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A South Korean girl group formed by ADOR/Hybe, NewJeans blend vocal pop, R&B, and playfully woozy electronic/dance sensibilities into a formula of their own. Their self-titled debut EP went straight to number one in 2022, as did 2023′s “OMG.” Their second EP, Get Up, arrived in July 2023.
With a name intended to evoke the idea of a new generation of pop (“new genes”) as well as fashion, NewJeans was assembled by ADOR, a subsidiary of Hybe Corporation, under the direction of label CEO Min Hee-Jin, onetime visual director of SM Entertainment. With auditions wrapping up in the early days of 2022, the lineup of lead singer Minji, Danielle, Haerin, Hanni, and Hyein was finalized in March. Most of them were selected as dancers as well as singers. They released their first single, “Attention,” in July 2022, quickly following it with “Hype Boy.” The buzz surrounding their early songs, video teasers, and a reputation for sexual lyrics prompted hundreds of thousands of pre-orders for the group’s self-titled debut EP. It went to number one in Korea upon its release that August in addition to hitting the Top 20 both in Japan and on the Billboard World Albums chart. The single album for 2023′s “OMG,” containing the song as well as the previous year’s “Ditto,” also went to number one in Korea, and was certified triple platinum. “Zero” appeared in April. “Super Shy” was another chart-topper, and second EP Get Up was issued in July, reaching number two and selling over a million copies. That sophomore effort combined dance genres such as U.K. garage, drum’n’bass, and Jersey and Baltimore club with lush R&B, a refreshing blend that helped push them to the top of the Billboard 200. ~ Marcy Donelson