Lee Chaerin, well known by the stage name “CL” and as the leader of YG Entertainment’s best selling girl group, 2NE1. With strong charisma and fierce stage presence, CL is a dependable leader who leads the members slay through their years in the music industry!
Since her debut with 2NE1 in 2009, CL established herself as a competent rapper, vocalist, dancer, songwriter and an all-round entertainer. CL’s unique stage name came from her name syllables “Chae-L”, which sounds similar to “Ciel”, and means “Sky” in french.
Hence, the stage name “CL” was born!
CL joined YG Entertainment as a trainee since she was 15 years old and it is currently her 13th year in the company. Over the years in YG Entertainment, CL brought incredible success with the 2NE1 members where they rose to fame and achieved countless prominent awards.
With 2NE1’s popularity and global recognition toward the peak of their career, CL set her sight firmly on releasing music that best represent her and her team. The songs that CL released have always gone viral with their addictive tunes and lyrics.
CL’s first solo single “The Baddest Female” was released in 2013 and it had 1 million views within 24 hours. The song was awarded the Best Dance Performance for female solo category in Mnet Asian Music Award 2013.
The line “not bad meaning bad but bad meaning good” was certainly a line in “The Baddest Female” that got everyone hooked.
CL’s songwriting talents were at their best when she wrote four songs for 2NE1’s 2nd full album “Crush”, including her own track “MTBD (Mental Breakdown)“. The track was recorded as the most downloaded track in the album.
CL’s solo career drew high expectations due to her overflowing talent. When 2NE1 went on their hiatus and parted ways, everyone had their eyes peeled on her possible American debut.
She went ahead to expand on her music career and her initial plan was to debut in the United States with Scooter Braun as her manager since 2014. However, it was constantly put off due to unknown circumstances.
In the end, CL collaborated with American music producer Diplo and American rappers Riff Raff and OG Maco. They released the song “Doctor Pepper” where she received some of the credits for writing the song.
In 2015, CL was finally able to greet her fans with a new song titled “Hello Bitches”. The song had both Korean and English lyrics which was a good way to attract international fans. “Hello Bitches” was a powerful comeback, further growing CL’s fame in Korea.
The song drew many supportive shout-outs from GBZs, the name given to CL’s individual fanbase.
It was a dream come true when CL’s American single “Lifted” was released in 2016. Targeting audiences from the west, “Lifted” was delivered entirely in English. The long-awaited song was written and produced by YG Entertainment’s trusty producer, Teddy. CL write the lyrics alongside Amercian rapper, Asher Roth.
The music video was directed by Dave Meyers, the famous veteran who also worked on Katy Perry’s “Fireworks”, Billie Eilish’s “Bad Guy” and Shawn Mendes & Camila Cabello’s “Señorita” music video. CL is also a personal fan of Dave Meyers.
All of CL solo songs had a fiery concept with intense rapping that brings out her confidence and bold image.
Soon, CL embarked on her “Hello Bitches” tour. On October 29, 2016, her first North American tour began. The tour consisted of 9 shows while traveling through 9 cities. It kicked off from New York City’s Hammerstein Ballroom and successfully concluded in Toronto on November 14, 2016.
The concert setlist consisted mostly of songs from 2NE1’s albums and fans reminisced on past memories of their music. Her previous single, “Lifted”, was included in the setlist too.
CL’s makeup has been talk of the town and she is well known for her fashion in the industry as a regular of fashion weeks. With her signature smokey eyes and winged eyeliner, CL took her chance and ventured into the fashion world.
CL even rubbed shoulders and formed connections with big names in the fashion world like Jeremy Scoot and Alexander Wang.
Underneath the tough exterior, CL has a warm heart and approachable personality. She gets along well with members and presented an exemplary example as a leader. Even though CL is the 2nd youngest member in 2NE1, the members trusted and respected the decisions she made.
Fun fact: this sassy queen once slept for 20 hours and was known as the “sleeping pill” in 2NE1.
CL was honored to perform for the closing ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics that took place in Pyeongchang Olympic Stadium. She hyped up everyone with her queenly entrance and performed “The Baddest Female” and 2NE1’s hit track “I’m The Best”.
The people chanted and sung along to the famous anthem. It was her performance in Korea after a long period of time, hence it was a meaningful act that hit home.
CL’s perseverance was commendable and she truly is Korea’s bright shining star who never fears judgment.
Don’t miss out on any of the members of 2NE1! They’re just too beautiful to miss out on!