After Republic Records finished 2021 as the year’s top label, the Universal Music Group label is starting 2022 with an expanded partnership with one of the world’s biggest K-pop labels: JYP Entertainment.
Following Republic and JYP’s initial strategic partnership in 2020 that helped grow TWICE’s footprint in the United States, Billboard can exclusively reveal the first details on the expansion of the alliance that will include JYP boy band Stray Kids as well as girl group ITZY.
JYP Entertainment CEO Jimmy Jeong says in a statement, “We are beyond delighted to move forward with Republic Records, the most outstanding label in the United States, in developing the major artist roster of the two companies’ hereafter, starting with the successful kickoff TWICE has brought. We have absolute confidence that, together, we will lead the rapidly changing music industry from both in and out, alongside our prominent artists’ creations.”
Republic Records founder/CEO Monte Lipman adds, “JYP Entertainment is one of the most influential voices of our generation. With founder J.Y. Park at its helm, alongside CEO Jimmy Jeong, their passion and vision for this collaboration is incredibly exciting. Having worked with JYP for many years, I admire them as esteemed colleagues and friends.”
Under the scaled-up partnership, Stray Kids, ITZY and TWICE will all look to extend their reach further globally with support from Republic as well as Imperial, the independent music company that helped launch and market TWICE’s latest albums. The labels has previously helped TWICE landed two top 10 albums on the Billboard 200, as well as the girl group’s first Hot 100 and Pop Airplay hit with the English-language single “The Feels.”
Since their 2018 debut, the eight-member Stray Kids have logged 11 entries on the World Albums chart, and are heavily involved in the writing and production of their work that includes several songs released in English. Since ITZY started in February 2019, the female quintet has released all of their singles in English and saw their Crazy in Love album peak at No. 11 on the Billboard 200 last October.
The partnership also adds to the growing amount of K-pop acts on Republic’s roster, with boy band TOMORROW X TOGETHER and girl group TRI.BE in addition to TWICE, Stray Kids and ITZY.
While specifics on what the first step of the expanded partnership were not shared, Republic and JYP Entertainment note that there will be “more news to be announced soon.” TWICE dropped a Benny Benassi remix of “The Feels” last week, and announced two additional dates for the North American leg of their ‘III’ world tour in Los Angeles and New York after selling out all five of the initial arena dates.