First appearing in "Lollipop", a commercial campaign with Big Bang for LG Telecom, their debut single "Fire" was released on May 6, 2009. Since then, they have released one extended play, 2NE1, and one studio album, To Anyone. "Fire", "I Don't Care", "Try to Follow Me", and "Go Away" have all hit number one in South Korea.
The group was first mentioned by the press in late 2008, YG Entertainment announced that the group would consist of four members and debut sometime in May 2009. The company stated that the group had trained for 4 years, and that their debut album would contain songs produced by 1TYM Leader Teddy Park.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".
2NE1's first song was "Lollipop", digitally released on March 27, 2009. The song was created for LG to promote their Cyon phone, and it was a joint release with Big Bang; the commercial/music video debuted on March 28, 2009. Although it was not a promoted single (as it was an advertisement song, there were problems with network chart eligibility), "Lollipop" proved to be a strong chart hit, going to #1 on various online chart and topping music television network M.Net's online chart for four weeks in a row.
On April 30, Yang Hyun Suk revealed that 2NE1's debut song would be a hip-hop/reggae song, and that it would be digitally released on May 6, 2009. Titled "Fire", the song was fully written and produced by 1TYM's Teddy Park. Teasers of the song were released on their official website at the beginning of May, with a 20-second clip released on May 1.
"Fire" was released as planned on May 6, with two versions of the music video — a "space" version and a "street" version — released the same day. The videos received over one million views in a day. The group's first performance of the song was on May 17, 2009, on SBS's Inkigayo, beginning the group's activities.
Both the song and the group became popular online, with the song topping M.Net's online chart and the group's name becoming a top search term. The group was also rewarded with three Cyworld Digital Music Awards, with both "Lollipop" and "Fire" winning "Song of the Month" awards and the group winning "Rookie of the Month" for May 2009. They received their first Mutizen award during their fourth stage performance in SBS Inkigayo (Popular Song) on June 14, 2009. They received their second Mutizen award on SBS Inkigayo on June 21, 2009. Along with their awards successes, 2NE1 signed a deal with Fila to become the new models for their commercial campaign 2 days after 2NE1's Mutizen win.
"I Don't Care" was released as the second single on July 1, 2009, with promotions starting in early July. YG Entertainment CEO Yang Hyun Suk stated at the time that the song would demonstrate a softer, more feminine image.
An reggae version of "I Don't Care" was performed on SBS's Inkigayo music show, signaling the end of promotions for the song. However, due to the remix's popularity, it was released to digital outlets on September 3, 2009 and became their next digital single.
Along with three other groups representing Korea, 2NE1 performed in the 6th Asia Song Festival in September 2009, where they received the 2009's "Asian Newcomer's Award."
They received a lot of awards and recognitions including Best Rookie Award and Song of the Year Award on various year-end awards. Their hit song I Don't Care is 2009 Best Selling Song on music sites Bugs, Monkey3 and Cyworld.
2010: Return to group activities, and To Anyone
On February 9, 2010, "Follow Me" (Korean: "날 따라 해봐요", "Nal ddara haebwayo") was released to digital outlets, without prior notice and was used as a theme song for Samsung Corby Folder. Over the summer, 2NE1 traveled to Los Angeles and London in order to record English songs for a possible American debut with The Black Eyed Peas member will.i.am. The group has recorded ten songs thus far. YG Entertainment CEO Yang Hyun Suk stated that the girls are planned to debut sometime in 2011, after The Black Eyed Peas global tour and their own activities in Korea and Japan.
The first studio and full length album, To Anyone, was slated for release on September 9, 2010 and was a big success. The album contains 12 tracks including three title songs, namely "Clap Your Hands" (Korean: "박수 쳐"), "Go Away" and "Can't Nobody", which were promoted simultaneously. They won first place on Mnet M! Countdown for "Clap Your Hands" on the day of their comeback, followed by a K-Chart win the next day on KBS Music Bank for "Go Away", and a mutizen a week after their SBS Inkigayo comeback for "Can't Nobody." Overall, 2NE1 had gained first place eleven times on the various music shows.
To promote the album, the group made its first entertainment show appearance as a group on KBS variety-talk show Win Win. 2NE1 also aired the second season of 2NE1 TV.
On October 21, Yang Hyun Suk announced that 2NE1 would be releasing a follow up song on October 31, later revealed to be "It Hurts" (Korean: "아파"). It would be first performed on SBS Inkigayo. The music video for the song is directed by Kim Hye Jung, the same director for G-Dragon's "Butterfly." The music video was released on November 1 and was themed for Halloween.
In addition, on October 28, it was revealed that 2NE1's official record label in Japan will be Avex, and that To Anyone would be re-released in Japan on December 8, 2010. However, the release was delayed to an indefinite time. The group also promoted in Thailand, where To Anyone released on October 28, 2010. On November 26, 2NE1 released the single "Don't Stop the Music" as a "special gift for Thai fans".
2011: International expansion
Originally, 2NE1's Japanese debut was planned for December 2010, but this was delayed to February 2011. In addition, there are plans to release a new Korean album between May and June. 2NE1's American promotions with will.i.am of the Black Eyed Peas has no set time for release yet, because of the Black Eyed Peas' new album release, The Beginning. On January 19, "Can't Nobody (Eng Ver)" was released on Recochoku as ringtones and ringback tones. On February 2, the "Can't Nobody (Eng Ver)" music video was made available for download through iTunes Japan. On February 22, Avex announced that 2NE1 will release their Japanese debut single "Go Away", previously used as a Korean promotional single, as a ringtone on March 9, 2011. It was later announced to be the theme song of Japanese television program Mezamashi TV. 2NE1 planned to make their official Japanese live debut on Music Station, but have since postponed their debut because of the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake.
2NE1, the group's first extended play, was released in Japan on March 16, 2011, with no promotions because of the earthquake. It debuted at number twenty four on the Oricon charts, selling 3,860 copies. The group will also perform for the first time in the Philippines, along with Korean wave stars 2AM in the summer.
It was announced that 2NE1 would push forward their Korean promotions from July to April. It is currently reported that they have completed one song for the new album. Earlier in February, 2NE1 was named one of South Korea's "power celebrities" by Forbes Magazine. In March, the group signed a contract with Adidas for a collaborative project, named Adidas Originals. 2NE1 participated in the Naver "Pray for Japan" campaign alongside many other Korean celebrities, helping to raise funds for earthquake victims.
2NE1's Korean comeback plans were announced on April 18, 2011. After unveiling member Park Bom's solo project on April 21, the group will release a new mini album and promote it until August. There are plans to promote each song on the mini-album. After Korean promotions, they will make their official debut in Japan in September.
2NE1 - I AM THE BEST
Artistry and influencesMusical styles
In 2NE1's debut extended play 2NE1, the group was noted for a distinct style. "Lollipop" is noted for it's strong pop feel, while debut single "Fire" is predominately categorized as hip hop. "I Don't Care," however, was intended as a song with a reggae feel.
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. However, songs like "It Hurts (Slow)" are R&B, a style that characterized their first EP. The three title tracks, "Clap Your Hands," "Go Away," and "Can't Nobody" were noted for their lasting impressions, as they topped music charts weeks after release.
Thematically, 2NE1's music expresses the feelings of independence and female empowerment. Songs like "Go Away" and "I Don't Care" reflect this theme of their music.
2NE1 is known for a "unique and edgier style". During their debut single, the group was noted for being "hip hop warriors," but changed this perception with "I Don't Care" into strong, feminine women. During the "It Hurts (Slow)" music video, the members were noted for their gothic, black attire and strange hair and wigs. In addition, the members have also been known for having a unique femininity and cuteness. They are also known for being international stars as part of the Hallyu, or Korean Wave. Their official fanclub name is Blackjack and their official color is Hot Pink.
The members of 2NE1 have all cited different influences. Park Bom, lead vocalist, 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. Youngest member Minzy cited famous entertainer Michael Jackson, while leader CL said producer Teddy Park and American entertainers Madonna and Lauryn Hill are her role models. Dara states that singer Uhm Jung Hwa is her inspiration.
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. "Fire" also brought them the Song of the Month and Rookie of the Month awards for May. "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. 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". The group was also nominated at the 2009 Golden Disk Awards for the Popularity Award, Rookie Award, and the Digital Bonsang. 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. 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". They are the very first female group to win in those categories in the history of MAMA.
Position: Rapper, Vocal
Blood Type: O
Specialties: Chinese, Japanese
Hobbies: Listening to Music, Writing Lyric
Favorite Color: Pink
English Name: Chae Lee / Faith Lee
Position: Leader, Rapper, Vocal
Blood Type: A
Specialties: France, English, Japanese
Hobby: Writing Lyric
Favorite Color: Black, White
English Name: Sandara Park
Blood Type: A
Specialties: Acting, Filipino, English, Chinese
Hobbies: Listening to music, Surfing Internet
Favorite Color: Pink
English Name: Jenny Park
Position: Main Vocal
Blood Type: AB
Specialties: English, Japanese, Piano, Flute, Chello
Hobby: Listening to music
Favorite Color: Green, Pink, Red