Meet the fiercest ladies of K-pop. Korean girl group 2NE1 (pronounced “to anyone” or “twenty-one”) is comprised of members CL, Park Bom, Dara, and Minzy. The “21” in the group’s name refers to the 21st century, and NE stands for “New Evolution.” They were first introduced to the public in March 2009 through “Lollipop,” a collaborative track with label mates Big Bang (Korea’s hottest boy band) that immediately topped all the digital charts. Beginning with their debut single “Fire” in May 2009, 2NE1 has consistently and unfailingly swept all the major music charts with each release. Their biggest hits include “I Don’t Care,” “Can’t Nobody,” and “I Am The Best.”
2NE1 has revolutionized the stereotype of Korean girl groups into something much more substantial than just pretty faces and well-toned bodies: From their edgy style and fashion (see “Can’t Nobody” and “I Am The Best”) to their confidence-oozing stage presence and charisma, these girls are a unparalleled presence in today’s K-pop scene. They’ve made a reputation for themselves as mind-blowingly innovative (sometimes questionably so) – not unlike what Lady Gaga and Nicki Minaj do in the states. 2NE1’s music ranges from hip-hop and R&B to reggae and rock, highlighting each member’s unique strengths. Continuously breaking ground at the forefront of the international K-pop craze, 2NE1 recently caught the attention of Black Eyed Peas’ Will.i.am, who swiftly took them under his arm and produced their upcoming U.S. debut album, set to release after their Japanese debut promotions this Fall. Get ready for 2NE1’s global takeover.
Photo by MTV IGGY/Nick Gascoine