Korea’s Hallyu band CNBLUE enjoyed immense success with another outstanding year added to their already impressive record. Let’s review their whirlwind of a year and how they plan to kick 2014 off with a bang.
One of Korea’s most popular music artists, CNBLUE has been riding a tidal wave of success and achieving goals they’ve dreamed about since their debut four years ago. On January 14th 2013, after almost a year of hiatus from Korea, ‘RE: BLUE‘ was unleashed onto the public and helped to solidify CNBLUE as a force to be reckoned with wherever they go. Their title track, ‘I’m Sorry’, self penned and composed by the band’s leader Jung Yonghwa, met with an impressive ‘All Kill’ chart status just hours after the song’s release. Soon it was disclosed that CNBLUE would be performing full live comeback stages, which had never been done by the band before. CNBLUE spared no expense and funded all the fees necessary to make sure that they would perform with live instruments on as many music shows as they could, even if it meant prerecording their performances and having to do retakes well into the night. On January 24th, for the first time in the band’s history, ‘RE: BLUE‘ reached number 1 on the prestigious Billboard ‘World Albums’ Chart and hit number 22 on the ‘Heatseekers Albums‘ chart which represents, “the top-selling albums by new or developing acts, defined as those who have never appeared on the top 100″.
CNBLUE made history by being the first band to perform all live or prerecorded live stages on various Korean television music shows, helping to shed their “Idol band” media image in the process. While it’s a feat they should be proud of, it’s even more impressive that they may have changed the way bands are treated and represented on television from now on. While the live stage production still poses an expensive issue, CNBLUE has shown that it is a problem that can be overcome successfully.
CNBLUE continued to make history by becoming the first Korean Rock band ever to hold a world tour. On the heels of a hugely successful comeback promotional tour for their 4th mini album, ‘RE: BLUE‘, CNBLUE were now getting ready to embark on the most exciting venture in their career so far. FNC Entertainment made the announcement that CNBLUE would have a World Tour with the goal of reaching over 12 countries. In late January FNC Entertainment revealed, “CNBLUE is currently planning their 2013 world tour. They won’t be going to just Asian countries such as China, Singapore, and Hong Kong, but also Europe, Australia, North America, and South America.” The four member rock band kicked off their first ‘BLUE MOON’ World Tour 2013 on April 6th in Taipei, Taiwan with a sold out venue of 11,000 lucky fans.
While still preparing for their ‘BLUE MOON’ World tour 2013, CNBLUE geared up for the release of the new single ‘Blind Love’ which was the first album to feature a title track written & composed by lead guitarist Lee Jonghyun. The handsome Jonghyun also contributed an additional song he penned solely titled, ‘With your eyes’. Band leader Jung Yonghwa‘s self-written song ‘Greedy Man’. They followed up the release with another single album, ‘Lady’ and a full LP ‘What Turns You On’ in July and August respectively. While perhaps other artists would take a deep breath and some time off for a job well done, CNBLUE kept on working hard bringing the heat with their promotional events straight through the scorching hot summer months in Japan. Taking a short break from their ‘BLUE MOON’ tour stops, CNBLUE added first time performances in two very popular music festivals, ‘ROCK in Japan’ on August 4th and two stages at ‘Summer Sonic’ on August 10th & 11th to their already busy itinerary. All this in the midst of their current five city promotional 2013 Zepp Tour named after their latest single ‘Lady’ which began July 24th 2013 in Sapporo, Japan spanning over a just a few weeks ending in Namba, Japan August 15th, 2013 and subsequently released on DVD on October 2nd, 2013.
CNBLUE‘s unique brand of manliness sprinkled with a bit of charmingly cute and drop dead sexy all rolled into one super hot band has made them a hot commodity. Because of their popularity and well documented selling power, CNBLUE has amassed several promotional endorsement contracts for various products such as clothing and even cosmetics. CNBLUE‘s charismatic image and musical successes have helped them to score this and many other ad campaigns for reputable companies such as Holika Holika, BangBang, Olive Young, T.G.I. Friday’s, Samsung and many others over the past few years. This year, the band continued to promote campaigns for Bang Bang clothing brand and their newly appointed title of Healthy Food Embassadors for ‘Food for the Hungry’, by the Korean Food Trade Association and K-Food. In 2012, CNBLUE was chosen to be one of the campaign models for Samsung Galaxy and has appeared in several commercials and advertisements for the worldwide name in cellular technologies. In late August 2013, CNBLUE released a special digital single and music video for Samsung titled, ‘Feel Good’ which was written by CNBLUE‘ s Jung Yonghwa.
Continuing to show no signs of loosening their grasp on the media and the entertainment world, once these set their sights on something, they are determined to do it right, including acting. Even before his debut with the band, lead singer Jung Yonghwa was bitten by the acting bug and was cast to play a lead role in the Internationally popular drama, ‘You’re Beautiful’. Since then CNBLUE members have one by one added ‘Actor’ to their resume, each starring in popular dramas such as ‘Heartstrings’, ‘My Husband’s Got A Family’, ‘A Gentleman’s Dignity’, ‘My Daughter Seoyoung’. CNBLUE has been touted the first ‘Idol’ group to have all its members successfully transition into acting. This year, bassist Lee Jungshin accepted a role on KBS’s drama, ‘Blade and Petal’ (also known as ’Sword and Flower’). Soon to follow were drummer Kang Minhyuk on the highly rated SBS hit drama starring Lee Min Ho and Park Shin Hye, ‘The Heirs’ and Jung Yonghwa who snagged the second leading man role of ‘Park Seju‘ in KBS‘s ‘Marry Him If You Dare’ (Otherwise known as ‘Future Choice’). Production and airing for both dramas successfully wrapped in mid December.
Not wanting to leave their fans and their bank accounts alone for too long, on Novemeber 28th 2013 CNBLUE released another full length album just in time for Chrismas, aptly titled, ‘Present’ Japan’s Best. The new album featured ten tracks previously released in Japan, carefully re-written and translated to Korean by Jung Yonghwa and Lee Jonghyun with the title song from their sixth Japanese single album, ‘Lady’, which ranked number 2 on the Oricon Daily Single chart after release. Another ‘Present’ is set to be released in late January and will reportedly feature up to twenty of the band’s Korean songs, this time reworked for their Japanese market. Lee Jonghyun who managed to take an acting break this year, made his balladeer debut with FNC Entertainment‘s resident princess, Juniel to form the special sub- unit ‘Romantic J’. The romantic duo released ‘Love Falls’ on December 9th and followed up with a round of broadcast performances to help promote the first seasonal digital single for FNC. Jonghyun was in charge of composition while Juniel penned the lyrics for the cutesy and heart warming track.
Another present to look forward to this Christmas, the history making ‘Blue Moon’ World Tour 2013 that reached all over Asia with two stops in Sydney and Melbourn Austraila this year, ‘BLUE MOON World Tour 2013: Live in Seoul’ DVD slated for release on Christmas Day 2013. The special recording is easily to be one of most anticipated concert DVD’s by their BOICE fans this year. The quartet put the world tour on hold after their October Jakarta, concert in order to focus on their other aforementioned responsibilities but have stated their plans to continue the second leg of the tour to Europe and the Americas in 2014. Most recently, FNC formally announced the news North and South American fans had been waiting for all year long, CNBLUE ‘Blue Moon’ World Tour performances in New York City and Los Angelos, California slated for January 21st and January 24th 2014 respectively, followed by dates in Mexico Jan.26th, Peru C Jan 28th, and Chile on Jan. 31st.
Fondly labeled the hardest working band on the Korean music scene by their loving fans, CNBLUE managed to pull another year full of successes and some first time accomplishments. Newly surfaced information about CNBLUE‘s December schedule puts the band set to participate in all three of the End Year Gayo Dajun Music Festivals in Korea in late December.
So what can be expected from a band that never stops? …2014 will surely tell.
**Featured on KpopStarz.com on behalf of CNBLUESTORM**
- [News] What’s Up This Week… with CNBLUE! [Week of 11/17-11/24] (colormecnblue.com)
- [News] CNBLUE Kickoff Their Activities in Japan With Five City ‘Lady’ Zepp Tour (colormecnblue.com)