So, Blackpink is being quite the trend nowadays, is not them? Some questioned, “What is the big deal?” Well, it is a big deal. Blackpink is a K-pop girl group consists of four members namely Jisoo, Jennie, Rosé and Lisa. They debuted in 2016 with their single album, Square One in August 2016, and since then gaining popularity not only in South Korea, but also in Asia. They became a worldwide phenomenon. A huge, surprising and promising talent. The world’s new influence. Something worth to be discussed.
First and foremost, we are going to talk about how they started. Like any other K-pop groups in South Korea, they went to auditions held by YG Entertainment, one of the many entertainment companies there are in South Korea and when they were chosen, hence started their days of being a trainee. Like the world’s usual law, they also started from the bottom. They were rookies back then, struggling. But because of their hardwork, they finally debuted as a group named ‘Blackpink’.
Now, the question that needs immediate answers is how and why Blackpink is the most famous K-pop girl group?
One of the reasons is because of their dance. Their voice did play an important role but it is really their dance skills that almost outshine their singing. All of the members are good dancers, and Lisa, the Thailand-born member, is what their group and even the fans called as ‘dance machine’. Even in Korean variety shows Blackpink has participated such as Knowing Bros, Lisa has shown that she is a natural and versatile dancer who can dance to any song and beat. She has attracted and still attracts many people into watching and thus liking Blackpink’s videos and songs. They just can not resist her. But of course, it is not only Lisa. The group members had shown sexy but fierce dance moves, hence their group name, to contradict people’s stigma that considers pink as all feminine and gentle.
Besides dancing and the group’s vocalists’ undeniably good voice (Jisoo and Rosé), the group’s Blackpink’s decent rappers too have to be put in the spotlight. Jennie’s oustanding and Lisa’s (here she comes again) energised rap have always caused listeners to also hum and sing along the lines. Being fluent in English, Jennie get to sing many raps and delivered them cleanly, while Lisa’s, although not as clean as Jennie’s, are never disappointing. Every time it is Lisa’s turn to rap, one just can not avoid from nodding and shaking his or her head, following Lisa’s rap and the music. Raps in Blackpink’s songs are one of the things that made the songs kind of stucked in your head, because you can not seem to stop the catchy melody of the raps and songs from repeating in your head, over and over again.
We knew that of course, all groups that debuted have good vocals and dance moves, but we are talking about how Blackpink members’ are, causing many people to love them.
Other than that, the other reason is because of their superb music videos (MV). Every now and then, they are getting richer, and that can be seen through their ever expensive-and-stylish outfits and places in their every MVs. Their outfits are becoming more gorgeous and luxurious. Like their tremendous dance and catchy songs, their MVs have always helped their songs became more famous, being a trend in YouTube for weeks.Their well-planned MVs cause us watchers to become edgy in our seat, good for the chairs that they somehow did not break because of the edginess. Just like their dance moves, their MVs showed and maintained their girlish and fierceness qualities. Through their iconic shooting dance moves in ‘Ddu Du Ddu Du’ and ‘Kill This Love’, they conveyed that being girlish is not all.
Moving on, let us talk about Blackpink’s fandom. For those who do not know, every K-pop group has their own fanbase or as we call it, fandom. For instance, BTS’s fandom is ARMY, EXO’s is EXO-L (stands for EXO lover), TWICE’s is ONCE and Stray Kids’s is STAY. Blackpink’s is BLINK, which is the result of combination between the word ‘Black’ and ‘Pink’. Each fandom has a strong and huge influence, thus occurence of arguments between fandoms is not surprising. They are likely to favour their favourites, by hook or by crook. It is not considered an exaggeration too, to say that a fandom can also cause a downfall of a K-pop group or an idol. Hence, K-pop idols would always consider their fans valuable. That is why many idols are still being humble for their fame, because they believe it is their fandom’s support, besides the idols’ own effort, that make the idols who they are today. BLINK is known to be one of the most influencing, passionate and biggest fandoms South Korean has ever seen. So, no doubt about the love Blackpink has been receiving.
Now, let us see how famous Blackpink is on social medias. Blackpink is currently the most followed K-pop group on Instagram, with over 31.7 million followers, while all Blackpink members topped the list of the most followed K-pop idols. Lisa is the top one followed K-pop idol with 41.9 million followers, which says something as she is not even Korean and that number is even greater than their official group account’s. Her other fellow members each has more than 30 million followers on Instagram. One can only guess that their international fame resulted all these huge number of followers.
On Youtube, Blackpink is the music group with most subscribers with a surprising number of 52.8 million followers, defeating One Direction. Blackpink’s ‘How You Like That’ MV has won them five Guinness World Records, some of them are: most viewed YouTube music videos in 24 hours, most viewed YouTube music videos in 24 hours by a K-pop group and most viewers for the premiere of a video on YouTube. Just on the song’s arrival on June 26th 2020, the total of views are already 86.3 million, and until recently (after about four months), the total of views has reached 636 million. Blackpink’s MV with the highest number of views so far is ‘Ddu Du Ddu Du’ released in 2018, which now has 1.3 billion views, defeating BTS’s ‘DNA’ by 0.2 billion views. Blackpink is also the first music group and Korean act to have three music videos with at least one billion views on YouTube.
Until today, Blackpink had received numerous awards and nominations, both in South Korea and the world. Their first single album featured ‘Whistle’ and ‘Boombayah’ released in 2016 has won them several new artist awards. In 2019, Blackpink made history on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart as their song ‘Kill This Love’ becomes the highest-charting Hot 100 hit ever by a K-pop girl group, peaked at #41, breaking the record previously held by Blackpink’s own ‘Ddu Du Ddu Du’ which peaked at #55 in 2018. As a matter of fact, almost every Blackpink’s songs made it into Billboard Global Exc. US, Billboard Global 200 and Billboard Hot 100. For instance, ‘How You Like That’ and ‘Ice Cream’ has respectively peaked at #14 and #11 on September 19th 2020 on Billboard Global Exc. US (additionally, ‘How You Like That also won 2020 MTV Video Music Awards for Song of Summer). Blackpink’s latest song, ‘Lovesick Girls’ has peaked at #1 and #2 on Billboard Global Exc. US and Billboard Global 200, respectively. Their other songs that got into any category of Billboard mentioned before are ‘As If It’s Your Last’, ‘Don’t Know What To Do’ and ‘Pretty Savage’.
Blackpink also made history by becoming the highest-charting Korean girl group on the US Billboard albums chart as they became hit #2 with their album, The Album featuring ‘How You Like That’, ‘Ice Cream’ and ‘Lovesick Girls’. The Album is even the highest-charting album by an all-female group, and it also became hit #2 on the UK charts. All these are achieved by only about sixteen songs (counting just their original songs) Blackpink has released since 2016 until now (it was already five years). Very unlike TWICE who might have released a song every single time if that is possible, not that they are not famous in South Korea anyway. These few songs had made BLINKs to be waiting loyally for Blackpink’s every next release, making sure to be the first ones contributing to the number of viewers that then again, may give Blackpink future recognitions.
Some of all this fame Blackpink got may also be because of their collaborations with world known singers. Their songs, ‘Bet You Wanna’ and ‘Sour Candy’ are collaborations with Cardi B and Lady Gaga, respectively. ‘Ice Cream’ featured Selena Gomez while ‘Kiss and Make Up’ is a song of Dua Lipa, featuring Blackpink. These collaborations undeniably and undoubtedly has caused the popularity of Blackpink to rise even more in the west, especially US. Blackpink has rereleased some of their songs in Japanese too, giving them more fame in Japan.
In April 12th 2019, Blackpink made K-pop history performing at Coachella for the festival’s 20th anniversary. As it is a US festival, Blackpink is the first K-pop group to perform there, watched by celebrities and singers. They made sure to perform their iconic ‘Whistle’ and two more songs. And why, Blackpink members did enjoy themselves there. Many celebrities greeted them and took pictures with them. This finally made the members befriending many artists such as Harry Style, Diplo and Kendall Jenner. No surprise that some of the famous artists have become BLINKs. Fans might also be waiting for more future collaborations as Blackpink now have more ‘contacts’ since they have went to the US.
Blackpink has also proven dancing and singing are not the only things they can do. Having impeccable style and taste in fashion, what with their beauty abiding the Korean standard and sitting in front row in every fashion week, each of the members are faces for high-fashion brands. Jennie is the ambassador for Chanel, Jisoo for Dior, Rosé for Yves Saint Laurent and Lisa for Celine while she also became the South Korean ambassador for Bvlgari recently. French fashion brands especially love them for their styles. This created more publicity for the members.
Last but not least, being billingual have saved Blackpink from the communication difficulties in interviews or fanmeeting events. Born in Thai, Lisa can speak Thai, Korean and English. Jennie studied in New Zealand, so she too can speak English. Rosé on the other hand speaks English with Aussie accent as she was raised in Australia. Only Jisoo does not speak fluent English. Nevertheless, they all can speak Japanese and a bit of Chinese. Undoubtedly, with the list of languages they can speak, they can communicate better with fans from all around the globe.
So, coming to end after an analysis of why Blackpink is the most famous K-pop girl group, we would now know better than to just doubt all the credits Blackpink has received.
By Farhah Nadhirah, Sabah, Malaysia