Rapper CL is already a bonafide star in her native South Korea and around the world, but many American viewers learned about her music for the first time when she performed at the PyeongChang Winter Olympics closing ceremony on Sunday, wowing the crowd with hits like “The Baddest Female.”
Here’s what to know about CL, one of the biggest K-pop stars in the business.
She was part of the girl group 2NE1
The group broke out in 2009, according to Billboard, and remained dominant until it officially disbanded in 2016. The band’s last album, Crush, was the top-ranking K-pop album on the Billboard 200 chart for two years. The group broke up so its members could pursue their solo careers, YG Entertainment said at the time.
Her real name is Lee Chae-rin
Though she goes by the stage name CL, the rapper was born Lee Chae-rin. The singer, who was born in Seoul, recently celebrated her 27th birthday.
She’s a muse to designer Jeremy Scott and an actress
While CL may not be a household name in the U.S. yet, she has caught the eye of American fashion designer Jeremy Scott, who even designed 2NE1’s costumes for their 2012 global tour, according to Elle. He has described CL as his “muse,” and CL told Elle in 2013 that Scott was her “best friend” and like her “big brother.”
CL is also on the cast list for a 2018 Peter Berg movie called Mile 22, according to IMDB. Mark Wahlberg, Lauren Cohan, John Malkovich and Ronda Rousey are also involved in the project, according to IMDB.
The closing ceremony was also a homecoming for CL
Prior to Sunday, CL had not performed in South Korea for several years. “It’s so special to me,” she told Billboard of the closing ceremony gig. “I haven’t done a [performance] in Korea in a while so it was very meaningful. Just coming back home is real great.”
She’s coming for the U.S. next
She may already be a star in Korea, but CL has her sights set on American listeners. “I feel like I put so much energy and time into [reaching a U.S. audience] that I, I’m going to, I have to do it,” she told CNN. “I think it’s also about how you do it and what the message is and who I represent and who I am. So I want to do it right, and that’s why it’s taking so long.”