Brown Eyed Girls

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Name(s): Brown Eyed Girls, B.E.G., BEG, BG, 브라운 아이드 걸스, 브아걸, ブラウン・アイド・ガールズ
Scope/Focus: K-Pop
Date(s): 2006-present
See also: M&N, Thunder, Sunny Hill, Seeya, Cho PD, Lunafly, LC9, K-Drama
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The Brown Eyed Girls is a South Korean girl group signed to Mystic Entertainment. The group's leader JeA (Kim Hyojin, 김효진) was mainly responsible for the creation of the group as well as selecting the members. Therefore she was actively involved in choosing the in the hip-hop community well-known Miryo (Jo Mihye, 조미혜), the "talented singer" from high school days Narsha (Park Hyojin, 박효진) and the last and youngest member Gain (Son Gain, 손가인) who was noticed by the three of them after she failed the audition for the popular reality series Let's Coke Play! Battle Shinhwa!. (Originally Yoari (요아리) also auditioned to be the fifth member, but Nega Network, the agency who created the band, thought she had more of an rocker image and debuted her with Sprinkler instead of the Brown Eyed Girls.)

The four members performed several small concerts under the name "Crescendo" before actually debuting as Brown Eyed Girls on March 2, 2006 with their debut album "Your Story" and their ballad track "Come Closer" as single. They were promoted as "faceless" group which is why they didn't appear on any visual media or their own music video. Despite rather good critics the album didn't do as well as expected. That's why they re-released the album including the new song "Hold The Line" (it has samples of "Push The Bottom" by Sugababes and "Technologic" by Daft Punk) which became a hit. Their second album which also followed the R&B style received an similar commercial success as the first album which resulted in the girls deciding to try something new with their third album.

In 2009, their third album "Sound G" was released including their famous single "Abracadabra" which is considered as their breakthrough. They redefined their image through this album to "independent and mature city girls" and the title track caused many controversies. Nevertheless, their sexy hip dance became a "national dance" and many other celebrities did parodies of it. In 2010, they made their Japanese debut with "Sound G" which was well received. In 2011, they released the album "Sixth Sense" with the concept "Resistance for freedom of expression through music via sixth sense" (explained by the agency: 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.). Two years later they were successful with the album "Black Box" and their single "Kill Bill". After the compilation album in 2014 JeA, Narsha and Miryo departed in 2015 form Nega Network (their previous entertainment). On October 1, 2015 it was revealed that all members had signed to Mystic Entertainment and would promote the announced album ("Basic") as four. "Brave New World (신세계)" which was composed by songwriters who the band has worked with before was released on October 28 and is a reference to the same-named novel by Aldous Huxley. "Warm Hole", the second title track, sparked a controversy due to the heavy sexual lyrics and references in the music video. Despite that, the band managed to perform it on M! Countdown and Music Bank.

In 2016, BEG became the first girl group without any member changes for 10 years. They held a concert at the Belasco Theatre in Los Angeles for their 10th anniversary. Over the years, the band released six Korean albums and one Japanese.

Individual promotions

JeA

She debuted as solo artist in 2013 with her album "Just JeA" and was the last member of the band to release a solo album. Aside from that she is also composer and producer which she started with the second album of the band. JeA was also featured in the popular TV series Produce 101 where she was a vocal trainer in season one and appeared on the beloved music show Duet Song Festival. In addition to that, she sang many OST for dramas and appeared on King of Masked Singer as "Bangkok Friends Fan" (Episodes 69-70).

Miryo

Miryo began her career in 1999 featuring the hip-hop group Honey Family. Even after their disbandment she participated in other hip-hop artists songs (e.g. she featured Gill from Leessang). In 2012, she became the only female producer on the rap competition of the TV show Show Me The Money and mentored Cheetah who won three years later the first season of Unpretty Rapstar. (Miryo herself appeared in Unpretty Rapstar 3 (2016), but got eliminated in Episode 9.) Later that year (2012) she released her first solo album "MIRYO aka JOHONEY" which featured many artists. In November 2013, she and Narsha formed the sub unit M&N and released their first single "Tonight" on November 11. In 2015, she released her album "Queen" and in 2016 she promoted "Rock, Paper, Scissors". Additionally, she is the female idol who has copyright to most songs being a producer and having a total of 56 songs (for BEG and Honey Family etc.) by March 2013 [1]. As rapper she is well respected and looked up to.

Narsha

Narsha has always been a friend of JeA since their high-school years (that's why JeA had known of her and could select her as band member). In 2013, she and Miryo formed the sub unit M&N whose original name was "언니둘" (Two Unnies) and it was suggested that JeA could join them (and they would rename themselves "The Unnies"). However, they released their song as two introduced as hip hop group. Since 2009 she is also known as entertainer as she started her career there and gained the nickname "Adult-dol". She established herself in the variety industry and appeared in many shows as regular cast or guest, for example Star Golden Bell (regular cast), Heroes (fixed cast) or Match Made In Heaven. During 2010 she also debuted as solo artist releasing the single "I’m In Love". Her first album "NARSHA" was published seven days later. Due to her great singing abilities she also appeared on Immortal Song 2 as well as King of Masked Singer as "Carrot Girl" (Episodes 125-126). Narsha was also active as actress and singer of OSTs for dramas. Nowadays she performs also in theatre. (She was also the first of them to get married in 2016 in Seychelles to a businessman working in the fashion industry [2]).

Gain

The same year as their debut year she performed a duet ("Must Have Love") with SG Wannabe’s leader Kim Yong Jun which became a number one hit during Christmas season and besides group activities she did projects like "4Tomorrow" with 4Minute’s HyunA, After School’s UEE and Kara’s Seungyeon. Together with 2AM’s Jo Kwon she was also casted for the TV series We got married and they became a rather popular pairing. In 2010 it was announced that the band members would launch solo careers and Gain became the second member after Narsha to debut with her album "Step 2/4" and the single "Irreversible". She has started the most successful solo career of the four as she released six albums since her debut with many charted songs like "Paradise Lost" or "Bloom". As actress she made her debut in MBC's sitcom All My Love and also was one of the leads in The Huntresses and participated JTBC's Off To School alongside SHINee’s Taemin and Red Velvet’s Seulgi. In addition to that, she is known for her dance, especially her ability to dance "sexy". Therefore, she was featured in PSY's music video of "Gentleman", along with the "arrogant dance" which got popular through Brown Eyed Girls' "Abracadabra" (he actually paid copyright fees to the creators of the dance "Yama & the Hot Chicks"). Gain is also known to have taken part in choreographing Brown Eyed Girls' latest songs "Brave New World (신세계)" and "Warm Hole".

Image

The band is known to be effortlessly (naturally) sexy, full of charisma and successful with rather risky and intense concepts (which usually translates to their makeup). On top of that, they are considered as beauties, Gain even as natural beauty (or less plastic surgery than the others, she stated that her face shape naturally changed) while the other three members are open about their plastic surgery. They even made a parody of Lady Gaga's "Poker Face" changing the lyrics to "Plastic Face" criticizing the mindset of the society. It definitely didn't harm their image of them being beautiful (perfect bodies and great facial features etc.) as well as their overall image rather than being respected for being honest and encouraging women to not care about other opinions (However, in 2015 Gain stated: "Our group put a ban on plastic surgery now.  We won't fix things anymore and will maintain our health and aging to greet everybody with a pretty image."). Additionally, they are considered as the only band which could pull off something like "Warm Hole" and promote it on stage without being censored. They are also often referred to as "adult idols" or "adult-dols" since their music style and behaviour is more mature than that of other idols and seen as funny in variety shows. They are respected among other artists, but also controversial women.

Fandom

The fandom itself is called "Everlasting" or "4Everlasting" and the four members are unified to make Brown Eyed Girls last together with their fans forever. The fandom colour is yellow (and black).

The fandom is very loyal towards the band even if it doesn't seem like it sometimes. If the band does a comeback they are showered with support, the fans gather themselves. Sometimes it seems like the band is losing fans (which they obviously did) and that you should be concerned, but that isn't necessarily true. Most fans are eager to wait for the band and their comebacks. The fandom is also rather calm and mature. They have the "rare" respect of being veterans and are doing fine, but they could do better if they would promote their releases better.

JeA's individual fans call themselves Jeaholics, Miryo's fans refer to themselves as Miryotic while Narsha's fans are Narshmellows. Gain's fans are called Gainism.

Controversies

In June 2017 there was one incident which caused fans to be pretty upset. Gain who was treated with legal morphine due to her mental state (panic disorder and anxiety; she was taking a break from promoting because of that) confessed via Instagram. On June 4, she stated that a friend of her ex junkie boyfriend Joo Ji Hoon offered her marijuana (it's illegal in South Korea, you could go to jail) which she refused. She clarified she didn't give in the temptation and wouldn't need it since she had been clean her whole life. She also told that she is "mental patient undergoing treatment and not ashamed of it" and threatened that he would be a dead man if he would recommend her marijuana. Haters previously were spreading rumours about her hospitalization (they said she got pregnant) which she shut down. Some fans were completely supporting her and understanding that she wouldn't want a friend of her boyfriend offer her marijuana while others claimed that she was selfish and only wanted the friend go to jail, that this shouldn't be a way to fight back and that she is dragging her boyfriend down, too (they got many haters) [3]. It caused a police investigation, her deleting all her Instagram posts and the break-up of the couple after three years in July. The fans clearly divided in terms of excusing the whole incident with her illness or not.

Despite that the band never had very big scandals that nearly made their career flop or damage their image forever, but there are some smaller incidents worth mentioning.

The girls always made controversial music. That's why it's no surprise that "Abracadabra", a electro pop song which was never done in K-Pop before, but got instantly copied after the huge success, as well as the second promotional song of the album "Sound G" were controversial and heavy criticized. The music video of "Abracadabra" was seen as overly sexual (and banned) with its referenced BDSM scenes and other implied sexual acts like a lesbian kiss while "Sign" was criticized for showing violence and death like scenes with a member drowning. "Sixth Sense" caught people's attention again. They questioned the concept of feeling the music with their sixth sense instead and if it was too sexy or rather a hidden political feminist statement (the song got banned). Even some of their solo stuff got banned from media. Obviously, "Warm Hole" was pretty controversial, too.

Netizens and media outlets spread in 2016 sexually explicit videos and images throughout the internet of Gain and her current boyfriend Joo Ji Hoon. Despite the fact that their entertainments quickly shutted the rumours down and the media outlets apologized the damage was done. That's why both filed a lawsuit against them [4].

Surprisingly the marriage of Narsha didn't cause a huge controversy rather than being well received (the fandom is as mature as the band).

There are sometimes rumours of Brown Eyed Girls' disbandment despite the fact that they always took two year breaks between their albums. However, Narsha could reassure fans that the band is still close. In an interview she told that the members treasure each other as well as the band since they are all so different and that they hope to stay together forever ("I don't know what we will be doing in the future, but we want to maintain the Brown Eyed Girls team. We all agreed that we can individually do different things, but we want to preserve our precious team forever.") [5].

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Together

Individual

Fanfiction

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