MAMAMOO is a South Korean girl group formed by RBW (Rainbow Bridge World) since 2014. The group consists of four members – Solar, Moonbyul, Wheein, and Hwasa. They debuted on June 19, 2014 with the song “Mr. Ambiguous” in what was considered by critics as one of the best K-pop debuts of 2014. The group is widely recognized in the industry for their retro, jazz, and R&B concepts, as well as their strong vocal prowess.
Before their official debut as a group, the members of MAMAMOO collaborated with several other artists from various agencies. Their first collaboration called “Don’t Be Happy” was with Bumkey of Brand New Music, and was released on January 8, 2014. The song charted at number 20 on the Gaon Digital Chart and number 24 on Billboard’s Korea K-Pop Hot 100 chart despite not having any promotions.
Their second collaboration was with K.Will of Starship Entertainment, titled “Peppermint Chocolate”, and was released the following month on February 11. The song also featured Wheesung and was considered a commercial success after and peaking at ranks 10 and 7 on the aforementioned charts.
And lastly, the group released their third collaboration, “HeeHeeHaHeHo” on May 30, this time with their labelmate Geeks and peaked at 50 and 45 on the same charts.
2014: Official debut
MAMAMOO officially debuted as a group on June 19 with the song “Mr. Ambiguous”, the lead single of their first mini album Hello. The music video for their song featured cameo appearances from several well-known figures in the K-pop industry such as Jonghyun of CNBLUE, Baek Ji Young, Wheesung, Jung Joon Young, Bumkey, K.Will, and Rhymer of Brand New Music.
Hello includes the three previously released collaborations of the group plus four new songs. The album debuted at number 19 on the Gaon Album Chart for the third week of June 2014, while “Mr. Ambiguous” entered the Gaon Digital Chart at number 53 before peaking at number 19 two weeks later. It also ranked at number 28 on Billboard’s Korea K-pop Hot 100 chart.
Their first live performance was on the June 19 episode of Mnet’s M! Countdown. On June 27, MAMAMOO performed their song “Peppermint Chocolate” with K. Will and VIXX’s Ravi on Music Bank’s “Half-Year Special”. And on July 5, they held a guerilla concert at Hongik University in Hongdae, Seoul.
A month after their official debut, the group released the song “Love Lane”, their first original soundtrack contribution for the television drama Marriage, Not Dating.
On November 21, they released their second mini album, Piano Man, which contains two songs – the title track of the same name and the song “Gentleman”. “Piano Man” peaked at number 41 on the Gaon Digital Chart, while the album entered the Gaon Album Chart at number 8 in the first week of December.
By the end of 2014, MAMAMOO was ranked tenth among girl groups with the highest digital sales for the year. They were also 19th in album sales and 11th in overall sales according to Gaon’s year-end statistics.
2015: Rising popularity, Immortal Songs fame
On January 10, the girls of MAMAMOO appeared on KBS’ competitive singing show, Immortal Songs 2, where they performed a rendition of “Wait a Minute” by Joo Hyun Mi. They made it to the final round of the episode, but lost to Kim Kyung Ho in the end.
On April 2, the group released “Ahh Oop!”, their first single from the mini album Pink Funky. The song marks their second collaboration with Esna, after they worked on “Gentleman”, which was part of MAMAMOO’s second album, Piano Man.
On June 13, they went to Ulaanbaatar in Mongolia to perform at a commemorative concert sponsored by the South Korean Embassy alongside Crayon Pop and K-Much. The event was held in honor of the 25th anniversary of diplomatic ties between the two countries.
A week later, the group officially released their third mini album, Pink Funky, along with the lead single “Um Oh Ah Yeh”. The song was considered a commercial success after it peaked at number 3 on the Gaon Chart, the group’s first single to do so.
Following the promotions for Pink Funky, MAMAMOO held their first fan meeting on August 23, entitled “1st Moo Party”, with 1,200 fans in attendance. Tickets for the meet sold out quickly, leading MAMAMOO’s management to add an additional meeting for another 1,200 fans on the same night.
On August 29, the group returned to Immortal Songs 2 with a rendition of Jo Young Nam’s “Delilah”. Their performance on the show once again drew attention to the group for their singing abilities despite not being able to win in the episode.
On October 4, they held another “Moo Party”, this time in Los Angeles, California, marking the group’s first trip to the United States.
And on October 31, they made a third appearance on Immortal Songs 2 where they sang their version of “Backwood’s Mountain” by Korean trot singer Bae Ho. MAMAMOO’s performance earned them 404 points, giving them their first overall win on Immortal Songs. The win led to their album’s re-entry on the Gaon Album Chart, peaking at number 16.
2016: First full-length album
On January 26, the group released the R&B ballad “I Miss You” from their upcoming album. It was followed by another track, “1cm/Taller than You”, which was accompanied by a music video on February 12. The group’s first full-length album, Melting, was officially released on February 26, debuting at number 3 on the Gaon Albums Chart. The title track, “You’re the Best”, also debuted at number three before peaking at number 1 on its second week, making it MAMAMOO’s first number 1 single.
On March 6, they won their first music show trophy with “You’re the Best” on Inkigayo, then on Music Bank, M! Countdown, and other music shows for a total of 8 wins.
On March 16, the group performed at South By Southwest’s K-Pop Night Out in Austin, Texas and on June 25, returned to the United States as part of the lineup of KCON NY in Newark, New Jersey alongside GFriend.
MAMAMOO released a couple more singles on August 31 – “Angel” and “Dab Dab” – in their newly-formed sub-units. Vocalists Solar and Wheein paired up in the song “Angel”, while rappers Moonbyul and Hwasa collaborated on “Dab Dab”. The songs are pre-release tracks for their upcoming album and both entered domestic charts with “Dab Dab” on number 69 and “Angel” on number 26.
On September 21, they released their follow-up digital single “New York”, along with the song’s official music video. The song is another pre-release single and peaked at number 9 on the Gaon Digital Chart. After concluding promotions for the single, RBW announced that the group will be making a comeback on November 7.
Come November 2016, the group released their fourth mini album, Memory, and began promotions with the lead single “Décalcomanie” which peaked at number 2 on the Gaon Chart. After concluding their promotions for “Memory”, MAMAMOO took part in several year-end awards shows. They also released the song “Love” as part of the original soundtrack of hit television series Goblin.
Shortly after, the group released their fifth mini album, Purple, on June 22. The album’s title track “Yes I Am” quickly rose to the number 1 spot on Melon’s real-time charts after its release. A day after the release of Purple, MAMAMOO set the record for the highest number of unique listeners within the first 24 hours among girl group with their song “Yes I Am”.
On June 27, they won their first music show win for the song on The Show, followed by wins on Show Champion, M! Countdown, and Show! Music Core.
On March 7, 2018, MAMAMOO released their sixth mini album, Yellow Flower, along with the lead single “Starry Night”. The album contains a total of seven tracks, most of which were written by members Solar, Moonbyul, and Hwasa. During the promotions for “Starry Night”, the group won 8 times on various music shows.
What does MAMAMOO mean?
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