CL (real name 이채린, romanized: Lee Chae-Rin) is a Korean female rapper and leader of the group 2NE1, which disbanded in 2016.
Chaerin was born in Seoul, South Korea. In her childhood, she traveled frequently with her family, because of her father's occupation. She spent much of her youth in Japan, France and USA. When she came back to Korea, she barely knew any Korean, but said in an interview shown on 2NE1 TV that she is now most comfortable speaking Korean. CL was raised as a Roman Catholic. CL became a YG Trainee in late 2006, contributing to various Big Bang albums, officially part of the YG family in late 2007, and debuted (with 2NE1) in 2009. She is fluent in Korean and English.
During her time with 2NE1, CL released her first solo track The Baddest Female on May 28 as a digital-only single. The single was announced as Bad Girl on May 23 but changed due to the similarly titled single Bad Girls releasing by 이효리. Her second solo track MTBD (an acronym for MenTal BreakDown) was released in 2014, which was released physically on the Korean version of 2NE1's Crush. Originally the song incorporated chanted verses of the Quran, but due to accusations of blasphemy these have been removed. In 2016, the song was used in the fifth episode of the TV show Lucifer.
In 2014, it was announced CL planned on solo debuting in the USA, teaming up with Scooter Braun as her manager. In May 2015, CL featured on the song Doctor Pepper by the American producer Diplo. I November 2015, CL released her third solo track Hello Bitches, and the same month featured on PSY's song Daddy. Then in August 2016, CL released the single Lifted which incorporated samples from Wu-Tang Clan's Method Man. In October 2016, CL kicked of her first North American tour.
In 2017, CL featured on Lil Yachty's track Surrender alongside Shaiana, which was released as a bonus track of the Deluxe Edition of the album Teenage Emotions. In 2017, CL also recorded the song No Better Feelin for the soundtrack of My Little Pony: The Movie. In 2018, CL made her Hollywood debut with her role in the movie Mile 22. In February 2018, CL performed in the Winter Olympics closing ceremony at Pyeongchang Olympic Stadium performing The Baddest Female and 2NE1's hit-song I Am The Best. Later in 2018, CL collaborated with Black Eyed Peas' track Dopeness.
On November 8, 2019, YG announced that CL had not renewed her contract with YG entertainment. On December 4, CL began releasing tracks for her digital solo EP In The Name Of Love. In September 12, 2020, CL announced that she had been working on a solo album that would be released later that year. On October 29 she released two singles: -HWA- and -5 STAR- while announcing that her earlier mentioned album was named Alpha and would release November 30, 2020. However, on November 16 it was announced the album would be delayed until early 2021.
On February 26, 2021, CL released the single Wish You Where Here, which coincided with her 30th birthday. The song was released as a tribute to her mother, Hong Yoo-ra, who had died a month prior due to a heart attack. On July 10, 2021, CL signed a domestic management contract with Konnect Entertainment in order to manage her activities in Korea. On August 9, CL released a teaser for her album Alpha stating "coming soon", and on August 12, it was announced that the first pre-release single Spicy would release on August 24, with a second pre-release tracking coming in September and the album releasing in October.
She has also featured in "The Leaders (feat. Teddy, CL)" by G-Dragon as well as "Kiss (feat. CL)" for fellow member Sandara; she also has a joint single with Minzy titled "Please Don't Go".