Stunned, but 2NE1's not done
As a fan of K-pop quartet 2NE1's sassy, female-empowering anthems, I was shocked by youngest member Minzy's sudden exit from the girl group.
Her decision to quit was announced last week and seemed to have come out of the blue, especially since the flamboyant foursome sprung a surprise reunion performance at the Mnet Asian Music Awards last December.
Just when we assumed they were finally going to release new material again since the 2014 album Crush - two years is an eternity in the land of K-pop - 2NE1 is now a trio.
While I'm stunned, I'm not really upset by Minzy's departure.
I will miss her trademark leg splits and cartwheels during 2NE1's live concerts.
Stage antics aside, I'm pretty confident that CL, Dara and Bom will continue to thrive and shine and push the 2NE1 brand to greater heights.
Minzy has always been 2NE1's weakest link.
She may have strong vocals and wicked dance moves but unlike her peers, she lacks a distinct identity.
Mention CL and we associate her with descriptions such as "leader", "fashion icon" and "badass rapper".
Bom has gained a reputation for being "the one with the ever-changing face" and "plastic surgery queen".
As for Dara, she is increasingly being recognised as a credible actress, TV host and variety show entertainer.
Poor Minzy has boundless all-round talents. Unfortunately, none are particularly striking. She's nice but boring.
That said, I wish her all the best.
She is only 22 and will probably have many great years in the music business, singing, dancing and rapping.
Of course, I hope she doesn't stop stupefying us with her splits and cartwheels.
Like all Blackjacks, I'll be cheering both 2NE1 and Minzy on.