Gong Min-ji (Hangul: 공민지; born January 18, 1994), better known by her stage name Minzy, is a South Korean singer and songwriter. She debuted in 2009 as a member of South Korean girl group 2NE1, which she left in April 2016. She released her first solo EP, Minzy Work 01: “Uno”, in April 2017.
Minzy was born in Seoul, South Korea on January 18, 1994. She is the granddaughter of folk dancer Gong Ok-jin. When she was young, she moved to Gwangju with her family, but then her mother brought Minzy and her brother back to Seoul while travelling between Seoul and Gwangju to work with Minzy’s father. She participated in many dance contests and competitions, winning various awards. A video of her at a dance competition in Gwangju was uploaded onto the Internet, and became viral with many people sending praise for her ability to dance. This video was then uploaded onto YG’s homepage, whereupon the CEO, Yang Hyun-suk, contacted and recruited her to join the agency when she was only in sixth grade.
YG Entertainment stated in early 2009 that they would be debuting a new four-member group that had been training for four years, and that their debut album would contain songs produced by 1TYM’s leader Teddy Park and G-Dragon of Big Bang. The group’s name was initially announced as “21”; however, due to the discovery of a singer with the same name, the group was renamed “2NE1”, with “NE” being an abbreviation of “New Evolution”. Minzy was placed in 2NE1 as the main dancer, alongside Park Bom, Sandara Park and CL. The group went on to debut with their first single “Fire” in May 2009, with Minzy being the youngest member at just 15 years old.
Minzy officially left the group and the group’s agency, YG Entertainment, on April 5, 2016. Because of this, she did not take part in 2NE1’s last song “Goodbye”, released on January 21, 2017.
On May 2016, Minzy signed with CJ E&M’s subsidiary label Music Works. It was revealed that Minzy is currently preparing for her solo album and is interested in trying out different types of music and doesn’t want to limit herself to one specific genre. Music Works stated, “We are focusing on producing a first solo album which can portray all of Gong Minzy’s talent and potential. We will continue the preparations without being chased by time”.
On January 17, 2017, a representative from KBS revealed that Minzy has been confirmed as a cast member of the second season of Sister’s Slam Dunk together with Kim Sook, Hong Jin-kyung, Kang Ye-won, Han Chae-young, Hong Jin-young and Jeon So-mi. The show aired its first broadcast on February 10, where Minzy was appointed to become the main singer, main dancer, dance tutor and choreographer for the second generation of Unnies by legendary producer and composer Kim Hyung Suk (mentor of JYP), and was voted as leader of the group on the third episode. She is also qualified to be the team’s rap teacher, but due to her heavy workload, the role went to LA-born newcomer KillerGramz. On episode 12, she was named the rapping director as Kim Hyung Suk has no rapping knowledge, and named Hong Jin-young as the sole rapper of the group, with Jeon So-mi the rap lyricist for “Right?”. Also in February, it was announced that Minzy will release her first solo single, “I Wanted To Love” as the soundtrack of the MBC drama The Rebel.
On April 17, Minzy released her solo debut EP, Minzy Work 01. “Uno”, along with title track “Ninano”.