Apink (Korean: 에이핑크, Japanese: エーピンク; also written as A Pink) is a South Korean girl group formed by Plan A Entertainment (formerly 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 two studio albums. 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, Secret Garden and rise in popularity
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 Cho-rong. 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.
In July 2013, Apink were selected as honorary ambassadors for the Seoul Character & Licensing Fair 2013.
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. 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: Pink Paradise Concert Tour, Pink Memory, Pink Island Concert, Pink Season
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 appeared at the Korean Times Music Festival in Los Angeles in May, Music Bank event in Hanoi, Vietnam and performed "Pink Paradise in Shanghai.
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" was released on May 20 as their third single, with "Good Morning Baby" as the B-side. They performed the song for the first time at the "Girls Award 2015 Spring/Summer" in Tokyo on April 29 ahead of the release. The group also held release events in four cities, Tokyo, Sapporo, Okayama and Osaka as part of promotional event.
On July 16, the group released their second full-length album, Pink Memory, along with the title track "Remember". On August 22 and 23, the group held their second concert "Pink Island" at Jamsil Indoor Stadium, after which they began overseas activities including a fan meeting in Thailand, hold their first concert tour in Japan and a performance at MTV World Stage in Malaysia 2015. 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 and are scheduled to perform 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 for MelOn Music Awards.The group close the year as the second best-selling girl group of 2015 with both sells of Pink Luv and Pink Memory albums.
2016: Overseas tours and performances
Apink started their North American tour on January 5 in Vancouver, followed by shows in Dallas, San Francisco and Los Angeles. The same month, they received Bonsang for Seoul Music Awards and Disk Bonsang for Golden Disk Awards. On January 24, the group was invited to attend KKBOX Music Awards in Taiwan. On February 25, the group released the music video to their first original Japanese song called "Brand New days". The song is the opening theme song for anime Rilu Rilu Fairilu ~Yousei No Door~. The group performed at 10th Asian Film Awards on March 17. On April 2, the group performed a mini concert "Pink Memory Day" in Singapore. On April 19, Apink released a digital single entitled "The Wave", written by Park Cho-rong to celebrate their 5th anniversary along with a photobook called "Girls' Sweet Repose".
Apink performed alongside international acts OneRepublic, Far East Movement, Bebe Rexha and Philippines's artists Gary Valenciano and his son Gabriel, and love team James Reid and Nadine Lustre for MTV Music Evolution in Manila on 24 June. Apink held their second Japan concert tour in July, kicking-off in Sapporo on July 7. They entertained a total of 20000 fans throughout six concerts in five cities and was scheduled to release their 6th Japanese single, SUMMER TIME, on August 3rd.
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 very innocent and girlish 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." However, with their recent releases like 2014's "Luv" and 2015's "Remember" it is noticeable that the group had deviated from their normal cute concept, showing a more mature and sensitive side to the group while still retaining their trademark innocence.
Apink's music generally fits within the bubblegum pop genre, with a signature cheery lyrics. Jeff Benjamin of Billboard commented that "My My" recalled early 2000s bubblegum pop, "NoNoNo" was influenced by 1980s synth-pop and "Luv" recalls 1990s hip-hop while blending it with ballad melancholy, a fall-themed song of lost love. "Mr Chu", released on spring 2014, continues a slew of Apink's trademark bubblegum series which is 'very Apink'. Meanwhile, title track "Remember" is a 'cheery synth-pop tune that reminisces about a love during the summertime,' and 'features a quick rhythm and vintage sound to beat the summer heat,'.
Park Cho-rong (Hangul: 박초롱; hanja: 朴초롱) 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", "Wanna Be", "Dejavu" and "The Wave".
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, Lee Il-hwa. 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.
In 2015, Park made an appearance in the variety show Slim Pack Lunch.
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 from 17 July 2013 to 8 July 2015. 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. She was later featured in Yoon Hyun-sang's digital single "Let's Eat Together", which was released on September 24; she also starred in the music video. In September 2015 she was cast in KBS' 10-episode web drama Love Profiler K as top star Yuna, which aired in November on Naver. Yoon and groupmate Kim appeared on Sugar Man as Apink BnN on October 20. On the last episode for Weekly Idol in 2015, Yoon become the fourth guest MC following MC Jeong Hyeong-don hiatus. On January, Yoon and fellow member Kim are in talks to be new MCs of Tasty Road 2.
Jung Eun-ji (Hangul: 정은지; hanja: 鄭恩地) was born in Haeundae, Busan, South Korea, on August 18, 1993 as Jung Hye-rim (Hangul: 정혜림; hanja: 鄭慧林). 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 lead supporting role in the melodrama That Winter, the Wind Blows (2013), and leading roles in Trot Lovers (2014) and Sassy, Go Go (2015).
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).
Eunji made her debut as a solo artist on 18 April 2016 with the mini-album 'Dream'.
Son Na-eun (Hangul: 손나은; hanja: 孫나은) was born in Seoul on February 10, 1994. Son was the first trainee to be announced as a member of Apink in 2011. Son 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 Universityin 2013, studying drama and film, and she was chosen as a Dongguk University ambassador in 2014. 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 had roles in dramas The Great Seer, Salamander Guru and The Shadows, Childless Comfort and Twenty Again, as well as films Marrying the Mafia 5: Return of The Family and The Miracle. Son is set to appear in the drama Cinderella and the Four Knights in 2016.
Kim Nam-joo (Hangul: 김남주; hanja: 金南珠) was born in Seoul, South Korea, 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. Together with bandmate Eun-ji and Jang Hyun-seung of Beast, she released the single "A Year Ago" from the project A Cube For Season #White on January 3, 2013 to commemorate the success of their respective groups. 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.
In March 2015, Kim joined MBC's Tutoring Across Generations in place of Lee Tae-im, but the show got cancelled on April 2 after episode 21 due to falling ratings. On June 2, 2015, she released a duet with BtoB's Yook Sungjae, "Photograph", as part of the Cube Entertainment project single album A Cube For Season #Blue Season 2. In September 2015, she was cast in Naver TV Cast's 8-episode web drama Investigator Alice, which was released in October, where she portrayed detective Chun Yeon-joo. Kim and groupmate Yoon appeared on Sugar Man as Apink BnN on October 20. Then, she was featured in rapper Damiano's song "Sweet Now", released on October 28. It was revealed that Kim was behind the mask 'Good Daughter Shim Cheong' on December 27 broadcast of King of Mask Singer.
Oh Ha-young (Hangul: 오하영; hanja: 吳夏榮) was born on July 19, 1996, in Seoul, South Korea. 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 video 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. For the group second full-length album Pink Memory, she wrote the lyrics for the song "What a Boy Wants". In August 2015, she was appointed as co-MC on Weekly Idol with AOA's Mina and VIXX's N. She will be MC-ing the show with the main MC's Jeong Hyeong-don and Defconn from September 2.
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.
Korean / Asia Tours
- Pink Paradise 1st Concert (2015)
- Pink Island 2nd Concert (2015)
- MTV WORLD STAGE - Malaysia (2015)
- MTV MUSIC EVOLUTION - Philippines (2016)
- APINK Pink Memory Day IN Singapore Mini Concert & Fan Meeting (2 April 2016)
- Pink Memory: Apink North America Tour (2016)
- Apink 1st Live Tour 2015 - Pink Season (2015)
- Apink 2nd Live Tour 2016 - Pink Summer (2016)
Apink's started with a documentary program titled Apink News, aired on the cable channel TrendE for three seasons (2011–2012) . They appeared in another reality show, Birth of a Family, in (2011–2012). In 2014, Apink filmed another reality show for MBC Every1 titled Showtime. They have also appeared in South Korean variety shows such as Running Man, Real Men, 2 Days & 1 Night and Weekly Idol. Yoon Bomi and Oh Hayoung were also the MC of the said show.
Awards and nominations
The group has won awards at shows such as the 26th Golden Disk Awards, 21st Seoul Music Awards and 13th Mnet Asian Music Awards. Their first music program win was on M! Countdown on January 5, 2012, for "My My" from their second EP Snow Pink. Apink has won more than 28 music awards and more than 29 music program awards.