Sandara Park is 'in' again

Sandara Park used to wonder in song if she's "in or out." Nowadays, the Korean celebrity knows for sure where she stands.

Sandara has resurrected her once dormant showbiz career by emerging as a star in her native South Korea.

This she did by becoming one-fourth of the immensely popular new girl group called 2NE1 or the “New Evolution of the 21st Century.” In Korea, Sandara is now better known as “Dara.”

2NE1's introduction to the entertainment world was "Lollipop" which was released digitally March 27 of this year. The song was written for LG in promotion of the Cyon phone, and was a joint release with Big Bang, a Korean hip hop group.

When the commercial/music video of "Lollipop" was played for the the first time the following day, it encountered problems with network chart eligibility because it was technically an advertisement song and not a promotional single.

However, as if proving the notion that you can't turn a good song down, "Lollipop" still topped various online charts, particularly music video network M.Net's online chart.

“Lollipop” became such a smash that it was even profiled by celebrity blogger Perez Hilton.

And just as questions arose on 2NE1's staying power, YG Entertainment [the girl group's record label] released their first official single, "Fire." The song zoomed to No. 1 on the charts while its two videos (respectively known as the "street" and "space" versions) got a million views on the first day of release.

A live performance in the popular SBS TV show "Inki Gayo," sealed the group's reputation as one that is here to stay.

2NE1's next single, "I Don't Care," hit number one on July 1, 2009. It helped propel their self-titled mini-album to gross sales of over 80,000 units.

The group scored a lot of major shows and endorsements thereafter, most prominent of which is their endorsement deal with major global clothing company Fila.

2NE1's first full-length album will be released either next month or October. A major concert headlined by the group is being planned for end of this year.

Sandara, on her own, gained further popularity via Gummy's Music Video for the song "I'm Sorry (ft. T.O.P. of Big Bang)." Her kissing scene with T.O.P. in the video became a hot topic over the Internet.

Sandara first made waves as a runner-up to eventual love team partner Hero Angeles in ABS-CBN’s reality talent contest, “Star Circle Quest.” She accumulated an estimated 2 million text votes throughout its whole season - one of the highest tallies in that show's history.

Her 6-track album under Star Records contained the novelty dance hits "In or Out" (a song that lampooned her experiences on SCQ) and "Walang Sabit" (a commercial jingle for a shampoo product). The album was Certified Double Platinum six months after release.

Manila Bulletin

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