CN Blue (Korean: 씨엔블루 Japanese: シーエヌブルー ), stylized as CNBLUE, are a South Korean rock band formed in Seoul in 2009. The band consists of Jung Yong Hwa (lead vocals, rhythm guitar), Lee Jong Hyun (lead guitar, vocals), Lee Jung Shin (bass guitar, vocals) and Kang Min Hyuk (drums, vocals). “CN is an abbreviation of ‘Code Name’ while BLUE is an abbreviation of the members’ individual images,” said by one of the members. ‘Burning’ represents Lee Jong Hyun, ‘Lovely’ represents Kang Min Hyuk, ‘Untouchable’ represents Lee Jung Shin, and ‘Emotional’ represents Jung Yong Hwa. Debuted on 19 August 2009 in Japan with the band’s first mini album, Now or Never. The group released four teasers for their 1st mini album Bluetory, starring one member per each of the videos in the sequence of Jonghyun, Minhyuk, Jungshin and lastly, Yonghwa on the 6th, 8th, 11th and 13th January 2010 respectively. On January 14, 2010 CN Blue debuted their first mini-album in Korea with the lead single “I’m a Loner” (Korean: 외톨이야).
2009: Indie band in Japan, Now or Never, and Voice
In mid-June 2009, CN Blue began to perform on the streets and in live clubs in Japan. They formally debuted as an indie band on August 19, 2009 with Now or Never. The mini-album was recorded completely in English, and failed to chart on the Oricon. In late September, their original bassist Kwon Kwang Jin left the band and was replaced by Lee Jung Shin later that year. Their second extended play Voice was released in November. Recorded with both English and Japanese tracks, Voice peaked at No. 227 and stayed on the Oricon for two weeks.
2010: Korean debut, ThankU, and other activities
In January, FNC Music unveiled new teaser pictures for CN Blue’s debut in South Korea. Bluetory was released on January 14, 2010, and stayed at the top of the Gaon Chart for two weeks. “I’m A Loner” (Korean: 외톨이야) was promoted as the title track. The song peaked at No. 2, solidifying their break into the industry. The group had their first televised live stage on KBS Music Bank on January 15. Later, on January 29, the group made their first music show chart win on Music Bank.
The group debuted their new reality show “CN Bluetory” on the Korean music channel Mnet on February 10. In March, the band started preparations for their first full-length album ThankU. It was released on March 20, 2010 with only one new track. The album peaked at No. 90 on the Oricon charts, their highest position thus far. In April, their official fan club name was announced as BOICE, a combination of “blue” and “voice.”
CN Blue headed back to Korea in May and released their next promotional single, “Love Light” (Korean: 사랑 빛), on May 10, 2010. The song peaked at No. 10 on the Korean national chart and foreshadowed their upcoming release. On May 19, their second extended play Bluelove was released. It was promoted with the track “Love,” which charted at No. 2, matching the success the band found earlier with “I’m A Loner.” Bluelove peaked at No. 3, but stayed on the chart for many weeks. CN Blue held their comeback stage on M! Countdown the following day.
After their success in Korea, the band headed back to Japan. They released their first single “The Way” on June 23. For the first time, they charted in the Oricon top 40 at No. 26. The release was followed by “I Don’t Know Why” on September 16. The song reached No. 8 on the Oricon Daily Chart, marking the first time the band made it inside the top 10. On the weekly chart, they peaked at No. 15. On the Japanese indie top chart, the band reached number one. The band embarked on a small tour across Japan in order to promote the single.
CN Blue members Kang Min Hyuk and Lee Jong Hyun starred in the Korean movie “Acoustic.” They released a song from the OST on October 7 entitled “High Fly” that peaked at No. 98 on the Gaon Chart.
2011: Re-maintenance, First Step, 392, and In My Head
On January 9, CN Blue released their third Japanese single, Re-maintenance. They started off their 2011 Japanese promotions with a Zepp Tour in 4 cities: Osaka, Fukuoka, Nagoya and Tokyo from January 9–16.
FNC Music, their entertainment agency in South Korea, released teasers for a CN Blue comeback in February 2011. However, the release date was later changed to March 21. The teaser was noted for having “more of the same departure from their pop rock sound into a heavier concept.” CN Blue released their first full-length album First Step with the title track “Intuition” on March 21. Despite the delay, fans couldn’t seem to get enough of the fabulous foursome – “Intuition” achieved an all-kill on Korea’s major online music charts. Their album also topped Gaon Chart for physical album sales that week. They won K-Chart a week after their comeback on Mnet’s M! Countdown, KBS Music Bank and SBS Inkigayo, and for the first time they won triple crown on Mnet’s M! Countdown and KBS Music Bank. The promotions of the song ended on April 24, on Inkigayo. They followed the promotions with the song “Love Girl” to promote the special EP First Step +1 Thank You , the first performance of the song was on April 29 on Music Bank. The promotions of the song and albums ended in May 22.
After finishing promotions in Korea, CN Blue made a comeback in Japan with the release of their second and last indie album “392″ on September 1, 2011. They also announced that they would make their major debut in Japan on October 19, 2011 under the Warner Music Japan label. CN Blue last indie album “392″ placed 6th on the Oricon Weekly Album Chart. CN Blue released their major debut single “In My Head” on October 19, 2011 and peaked at 3rd on the Oricon Daily Chart and 4th on the Oricon Weekly Chart with 70,000+ unit sold in first week. ”In My Head” CD Single consist 4 track : “In My Head” (music by Jung Yong Hwa, lyrics by Kenji Tamai/Yoshifumi Kanamaru), “Mr.KIA” (music by Jung Yong Hwa/RYO, lyrics by Jung Yong Hwa), “Rain of Blessing” (music by Lee Jong Hyun/RYO, lyrics by Kenji Tamai/Kaori Fukano/Keisuke), and instrument version of In My Head (music by Jung Yong Hwa). In November, “In My Head” claimed a gold record accreditation according to the Recording Industry Association of Japan (RIAJ), meaning that their album sold over 100,000 copies within a month of going on sale.