CL (singer)

Lee Chae-rin (born on February 26, 1991[1]), better known by her stage name CL, is a South Korean singer-songwriter and rapper.[2] Born in Seoul, South Korea, she spent much of her early life in Japan and France.[3] CL trained at JYP Entertainment before joining YG Entertainment at the age of fifteen and debuted as a member of the girl group 2NE1 in 2009.[4] Following her group took a break, CL embarked her solo career in the United States in 2015. In 2016, 2NE1 officially disbanded and CL remained a solo act under YG until her contract expired in November 2019.[5]

CL in 2013
Native name
Lee Chae-rin

(1991-02-26) February 26, 1991
Seoul, South Korea
NationalitySouth Korean
  • Singer-songwriter
  • rapper
Years active2007–present
Musical career
OriginSeoul, South Korea
Associated acts
Korean name
Revised RomanizationI Chae-rin
McCune–ReischauerI Ch'ae-rin


1991–2008: Early life and career beginnings

Lee Chae-rin was born in Seoul, South Korea, but spent most of her childhood living in Paris, Tsukuba, and Tokyo. When she was 13, she moved to Paris alone where she studied for two years.[6] Lee got an audition with YG Entertainment when she was 15.[3][6] Her first feature on a song recording was Big Bang's "Intro (Hot Issue)" in 2007. Later that year, Lee performed for the first time on stage at Seoul Broadcasting System's Gayo Daejeon alongside her label mates. Her first credited appearance in a song was in 2008, with Uhm Jung-hwa's "DJ," in which she rapped.[7]

2009–2013: Debut with 2NE1 and solo career beginnings

Lee took on the stage name 'CL' and was placed as the leader and main rapper of 2NE1, alongside Bom, Sandara Park and Minzy. The group then collaborated with label-mates Big Bang for the song "Lollipop" before officially debuting on SBS's The Music Trend on May 17, 2009 where they performed "Fire". 2NE1 achieved significant success with the number-one single "I Don't Care" from their first extended play, 2NE1, which won them the "Song of the Year" award at the 2009 Mnet Asian Music Awards, making them the first rookie group to win a daesang in the same year of debut.

In August 2009, she collaborated with label-mates G-Dragon and Teddy Park of 1TYM for the single "The Leaders", featured on G-Dragon's first solo album, Heartbreaker. The same month, after the group finished with "I Don't Care" promotions, CL collaborated with fellow member Minzy for "Please Don't Go," which charted at number six on the Gaon Chart by the end of November.[8] Her first solo single, "The Baddest Female", was released on 28 May 2013.[9] For 2NE1's second album Crush, CL wrote the lyrics and co-composed the music for the tracks "Crush", "If I Were You", and "Baby I Miss You". She also wrote the lyrics for her solo track "MTBD", as well as the track "Scream".[10]

In October 2014, it was announced that CL was planning to debut as a solo artist the following year in the United States, teaming up with Scooter Braun as her manager.[11] In May 2015, she featured in Diplo's single "Doctor Pepper", alongside Riff Raff and OG Maco.[12] In November 2015, CL released her first single "Hello Bitches", as a teaser for her upcoming EP Lifted.[13][14] The lead single, "Lifted" was released on August 19, 2016.[15] The song appeared in the Top 30 of iTunes’ Hip-Hop/Rap chart within three hours of being released, peaking at 21.[16] Time noted her as the "future of Kpop in America".[17] On October 29, 2016, CL kicked off her first North American tour, the Hello Bitches Tour, in New York City's Hammerstein Ballroom, and concluded in Toronto on November 14.[18]

Alongside Shaiana, she featured on Lil Yachty's song "Surrender", an exclusive track off of the Target deluxe edition of his album Teenage Emotions, released on May 26, 2017.[19] CL also recorded an original single titled "No Better Feelin'" for the My Little Pony: The Movie soundtrack, released on September 22, 2017.[20] On January 4, 2018, she was reported to make her Hollywood debut as an actress in Peter Berg's film Mile 22 that stars Mark Wahlberg.[21] On February 25 2018, CL performed at the 2018 Winter Olympics closing ceremony at Pyeongchang Olympic Stadium, performing parts from "The Baddest Female" and the 2NE1 global hit "I Am the Best".[22] At the closing ceremony, she met with South Korean President Moon Jae-in, First Lady Kim Jung-sook, Exo, and U.S. First Daughter Ivanka Trump.[23]

2019–present: Departure from YG Entertainment and In the Name of Love

On November 8, 2019, YG Entertainment announced that CL did not renew her contract with the company.[24] On December 4, CL began releasing new music from her debut solo EP In the Name of Love, beginning with the songs "+DONE161201+" and "+REWIND170205+".[25]

Musical style and influences

CL cites 1TYM leader Teddy Park, who produced much of 2NE1's music, as an influence and inspiration, as well as Madonna, Queen, and Lauryn Hill.[3][26]


Extended plays

Title Details Peak chart positions Sales
In the Name of Love TBA TBA TBA


As lead artist

Title Year Peak positions Sales Album
"Please Don't Go" (with Minzy) 2009 6 N/A To Anyone
"The Baddest Female"
(나쁜 기집애)
2013 4 Non-album single
"MTBD" (멘붕) 2014 15 Crush
"Hello Bitches" 2015 21 Non-album single
"+REWIND170205+" 2019 N/A In the Name of Love
"+DONE161201+" 154
"+I QUIT180327+"
"Lifted" 2016 94 N/A Non-album single


Title Year Peak positions Sales Album
"Doctor Pepper" (with Diplo, Riff Raff & OG Maco) 2015 47 Non-album single
"₩1,000,000" (G-Dragon X CL X Okasian X BewhY) 2016 N/A Unreleased
Title Year Peak positions Album
"Hot Issue" (Big Bang feat. CL) 2007 * Hot Issue
"DJ" (Uhm Jung-hwa feat. CL) 2008 D.I.S.C.O
"What" (YMGA feat. YG Family & DJ Wreckx) Non-album single
"The Leaders" (G-Dragon feat. CL & Teddy) 2009 38 Heartbreaker
"Kiss" (Dara featuring CL) 5 To Anyone
"Daddy" (Psy featuring CL) 2015 1 40 20 25 6 97 Chiljip Psy-da
"Dirty Vibe" (Skrillex feat. Diplo, G-Dragon, & CL) 2014 15 Recess
"Surrender" (Lil Yachty feat. CL & Shaiana) 2017 Teenage Emotions
"Dopeness" (The Black Eyed Peas feat. CL) 2018 Masters of the Sun Vol. 1
"Cut It Up" (PKCZ feat. CL & Afrojack) 2019 Non-album single
"—" denotes recordings which were not released in that country or failed to chart.

Soundtrack appearances

Title Year Album
"No Better Feelin'" 2017 My Little Pony: The Movie


Awards and nominations

Year Organization Award Work Result
2013 Mnet 20's Choice Awards 20's Style Award N/A Won
Mnet Asian Music Awards Best Dance Performance – Female Solo[36] "The Baddest Female" Won
Song of the Year Nominated
MYX Philippines Hottest Female Star of 2013 N/A Won
SBS MTV Best of the Best Best Female Solo[37] Nominated
2014 Seoul Music Awards Bonsang Awards "The Baddest Female" Nominated
Popularity Awards Nominated
YinYueTai V-Chart Awards Top Female Artist (Korean)[38] N/A Won
Style Icon Awards Top 10 Style Icons Nominated
2016 Nominated
2019 45th People's Choice Awards The Most Inspiring Asian Woman Won


  1. Mark Russell (29 April 2014). K-Pop Now!: The Korean Music Revolution. Tuttle Publishing. p. 77. ISBN 978-1-4629-1411-1.
  2. "CL at Naver Music". Naver Music (in Korean). NHN Corp. Retrieved November 13, 2010.
  3. Park, Mi-ae (May 22, 2009). "CL, "데모 테이프 들고 무작정 YG 문 노크"" [CL, "knocked on the YG Entertainment door to hand in my demo tape"]. eDaily SPN (in Korean). eDaily. Retrieved November 23, 2010.
  4. "Female Big Bang to be Unveiled". KBS Global. March 25, 2009. Retrieved November 13, 2010.
  5. "CL Leaves Longtime K-Pop Label: Report". Retrieved December 10, 2019.
  6. "[CL] 1부. 새해 첫 날, 눈물 젖은 자장면 드셔보셨나요?". OSEN (in Korean). Retrieved June 13, 2013.
  7. "Uhm Jung Hwa 2008 Mini Album – D.I.S.C.O". Retrieved November 13, 2010.
  8. "Gaon Chart Search: CL". Gaon Chart (in Korean). Korea Music Content Industry Association. Retrieved November 13, 2010.
  9. "The Baddest Female CL releases her solo debut MV". allkpop. 2013-05-28.
  10. "K-Pop Superstar CL to Enter America With Scooter Braun", Billboard, 16 October 2014. Accessed 13 October 2015.
  11. "2NE1's CL confirmed to make her U.S. debut as a solo artist".
  12. "Diplo Featuring CL, RiFF RAFF & OG Maco "Doctor Pepper" Music Video".
  13. "CL Preps Debut English EP 'Lifted' for Fall". Retrieved 2016-08-18.
  14. "Diplo Talks K-Pop & New Songs Recorded With CL in 'Time' Interview". Retrieved 2016-08-18.
  15. "CL gets 'Lifted' in her newest solo MV! |". Retrieved 2016-08-18.
  16. "K-Pop Star CL Reaches New Heights on Debut Single 'Lifted'".
  17. "K-POP's Next Act". Retrieved 2016-11-02.
  18. "CL will embark on solo tour of North America, called 'HELLO BITCHES TOUR 2016'". Retrieved November 3, 2016.
  19. "CL to feature in Lil Yachty's new album!".
  20. Herman, Tamar (2017-09-15). "K-Pop Star CL Bringing 'No Better Feelin' to 'My Little Pony' Movie Soundtrack". Billboard. Retrieved 2017-09-17.
  21. "CL Makes Hollywood Debut in MILE 22, to be Released on August 17". Korean Film. July 10, 2018.
  22. Herman, Tamar (February 25, 2018). "K-Pop Stars CL & EXO Impress at Winter Olympics Closing Ceremony". Billboard.
  23. Trump, Ivanka (2018-02-25). "The world witnessed the extraordinary stories and successes of hundreds of athletes at this year's #WinterOlympics. The Olympic Closing Ceremony was an amazing tribute to all those that competed at #PyeongChang2018!". @IvankaTrump. Retrieved 2018-02-26.
  24. "씨엘, 결국 YG 떠난다…"전속계약 종료 합의..각별한 마음으로 응원"[공식입장]". Naver (in Korean). November 8, 2019. Retrieved November 8, 2019.
  25. Pauly, Alexandra (December 4, 2019). "CL Launches Merch for 'In the Name of Love'". Hypebae. Retrieved December 4, 2019.
  26. Park Yeong-ung (October 13, 2010). ""박봄은 비욘세?"..2NE1이 밝힌 롤모델은?" ["Park Bom and Beyoncé?" Who are 2NE1's role models?]. Star News (in Korean). MoneyToday. Retrieved November 13, 2010."CL style inspiration for Lil' Kim". The Fashion Law. Retrieved May 14, 2016.
  27. "Gaon Digital Chart". Gaon Chart (in Korean). Korea Music Content Industry Association. Retrieved March 11, 2018.
  28. "GAON STREAMING CHART [see 170]". Gaon Chart (in Korean). Korea Music Content Industry Association. Archived from the original on February 28, 2014. Retrieved September 15, 2017.
  29. "EXO and CL See Sales and Social Leaps After Winter Olympics Closing Ceremony". Billboard. Retrieved March 11, 2018.
    • "2014년 Download Chart". Gaon Chart (in Korean). Korea Music Content Industry Association. Retrieved September 13, 2017.
  30. Cumulative sales by week for Hello Bitches:
  31. "Gaon Digital Chart". Gaon Chart (in Korean). Korea Music Content Industry Association. Retrieved March 11, 2018.
  32. Gaon Digital Chart
  33. Apache Tomcat/7.0.23 Archived 2014-07-14 at the Wayback Machine
  34. "2013 SBS MTV Best of the Best". MTV Korea. Retrieved June 29, 2017.
  35. "". Archived from the original on 2016-09-19. Retrieved 2014-08-12.
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