(G)I-dle, stylized in all caps as (여자)아이들, is a popular South Korean girl group that was formed by Cube Entertainment in 2018. Comprising of five talented members, namely Miyeon, Minnie, Soyeon, Yuqi, and Shuhua, the group initially started as a sextet but later saw the departure of Soojin on August 14, 2021. Their debut took place on May 2, 2018, with the release of their first extended play (EP) titled “I Am,” featuring the single “Latata.” They also made their entry into the Japanese music scene under U-Cube with the Japanese version of “Latata” on July 31, 2019. Since their debut, (G)I-dle has gained recognition as one of the most successful South Korean girl groups, even without being signed to one of the “big three” record labels.
In 2020, (G)I-dle achieved significant domestic fame with their single album “Dumdi Dumdi,” which reached number two on the Circle Chart and became the second best-selling single album by a girl group of all time. Their subsequent single, “Tomboy,” from their first full-length album titled “I Never Die,” topped the Circle charts and remained at the number one spot for over two months. Both “Tomboy” and their following single, “Nxde,” achieved platinum certification from the Certification Korea Music Content Association (KMCA). Notably, (G)I-dle became the only artist in 2022 to have two songs achieve a Perfect All-Kill (PAK) on the Circle Chart.
What sets (G)I-dle apart from many other K-pop girl groups is their active involvement in the creative process of their music. Soyeon, in particular, has been heavily involved in writing and producing the majority of the group’s songs. Additionally, Minnie and Yuqi have also contributed as co-writers and producers for several album tracks. This level of participation has further contributed to their success and popularity. In a remarkable milestone, in 2023, (G)I-dle became the first act from an independent label to reach number 39 on the Mediabase Top 40 Radio airplay charts. Furthermore, they made their debut on the US Billboard Pop Airplay chart at number 40 with a non-English song, solidifying their international presence.
Soyeon, the group leader, shared in an interview with The Star that the name “Idle” (아이들) came to her while composing the song “Idle Song.” She proposed the name to Cube Entertainment, and after an internal competition, it was finalized. However, the name received mixed reactions in South Korea and internationally due to the word “아이들” (aideul) meaning “children” in Korean and “idle” in English being associated with laziness or avoiding work. To address this, the group was subsequently renamed as (G)I-dle. The “I” represents individuality, the hyphen signifies the division of the name into two parts, and “Dle” (deul) is the plural form of “I” in Korean, symbolizing a group of six distinct personalities coming together. When spoken, the “G” enclosed in parentheses is not included. Following their transition to a quintet, during an episode of 1theK Original’s IDDP released on March 15, 2022, the group expressed their preference to be referred to verbally as “I-dle.”