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Korean superstar who started as a member of K-pop girl group 2NE1 and later embarked on a solo rap career.
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Korean superstar CL broke into the mainstream as a member of K-pop girl group 2NE1, later embarking on a solo career as a rapper and singer. Born Chae-rin Lee in Seoul, South Korea, CL spent much of her childhood in Japan and France, developing a love for music by listening to artists like Queen, Lauryn Hill, Madonna, and Lil' Kim. She made her first appearance on Big Bang's "Hot Issue" in 2007 before entering the K-pop world as a member of 2NE1 in 2009. As the lead rapper of the quartet, CL brought some edge to the outfit, who went on to become one of the biggest K-pop acts of the late 2000s. In 2009, she featured on G-Dragon and Teddy Park's "The Leaders," as well as on a track with fellow 2NE1 member Minzy on "Please Don't Go." In the years that followed, 2NE1 would release a handful of EPs and albums, even breaking into the Top Ten of the Billboard world charts with To Anyone and follow-up Crush. CL made her solo debut with "The Baddest Female" in 2013. Riding a buoyant hip-hop beat and dubstep break, CL created an empowering anthem that sounded like M.I.A. (who would later appear on a remix of her follow-up track, "Hello Bitches"). She signed with Scooter Braun in 2014, later joining with Skrillex, Diplo, and G-Dragon on "Dirty Vibe." Another Diplo collaboration arrived the next year. "Doctor Pepper" featured RiFF RAFF, OG Maco, and CL on a dark trap banger similar to Keith Ape's "It G Ma" or Raja Kumari's debut. "Hello Bitches" later appeared on her debut EP, Lifted. The title track unveiled a new sound for CL, as she sang over a reggae-flavored track that merged Gwen Stefani with Nicki Minaj. Lifted also included "Fallin," her collaboration with Blood Diamonds and DJ Dahi.