The Power of K-POP: 2NE1 CL Leads TIME 100 Reader’s Poll

According to the article in TIME, Lee Chae-rin aka CL, the singer and rapper of YG girl group 2ne1 currently has more votes than Beyoncé for TIME 100 Reader’s Poll. In America, CL is not exactly a household name like Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift or Rihanna however she has received more votes than those pop mega superstars. Well, this is the true testament of K-Pop power in the world, the genre is here to stay.

Since last year it has been reported that CL is currently preparing for her upcoming US debut with Scooter Braun, the manager behind pop superstars like Justin Bieber and Carly Rae Jepsen. Hence it’s no wonder how her name got into the list, most probably it’s a part of the PR campaign for her upcoming US debut. She needs a huge buzz to succeed, winning this list will make people read about her and we think she has a chance to get some actual recognition in States.


CL is the third Korean pop star to be nominated for the Time 100 list, the previous candidates are Rain and PSY. Those two are huge names in Korea and Asia region, thus it’s indeed a huge achievement for CL to be nominated in the list. Before CL, you may noted that huge Korean pop stars like Boa, Wonder Girls, SNSD, Se7en had tried to make a splash in the highly competitive American Market. Unfortunately none of them really succeed, except for PSY who ironically didn’t plan for any US debut at all. His ‘Gangnam Style’ video went viral and the rest is history.

If CL wanted to have a successful solo American career, we think she has all the right elements considering her background; she’s multilingual, fluent in English and spend her childhood between France, Korea and Japan. She also already had a few successful solo tracks like The Baddest Female and MTBD.  Her hip-hop and rapping style is very American too, it seems that she has been preparing for this US debut since a long time ago. Moreover, her group 2ne1 has impressed critics in the United States when one of their shows made the The New York Times best concerts list in 2012 and broke Billboard records as one the of the most successful K-Pop acts of the year. Unlike their idol counterparts which saturated with cutesy and sexy concepts, 2ne1 is promoting girl power and delivering strong message for women in their music.

It’s no doubt that CL is super talented and popular in Asia, however to conquer America is not an easy task. It’s a totally different league and talent alone is not enough. Although K-pop fans are pro at voter mobilization, in the end she can’t rely on them alone. Winning TIME 100 List may just be a little step for her debut advancement, after all there are so many excellent hip-hop singers and rappers in America, thus why they must listen to CL? What makes her different from the others? That’s something to ponder about if she really want to be successful on the region. Hopefully, her fellow label mates G-Dragon will follow her footstep too, soon.

What do you think of CL US debut? Will she succeed? Let me know on the comment section below.

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