singles independently of 2NE1 that have reached number one on the Gaon Singles Chart, titled "You and I" and "Don't Cry". "You and I" is the most downloaded single by a solo female artist in the history of YG Entertainment. Dara works frequently as an actress and model, having appeared frequently on Korean television in a variety of cameo and speaking roles.[20][25]

CL began releasing solo music in 2013, scoring an international hit with "나쁜 기집애 (The Baddest Female)." As of August 2015 CL is managed by Scooter Braun, who also manages American pop stars like Justin Bieber, and has announced that her debut American album, where she raps and sings in English, will be released in fall of 2015, following the debut of her initial single "Doctor Pepper" on August 14th, 2015.[19]

Online Presence

2NE1 maintains profiles on all Western social media sites, including Facebook, where they have over 9 million likes, and Instagram where they have barely posted but still have over 375,000 followers.[5][8] Their fans are called Blackjacks, as an allusion to the number 21 in the name of the group, and club maintains official fan club web sites in English and Japanese as well as an official Twitter and a subreddit.[6][7][11] There are also localized profiles in other regions, including Japan and China, where they have an official Weibo with over 800,000 followers.[10]

In addition, each member has their own official western profiles on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.[12][13][14][15][16] The official 2NE1 YouTube account has 312 videos and almost 2.9 million subscribed as of August 2015; 90 of those videos have over 1 million views. [4]

"Bad Blood" Controversy

In July of 2015, several media outlets, most vocally Jezebel, began discussing the visual similarities between Taylor Swift's "Bad Blood" music video, which had been nominated for several MTV Video Music Awards, and the video for 2NE1's "Come Back Home." "Bad Blood" was directed by a Korean-American filmmaker named Joseph Kahn, and some writers assumed that this fact and the visual similarities, which occurred in several different scenes could make a valid case for plagiarism.[22]

Joseph Kahn responded to the allegations made by Jezebel by saying that the allegation was slanderous:

"The implication your writer is making is explicit: I am a foreigner born overseas and I am trying to reconnect with my birth country and have obvious motive to copy it.

I do not listen to Kpop. I am American. And this is an unethical, slandering article."

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