Are 2NE1 bigger than Psy?

Members of the South Korean band 2NE1: Bom, Dara, CL, and Minzy.

SINGAPORE - Watch out Psy, fierce competition is coming your way - in the form of a sassy K-pop all-girl quartet called 2NE1.

Gangnam Style might be the current rage in the West, but spunky hotshots Bom (Park Bom), 28, Dara (Sandara Park), 27, CL (Lee Chaerin), 21, and 18-year-old Minzy (Gong Minji) have every right to proclaim, "Hey, we were here first".

The fact is, it's easy to get caught up in the hype.

People tend to forget that before pudgy, goofy rapper Psy conquered the US with his horse-riding antics, some of his fellow Korean counterparts had already attained a considerable level of stateside success.

Not unlike enigmatic bad boys Big Bang and cutesy nine-member Girls' Generation, 2NE1 (pronounced "twenty-one"), whose edgy, flamboyant outfits have made them trendsetting style icons in the eyes of devotees around the globe, are ace live performers and have no problem packing arenas from New York to Los Angeles.

In August, more than 10,000 Blackjacks - that's the official name for 2NE1 fanatics - rapped and sang along to them at the Prudential Center in New Jersey, Newark.

Need more statistics?

The group, voted music station MTV Iggy's Best New Band in the World in 2011, have sold 27 million digital downloads to date.

That includes their female-empowering hip-hop dance single I Am The Best, which has moved 4.5 million units.

And in a show of their rising star power, the new Adidas television ad features them alongside rappers Nicki Minaj and Big Sean.

Last week, financial publication Forbes magazine referred to the foursome as "bigger than Psy".

Even if all you Psy supporters vehemently disagree with the statement, LOUD can't help but agree.

In an interview with MTV News two weeks ago, 2NE1 said it is hard at work on its English-language debut effort, slated for release next year.

They are not taking any chances and have enlisted music's top talent, The Black Eyed Peas' will.i.am, to help showcase their talent. He has confirmed that he is collaborating with the girls on the yet-to-be-titled album. This could significantly increase the chances of 2NE1 having their own Gangnam Style moment, which would help them achieve dizzying heights of superstardom in the West.

"We did a lot of studio sessions and we've been working on some (English) songs, but we are waiting for the perfect song, the magical song," said group leader CL.

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