You might remember her as the girl from PSY’s “Oppa is just my style” music video, or maybe you know her as the rapper from the popular K-pop group 4Minute, or maybe you simply know her as the sexy queen of K-pop. Either way, no matter what you know her as, Hyuna has been dominating the K-pop industry for almost ten years now and that’s a fact. So if you don’t know her at all, well, you should.
Hyuna is a rapper, singer, songwriter, and performer known for her unique voice, upbeat music, insanely sexy (but cute) image, and for breaking down barriers for women in K-pop and promoting confidence over everything, making her a role model for girls everywhere.
Hyuna first debuted with the popular JYP group Wonder Girls in 2007, but then left the group and debuted in Cube Entertainment’s 4Minute in 2009. She debuted as a solo artist with “Change” in 2010 and immediately proved that she’s a female force to be reckoned with.
Hyuna as a solo artist and her group 4Minute quickly rose to fame within the K-pop world. Especially when Hyuna released her first ever EP “Bubble Pop!” in 2011 whose lead single of the same name sold 2.5 million copies and made Hyuna the first female solo artist to surpass 100 million views on a music video.
2012 is when Hyuna received explosive worldwide recognition after being selected by PSY himself to be in the song “Oppa is Just My Style,” the female version of the viral hit “Gangnam Style,” which now has almost 1 billion views.
Her next release, “Ice Cream” a couple of months later featured a cameo from PSY and broke several records for YouTube views, and its EP “Melting” marked Hyuna’s start as a lyricist and composer as well as performer and singer.
Hyuna even appeared in a Funny or Die sketch with singer Rita Ora in 2014 titled “Better Walk.” 2014 is also when the singer released her infamous single “Red” from the album “A Talk,” which was a worldwide success praised by Billboard, who said she had established herself as a global pop brand. The single is still a fan-favorite, sung and danced to by fans everywhere with lyrics like, “A monkey’s butt is red, red is Hyuna.”
Unfortunately, her group 4Minute decided to disband in 2016, but Hyuna continued on as a solo artist. Since then she has released several more successful albums such as, “A+” (2015), “A’wesome” (2016), and “Following” (2017).
Although Hyuna is known for her unapologetic sexiness unlike anything else seen in the sometimes conservative K-pop industry, she has explained before that a sexy image wasn’t initially her choice, but her company’s.
“I regret that the only thing that the agency sells is my sexy side. I regret that they cannot see my true personality… It’s uncomfortable, being sexy all the time,” Hyuna explained in her post, “You should know that as a celebrity, you need to have an image. And this is mine. I’m not always proud of it, but that’s how I am supposed to be.”
The letter to her anti-fans was written several years ago, and since then Hyuna has embraced her on-stage sexiness and has stopped trying to explain herself to those who don’t like her.
Recently though, the singer has been making headlines and causing a stir in the industry–all because of her dating life.
In 2017, the co-ed unit Triple H debuted with the EP “199X” whose members consisted of Hyuna and Pentagon members E’Dawn and Hui. They came back again recently over the summer with the EP “Retro Futurism.” In music videos for both EP’s singles “So Fresh” and “Retro Future,” Hyuna and E’Dawn are featured kissing, sharing a bed, and many other moments of let’s say…close physical contact. Their close relationship was also shown in behind the scenes clips and during performances.
This wasn’t Hyuna’s first time taking part in a co-ed unit. Starting in 2011 she was a part of the collaboration group Trouble Maker with BEAST’s Hyun-seung, a unit which also pushed the limits of intimateness and sexiness from on-screen to on-stage.
But in August of 2018, Hyuna and E’Dawn revealed that they have actually been dating for over two years–which means they’ve been seeing each other since he was a trainee before debuting with Pentagon in 2016–which is a big no-no in K-pop.
Even though Hyuna is 26 years old and one of the most influential artists in all of South Korea and K-pop, it is well-known that most contracts in the industry contain a no dating rule. When idols do date though, they don’t normally announce to the world in fear of backlash and ruining their careers, especially when it comes to young artists like E’Dawn.
The idols wanted to be honest with their fans and stop hiding it from them though, but all they received from Korean fans was immense backlash, while most international fans supported the couple.
After a while of uncertainty, their agency Cube Entertainment responded to this by announcing that the pair had been kicked out of the company: “We decided the trust is broken beyond repair, so we are expelling the two from our company.”
Hyuna and E’Dawn apparently found out about this by reading it on the news.
Cube immediately retracted their statement and said they were discussing their future with the artists. Meanwhile, Hyuna’s schedules had all been cancelled and E’Dawn was on hiatus from his group’s activities.
In a letter to Cube, Hyuna demanded that her contract be cancelled. “Once again, putting my utmost effort into making Cube established as it is, is the only thing that I have done. Getting kicked out of Cube has tarnished my reputation and disgraced myself.”
We now know that she has officially left the company. Hyuna has posted several videos and photos on her Instagram with her boyfriend E’Dawn, something not common in the K-pop world since…ever. But fans are happy to see them moving forward together, fighting against the odds, and breaking the usual rules.
Twitter user @hyunapics_ said, “Jokes aside, Hyuna gave absolutely everything for Cube and literally put them on the map, and she deserves much better than they ever gave her. I’ll support her no matter where she goes and what she chooses to do.”
Although the future of her career right now is unclear, we know that Hyuna will always be herself no matter what anyone says about her, and that she will continue to defy stereotypes in an industry that isn’t always so kind to women.