CLC – the most tragic K-pop’s girl group in the history
Debuting for 7 years, despite having many great songs, this girl group didn’t gain any remarkable achievement.
CUBE Entertainment used to be in Big3 (3 biggest entertainment companies) with many famous groups such as 4Minute, BEAST, BTOB, and most recently, (G)-IDLE. However, CLC, despite their talents, has been neglected by their own company for 7 years.
Debuted with the burden of being “4Minute’s juniors” and entangled in various scandals of bad behaviors
CLC debuted in 2015 as a group of 5 members: Seung Hee, Yujin, Seung Yeon, Sorn, and Ye Eun. Different from their seniors, CLC pursued the energetic and bright concept in their debut days. Known as 4Minute’s junior, CLC didn’t make a hit with their debut song “Pepe” but still received great attention.
Despite receiving numerous privileges as “4Minute’s juniors”, netizens still compared CLC with their seniors. The 5 girls had to cover their unique personalities with the cute concept in their next songs, “Eighteen” and “Question”. CLC was supposed to be a distinct group from their senior, but it appeared that CUBE has made a huge mistake.
CLC continued to get into trouble with the controversies related to their behaviors towards seniors. In a reality show starring CLC and BTOB, a senior group from the same company, Chang Sub said that he wanted to see Ye Eun do some cute actions. However, Ye Eun gave a dislike expression and refused to do the action by pushing the bottle towards him. Immediately, Ye Eun’s behavior was criticized by netizens. They said that a junior shouldn’t have shown that attitude towards her senior. CLC was said to be impolite and disrespectful to their senior and as a result, the group was harshly criticized by the public.
In addition, CLC once again received criticisms for being rude towards a senior again from a different company. In their reality show, “CLC Beautiful Mission”, Sorn, Seung Yeon, and Yujin mentioned CO-ED, a mixed-gender group of 5 members who debuted in 2010, with disrespectful attitudes. One more time, CLC had to suffer many criticisms for their inappropriate behaviors.
Adding new members, changing the concept, and achieving the first successes, but CLC was still inferior to (G)I-DLE
In 2016, CLC added 2 new members, Elkie and Eunbin, to the group. Along with the new lineup, the group also had a change in their music style. Different from the innocent concept of their debut, CLC chose the girlcrush concept with powerful songs like ‘Hobgoblin’, ‘Black Dress’… 2 years after CLC’s debut, the 7 girls’ career has gotten off to a new start thanks to these songs.
CLC officially got themselves the first win on weekly music shows with the song ‘NO’. The members of CLC burst into tears on stage when receiving the first win after 4 years of singing. The group has set a new record that no other group wants: the group that took the longest time to get their first win music show.
Their next products after ‘NO’, such as ‘Evil’ or ‘Helicopter’, were both impressive hits of CLC. Despite the successes of these songs, CLC was still not well known because their success came too late, and the group was “getting old”.
In 2018, (G)I-DLE – CUBE’s next girl group after CLC – has quickly gained their first success right from their debut, completely overshadowing their senior. Known as the “monster rookie” of 2018, (G)I-DLE excellently maintained their popularity in next products with their unique music styles and concepts.
CLC was still “flop” after 7 years, one member had to go to a survival show to find new opportunities
In early 2021, Elkie filed a lawsuit against CUBE, demanding the termination of the contract and criticizing the company for neglecting CLC. Yujin also had to participate in the survival show ‘Girls Planet 999’ to look for a new opportunity to debut.
Despite being an idol for 7 years, Yujin still had to compete with a series of new trainees. Netizens were furious when she was “evil edited” by Mnet right on the first episode of the show.
CLC appeared to have little chance of breaking through in the very competitive Kpop market. The late-arriving success couldn’t save the group, and CUBE was no longer interested in investing in it.