Debut: April 19th, 2011
Debut Song(s): IDK
Agency: (Plan A I mean Plan B…No No No) Play M Entertainment, Cube Entertainment
Fandom Name: Pink Panda
Role: Visual, Center, Lead Dancer
Role: Leader, Main Rapper, Dancer
Role: Rapper, Vocalist, Youngest Member
Role: Main Vocalist, VIP
Role: Main Dancer, Lead Vocalist
Role: Lead Vocalist, Lead Dancer, Rapper
Role: Main Rapper, Vocalist
Past Member (Left 2013)
Even more than SNSD, who quickly switched to a much more girl-crushy/sexy concept, Apink is THE group who brought back the innocent concept to Kpop. Their aesthetics harkens back to the day when Fin.K.L and S.E.S ruled the Kpop girl groups world (although their recent comebacks have switched up to a much more girl-crushy/sexy aesthetics, but still). They are the standards for long-lasting in an ephemeral industry, winning multiple shows year after year and staying as one of the most popular girl groups of South Korea. They are the last big 2nd gen girl group that is still active (and not disbanded (cough, Sistar) or on a “hiatus” (cough f(x)), an impressive feat considering they are not even from a Big 3 company.
Son Naeun was the first member of Apink to be announced by Cube Entertainment in Feburary 2011 (because the number one thing in this industry is still visuals lmao). She starred in several of Beast’s music videos, including “Breath”, “Beautiful”, and “I Like You the Best” (fun fact: you can catch the entire Apink’s lineup in the “Beautiful” music video at one point, see if you can do it). Park Chorong and Oh Hayoung were the next two announced, then Jung Eunji and Hong Yookyung in March, and finally Yoon Bomi and Kim Namjoo.
Their debut EP, “Seven Springs of Apink” was released on April 19, 2011, with the lead single “I Don’t Know”, on April 19, 2011. Apink had their debut stage performance with “I Don’t Know” on Mnet’s M Countdown on April 21. Their second EP, “Snow Pink”, was released on November 22, 2011, featuring the lead single “My My”. The single gave Apink their first ever show win, winning on M Countdown. In the same month Apink won “Female Rookie Award” at the 2011 Mnet Asian Music Awards. They would receive two more “Rookie Awards” in January 2012, at the Korean Culture & Entertainment Awards and the Golden Disk Awards. In February 2012, they received yet another “Rookie of the Year” award, this time at the 2012 Gaon Chart Awards.
The group next released the single “April 19” to celebrate their one-year anniversary. The track was included on their first studio album, “Une Année”, which was released on May 9, 2012, with the lead track “Hush” (no, not anywhere close to the more famous song of the same name by miss A). Eunji was next casted to play the lead role in Reply 1997, the first part of what would become TvN’s Reply trilogy, a huge smash-hit television series in South Korea. Her unexpectedly realistic acting and the drama’s status as a sleeper hit gained Apink more popularity.
In April 2013, it was announced that Yookyung had left the group due to focus on her education, solidifying Apink as the six-piece group that most know them now as.
Then comes Apink’s famous trifecta that are probably THE three most famous songs of their career. First, comes the group’s third EP, “Secret Garden”, with the title track, “NoNoNo” (the first song of the very famous three-songs run of Apink). “NoNoNo” became the group’s highest charting single, peaking at number 2 on Billboard’s K-Pop Hot 100 and winning two more shows for Apink, including their first win on Music Bank.
The second part of their famous trifecta was their breakout. On March 31, 2014, Apink released their fourth EP, “Pink Blossom”, with the title track, “Mr. Chu”. The song peaked at number 2 on Billboard’s K-Pop Hot 100, swweping for Apink 6 show wins. The song finished as the eighth song on the Gaon’s 2014 end-of-year digitals chart (streaming + download) and the 13th song on the Gaon’s 2014 end-of-year download chart.
In June 2014, Bomi and Namjoo formed the subunit Apink BnN and released the single “My Darling”, which was later included on “Pink Luv”, Apink’s fifth EP. On July 8th, Eunji and her label mate Huh Gak released the single “Break Up to Make Up” for the project A Cube for Season #Sky Blue, which ranked 1st for the Gaon weekly digitals chart.
On August 4, 2014, Apink held their debut showcase in Tokyo. Their first Japanese-language single, “NoNoNo”, was officially released on October 22. The single came in at number 4 on Oricon’s weekly singles chart on its debut week.
Finally, to cap off their perfect trifecta, Apink, In November 2014, released their fifth EP, “Pink Luv”, with the title song, “Luv”. The song became Apink’s first time topping the Gaon’s weekly and monthly digital charts. “Pink Luv” also topped Gaon’s weekly album chart in its first week of release. “Luv” was also a music show monster, raking in a triple crown on Inkigayo and at least two wins on every other show, including 5 straight on Music Core (the first group to ever do so). It eventually set a (still-unbroken) record for most show wins by a girl group’s song with 17 show wins. According to Gaon, Apink was the third best-selling girl group of 2014.
In January 2015, the group received (deep breath): the “Digital Bonsang” and “Best Female Performance Group” awards at the 29th Golden Disk Awards, the “Bonsang” and “Popularity” awards at the Seoul Music Awards, the “Best Female Group” award at the Korean Culture and Entertainment Awards. They then went on first headlining concert tour, “Pink Paradise”, with the first venue in Olympic Hall, Olympic Park. Other stops on the tour includes The MAX Pavilion in Singapore and in Shanghai. Apink also furthered their inroads into Japan with the release of a Japanese version of “Mr. Chu” and “Hush” on February 18, 2015. “Mr. Chu” reached number 2 on Oricon’s weekly singles chart in its week of release.
On July 16, 2015, Apink released their second full-length album, “Pink Memory”, with the title track “Remember” (as part of the crazy girl groups’ summer comebacks of 2015: AOA, Apink, SNSD, T-Ara, Sistar, Girl’s Day, T-ara, etc.). On August 26 the group released their first Japanese full-length album, “Pink Season”.
In November 2015, Apink announced their first tour in North America, with stops in Vancouver, Dallas, San Francisco and Los Angeles. The group’s fourth Japanese single Sunday Monday was released on December 9, along with the Japanese version of Petal as B-side track. At the end of 2015, Apink received Top 10 Award at the 2015 MelOn Music Awards. According to the Gaon Chart, Apink finished the year as the second best-selling girl group of 2015 in Korea.
In January 2016, they received the Bonsand Award at Seoul Music Awards and the Disk Bonsang Award for Golden Disk Awards. A few months later, Apink performed with OneRepublic, Far East Movement, Bebe Rexha and Philippines’s artists Gary Valenciano and his son Gabriel, for the MTV Music Evolution in Manilaon 24 June.
Though still popular, Apink started to hit a lull. On September 26, 2016, after a one year+ hiatus, Apink came back with their third full-lengt Korean album, “Pink Revolution”, with the title track, “Only One”. “Only One” topped seven music charts in Korea a few hours after it was released, just missing an all-kill. However, the song wasn’t as popular as Apink’s previous releases, selling less than 500K digital copies, Apink’s lowest number in several years.
On December 15, Apink came back with their first special album, the compilation album “Dear”, which contained five new original songs, three of which are duets sung and written exclusively by pairs of members. The album also included instrumentals and ballad versions of Apink’s previous hits including “Mr. Chu,” “NoNoNo,” and “Luv” (hard to talk Apink without these three hits).
It wasn’t until June 26, 2017 that Apink came back with their sixth EP, “Pink UP” , featuring the lead track “Five”. “Five” was a better success than their previous lead track, peaking at number 4 on digital chart and selling more than 800k+ digital copies by the end of the year. “Pink UP” topped the Gaon Album Chart in its first week of release, Apink’s first album to do so since “Pink Luv”.
Apink held their fourth Korean concert “Pink Space” in Seoul on January 12 and 13, 2018. The concert, sold out tickets three minutes after its announcement. On April 19th, to celebrate their seventh anniversary since debut, Apink released the single “Miracle” and a photobook.
It wasn’t until the release of their seventh mini-album on July 2, titled “One & Six”, with the title track, “I’m So Sick” that Apink rediscovered some of the success they had at their peak. Apink reinvented themselves in this track with a much more girl-crush image with sleeker productions and a more EDM sound with this comeback, in contrast to their previous innocent image and much softer tracks. “I’m So Sick” topped several music charts in South Korea after its release. The album itself topped the Gaon chart and peaked on Billboard’s World Albums chart at No. 11. On December 1, Apink received the Top 10 Artists award at the MelOn Music Awards for “I’m So Sick”.
On January 7, 2019, Apink stayed active with the release of their eighth mini album “Percent”, with the lead track “%%(Eung Eung)”.The single continued Apink’s image makeover, was No. 1 on several music charts in South Korea after its release, and peaked at No. 17 on the Gaon digital chart. “Percent” peaked at No. 3 on the Gaon chart and No. 14 on the Billboard World Albums chart.
On March 13, 2020, it was announced that Apink would be making a comeback in April (date TBA) (keep going Apink for us second-gen fans).
– Bu Bi Bu:
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