All things come to an end, and 2NE1’s career reached its conclusion on Friday (Jan. 20, Jan. 21 in Korea) with the debut of their new, final single “Goodbye.”
The mellow “Goodbye” is an evocative ballad featuring little more than the voices of the singers and guitar strumming. It was released alongside an accompanying music video featuring members Park Bom, Dara, and CL. The track’s lyrics (“Although I cannot be with you forever/ It’s just for a moment/ when today is over/ I think tomorrow will be different”) and the black-and-white video reflect on 2NE1’s time together and their disbandment, as the trio forlornly gazed at images of their time together.
CL co-wrote the lyrics for “Goodbye” to express her sorrow about the end of 2NE1, while the melody was written by Rook Monroe, who was involved in Rihanna’s Anti album, and J Gramm, the producer of D.R.A.M’s “Broccoli.” Not only is “Goodbye” the last single by 2NE1, but it is also their first new music since 2014’s “Gotta Be You.”
2NE1 disbanded the day after Thanksgiving (Nov. 26) after several years of being on hiatus. At the beginning of 2017, 2NE1’s label YG Entertainment announced that they would release one final single, “Goodbye.”
Although she appeared in old footage featured in “Goodbye,” former member Minzy did not participate in the release of the single. After departing the group last April following years of inactivity, Minzy took to Instagram on Thursday (Jan. 19) to express her sorrow at not being included in the group’s final release. “It’s a shame that I had to find out 2NE1 will be releasing their final album through a news article,” she wrote.
On Friday, YG Entertainment’s CEO Yang Hyun Suk told the Korean media outlet Yonhap that the group’s disbandment rested on member Park Bom and her struggles with mental health. “I told her that 2NE1 is important but that I want her to become healthy again,” Yang said. In 2014, Park was embroiled in a news scandal for importing amphetamines from the US. Despite being used for treating ADHD, amphetamines are illegal in South Korea.
After garnering attention for a collaboration with K-pop megagroup Bigbang in 2009 (“Lollipop”) and their debut single “Fire,” 2NE1 rose to the top tiers of K-pop girl groups thanks to their bold musical style, fashion-forward music videos, and empowering lyrics. Hits like “I Am The Best,” “Lonely,” “Ugly,” “I Love You” and “Come Back Home” helped the quartet become one of the most internationally popular K-pop acts. Their final album, 2014’s Crush, had the biggest sales week for a K-pop album at the time and charted on the Billboard 200 at No. 61.