MBLAQ (an acronym for Music Boys Live in Absolute Quality) is a South Korean boy group created by South Korean singer Rain under J. Tune Camp. The group consists of Seungho, G.O, and Mir, and formerly Lee Joon and Thunder.
2009: Just BLAQ
MBLAQ was first announced on September 21, 2009 with an appearance in Nylon magazine, after having trained for two years. The group appeared alongside Rain, in his Legend of Rainism concert. They performed various songs from their produced EP, Just BLAQ, and were met with praise, with many spectators at the concert and fans considering them as the next TVXQ.
The group released teasers for their debut song, "Oh Yeah", on October 12, 2009 with the music video being released two days later. Coinciding with the music video, MBLAQ's debut single album "Just BLAQ", was released on the same day, topping various charts in South Korea.
In early December, the group debuted in Japan, following their performance during Rain's fan meeting.
Later that month, the group commenced promotions for their follow up track, "G.O.O.D Luv". Two music videos were released: an 'unofficial' music video prior to the 'official' music video, which was released on December 10, 2009.
On May 17, 2010, the group released their second single album, Y, a track that Rain wrote, composed, produced and choreographed. The music video for the title track, "Y", was released on the same day at midnight. MBLAQ claimed first place on June 3, 2010 on M! Countdown, and were voted the best Rookie Group for the first half of 2010 through a poll conducted by Korean music site Bugs, obtaining 46% of the votes.
On December 29, 2010, MBLAQ released a teaser music video, featuring their song "Cry", for their upcoming full-length album, BLAQ Style.
On December 30, 2010, J.Tune Entertainment merged with JYP Entertainment. However, as MBLAQ is part of J.Tune Camp, they are not considered as part of JYP Entertainment, or have any ties with the company.
2011: BLAQ Style, Japanese debut, and Mona Lisa
On January 3, 2011, J.Tune Camp released MBLAQ's music video for "Cry" on YouTube, an R&B track produced by E-Tribe.
On January 10, 2011, MBLAQ released their first studio album, BLAQ Style. After only one day of the album's release, MBLAQ recorded 25,000 orders for BLAQ Style. The next day J.Tune Camp released the full music video for Stay on YouTube, which gained more than 400,000 in a week.
They released a repackaged version of their studio album, titled BLAQ Style - 3D Edition on February 22, 2011. The album consists of the 13 tracks from BLAQ Style, as well as three new tracks. When it was released, BLAQ Style 3D reached number one on the Hanteo charts. "Again", their last new song from BLAQ Style - 3D Edition, was used to promote The Fighter in South Korea.
On May 3, MBLAQ kicked off their Japanese promotions with their debut event held at Kanagawa Lazona Kawasaki Plaza, gathering a reported 10,000 fans. Your Luv reached second position on the Oricon Daily Charts for May 3, which was before their official Japanese debut and release date. On May 4, Your Luv reached first position on the Oricon Daily Charts, selling more than 11,000 CDs. A week after their debut, MBLAQ reached second position on the Oricon Weekly Charts, selling more than 40,000 copies of Your Luv.
Their korean mini-album Mona Lisa was released online in July 2011. On July 15, when Mona Lisa was released in stores, it reached number one on the Hanteo Real-time, Daily and Weekly Charts.
On July 15, J.Tune Camp stated that since July 8, Mona Lisa had 30,000 pre-orders, with international fans, in particular Japanese fans, requesting more copies. J.Tune Camp stated they would be producing 50,000 more copies to meet the demand.
The title track, "Baby U", of their new japanese single album was released on October 26, 2011.Baby U! reached number two on the Oricon Weekly Chart, selling a total of 45,624 copies in the first week. The song also reached number one on Japan's Billboard Hot Animation Chart.
2012: 100% Ver., BLAQ Memories, and 1st Asia Tour
On January 5, MBLAQ released their teaser of “This is War” on their official YouTube channel, J.Tune Camp. On the same day, the first concept photo was also released by J.Tune Camp.
J. Tune Entertainment announced that MBLAQ's fourth mini-album was titled 100% Ver. because "[it] is an expression of MBLAQ's satisfaction and confidence in the album's quality". It has been valuably noted that MBLAQ has expended much effort in the making the album.
The full music video of "전쟁이야 (This is War)" was released four days later, on January 10, 2012.
100% Ver. was released on the same day as the music video. It has been revealed that MBLAQ's 100% Ver. had received more than 40,000 pre-orders. The music video of It's War, reached 1 million views within a week. MBLAQ won M! Countdown for 2 weeks in a row with This is War.
On March 1, MBLAQ started their follow-up promotions with Run on M! Countdown, Seungho also injured his back on the pre-recording of M! Countdown, and a video of their dance practice for Run was released online on the same day on J.Tune Camp's original YouTube channel.
On March 7, MBLAQ released a compilation album titled MBLAQ Memories - Best in Korea. The album consists of many songs from their Korean releases, and also includes a Japanese version of You're My +. Upon its release, the album landed at #9 on the Oricon Daily chart.
In June, Mir and G.O., as part of MBLAQ's subunit, released a song titled "Wild" for their Asia tour. In July, Thunder released a self-composed solo song titled "Don't Go".
2013: Sexy Beat & Love Beat
On June 4, the music video for Smoky Girl was released online and MBLAQ held a comeback showcase on the same day as the release of the music video which was streamed live on various websites such as Mnet's Mwave. Sexy Beat, MBLAQ's fifth extended play was also released on June 4, which consists of six tracks with 스모키걸 (Smoky Girl) as their title track.
A repackaged special album titled Love Beat was released two months later on August 12, 2013. It consists of three new tracks: I Don't Know, Prayer (기도) and No Love as their title track, together with all six tracks from Sexy Beat. The music video for No Love was uploaded on J. Tune Camp's official YouTube channel on August 12, showing the photoshoot, composing and preparation for Love Beat.
2014: Broken, Winter, Lee Joon and Thunder's departure
On March 24, 2014, the music video of Be a Man was uploaded and the album, Broken, which consists of seven tracks which the members actively participated in the writing and composing part, was subsequently released online. On the same day, MBLAQ also began their comeback promotions for Be a Man by performing at a comeback showcase in WAPOP Hall.
On November 20, 2014, J. Tune Camp revealed the track list on their official Twitter and the album "Winter". Winter is the seventh EP released by the South Korean boy group MBLAQ, in time to suit the approaching Winter season. MBLAQ did not officially promote the album on music programs.
On December 16, 2014, it was announced Joon and Thunder had departed from the group and they will focus on individual activities for the time being; Joon focusing on filming his current drama, MBC's Mr. Back and Thunder studying music for a while.
The group released their eighth mini album Mirror on June 9, 2015 as trio.
After Mirror in 2015, MBLAQ more or less disappeared. Member GO left to do military service in February 2016. Rumors said GO had been frustrated with their agency’s actions or lack thereof.
On February 14, 2017, G.O apologized to their fans. His explanation mentioned he was trying to put together his own fan meeting, but J.Tune Camp was being of no help. The letter also stated, “I will let you know that all three of us are not related to J.Tune Camp in terms of a contract. It’s because J.Tune Camp is gone.” G.O further said he stayed in contact with Seungho.
In April, 2017, Seung-ho decided to sign with Will Entertainment to focus on both acting and music.
G.O. is active as Jung Ji Oh TV jockey announcer. He married late 2019 to actress Choi Ye-seul. He's also active on his YouTube channel.
Mir has been busy working as a host, model and rapper. He's running his own YouTube channel.
After their departure from MBLAQ, both Lee Joon and Thunder have been busy acting.
Sources: MBCkpop, jtunecamp, wikipedia, channel-korea 1, channel-korea 2, lioden, rebloggy.
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Did you enjoy MBLAQ? Do you miss them? Do you think they will ever make a comeback? They seem pretty content at the moment though, so I can't see it happening any time soon.
Anyway, they have great title tracks, my favorite (by far) is This Is War, but I also love Mona Lisa and Y. It's sad they basically got dumped after Lee Joon and Thunder left, it's so unfortunate for them.
I would love to hear what you think about this week ♥