South Korean girl group 2NE1 made electronic, dance-oriented pop music with a heavy R&B and hip-hop influence. Formed by YG Entertainment in 2009, 2NE1 featured vocalists CL (Lee Chae-rin), Minzy (Gong Minji), Dara (Sandara Park), and Bom (Park Bom). In March of 2009, 2NE1 released their debut single, the Teddy Park-produced "Lollipop," which appeared in conjunction with an LG phone promotion. "Lollipop" fared well and was followed by the band's 2009 self-titled debut EP, which included the singles "Fire" and "I Don't Care." In 2010, 2NE1 released their debut full-length album, the Park-produced To Anyone, which topped the album charts in South Korea and reached number seven on the Billboard World Albums chart. Also in 2010, 2NE1 earned Artist of the Year and Album of the Year accolades at the Mnet Asian Music Awards. In 2011, 2NE1 released their second self-titled EP, which featured the single "Don't Cry" and the smash hit "I Am the Best," which topped the Korean charts upon release and later reached number one on the Billboard World Digital Songs ranking in 2014.
Due to the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami, 2NE1 postponed their Japan debut and promotional tour until September of 2011, when they released the Japanese EP Nolza. The band then followed up with another Japanese release, the 2012 full-length studio album Collection. That same year, they embarked on a world tour that included two stops in the United States (Los Angeles and Newark, New Jersey), making them the first K-pop girl group to perform solo in America. 2NE1 released several more singles in 2013, including "Take the World On" (featuring rapper will.i.am), "Falling in Love," and "Do You Love Me." In 2014, 2NE1 released their second full-length Korean album and third full-length album overall, Crush. Once again featuring production from Teddy Park, Crush included the singles "Come Back Home" and "Happy." It would also be their final effort. On November 25, 2016, YG Entertainment announced that 2NE1 had officially disbanded, with CL and Dara pursuing solo careers. ~ Matt Collar & Neil Z. Yeung
- Seoul, South Korea