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Brown Eyed Girls

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Brown Eyed Girls
Brown Eyed Girls at Expo 2012 in Yeosu, South Korea, July 10, 2012. Left to right: Jea, Ga-In, Narsha, Miryo
Brown Eyed Girls at Expo 2012 in Yeosu, South Korea, July 10, 2012. Left to right: Jea, Ga-In, Narsha, Miryo
Background information
OriginSeoul, South Korea
Years active2006 (2006)–present
Associated acts

The Brown Eyed Girls (Hangul: 브라운 아이드 걸스, Japanese: ブラウン・アイド・ガールズ), often abbreviated as B.E.G., BG, or 브아걸 (beu-ah-geol), is a South Korean girl group with four members: JeA, Miryo, Narsha, and Gain. They debuted as an R&B/Ballad vocal group with "Come Closer (다가와서)" in 2006 and have since performed in a variety of music genres.

They rose to popularity in 2008 with "L.O.V.E" and their retro-dance number "How Come," and cemented their position in the K-pop world in 2009 with "Abracadabra", with its electronica-based genre, pioneering (albeit controversial) concept,[1] along with its iconic and now globally recognized[2] dance entitled 'The Arrogant Dance (시건방춤)'—successfully ingraining themselves into modern popular culture.

The group started their venture into the Japanese music market with the release of a Japanese version of their massively successful 3rd Korean album, Sound-G, in late 2010,[3] with full promotions being held throughout early 2011 under Sony Music Japan, where they gained moderate success. They returned to Korea in late 2011, to garner further success and critical acclaim with their 4th album and its title track "Sixth Sense". Other than promoting as a group, all of the members have released solo albums.

History[edit source | edit]

Debut: Your Story and Leave Ms. Kim[edit source | edit]

The group's leader, Jea, was the one responsible of the group's creation and was actively involved in the selection of the other members, picking out Miryo, who was known as a capable female rapper from the hip-hop community having previously worked with other fellow rappers, such as Gil Seong-joon from Leessang, and the main female rapper in well-known hip-hop group Honey Family. Narsha was chosen when Jea remembered her as a "talented singer" from her high school days, and Ga-in was selected by the three members after she was eliminated from "Battle Shin Hwa." According to Ga-in, she was crying in the bathroom after failing the audition, was found by composer Ahn Jung Hoon, and then was chosen through the audition in Brown Eyed Girls' company. Singer Yoari trained with the group until 2006, when it was decided she would be the lead singer for Sprinkler.[4][5] The four members held several small size concerts, and considered the names "Crescendo" or "Dark Angel" before officially debuting as "Brown Eyed Girls".[6]

After more than 3 years of training in singing and holding several small size concerts, the Brown Eyed Girls released their debut album Your Story in South Korea on March 2, 2006, with the ballad track, "Come Closer" as their single. Debuting as a "faceless group" they did not appear on any visual media and chose to not even appear in their own music video. The album was well received by critics but did not do as well as expected commercially. The album was later re-released to include "Hold The Line" (which samples "Push The Button" by British girl band Sugababes and "Technologic" by Daft Punk). This song became a hit, further boosting the band's popularity. "Hold the Line" was disclosed across the world because it was included in the list of songs from the game Pump it Up.

After a short break, the group went back into the studio to work on their second album Leave Ms. Kim (떠나라 미스김), which included their R&B title track "You Got Me Fooled" (너에게 속았다). Subsequent singles were "Oasis" (오아시스) featuring Lee Jae Hoon and "It's Mine" (내꺼야), a collaboration with fellow group SeeYa.

During the break between their debut and second albums, the Brown Eyed Girls released their first digital single entitled "I Am a Summer" (내가 여름이다), which was later included in their second LP.

The first two albums contained typical R&B ballads which had been very popular in the K-pop scene. However, the commercial success was relatively higher in two singles between the first and second albums. Moreover, the second album containing "You Got Me Fooled" (너에게 속았다) was released at nearly the same time as Wonder Girls' "Tell Me" which received a nationwide success in Korea. Therefore, their second album was once again a commercial disappointment. At the same time, the general K-pop scene was changing from R&B ballads to dance music.

2008: With Love and My Style mini albums[edit source | edit]

In January 2008, Brown Eyed Girls came back with their first mini-album "With L.O.V.E." Their single, "L.O.V.E," was a departure from the B.E.G. sound that people had come to know[7] but it became an instant success and Brown Eyed Girls scored their first No. 1 song and also one of the top hit songs in the first half of 2008. "Love Action" was the second single taken from the mini album. With Love also marked the group's second digital album (after "I Am a Summer"), though it was released in conventional CD format as well. After the release of their first mini-album, they could achieve the commercial success. "Love" was composed by Saint-Binary and Min-Soo Lee.

Looking to strengthen their success, Brown Eyed Girls returned again in September and released their second mini-album "My Style." Title song "How Come" is a retro-style dance song that has become a popular trend.[8]

2009–2010: Sound G, Japanese debut and solo activities[edit source | edit]

On July 20, 2009, Brown Eyed Girls released their third full-length album, the double-disc Sound G. Even though "Candy Man" was the first song unveiled from the album, the first heavily promoted single was "Abracadabra," which was composed by Ji-nu and Min-Soo Lee. He composed the first part of "Abracadabra," and tried to compose the refrain part. However, he could not think of a good idea to make the refrain part. Therefore, Min-Soo Lee, who worked with BEG previously, helped and composed the refrain part of "Abracadabra."

The release of this album also saw a shift in the image of the group, as the members redefined themselves as independent and mature city girls.[9] Their music video for their title track sparked controversies. As the group is sporting a substantially more provocative visual style, criticism has arisen for the suggestive and erotic themes that the video presents.[10] They later released a "stage version" of the video, which focuses only on the choreography. Nevertheless, even with all the controversies they took the Kpop world by storm, snagging awards at music shows and year end music awards. The sexy hip dance became a national dance with a lot of fellow celebrities doing a parody of it.[11]

Later on, the group revealed a repackaged version of the album titled Sign that included a new single, "Sign," along with "Drunk On Sleep" and a remix of their previous hit "Abracadabra." The repackaged album was released along with the music video for "Sign." The music video caused controversy because of its content: it featured scenes of violence and death, including the group members drowning in tanks of water. "Sign" has reached certain success, but it has not matched the success of the band's previous single "Abracadabra."

The quartet has been readying for their Japan debut since signing with major record label Sony Music Japan International. In August 2010, the group re-released Sound G in Japanese to promote them in the country, which indeed marks the beginning of their Japanese promotions.[12]

After the success of the album, the members concentrated more on their individual activities juggling it with their overseas schedules. In July, Narsha released her first solo album 'NARSHA' to meet certain success,[13] In August, JeA collaborated with Rattpoom, a Thai singer, in his song 'Face to Face'.[14] Later in October, Gain also started her solo activities through her debut album Step 2/4 with a strong interpolation of tango music, featuring 'Irreversible' as the title track.[citation needed] On October 31, she clutched her first win (Mutizen song) in Inkigayo. In December, JeA worked on her ballad single 'Because You Sting' featuring G.O. of MBLAQ.[15]

Aside from that they also became part of popular variety shows and sitcom. Ga-in appeared on We Got Married with 2AM's Jo Kwon beginning in September 2009. The couple was very popular in Korea and still is one of the most recognized virtual couples in the country. Regrettably, their virtual marriage came to an end after 15 months in January 2011. She made her acting debut in MBC daily sitcom 'All My Love'. She was the female lead 'Gaumji'. However, owing to schedule conflict, her filming in sitcom ended in May 2011. Narsha has appeared on Invincible Youth (also known as G7) since October 2009. She is known on the show as "Sung In Dol" (Adult idol) due to her age difference with other members and her funny, but naughty reactions on the show. She was also one of the fixed cast member in SBS's variety show 'Heroes'. In April 2010, she DJed on "Pump up the Volume" on KBS Cool FM. Due to Brown Eyed Girls' overseas promotions Narsha decided to leave the show, with her last broadcast on December 28, 2010.[16]

The group successfully ended the year with a concert entitled "Hot Winter Party" held in the Ax-Korea Hall in Seoul.

2011: Japanese promotions and return to Korea with Sixth Sense[edit source | edit]

On January 17, the Japanese music video for "Sign" was released.[17] Its content is completely different from the original Korean version of the song, since the new version focuses on choreography while the original version did not feature any. The group started their promotions in Japan in early 2011.[18]

The girls originally planned to hold a concert in Japan in April but due to the Tōhoku earthquake in March, the concert was postponed to September instead. The band's first Japanese concert at C.C Lemon Hall in Shibuya took place on September 12. There, they unveiled one of their songs in their fourth album An Inconvenient Truth, which was composed by JeA and KZ.[19]

On September 6, NegaNetwork released an official comeback date, marking the end of their two-year hiatus. The group was expected to release a single on September 16 titled, "Hot Shot," followed by their fourth album and music video "Sixth Sense" on September 23.[citation needed]

The concept for this album is “Resistance for freedom of expression through music via sixth sense.” Representatives of their agency, NegaNetwork explained,

This album focuses not only on their singing and performance. The members hope to convey their thoughts to the public through music. Their title track is an expression of the limitations of experiencing music with only five senses, and it asks people to feel it instead with their sixth sense. The song itself is very free in style.[20]

They kicked off their promotional cycle officially with a double stage performance of "Hot Shot" and "Sixth Sense" on September 24 on Music Core.[21] and grabbed the top spot on M! Countdown and Inkigayo.[22] They also broke the jinx of going down a slump after a “big hit” as they won over their famed song Abracadabra, receiving higher digital sales for Sixth Sense.[23] They concluded their "Sixth Sense" promotions after a month but it was immediately followed by the release of a repackage of their fourth studio album.[24]

On November 4, their repackage album was released. They followed up promotions with their ballad song 'Cleansing Cream'. They officially concluded their promotional activities on November 18 with a final performance on KBS's ‘Music Bank'.[25]

2012: Solo activities, digital single and Tonight 37.2 °C[edit source | edit]

The band in 2012

The members branched out to solo activities once again. Starting with Miryo, releasing her self- produced solo album, MIRYO a.k.a. JOHONEY on February 1. She had a rocky start with two of the songs from her album banned in broadcasting stations. Namely, “Revenger,” which according to SBS officials has lyrics depicting violence[26] and the title track “Dirty” for the lyrics of the song, containing the word, “cross-eyed” which could be perceived as a derogatory term for the disabled thus forcing Miryo to change the lyrics to be able to perform on music shows.[27]

On TV, Narsha made her acting debut with MBC's drama "Light and Shadow" playing the role of an aspiring singer Lee Jung Ja[28] and followed by Ooh La La Couple as a goddess. The other members participated on reality programs. Gain became a CEO of a public relations company called ‘Mental Breakdown' particularly for the show, "OnStyle's Launch My Life – Ga In's Fashion King." While Miryo was included in Mnet's hiphop program Show me the Money, collaborating with a rookie rapper to compete against other contestants for the top spot.[29] Jea also became a fixed member of Immortal Songs 2 but she later left the show due to her solo album promotions and was replaced by Narsha which later on left the show also due to her musical "When A Man Loves."[30]

On July 17, BEG released their digital single "The Original" of the hybrid soul genre – the genre the girls have originally debuted with. It has two tracks Come with me and the title track “A Midsummer Night's Dream” meant to be a gift to the fans who are still supporting the group despite it not being active at the moment. It was produced and composed by JeA. No promotional activities were done.[31]

Gain dropped her second mini-album on October 5 "Talk About S" with the title track Bloom. The title track and won the top spot in M! Countdown. JeA also pre-released the track "Let's Hug" on December 28 from her upcoming solo album.[32]

Before the year ended, fans of Brown Eyed Girls were finally able to see all four members up on stage together once again for their 19+ Rated ‘Tonight 37.2 °C‘ concert.[33]

2013: Black Box and sub-unit M&N[edit source | edit]

Brown Eyed Girls performing in 2013 at the World Rowing Championship Event

Member JeA started the year by releasing her solo album "Just JeA," showing her prowess as a vocalist and also a producer.[34] Gain also surprised everyone by releasing a duet album on April 7 with label-mate Cho Hyung Woo, titled "Romantic Spring." The album contains warm, beautiful love songs that perfectly fit the season.[35]

On July 4, a teaser image was released via Facebook and Twitter for Brown Eyed Girls' long-awaited comeback. July 9 marked the release of a digital-single: "Recipe (레시피)." Renowned Korean Hip-Hop producer Primary produced the track "Recipe," which served as a pre-release to the upcoming album, with Miryo and Dynamic Duo's Choiza writing the lyrics for the song. After the positive reception of their digital single from the public, they continued by releasing their 5th studio album, Black Box, on July 29, with "KILL BILL" being announced as the title track, being composed by Lee Gyu Hyun and member JeA.

The music video teaser for "KILL BILL" was released on July 25, with the actual music video being revealed later, on July 28, followed by a special dance version on August 2. They performed their comeback stage on SBS' Inkigayo on July 28, as the opening act for the episode, performing pre-release single "Recipe (레시피)" before their album title-track later in the show. They continued their promotions for the album throughout various music programmes (with the exception of KBS-run programmes for undisclosed reasons) until August 25 where they brought them to a close.

Youngest member Gain also revealed in an interview that she will release another solo album after the Kill Bill promotions.[36] In October 2013, Ga-In also broke onto the CPOP scene, featuring in Show Lo's music video for "愛投羅網 (Cast The Net Of Love)."[37]

On November 4, multiple sources in the entertainment field revealed that Miryo and Narsha will be forming a sub-unit and plan on releasing music for the unit in mid-November. While Brown Eyed Girls members have been well known to venture into solo activities, this is the first time in which two members will be working together as one team.[38] On November 11, M&N released their first single, titled "Tonight (오늘밤)," which included two versions of the same track (one Korean, one English version), with the lyrical content to the first version being self-composed between the two members - on a later date during an interview, both members of the sub-unit stated that they had plans to release an album sometime within the next year, with it to feature a strong Hip Hop sound complete with promotional activities.[39]

2014: Special Moments compilation album[edit source | edit]

At the end of January 2014, Gain was revealed to be making a comeback with her 3rd mini album Truth or Dare on February 6,[40] releasing a teaser picture along with the news. On January 22 she released a "mysterious and sexy" teaser still-cut from her pre-release track 'Fxxk U'.[41] She later released a controversial teaser for the song showing two silhouettes behind a shower curtain and Gain saying "Fuck you."[42] Information released with the teaser said the song would feature singer Bumkey and be "simple yet melodious" and feature a classical guitar.

The song and music video were released on January 27.[43] The music video portrayed Gain and actor Joo Ji Hoon in a physically and emotionally abusive relationship. The song was created by lyricist Kim Eana and composer Lee Minsoo (who also worked with Gain on her previous solo single "Bloom").[44] The title song "Truth or Dare" deals with the topic of rumors and their effect on celebrities and their life.

On August 6 it was announced that the group would be releasing a "greatest hits" album titled Special Moments, featuring several songs from the group's eight-year career, as well as a new track "Hush," which would serve as the title track to the album. Special Moments has a two-disc format, with the first disc featuring the group's lead singles and promotional tracks, and the second disc focusing mainly on their ballad tracks. The album was released on August 11, 2014.

2015: Departure from Nega Network, contract with Mystic Entertainment and Basic[edit source | edit]

On September 4, 2015, members JeA, Narsha, and Miryo became free agents after deciding not to renew their contracts with Nega Network. On October 1, 2015, all members have signed with Mystic Entertainment. [45]

On October 26, Mystic released the first batch of teaser pictures through BEG's official Twitter account. Each girl was shown posing in a desert like landscape, while the concept gave off a futuristic and science fiction feeling.[46] Simultaneously they announced the release date of their upcoming 6th studio album, which was November 5 at midnight. Another batch of teaser pictures was released a day later on the 27th October.[47] The track list was released on October 28 [48] and revealed ten brand new tracks, with Brave New World (신세계) being the title track and Warm Hole (웜홀) the second title track. Moreover, Jea and Miryo took part in the writing and composing several songs of the album. The title track Brave New World is writing by Kim Eana and composed by Lee Minsoo, who have also worked together on previous Brown Eyed Girls songs.

The group appeared on the popular smartphone broadcast V App on the 29th where they stated that Brave New World was a choreography heavy song, couldn't actually reveal any more info about the album. During the course of the next few days they revealed teaser videos for non-title tracks, such as Ice Cream Time,[49] Obsession [50] and Wave.[51] The teaser videos for the two title tracks Warm Hole [52] and Brave New World [53] were the last to be released. The girls held their first showcase of their careers called 'Comeback to the Basic' on November 4 where they also performed the side track Ice Cream Time. Youngest member Gain revealed during the showcase that she took part in choreographing Warm Hole and Brave New World, as well as forming the concept for their 6th album.[54]

The album and the music video for Brave New World got released on the same day.[55] The reference to Aldous Huxley's novel Brave New World became obvious, though the theme of music video and song do not refer to discouragement of critical thinking, abundance of material goods and other plots as the novel does. However, the futuristic theme got picked up through time traveling in the music video as well as the idea of a dystopian state through the lyrics.

The Warm Hole MV got released on November 5 [56] and sparked a controversy due to the heavy sexual lyrics and references in the MV to a female's reproductive organ.[57] But still they performed Warm Hole on the 5th November on M!Countdown as well as on the 6th on Music Bank.

2016-present: Hiatus, 10th anniversary, Narsha's departure from APOP Entertainment, RE_vive[edit source | edit]

In 2016, it was reported that Brown Eyed Girls were the first girl group without any member changes for 10 years.[58] For their 10th anniversary, the group held a concert with Kero One and KRNFX on March 18 at the Feria (now known as Club Bound LA) in Koreatown, Los Angeles, CA.[59]

On December 14, 2018, it was announced that Narsha would be leaving Mystic Story and APOP Entertainment. However, she would continue to promote with Brown Eyed Girls in future activities.[60] The statement also revealed the group was preparing for a new comeback. In September 2019, the group set up an official Instagram, where they announced their new album RE_vive released on October 28.[61][62]

Other musical efforts[edit source | edit]

The group members have also been featured on several South Korean drama soundtracks including The Vineyard Man (Loving You), Queen of Games (독한 사랑), Dae Jo Yeong (대조영), The Kingdom of The Winds (다애), My Fair Lady (I Love You), and The Slave Hunters (Stray Child).

JeA also participated in OST songs even before Brown Eyed Girls' debut.

Also, Miryo and JeA collaborated for the single "Love Is..." which was released in May 2010.

They collaborated with 4minute in 2010 for a World Cup song.[63]

Ga-in also participated "4Tomorrow Project" with Kara's Seung Yeon, After School's Uee, and 4minute's Hyuna.

She also released digital single "We Fell in Love" (우리 사랑하게 됐어요), composed by Jea, with then We Got Married partner 2AM Jo Kwon. The song was voted No. 1 in several music programs in January 2010

In 2011, Miryo and Sunny of Girls' Generation collaborated for the single "사랑해 사랑해 (I love you, I love you)" the song was released the same year.

Ga-in collaborated with Park Jin-young for the song "Someone Else" shortly before his comeback. The music video and the full-length song were pre-released in April 2012.

Ga-in featured in IU's "Everyone Has Secrets" from her album "Modern Times" released in October 2013

Brown Eyed Girls influence on PSY[edit source | edit]

On April 13, 2013, hip hop artist PSY released a music video for his single "Gentleman", which featured dance moves borrowed heavily from the Abracadabra music video, as well as featuring Gain in the video.[64]

Discography[edit source | edit]

Awards[edit source | edit]

References[edit source | edit]

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  2. "Abracadabra — How Psy paid to remake Brown Eyed Girls' famed 'Arrogant Dance' for follow-up "Gentleman"". blouinartinfo.com. April 15, 2013.
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  50. officialBEG (October 30, 2015), [Preview] 브라운 아이드 걸스 Brown Eyed Girls - Obsession, retrieved April 22, 2016
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