Group Name: 2NE1 (투애니원) Debut: May 17, 2009 Debut Single: “Fire” Members: Bom, CL, Dara Former Members: Minzy
2NE1 is YG Entertainment’s most senior girl group. They kicked off their career with the pre-release of a collaborative digital single entitled “Lollipop” with label mates BIGBANG. 2NE1 made their official debut a few months later with teh May 2009 release of “Fire”. The song was very well received, with both versions of the music video garnering over a million views in 24 hours.
2NE1 released their first EP following their debut in July 2009 with a lead single entitled “I Don’t Care”. Over the next few months, the group went on a brief hiatus and the members worked on individual releases. In the summer of 2010, they headed to America to collaborate with will.i.am of The Black Eyed Peas. The group returned to Korea with their first full-length album, To Anyone, in September 2010. 2NE1 promoted three main singles from the album: “Clap Your Hands”, “Go Away”, and “Can’t Nobody”. The group followed up their promotion of the album with a single entitled “It Hurts”. At the close of 2010, 2NE1 took home Mnet Asian Music Awards for “Artist of the Year” and “Album of the Year” for their work on To Anyone.
2NE1 made their Japanese debut in early 2011, but promotions were cut short before they could even really start due to the devastating earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan. 2NE1 thus returned to Korea where they released a new single entitled “Lonely” in May. The following month, 2NE1 released one of their biggest hits to date, “I Am the Best”. The single went on to win “Song of the Year” at the Mnet Asian Music Awards, and propelled the group’s self-titled EP to commercial success. 2NE1 followed “I Am the Best” with music videos for “I Hate You” and “Ugly” before returning to Japan in September 2011 to try again for a debut there. They released a Japanese version of their 2NE1 album which they retitled Nolza before touring around Japan, drawing 70,000 audience members.
In 2012 2NE1 once again returned to Korean in July 2012, this time with a critically-acclaimed single entitled “I Love You”. The group followed the release with their New EvolutionWorld Tour, the stage outfits for which were designed by Moschino Creative Director Jeremy Scott. Following the tour, in April of 2013 will.i.am released his solo album Willpower, containing “Gettin’ Dumb”, a track on which 2NE1 was featured. Two months later, 2NE1 made their Korean comeback with a reggae-influenced track entitled “Falling in Love”, followed up by another single entitled “Do You Love Me” a few weeks later and “Missing You” a few months after that. “Missing You” became 2NE1’s tenth #1 single over the course of their career.
In February 2014, 2NE1 released their second full-length album, Crush. The album’s lead single “Come Back Home” reigned over the charts at the number one position for the entire month of March following its released. The album sold 5,000 copies in the United States, making it Kpop’s highest selling album in America to date.
In July 2014, the group was rocked by controversy. It was belatedly revealed that 2NE1 member Bom had been under investigation in 2010 for drug smuggling, having attempted to bring 80 amphetamine tablets into Korea from the United States. Bom was never officially charged or prosecuted for the 2010 incident, which caused many to speculate that she had received preferential treatment due to her celebrity status. YG Entertainment co-founder and CEO Yang Hyun Suk made a statement on the issue, claiming that the drugs were legally prescribed to Bom by her doctors in the U.S., and that she brought them into Korea without knowing that they were illegal there.
Due to the issue, 2NE1 has been on a group hiatus since 2014. The members have focused on individual activities, with Dara acting in dramas, Minzy opening her own “Millennium Dance Academy”, and CL focusing on her American debut, while Park Bom remains in indefinite reflection. In April 2016, YG Entertainment announced that Minzy would officially be leaving the group following her contract expiration. Minzy is the only member who didn’t re-sign her contract with YG, while CL, Dara, and Bom will remain together as 2NE1 in a trio.