4Minute (Korean: 포미닛) is a five-member girl group from South Korea. They were formed in 2009 by Cube Entertainment. The members of the group are Nam Ji-hyun (남지현), Heo Ga-yoon (허가윤), Jeon Ji-yoon (전지윤), Kim Hyun-a (김현아) and Kwon So-hyun ( 권소현).[1] The girls released their first single last June 15, 2009 and made their first debut stage last June 18, 2009 on M.net M! Countdown.

4Minute released one Korean full-length album, three Korean mini-albums, one Japanese full album, six Japanese mini-albums and various singles. The group debuted in June 2009 with their first single, Hot Issue. They released their first Japanese album, Diamond in December 2010. And they released their very first Korean full length album, 4MINUTES LEFT in 2011.

The group received the Bonsang Award at the 20th Seoul Music Awards on January 20, 2011. And on February 6, 2011, the group attended the 2010 Billboard Japan Music Awards wherein they received the “Kpop New Artist Award”.

2009: Debut and For Muzik


Cube Entertainment announced the creation of 4Minute in May 2009, along with the identity of two of the group’s members, Nam JiHyun, the group’s leader and Kim Hyunah, a former member of Wonder Girls.[2] On 11 June 2009, the silhouette teaser video was released online, along with their official website.[3]The remaining three members’ identities were not announced until June 12.[4]

Cube Entertainment had released a teaser for their first single “Hot Issue” on 10 June while the single debuted on June 18. The group promoted the song from its release until August. At the end of August, 4Minute released a mini-album called “For Muzik” which was alongside their second single, “Muzik“. 4Minute won a mutizen award and a mnet award for their second single “Muzik”. Their third single was “What A Girl Wants” was released shortly after the release of their EP.

On 21 June 2009, after the first week of “Hot Issue” promotions, fans stole various items from the group’s van, including clothing and other items. Cube Entertainment said, “It was very unfortunate that such an ordeal occurred.”[5] Two months later, on 27 August, KBS banned the playing of “Won’t Give You (안줄래)” for what they considered to be overly sexual lyrical content.[6] The lyrics in question, in the style of a first-person narrative, express an unwillingness on the part of the subject to “give” herself or her heart to her partner. Cube Entertainment responded to the ban by stating that the song was intended to be “about the pure feelings of a girl to a guy” and that they were very disappointed by the decision.[7][8]

4Minute was featured in fellow label-mate Mario’s Christmas digital single “Jingle Jingle”, which was released on 2 December 2009; the music video premiered online on December 3, 2009. They also recorded a remix with American artist Amerie for her song ‘Heard ‘Em All’ that was released on the Asian version of her fourth album.[9]

On February 7, 2010, the group performed “What A Girl Wants” at the long time running variety show ASAP “XV” in the Philippines.


Hit Your Heart and debut in Japan

4minute in Mnet 20’s Choice Awards, August 2010

Cube Entertainment announced that Universal Music Group would be assisting 4Minute with an international launch of their album.

They embarked on their Asia Tour that started in January and followed into other countries such as Taiwan, Philippines, Thailand, Hong Kong, and Japan.[11] They had their first solo concert in Japan on May 8, 2010.[6] Cube Entertainment announced that the tickets to the concert had been sold out in a very short period of time. For their first solo concert in Japan, they performed in front of an audience of 4,000. On April 23, 2010 a new repackaged album of 4minute was sold in Taiwan adding in the Hyuna’s solo debut “Change” featuring Junhyung of Beast and their duet song with Amerie “Heard ‘Em All”, as well as a bonus DVD of their concert in Taiwan.

4minute released a new mini-album entitled HuH (Hit Your Heart) for their comeback on May 19, 2010. Along with this, they also released the first single from it, titled “HuH”. In the first track “Who’s Next?” 4Minute’s fellow label mates, the members of Beast, were featured and also appeared in the music video for “HuH” and “Who’s Next”. They released a new music video for “I My Me Mine” their second single from “Hit Your Heart” on July 5, 2010.[12] Cube Entertainment also announced “I My Me Mine” as their next Japanese single. Three different editions of the single were released.[13]

On July 19, 2010, the song “Superstar” was digitally released for the Korean TV show Superstar K season 2.[14] 4Minute also performed the song live, to further promote the show. They performed for Celebration at Marina,[15] the warm-up concert for the Singapore Youth Olympic Games 2010, on August 13, 2010 together with BEAST, becoming the first Korean artists to perform for the Youth Olympic Games.

In September, Far Eastern Tribe Records announced a third Japanese single and their first double single, entitled “First/Dreams Come True”. After a teaser was released, the full music video for “FIRST” was officially released on 21 October 2010. The single was released on October 27, 2010. 4Minute had their second solo concert entitled 4Minute Energy Live Volume 2: Diamond. It was held for two nights in Tokyo on December 4 and December 5, 2010 in Osaka. It also marked the start of their promotions Diamond which was released on December 15, 2010 and debuted at the number 18 spot on the Oricon charts.

Role in North/South relations

In May 2010, the South Korea began broadcasting to the North on the FM station “Voice of Freedom.”[16] Among the songs broadcast was 4Minute’s “Huh.”[16] The lyrics include the lines, When I say I want to appear on TV, when I say I want to become prettier, everybody says I can’t do it. Baby, you’re kidding me? I do as I please.[16] This was supposed to make North Korean listeners aware of the greater opportunities available in the South.[16]

2011: Heart To Heart and 4minutes Left plus Japan activities and promotions

On January 13, 2011 4Minute participated at DiGi Live K-Pop Party 2011 in Malaysia at Stadium Negara together with B2ST and G.NA.[17] The group received the Bonsang Award at the 20th Seoul Music Awards on January 20, 2011. On February 6, the group attended the 2010 Billboard Japan Music Awards, and received the “KPop New Artist Award”.

On January 19, 2011 it was announced that 4Minute would be releasing their fourth Japanese single, “WHY” on March 9 and that is the theme song to TV Asahi drama, “Akutou~Juuhanzai Sousahan”. The MV teaser for “WHY” was released on January 21, 2011 and the music video was released on February 7, 2011.

On February 23, 2011, the group modeled for the well-known bridal designer Yumi Katsura at her “2011 Paris Grand Collection Tokyo fashion Show” held in Tokyo’s Ryogoku Kokugikan. At the end of the show they performed their songs Muzik (Japanese version) and WHY. They performed at 50th Anniversary Music Wave Concert in Thailand on March 12, 2011.

On January 12, 2011 Cube Entertainment announced that 4Minute would be returning with a full official album in March. After several teasers were released with the name “Steal 20”. 4Minute released their third mini album, titled Heart to Heart featuring five new songs, with a title track titled “Heart to Heart”. The MV teaser for “Heart to Heart” was released on March 28, 2011 and the music video was released on March 29, 2011. The MV also stars CN Blue’s Jungshin. With the release of the third mini album, it confused many fans, but Cube Entertainment explained that it was a new form of marketing, and that a full Korean Album was coming in April. This was confirmed after an alternate version of the Heart to Heart intro track “4minutes Left”, featuring a much heavier dance beat was revealed.

On April 5, 4Minute released their first full length Korean album titled 4MINUTES LEFT.[18] Along with the highly anticipated video for their Shadow Title Track “Mirror Mirror”. The album consists of all the tracks the Heart to Heart digital EP had, along with “Hide and Seek” and “Already Gone” which were from their debut album in Japan, DIAMOND, as well as the new shadow title track “”Mirror Mirror”” ,another new song titled “Badly” and a Korean remake of their Third Japanese Single “First”. The Album and two lead promotional singles are maintaining their positions in the top 10 of many Korean REAL TIME Charts.

4Minute made a comeback after a year hiatus through M.net’s M! Countdown on April 7, 2011, to further promote the album. Despite the song’s success, controversy followed because of the song’s provocative spread leg choreography for “”Mirror, Mirror”” with various Korean music program’s demanding it be changed or 4minute would not allowed to be perform the song on their shows.[19] Their new choreography debuted on M! Countdown April 14, 2011.

4Minute’s Mirror Mirror Music Video dethroned Britney Spears’ “Till the World Ends” in the number 1 spot of Europe’s[disambiguation needed ] HIT INT’L VIDEOS TOP 20. During the airing of the May 1, 2011 episode of the show 4Minute’s mirror mirror leaped from #5 to #1. And they were also ranked #2 on Gaon Charts losing the #1 spot to Korean boy band, Big Bang.

In late April, it was announced that 4Minute will collaborate with Japanese singer Thelma Aoyama for her single, “Without U”. It was released on May 25, 2011. The English Version was released on May 7, 2011.

4minute’s member HyunA released a solo mini album Bubble Pop! on July 5, 2011. Within 5 days of the music video’s release, it received 1 million views per day.

4minute planned they would release their 5th Japanese single “Heart to Heart” and their first DVD “Emerald of 4minute” on September 7, 2011. On August 3, 2011, 4Minute released their music video for “Freestyle” and “Freestyle” is the song for a street basketball game called “Freestyle”. The girls revealed the album jacket photos for the Japanese version of “Heart to Heart” on August 7 and on August 8, they revealed the audio teaser of the song and they revealed the music video teaser last August 12, 2011. On August 15, Universal Music Japan released the music video for “Heart to Heart”. The single and DVD both ranked in the position 15 on the first day of sales in Oricon’s Singles and DVD daily chart.
On October 1st, the group’s Japanese agency, Far Eastern Tribe Records, announced the group’s 6th Japanese single titled “Ready Go”, which is planned to release in December 7. The song will be a soundtrack for the TV Tokyo’s drama “Welcome to the El-Palacio”, which will start air on October 6. A 45 seconds teaser of the song was revealed on the same day.[20]

On their Facebook page, 4Minute released “Ready, Go!” on November 11, 2011.

2012: Volume Up and Double Yoon project group

On December 22, 2011, soompi.com announced the next Cube unit group will consist of Gayoon and Jiyoon. The new group has been referred to as “Double Yoon” but the group name is not official as of yet.

4Minute was supposed to make their comeback on January. It then was postponed to March as they were wanting to try out new songs. And as of March 19th Cube Entertainment announced they will make their comeback on mid-April. It has been said their group had choose the title song for the album, now focusing on the other tracks in the album to make it as good as the title. “Even prior to deciding on the title track, we were accepting many songs. While using the experience we’ve gained from previous promotions as a base, we are still taking a shot at other genres. In order to let fans who’ve waited for so long to hear the top music, we’ve taken a longer time to prepare the new album, however, you will be able to see all five members of 4minute standing together in April.”

Towards the end of March, the official title track of 4minute’s third mini album was revealed to be “Volume Up” leading many fans to speculate that their comeback is nearing. [21]. On 3rd of April, it was announced that the girls of 4minute will make their comeback on April 9th with their third mini album, ‘Volume Up’, along with a teaser image, with the tracklist being released also. On April 9, 2012, the music video for “Volume Up” was released on 4minute’s official YouTube account.


Stage name Birth name Date of birth
Romanized Hangul Romanized Hangul
Ji Hyun 지현 Nam Ji Hyun 남지현 January 9, 1990 (age 22)
Gayoon 가윤 Heo Ga Yoon 허가윤 May 18, 1990 (age 21)
Ji Yoon 지윤 Jeon Ji Yoon 전지윤 October 15, 1990 (age 21)
HyunA 현아 Kim Hyun Ah 김현아 June 6, 1992 (age 19)
So Hyun 소현 Kwon So Hyun 권소현 August 30, 1994 (age 17)


Main article: 4Minute discography

Korean discography

Studio Albums
  • 2011: 4minutes Left
  • 2009: For Muzik
  • 2010: Hit Your Heart
  • 2011: Heart to Heart
  • 2012: Volume Up
Digital Singles
  • 2009: Hot Issue
  • 2010: Superstar
  • 2011: FreeStyle
Collaborations/Featuring Songs
  • 2009: Jingle Jingle – Mario feat 4minute
  • 2009: Heard ‘Em All – Ameriie feat 4minute
  • 2010: Once More, Korea! – 4minute & Brown Eyed Girls: World Cup Song
  • 2011: Silly Boy – 015B feat 4minute

Japanese discography

Studio Albums
  • 2010: Diamond
Single Albums
  • 2010: Muzik
  • 2010: I My Me Mine
  • 2010: First/Dreams Come True
  • 2011: Why
  • 2011: Heart to Heart
  • 2011: Ready Go
Collaborations/Featuring Songs
  • 2011: Without U – Thelma Aoyama feat.4Minute
  • 2011: Emerald Of 4minute


Television work

Year Show
2009 Featured in Super Junior Miracle
2009 MTV 4minute
2010 MTV 4minute’s Friend Day
2010 4minute’s All In
2010 Bouquet
2011 4Minute’s Mr. Teacher
2011 4Minute @ Shikshin Road


  • 2010: 4Minute Energy LIVE Volume 1: 1st Concert [Tokyo]
  • 2010: 4Minute Energy LIVE Volume 2: DIAMOND [Tokyo & Osaka]

Concert participation

  • 2011: United Cube Concert
  • 2011: KBS New York Korea Festival Concert [New Overpeck Park, New Jersey]
  • 2011: Billboard Korea’s K-Pop Masters Concerts [MGM Grand Garden Arena, Las Vegas, Nevada]



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