Once again, we celebrate 2NE1’s accomplishments as Minzy sets out to things on her own.
If 2009 and 2010 were big years for 2NE1, then 2011 would be their biggest.
Once again, 2011 started out quietly. Until April, when we finally received news of a comeback. Bom released her second solo single, “Don’t Cry” on April 21, 2011. Like her previous single, “You & I”, “Don’t Cry” was a mega-hit.
In May 2011, 2NE1 came back with another ballad, “Lonely”. Unlike “It Hurts”, “Lonely” had more of an acoustic feel to it. Thus, another hit under 2NE1’s belt.
Neither “Don’t Cry” nor “Lonely” were ever properly promoted. In fact, both songs were only performed once on a music show: Inkigayo, on May 29th. This once again demonstrates the power of 2NE1.
Then, in June, we heard there was another release coming soon. The song’s title? “I AM THE BEST” (내가 제일 잘 나가). In anticipation, we heard ten second snippets of it prior to it’s’ release date. Then, on June 24, 2011, “I AM THE BEST” was finally released. What is there to say? “I AM THE BEST” is arguably a representative, if not the representative K-Pop song. Even if you don’t know K-Pop, you’ve at least heard of “I AM THE BEST”. (Are you ready for the B-E-S-T?) Of course, this song ended up being one of 2NE1’s biggest hits in their history. It ended up getting a perfect all-kill. (Meaning it was #1 on all the charts and the Instiz daily streaming chart) Even though they won two music show awards for this song, it didn’t matter, because you can, to this day, hear “I AM THE BEST” being played somewhere.
We can’t neglect the fact that 2NE1 had once again changed their style. Before, they were sleek and bit more feminine. Now, they were much more badass in their metallic get-ups. 2NE1 caused quite the stir with this new style.
2NE1’s 2nd mini album was released on July 8, 2011. It went on to be 2NE1’s best-selling album digitally, acquiring over 14,000,000 downloads. But wait, there’s more! 2NE1 went on to promote the remaining tracks, “Hate You” and “Ugly”. Both songs were also hits.
In August, 2NE1 had their first concert, “Nolza!” (Their signature phrase meaning “Let’s Play!”. ) These concerts, only two dates, sold out in two minutes! Due to the high demand, another date was added. Season 3 of 2NE1tv was airing at the time, and it captured everything 2NE1 had gone through just to get to hold their very first concert on their own. It was clearly not an easy feat, and one 2NE1 had to put in countless hours for. Needless to say, 2NE1’s concerts were successful. 2NE1 also ended up promoting their mini album until late August.
In September, 2NE1 started their promotional activities in Japan. They were releasing their EP “Nolza”, which consisted of Japanese remakes of songs from their 2nd mini album. The girls’ first Japanese music show appearance was on Music Station on September 2, 2011. From then on, they performed on Music Japan, HEY!HEY!HEY!, and Happy Music. “Nolza” was pretty successful, selling over 48,000 copies.
2NE1 also went on to promote their first Japanese single, a Japanese remake of “Go Away”. Their most successful Japanese single to date, it went on to sell over 20,000 copies.
In the midst of all of this, 2NE1 were also crowned MTV Iggy’s Best New Band In The World. This honor brought the girls to New York to meet some of their beloved fans and perform a couple of songs.
No talk of 2NE1 in 2011 is complete without discussing their epic performance at the 2011 Mnet Asian Music Awards. It started off with a wonderful (and short) performance of “Lonely”. At one point, the girls stop singing, and you hear the audience filling in. You then hear 2NE1 finish the song. Then, everything goes black. CL appears on the screen, and takes a bat to said screen, breaking it. We then get these 4 girls leaving it all on the stage, performing like their lives depended on it. They disappear for a bit for a dance interlude. They then come back (Nuga nega naboda deo jal naga? No no no no, na na na na… ), and show they haven’t lost any of their luster. The girls end on a high note, the crowd goes wild, and we all live happily ever after. 2NE1 ended up winning “Best Vocal Performance” and “Song of the Year” that night.
2011. The year 2NE1 showed what they were made of.