Park Sandara or Sandara Park (Korean: 박산다라; born November 12, 1984 in Busan, South Korea) is a South Korean singer, actress, television host and model. She is best known as being a member of the Korean girl group 2NE1. Her unusual three-syllable Korean name, which she has talked about numerous times during interviews, comes from a Korean general, Kim Yushin, whose childhood name was "Sandara (산다라)". Her younger brother, Sang-Hyun Park (Thunder), is also in the entertainment industry as a member of a Korean boy band, MBLAQ in J.Tune Entertainment.
Sandara Park was born in Busan, South Korea to affluent Korean parents. However, by the time Sandara was eight years old, her father’s relatives placed her in a financially tight spot which then crippled his business. In hope of recovering from this strain, Sandara‘s father tried his luck in Philippines. He settled in a small apartment in Pasay City, and started a business. Sandara and her family remained at her grandmother’s house in South Korea for sometimes until her father finally had enough money to relocate them to Philippines. Her family moved there in 1995 to start a trading business.
In 2004, Park was involved in a Filipino talent survival show, known as Star Circle Quest in ABS-CBN Network. The show’s judges called her in, and she was able to elude elimination several times, paving the way for her inclusion into the contestant-pool’s top ten. Being a native Korean, she displayed some troubles with the daily exercises set by the panel of Filipino judges. During the last elimination round in which the final five contestants were chosen, Sandara made a Philippine history by garnering approximately 500,000 text votes, making her the first female to garner that much SMS support. In the final rounds of voting, she earned a record setting number of over 1,800,000 text votes but came in 2nd place to Hero Angeles in the Grand Finals. While appearing in dramas, movies and commercial spots, Park released a song collection, which achieved 2x platinum status in sales.
On December 2004, Yang Hyun Suk of YG Entertainment offered Park workshop classes in Korea after seeing the KBS Documentary "My Name Is Sandara Park". On March 2005, Park took a hiatus from the Philippine entertainment industry to take acting workshops in Korea. Six months later, she went back to Philippines to continue her career.
Park returned to South Korea on August 1, 2007 with her mother and siblings to begin a new life. The next day, August 2, 2007, YG Entertainment reported that they had signed a contract with Park. As a new member of the YG Family, she was acquainted with popular Korean artists and bands such as Big Bang, Se7en, Jinusean, Lexy, and 1TYM.