2NE1, the powerful and badass queen of YG Entertainment. The four member girl group consisting of – Bom, CL, Dara and Minzy. Each girl had one of a kind personalities and they established incredible fame and achievement during their 7 years in the K-pop industry and officially disbanded in 2017.

Despite having such great fame and success, why did 2NE1 disband after such a short span of time in our lives? In the first our of articles, let’s first revisit the grandeur and excitement that is 2NE1’s journey of success, before we come upon the sad truth.

(image source: tenor @rosaria)

The group name ‘2NE1’ was actually a combination of the word “new evolution” and “21st century”. They were meant to be the new evolution of the 21st century and they were ready to blaze the world with their debut in 2009.

2NE1 was different from other girl groups in that they took the first step to try bold and experimental concepts. They showcased a strong image with unique styling and catchy music which led to their popularity. 2NE1’s fans – Blackjacks – were in love with their chic and sassy characters.

(image source: kpop.fandom.com)
(image source: blackgirlnerds.com)
(image source: thejakartapost.com)

2NE1’s debut was sensational. 2 months prior their official debut, the four of them made their first appearance together with their YG senior, Big Bang, in their ‘Lollipop’ music video on March 27th. Despite being a promotional song for LG’s Lollipop phone, the song received good response and it remained iconic even after years have passed.

(image source: bigbangworldwide blogspot)

2NE1 officially debuted on May 6th with the song ‘Fire’. This debut was a mega success, both “street” and “space” versions of the music video garnered 1 million views within 24 hours. Back in that era, hitting the million mark was a remarkable accomplishment in the K-pop industry. They also received their first music broadcast win on “Inkigayo” with “Fire” 39 days after their debut.

(image source: hotspicykimchi wordpress)

Right after promotions for “Fire” ended, 2NE1 made a comeback with a follow-up single “I Don’t Care” on July 1st. This single was also a huge hit, and was crowned as the 3rd-highest selling album in 2009 with over 100,000 albums sold. They topped various music and search charts as well. The single was later recorded as the most downloaded song in July 2009.

(image source: makeagif –  PepperJuliette)

Members soon got the chance to release and promote their solo and unit songs. Bom released her solo song “You & I”, Dara with her song “Kiss” featuring actor Lee Minho, and CL & Minzy’s duet for “Please Don’t Go”. All of the songs were adored by fans and match well with the member’s individual personalities.

(image source:fulllyricseng wordpress)
(image source: weheartit)
(image source: kstyleblog wordpress)

With their rising popularity, the girls got their own show called “2NE1 TV” aired on Mnet cable TV. It showcased the members’ day-to-day lives and fans watched how they spend 24 hours of their days. Every episode was 60 minutes long and was broadcast on a weekly basis. The concept of the show was fun and easy-going. Fans felt like they got closer with the members after watching the show and fell even deeper in love after getting charmed by their personalities.

Other YG artists, like Big Bang, Teddy, Se7en and Gummy, also appeared in the show from time to time. It was enjoyable watchin funny and cute interactions between 2NE1 with their seniors.

(image source: starnews)

By the end of year, 2NE1 earned the title of the ‘monster rookie’ of the industry. They were nominated in several categories and bagged trophies from numerous award ceremonies.

Despite being a newcomer, 2NE1 was the biggest winner at Mnet Asia Music Awards in 2009. They won a total of 3 awards including “Best New Female Artist”, “Song of the Year” and “Best New Music Video”. It was an incredible honor for a rookie group to win the Daesang award (the grand prize) in just 6 months of debut. The girls were overwhelmed and cried tears of joy while doing their winning speech. Big Bang’s leader G-Dragon was present at the award ceremony as well to congratulate the girls. It was a really touching sight!

(image source: aminoapps – kein.shinji)
(image source: deviantart – darksoulkagome90)

2NE1 also won numerous “Rookie of the Year” award at year-end award ceremonies, once again proving their ‘monster rookie’ title.

At the end of 2009, they achieved a fruitful results of winning 4 daesangs award! Pretty insane right?

(image source: ifahisablackjack wordpress)

Recognised by their success, 2NE1 got chosen to endorsed some of the biggest and well known brands in South Korea like Etude House, Fila, Baskin Robins and Bean Pole.

(image source: etude house)
(image source: fila)
(image source: baskin robins)
(image source: bean pole)

It was indeed a crazy rollercoaster ride for 2NE1 in just 7 months of debut. As a rookie group, they achieved absolutely unbelievable results and proved that they are the next big sensation in K-pop industry. Can you believe this was just the start of 2NE1’s blossoming journey?

(image source: SBS Australia)

So with all the successes and awards won by this surprise group, why did 2NE1 disband? Surely they could continue to set more trends and create more amazing successes in the music industry?

Stay tuned for our next articles featuring 2NE1’s music career. We’re done on our journey through this incredible girl group’s success story!

2NE1’s Journey: Blazing Popularity

As we track the girls’ career, we learn more about their best two years in the music industry:

2NE1’s Journey: The Golden Years