Apink (Korean: 에이핑크, Japanese: エーピンク; also written A Pink) is a South Korean girl group formed by A Cube Entertainment in 2011. The group consists of Park Cho-rong, Yoon Bo-mi, Jung Eun-ji, Son Na-eun, Kim Nam-joo and Oh Ha-young. Hong Yoo-kyung left the group in April 2013 to focus on her studies.
The group has released five Korean extended plays and one studio album. In April 2011, Apink released their first extended play (EP), Seven Springs of Apink, and performed a song from it, "Mollayo" (몰라요; "I Don't Know"), on Mnet's M! Countdown. The group has continued to perform live and on television shows since then. Apink released their first Japanese-language single, "NoNoNo", in October 2014. Their fifth Korean EP, Pink Luv, released in November 2014, debuted at No. 1 on Gaon's weekly album chart.
In February 2011, Cube Entertainment announced the first trainee for its new girl group, Apink, was Son Na-eun, who was featured in label mate Beast's "Soom" (숨; "Breath"), "Beautiful" and "Niga Jeil Joha" (니가 제일 좋아; "I Like You the Best") music videos in late 2010. Park Cho-rong, who appeared at the end of Beast's "Shock" Japanese music video, joined next, as the group's leader. A sub-division of Cube Entertainment, A Cube Entertainment is the group's manager. Still in February, A Cube announced Oh Ha-young as the third member. In March, Jung Eun-ji was introduced as the fourth member on A Cube's Twitter account through a video of her singing a rendition of Jennifer Hudson's "Love You I Do". Hong Yoo-kyung was similarly announced through an online video where she was playing the piano. The last two members, Yoon Bo-mi and Kim Nam-joo, were introduced through the group's reality show, Apink News.
Prior to the group's debut, the documentary Apink News aired on the Korean cable channel Trend E. The show chronicled the launch process of Apink. The episodes were hosted by various celebrities, including G.NA, Mario, MBLAQ's Seung Ho and G.O, Beast, 4minute, 2AM's Jinwoon, Secret's Sunhwa and Hyoseong. The week before Apink's official debut, they released their first television commercial for Ceylon Tea.
2011: Seven Springs of Apink and Snow Pink:
The group released their debut EP, Seven Springs of Apink and the music video for its lead single, "Mollayo" (몰라요; "I Don't Know"), on April 19, 2011. The album consists of five songs, including "It Girl" and "Wishlist". The music video for "Mollayo" featured Beast's Lee Gi-kwang. Apink made their debut stage performance with "Mollayo" on Mnet's M! Countdown on April 21 to promote their album. After several months of promoting "Mollayo", they began promoting "It Girl". Apink also recorded the song "Uri Geunyang Saranghage Haejuseyo" (우리 그냥 사랑하게 해주세요; "Please Let Us Love") for the SBS drama, Protect the Boss, the soundtrack of which was released in September 2011.
In November 2011, Apink began recording a reality television show called Birth of a Family with boy band Infinite. The show followed the efforts of the two idol groups to care for abandoned and mistreated animals over the course of eight weeks.
The group released their second EP, Snow Pink, on November 22, 2011, featuring the lead single "My My", a song composed by Shinsadong Tiger. Promotions for "My My" began on November 25 on KBS' Music Bank. The promotions for "My My" included a one-day idol tea café, serving fans to raise profits for charity, where the group members prepared the food and drinks themselves. The members also auctioned off personal items for charity.
Still in November, Apink received their first award, the "Female Rookie Award", at the 2011 Mnet Asian Music Awards held in Singapore. In December 2011, Apink and Beast released a music video of the song "Skinny Baby" for school uniform brand Skoolooks. In January 2012, they received three more "Rookie Awards", at the Korean Culture & Entertainment Awards and the Golden Disk Awards held in Osaka and the High 1 Seoul Music Awards in Seoul.
2012-2013: Une Année and Secret Garden:
In January 2012, Apink won their first music show award on Mnet's M! Countdown for "My My". In February, they received the "Rookie of the Year" award at the 1st Gaon Chart Awards. The group performed at the Canadian Music Fest in March 2012.Apink News was continued for three seasons. For season 3, which began to air in June 2012, Apink members contributed as writers, camera operators, directors, and in other production jobs.
The group next released the eponymous "April 19" (4월 19일) to celebrate their one-year anniversary. The song was composed by Kim Jin-hwan, with lyrics by the group's leader, Park Chorong. The song was included on their first studio album, Une Année, which was released on May 9, 2012. The group began promotion of the album with weekly appearances on music programs to perform the title song "Hush" through June. They continued to promote the album in July with the release of their third single from the album, "Bubibu". The single was chosen by fans through a poll on Mnet's website.
In January 2013, Apink recorded another single with Beast to promote Skoolooks. On January 5, at the AIA K-POP 2013 concert in Hong Kong, the group performed several of their songs along with other Cube Entertainment groups 4Minute and Beast. In April 2013, Hong Yoo-kyung left the group to focus on her studies.
The group's third EP, Secret Garden, and music for its title track, "NoNoNo", were released on July 5, 2013. "NoNoNo" was the group's highest charting single, peaking at number 2 on Billboard's K-Pop Hot 100. In November 2013, at the 2013 Mnet Asian Music Awards, Apink received the Next Generation Global Star award. In December, Apink collaborated with fellow Cube Entertainment acts Beast, 4Minute, BTOB, G.NA, Roh Ji-hoon, Shin Ji-hoon and Kim Kiri to release "Christmas Song". In the same month, they recorded a collaboration single with B.A.P, titled "Mini" for Skoolooks.
2014: Pink Blossom, Japanese debut and Pink Luv:
On January 13, 2014, Apink released "Good Morning Baby", a song composed by Duble Sidekick, to celebrate the 1,000th day since the group's debut. The song peaked at number 6 on Gaon's weekly chart. Their fourth EP, Pink Blossom, and the music video for its title track, "Mr. Chu", by Duble Sidekick, were released on March 31. The song peaked at number 2 on Billboard's K-Pop Hot 100. Apink won six music show trophies for "Mr. Chu", and the song was the eighth best selling digital song in 2014, according to Gaon's year-end chart.
In June 2014, Yoon Bomi and Kim Namjoo formed a sub-unit called Apink BnN, which released the single "My Darling" for Brave Brothers' 10th Anniversary Project. "My Darling" was later included on Pink Luv, Apink's fifth EP. The single "Break Up to Make Up" for the project A Cube for Season #Sky Blue, featuring Jung Eunji and label mate Huh Gak, was released on July 8, ranking first on Gaon's weekly digital chart.
In August, Apink was chosen to replace Beast on MBC Every1's reality show, Showtime.Apink's Showtime first aired on August 7, 2014, and there were a total of eight episodes. The show followed Apink's daily activities.
Apink debuted in Japan with a showcase on August 4 in Tokyo and on September 15 in Osaka with 6,000 fans in attendance. Their first Japanese-language single, "NoNoNo", also including a Japanese version of "My My", was released on October 22. The single was number 4 on Oricon's weekly singles chart. More than 20,000 fans reportedly gathered for their debut events held in three Japanese cities.
From September to November 2014, Apink raised funds for the Seungil Hope Foundation to build a hospital for ALS patients. In November, Apink's online fan club surpassed 100,000 members, a rare occurrence for a Korean girl group. On November 13, Apink received the Best Female Dance award at the 6th MelOn Music Awards for their video of "Mr. Chu".
In November 2014, the group released their fifth EP, Pink Luv, as well as the music video for its title song, "Luv", which was composed by Shinsadong Tiger. The song was Apink's first number 1 ranking on Gaon's weekly and monthly digital charts, and Pink Luv topped Gaon's weekly album chart in its first week of release. Apink first performed "Luv" live at a showcase on November 20, followed by a performance of Music Bank the next day, prior to the album's release. The group won first place on all three major Korean music shows two weeks in a row, the only girl group to do so in 2014. Besides The Show and Music Core, they also won a triple crown on Inkigayo, which only allows three wins before removing a song from competition. They finished the year by winning all the music shows in December with "Luv". On Gaon's year-end ranking, Apink was the third best selling girl group in 2014.
2015: First concert, Mr. Chu and Pink Paradise Concert Tour:
On January 10, 2015, Apink became the first group to win five consecutive awards on Music Core. The same month, the group received the "Digital Bonsang" and "Best Female Performance Group" awards at the 29th Golden Disk Awards in Beijing, "Bonsang" and "Popularity" awards at the Seoul Music Awards, "Best Female Group" at the Korean Culture and Entertainment Awards and "Best Single of December" at the Gaon Chart K-Pop Awards. Their first headlining concert, billed as 'Pink Paradise', was held in Olympic Hall, Olympic Park, on January 30 and 31. The 7,200 concert tickets sold out within two minutes after going on sale. Apink released a Japanese version of "Mr. Chu" on February 18, 2015, which also included a Japanese version of "Hush". It reached number 2 on Oricon's weekly singles chart, selling 54,000 copies the first week of its release.
In February 2015, Apink entered Forbes Korea's Korea Power Celebrity 40 for the first time at number 18. That same month, the group was chosen as one of the "Best 3 New Artists (Asia)" at the Japan Gold Disc Awards, held by the Recording Industry Association of Japan.
Apink headlined their first overseas concert "Pink Paradise" in Singapore at The MAX Pavilion on March 22. They are also scheduled to appear at a number of events in Hanoi and Los Angeles.
Apink released a single entitled "Promise U" on April 19, written by Jung Eun-ji to commemorate the group's fourth anniversary. A Japanese version of "Luv" is scheduled for release on May 20 as their third single, with "Good Morning Baby" as the B-side. They will perform the song for the first time at the "Girls Award 2015 Spring/Summer" in Tokyo on April 29 ahead of the release.
On May 30, Apink held Pink Paradise in Shanghai.
Image and musical style:
Apink's image and music style are often compared to first-generation idol girl groups S.E.S. and Fin.K.L. Apink is known for their innocent image, unusual among girl groups' sexy concepts. In 2012, member Oh Ha-young said, "Other girl groups these days tend to highlight their dancing skills and sexy looks, but our concept was an innocent and pure image. I think that's why the audience felt comfortable with us." Their 2014 song, "Luv", shows a more mature side to the group but still retains their trademark innocence.
Apink's music generally fits within the bubblegum pop genre. Jeff Benjamin of Billboard commented that "NoNoNo" was influenced by 1980s synth-pop and "Luv" recalls 1990s hip-hop.
Park Cho-rong (Hangul:박초롱) was born in Chungcheongbuk-do, South Korea on March 3, 1991. She has two sisters, one older and one younger. She attended Chungbuk High School. Her father owns a hapkido center, and she studied hapkido for eight years, earning a third degree black belt. Park auditioned for JYP Entertainment in 2009 and was a finalist. She was introduced to the public through the Japanese version of Beast's "Shock" music video. She wrote the lyrics for Apink's songs "April 19th", "Love Story", "So Long" and "Wanna Be".
Park made her acting debut in 2011 on MBC's All My Love, a South Korean sitcom. She then had a cameo in the Korean drama Reply 1997 (2012) as the 18-year-old form of Seong Si-won's mother. In 2014, she had her first leading role as Han Soo-ah, a popular, but mysterious high school student, in tvN's drama, Plus Nine Boys.
Yoon Bo-mi (Hangul: 윤보미, Hanja: 尹普美) was born in Suwon, South Korea on August 13, 1993. She has one older sister, Yoon Sun-mi, and a younger brother, Yoon Jong-jin. She attended Youngshin Girls High School and later Korea Arts High School, from which she graduated in February 2012. She put off college to concentrate on music.
In 2012, Yoon had a cameo role in Reply 1997, where she portrayed the teenage version of Moon Jeong-mi, Yoon Yoon-jae's mother. She has been an MC on the variety show Weekly Idol since 2013. In late 2013, she appeared in K-Hunter's "Marry Me" music video and featured in hip-hop group M.I.B's song "Let's Talk About You". She was in the cast of the variety show The Human Condition in 2014 and appeared in MBC's Real Men female special in early 2015. In 2015, she was featured in David Oh's debut song "I Know, I Know", released on May 11, and, on June 16, released a duet with Im Seulong titled "Lovely" for variety show Some Guys, Some Girls.
Jung Eun-ji (Hangul: 정은지, Hanja: 鄭恩地) was born in Haeundae, Busan on August 18, 1993 as Jung Hye-rim. She attended Hyehwa Girls' High School. In 2004, Jung won first prize in the program Excited Day Enjoyable Day (신나는 날 즐거운 날) hosted by the KBS network. Jung has released many songs in collaboration with other singers such as Yang Yo-seob, Seo In-guk and Huh Gak. In 2014, Jung sang "It's You" for the soundtrack of the TV series Three Days.
Jung made her acting debut in the Reply 1997 in 2012, playing the female protagonist. She then had a supporting role in the melodrama That Winter, The Wind Blows (2013) and a leading role in the drama Trot Lovers (2014). She made her musical theatre debut in November 2012, playing the lead role of Elle Woods in the Korean production of Legally Blonde. In 2014, she played the leading role of Han Ji-eun in the stage adaptation of the television drama Full House (2004).
Son Na-eun (Hangul: 손나은) was born in Seoul on February 10, 1994. She has a younger sister, Son Se-eun, who is a professional golfer. Na-eun attended Chungdam High School and later transferred to Seoul Performing Arts High School, from which she graduated on February 7, 2013. She was accepted into Dongguk University in 2013, and she was chosen as a Dongguk University ambassador in 2014.
Son was the first trainee to be announced as a member of Apink in 2011. She was featured in Beast's "Breath", "Beautiful" and "I Like You The Best" music videos in late 2010. She then appeared in Huh Gak's "The Person Who Once Loved Me" and "It Hurts" music videos in 2012 as well as in Speed's "Sad Promise" and "It's Over" music videos in 2013. Son models for cosmetic brand Peripera and sportswear brand M-Limited.
Son debuted as a TV actress in the historical drama The Great Seer after a small role in Salamander Guru and The Shadows, both in 2012. She acted with Beast member Yoon Doo-joon in her first movie role in Marrying the Mafia 5: Return of The Family (2012) and then got her first major role in JTBC's drama Childless Comfort (2012), for which she was nominated for the Best Actress award at the 6th Korea Drama Awards and the Popular TV Actress award at the 49th Baeksang Arts Awards. In 2013, she played the leading role in SBS' short film The Miracle. In 2013-2014, Son starred in MBC's We Got Married with Shinee's Taemin as a virtual married couple. They were nominated for the Best Couple award at the MBC Entertainment Awards in 2013, and Son also received nominations for the New Female Variety Star award and the Star of the Year award, winning the latter.
Kim Nam-joo (Hangul: 김남주, Hanja: 金南珠) was born in Seoul on April 15, 1995. In 2007, at age 13, she starred in a TV commercial for a healthy food brand. She joined Cube Entertainment through the 2010 Cube Party auditions and was one of the last members of Apink to be introduced before the group's debut. Kim attended Seoul Performing Arts High School and graduated in February 2014. In 2014, she performed "Seoul Lonely" with the hip-hop trio Phantom on several music programs. In 2015, Kim was accepted as a student in Sungkyunkwan University's Department of Performance Arts.
Oh Ha-young (Hangul: 오하영, Hanja: 吳夏榮) was born on July 19, 1996 in Seoul. She auditioned for Cube Entertainment when she was in 7th Grade and then became the youngest member of the group. She attends Seoul Performing Arts High School.
In 2013, Oh played the female lead in music videos for Huh Gak's "1440". She also acted as the female lead with B1A4's CNU in Shin Bora's debut single "Frozen". On July 30, 2014, Oh was featured in the song "The Best Thing I Did", the title track for Jiggy Dog's third mini-album. She also appeared in a few episodes of the variety show Weekly Idol as an MC together with bandmate Yoon Bo-mi.
Hong Yoo-kyung (Hangul: 홍유경, Hanja: 洪瑜暻) was born on September 22, 1994 in Seoul. She is the daughter of Hong Ha-jong, a CEO of a manufacturing company, DSR Wire Corp., founded by her grandfather. She attended Hyundai High School and the School of Performing Arts Seoul. At age 11, Hong released a children's CD and a song called "Hae Tae Story". Hong joined Apink in 2011, and in April 2013, she left the group to focus on her studies. Earlier in the year, she was accepted by Chung-Ang University's Performance Film Creation department.
Text from this biography licensed under creative commons license