K-Pop Debut Look Back: How 4Minute Became A “Hot Issue”

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Let’s take it back to June 15, 2009: when 4Minute began their musical journey with a “Hot Issue”

Ten years ago today, the K-Pop industry forever changed with the debut of 4Minute. Jihyun, Gayoon, Jiyoon, Hyuna, and Sohyun broke out onto the music scene, effortlessly charming the world with their catchy sound and edgy choreography. Though the group has disbanded, their music continues to reel in listeners to the colorful world of K-Pop.

Today, let us celebrate the tenth anniversary of 4Minute’s debut by bringing it back to June 15 — when the quintet became a global “Hot Issue”.

Becoming A “Hot Issue”

4Minute’s formation was first announced in May 2009. The first member that was confirmed to be in the group was Hyuna, who rose to fame as a member of the Wonder Girls. Members Jihyun, Gayoon, Jiyoon, and Sohyun were introduced to the public in the days following the official announcement.

A month later, the group officially broke out onto the music scene with “Hot Issue”, which debuted at the 20th spot of the Melon Chart Yearly 2009 music chart. The track was later included in 4Minute’s first mini-album, For Muzik, released in August of the same year.

For Muzik resonated well with everyone, as its title tracks sold over 4,000,000 units digitally. Notably, its second title track “Muzik” ranked 21st at the Melon Chart Yearly 2009 music chart. Eventually, the group released “What A Girl Wants” as the EP’s third and final title track.


The quintet’s smashing debut earned them the Newcomers Award at the 24th Golden Disc Awards at the end of the year. Their debut track, “Hot Issue”, was nominated for the Best New Female Artist award at the Mnet Asian Music Awards.

“Ready Go” In Japan

4Minute continued to dominate the music scene well into 2011, performing at various concerts around the world. In January, the group made their debut on Malaysia’s concert stage at the DiGi Live K-Pop Party 2011. A few months later, the girls flew out to Thailand to perform at the 50th Anniversary Music Wave Concert.

Apart from showcasing their talents on international concert stages, the group was also dominating the Japanese music stage. In February, the group released “Why”, their fourth and best-selling Japanese single. Upon its release, the single sold over 15,000 physical copies. The track later became the theme song for TV Asahi’s Akutō: Jūhanzai Sōsahan.

Before the year ended, the group released their sixth Japanese single “Ready Go”. The single debuted on the 23rd spot at the Oricon charts, and sold over 8,000 physical units. It was later used as the opening track for another Japanese drama, TV Tokyo’s Welcome to the El-Palacio.

4Minute Today

4Minute disbanded on June 2016, after a series of contract renewal discussions between Cube Entertainment and the members of the group. The entertainment company cited each members’ conflicting interests for their careers, which could potentially affect their group activities later on. Their last mini album, Act. 7, charted on the Gaon Chart and the Billboard charts on second and third spot, respectively.

Most members of the group decided to pursue acting after 4Minute’s disbandment. Gayoon, for one, pursued an acting career under the management of BS Company. She had supporting roles in the film Daddy You, Daughter Me in 2016; and the film Drug King in 2017.

Sohyun is currently working on her career as an actress. In 2017, she made a cameo as Kwon Yoo-jin in tvN’s adaptation of Criminal Minds. She also starred in the film Birthday, and is starring in the drama The Secret Life Of My Secretary.


Another 4Minute member who pursued an acting career was Jihyun, who signed a contract with Artist Company after her departure from Cube Entertainment. In 2017, she starred as Choi Yeon-ji in KBS’ Strongest Deliveryman. The following year, she starred in TV Chosun’s Grand Prince and took the lead role in Naver’s Monkey and Dog Romance.

The Grand Prince

Other members continued to flourish in the music industry. Jiyoon, under the stage name Jenyer, recently made her comeback as a solo artist. On May 4, the singer released the moment i loved, three years after she debuted as a solo artist with Day and Night.

Jenyer the moment i loved

(image via Jenyer’s Instagram)

Hyuna continued to develop her career as a solo artist after the group’s disbandment. The singer took the world by storm with her 2017 release “Lip and Hip”, which topped domestic and international charts upon its release. In 2018, Hyuna departed from Cube Entertainment after she confirmed that she was in a relationship with Pentagon’s E’Dawn. She is currently under the management of P-Nation.