Two years after releasing their first two songs, female quartet BLACKPINK is making big waves in the K-pop scene. They’re one of this generation’s most-followed acts, with hit after hit, and the release of their single “Ddu-Du Ddu-Du” off of their Square Up EP in June led to the group making history on the Billboard charts. Now, BLACKPINK have become the first-ever K-pop girl group to appear on the cover of Billboard.
As they grow more prominent internationally, here are a few introductory facts to know about the revolution that is BLACKPINK:
1. They’re the best-charting female Korean act ever
Since they dropped their first two songs “Boombayah” and “Whistle” on Aug. 8 two years ago, BLACKPINK has rapidly become one of the most popular girl groups of this generation, thanks to their charming swagger and dynamic songs. Their most recent single, “Ddu-Du Ddu-Du,” made history last month when it debuted at No. 55 on the Billboard Hot 100, dated June 30; it was the first time since 2009 that a Korean girl group has appeared on the chart and the first time any female Korean artist ranked with a predominantly non-English song. Later in the year, their collaboration “Kiss And Make Up” with Dua Lipa also made it on the chart, and peaked at No. 93, dated Nov. 3, 2018.
They also are the highest-charting female Korean act on the Billboard 200, where Square Up recently debuted at No. 40.
2. They have only nine songs
As popular as they are, it’s hard to believe that BLACKPINK hasn’t even released 10 original songs yet. But it’s a matter of quality over quantity when it comes to this quartet, with their bright, bombastic electronic dance-meets-hip-pop sound — plus a look at their softer side on the folk-pop ballad “Stay” — and their captivating performances drawing in fans.
The group has also re-released several tracks in Japanese.
3. Four members, four flavors
Living up to their name, there’s a bit of a powerful edge to the quartet’s girlishness with each of the four — Jennie, Ji Soo, Lisa and Rosé — bringing something to the team. All of them sing, but Jennie and Lisa also serve as sharp-hitting rappers, while Rosé and Ji Soo offer more feminine tones. The group’s members are all immensely stylish and have served as models for numerous high-end fashion brands, with each of the women bringing her own distinct vibe to the mix.
4. They’re a group built for the global age
Rosé is from Australia and Jennie studied in New Zealand for several years, so the girl group has a bit of an edge on the international K-pop scene because both of them are able to communicate directly with English-speaking fans. Thai member Lisa also speaks English along with her native Thai and Korean.
5. BLACKPINK is from a “Big 3” K-pop label
Hailing from YG Entertainment, BLACKPINK is the company’s first girl group since they revealed 2NE1 in 2009. They’re lablemates with the likes of BIGBANG, CL, Winner, iKON, Epik Highand and, until recently, Psy.
6. There’s a sense of duality within the group
The name “BLACKPINK” is representative of the act’s desire to surpass the typical perceptions of pink by reclaiming the color and turning it into a symbol for what they stand for: fiercely beautiful women who overflow with talent and set their eyes on dominating the industry.
7. Blink and fall in love with BLACKPINK.
The girl group’s fans are known as Blinks, a combination of both parts of their name: BLackpINK. They’re extremely dedicated to the group and are so populous that BLACKPINK’s most recent music video, for the song “Ddu-Du Ddu-Du” was viewed so many times within the first 24 hours upon its release that it made history.
8. They have their own television show
New Blinks looking to get closer with the act can cozy up and spend some time living in the BLACKPINK House, a short reality series starring the foursome. A total of 12 episodes have been released.
9. The music video for their latest single “Ddu-Du Ddu-Du” contains some social commentary
In their recent interview with Billboard, Ji Soo addressed how her scenes in “Ddu-Du Ddu-Du” reflected the life of celebrities, where all eyes are on them and want them to be perfect but then pounce the moment something goes wrong.
10. They returned last year with their Square Up EP, and are set to bring their In Your Area tour around the world this year
After a variety of single albums and one Japanese EP, BLACKPINK released their first Korean EP on June 15, revealing not only “Ddu-Du Ddu-Du” but three other tracks: “Forever Young,” “Really” and “See U Later.” All of the songs on Square Up were written by YG Entertainment’s in-house producer Teddy Park in collaboration with various songwriters. It is currently the highest-charting album by a Korean girl group ever.
They’ll be bringing their upcoming concert tour throughout Asia, North America, Europe, and Australia between now and mid-summer. They’ll also appear at both weekends of Coachella in April.