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MEET: BLACKPINK, the international girl group

Posted on June 03, 2019

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As K-pop continues to make waves around the globe, BTS has come synonymous with being the biggest boy group in the world. However, Korean girl group BLACKPINK has emerged to take their own crown as they position themselves to becoming the biggest girl group.

Under YG Entertainment, one of the top agencies in South Korea, the juxtaposition of the name BLACKPINK has a deeper meaning behind it. The concept of the girl group is meant to “to contradict the common perception of the color pink. Pink is commonly used to portray prettiness, but Black Pink actually means to say that ‘Pretty isn’t everything’. It also symbolizes that they are a team that encompasses not only beauty, but also great talent” as explained by a YG rep.

Photo courtesy of: YG Entertainment/Rolling Stone

BLACKPINK is comprised of 4 members – Jisoo, Jennie, Rosé, and Lisa.

The group debuted on August 8, 2016 with their debut single album Square One which featured the title tracks ‘Boombayah’ and ‘Whistle’. BLACKPINK’s debut was highly anticipated as they were the first girl group to debut under YG Entertainment in 6 years. Their senior girl group, 2NE1, had debuted in 2009 and disbanded in November of 2016 making BLACKPINK the only girl group currently under YG.

The girls were an instant hit with the public, instantly turning people into their fans (later to be named BLINKS). Both of their debut singles charted at #1 and #2 on the Billboard World Digital Songs Chart – the fastest act to do so, topped multiple Gaon (Korean streaming site) charts, as well as reaching #1 on China’s biggest music-streaming site QQ Music.

BLACKPINK received their first music show win on August 21, 2016 for their debut single ‘Whistle’. At the time, they were the fastest girl group to achieve #1 on a Korean music show with only debuting 13 days prior.

It wasn’t long after that YG Entertainment announced that BLACKPINK was preparing for their first comeback. The girl group released their second single album Square Two with the title tracks ‘Playing with Fire’ and ‘Stay’.

The success of the girl’s within only 4 months of debut saw them taking home multiple Rookie of the Year Awards at Korean Award shows – 7 to be exact. Billboard also hailed BLACKPINK as one of the best new K-pop group of 2016.

BLACKPINK’s comebacks hereafter have been more spread out than the gap between their debut and first comeback. Almost 7 months later, BLACKPINK released the single ‘As If It’s Your Last’, which went on to break the record for the most liked music video by a Korean girl group on YouTube.

With BLINKs anxiously awaiting their return, BLACKPINK made one of their most successful comebacks to date with ‘DDU-DU DDU-DU’ one year later on June 15, 2018. This also marked their first EP entitled Square Up. 

The album topped multiple charts, broke numerous records, and catapulted BLACKPINK to the forefront of the K-pop movement within the West due to the songs catchy beat and hypnotic dance choreo. The girls performed the song on GMA – the second Korean act after BTS and first Korean girl group – and on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert.

Ten months later on April 4, 2019, BLACKPINK released their second EP album Kill This Love with a title track of the same name. Within the first 24 hours of the music video released, it had 56.7M views on YouTube! At the time, this beat out Ariana Grande’s ‘thank u, next‘ video for most viewed music video in 24 hours.

The release of this album solidified their place as the international girl group. The EP was also released just in time as BLACKPINK was announced to be a part of the Coachella lineup which would kick off the North American leg of their BLACKPINK IN YOUR AREA tour.

Read our Coachella 2019 recap featuring BLACKPINK here

Read our BLACKPINK IN YOUR AREA: Hamilton show recap here

It’s safe to say that BLACKPINK is in OUR area and they show no signs of leaving any time soon.

Now that you’re up to date with all things BLACKPINK, it’s time to meet the members!

Jisoo (지수)

Photo courtesy of: YG Entertainment

Born as Kim Ji Soo on January 3, 1995 in Seoul, South Korea this makes Jisoo the oldest member of the group. This is ironic as she is actually the youngest out of her siblings (Jisoo has 1 older brother and 1 older sister). Jisoo is positioned as the lead vocalist within the group. Although she is the only member of the group who is not fluent in English, she can speak – aside from Korean – Japanese, and basic Chinese, as well as being able to understand English very well but is just shy when it comes to speaking.

Jisoo had trained with YG for 5 years before debuting with BLACKPINK. During her trainee days, she had been featured in multiple commercial films (CFs), music videos, and the Korean drama ‘Producers’. She’s basically a jack of all trades!

Jennie (김제니)

Photo courtesy of: YG Entertainment

Jennie – birth name is Kim Jennie – was born on January 16, 1996 in Anyang, Gyeonggi, South Korea. She is positioned as the main rapper within the group. At the age of 10, Jennie had been sent abroad to study in Auckland, New Zealand which allowed her to become fluent in English. After 5 years of studying in New Zealand, Jennie’s mother had plans to move her to the US to continue her studies abroad however, Jennie was hesitant on the move.

In an interview with Zach Sang, Jennie had said “It hit me, I don’t wanna live by myself not knowing what I wanna do. I told my mom, ‘Mom, instead of going to a new school why don’t I come home and do something that I would enjoy for the rest of my life.’ and she was supportive of me.”

Jennie had trained for almost 6 years with YG before debuting with BLACKPINK. During her trainee days she was featured in G-Dragon’s song ‘Black’. On November 12, 2018, Jennie was the first member to begin their solo project by releasing the song appropriately named ‘SOLO’.

Rosé (박채영)

Photo courtesy of: YG Entertainment

Rosé’s birth name is Park Chaeyoung and she was born on February 11, 1997 in Auckland, New Zealand but was raised in Melbourne, Australia. She is the group’s main vocalist. Rosé had auditioned for YG during their open call in Australia, where she had placed first and eventually was signed to be a trainee under YG. She later revealed how competitive the audition process was, as she was against 400 other people!

Rosé gives credit to her father who had pushed her towards auditioning, saying “I stayed home playing the piano or the guitar and singing. My dad noticed that I like music, so he took me to audition. Before I auditioned, music had been a hobby, but once I came to Korea and realized where I stand in terms of skills, I became more passionate and competitive about it.”

Rosé had trained under YG for 4 years before debuting with BLACKPINK. During her trainee days, Rosé had been featured on G-Dragon’s song ‘Without You’ but it was not revealed until later that she was the voice behind it all. She is know known for her unique voice and is the second member of the group to have a solo project but it is still in the works.

Lisa (ลลิสา มโนบาล)

Photo courtesy of: YG Entertainment

Born Lalisa Manoban on March 27, 1997 in Bangkok, Thailand Lisa is the youngest member of BLACKPINK. She is the group’s lead rapper and also the main dancer. Lisa is the only member not of Korean descent and the only Thai artist under YG Entertainment. Like Rosé, Lisa had auditioned for YG through an open call in 2010, and was the only person to pass this process. Through hardwork and determination, Lisa flew to South Korea to become a trainee under YG. Upon her arrival, she studied hard in order to learn Korean and is now able to speak 5 languages – English, Korean, Thai, Japanese, and basic Chinese.

Lisa trained under YG for 5 years before debuting with BLACKPINK. During her trainee days, she appeared in Taeyong’s ‘Ringa Ringa’ music video and has been constantly praised for her dancing. Recently, Lisa had also become the most followed K-pop artist on Instagram with 20.1M followers and counting.

What’s your fave song off of #BLACKPINK’s EP #KillThisLove? Did we miss any BP facts? Let us know on Twitter, we love chatting with you all – @umusic