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What Does "BLACKPINK" Mean? 7 Facts To Know About K-Pop Sensations BLACKPINK
Did you know that there were originally nine members in BLACKPINK, or that the group originally had a different name? Here are seven facts to know about the best-selling girl group ahead of the release of their second album, 'Born Pink,' out on Sept. 16.
It’s been an eventful couple of months for Jennie, Jisoo, Lisa and Rosé of BLACKPINK. The quartet collaborated with PUBG Mobile for a virtual in-game concert, released their new single "Pink Venom" (accompanied by a music video and dance practice), announced a new album and world tour, and slayed their debut at the 2022 MTV Video Music Awards, where they performed and won an award for Best Metaverse Performance. Lisa took home the Best K-pop award for her debut solo single "LALISA," making her the first K-pop soloist to win the coveted trophy.
Six years after their debut, BLACKPINK’s star power is stronger than ever. The quartet’s hip-hop and EDM–infused pop songs have charted around the globe, while their videos have racked up billions of views on YouTube. But it took years of training to prepare the talented foursome for worldwide success. The group’s journey to superstardom began in the early 2010s when they were invited to join YG Entertainment’s K-pop trainee program, where they developed and refined the moves and sounds that would help them become household names.
After taking a hiatus to pursue other creative projects, the members of BLACKPINK have reunited to release their long-awaited sophomore effort, Born Pink, due Sept. 16. Ahead of the record’s release, here are seven facts to know about the foursome dubbed "the biggest girl group in the world."
What Does "BLACKPINK" Mean?
The group’s name may seem simple on the surface, but it holds a deeper message. The pairing of the contrasting colors encapsulates the group’s attitude, aesthetic, and sound — bold and confident with an underlying sweetness.
Initially named Pink Punk, the group touched on the evolution of their moniker in a 2017 radio interview, where they credited Yang Hyun Suk — YG Entertainment’s CEO at the time — with facilitating the name change.
"We kind of felt like there's two colors that represented us the most ‘cause we're very girly but at the same time we're very savage too," Rosé explained on Jimmy Kimmel Live.
How Many Members Were Originally In BLACKPINK?
It’s hard to imagine an iteration of BLACKPINK with twice as many members, but YG Entertainment initially set out to create a substantially larger girl group. After 2NE1’s successful debut in 2009, the label wanted to create an international girl group with cross-cultural appeal — and nine members — known as Aphrodite 9. The original line-up featured the four current members of BLACKPINK as well as five other YG trainees — including Moon Sua from Billlie and Jang Hanna (Jisoo’s Snowdrop co-star) — who wound up leaving for various reasons.
In June 2016, YG announced the final BLACKPINK line-up, which had been whittled down to four core members. Shortly after their introduction to the world, Lisa, Jisoo, Jennie, and Rosé released a pre-debut dance practice followed by their first single album Square One, featuring the hits "Boombayah" and "Whistle."
Where Is BLACKPINK From?
Though the girl group originated in South Korea, only Jisoo and Jennie claim the country as their place of birth. The quartet’s lead dancer/main vocalist Rosé was born in Auckland, New Zealand, while lead rapper/main dancer Lisa hails from Thailand.
The foursome is also multilingual — Jisoo, Rose, Jennie, and Lisa speak Korean, Chinese, Japanese and English. (Lisa, who is also fluent in Thai, learned Korean after joining the group.)
Who Has BLACKPINK Collaborated With?
During their short tenure, BLACKPINK has worked with major pop stars including Cardi B, Dua Lipa, Selena Gomez and Lady Gaga. And there’s a lot of speculation over who the group will collab with on their forthcoming album, Born Pink. Since the tracklist has yet to be revealed, it’s unclear if there are any features on the album, but OneRepublic’s Ryan Tedder recently mentioned collaborating with the Pinks on a couple of tracks. (Though there’s no confirmation that the songs made the album’s final cut.)
Meanwhile, Blinks — the group’s loyal fan base — believe a potential collab with Taylor Swift is on the horizon. There’s a nod to Swift in the group’s new single, "Pink Venom," which features the lyric "look what you made us do." Adding fuel to the rumor mill, Swift danced and sang along to "Pink Venom" during the group’s VMA performance and even posted a TikTok set to the song.
Who Was The First Member Of BLACKPINK To Go Solo?
In late 2018, Jennie became the first member of BLACKPINK to release a solo record, aptly titled Solo, produced and written by Teddy Park. A little over a year later, Rosé made her solo debut with the single album R, which featured hit songs "On The Ground" and "Gone." She discussed the direction of her solo work with Variety: "I’m constantly exploring new ideas and sounds. It differs from BLACKPINK’s [music] in the sense that it is still in the process of defining itself."
Following the 2020 release of BLACKPINK's debut The Album, the foursome took time off to pursue different creative endeavors. Lisa became the group’s third soloist with the release of her highly anticipated single album LALISA, featuring the title track and "Money." The songs simultaneously held the top two spots on Billboard’s Hot Trending Songs chart, while the single album topped South Korea’s Circle Album Chart. The music video for "LALISA" currently has a half-billion views on YouTube.
Jisoo fans have speculated about the release of her solo work, but the singer remains on the fence about setting off on her own and has opted to focus on acting instead.
What Social Cases Does BLACKPINK Believe In?
In 2021, the quartet used its star power to address one of the biggest issues of our time. After being appointed ambassadors for the 26th UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland, BLACKPINK briefly returned from hiatus to record a special message encouraging world leaders to take meaningful action to prevent further destruction.
"Climate change is an established fact. We have learned of the devastating changes to nature, to the global weather, and the air we breathe," the group says in the video. "And the changes that we feared are already beginning to transform our planet. We have learned that we must act now. Urgently, to prevent much, much, worse."
What Is BLACKPINK’s Biggest Song?
Though the group’s songs perform well across domestic and international music charts, there’s one track that reigns supreme: "Ice Cream." The catchy second single from their debut album, which features an appearance from Selena Gomez, is their highest charting song to date. (Their recently released single, "Pink Venom," is already breaking records on YouTube and could become their first Billboard chart-topper.)
There is some major star power behind the lyrics of the bubblegum pop hit: Pop superstar Ariana Grande and singer-songwriter Victoria Monét, who has penned hits for Chloe x Halle, Nas, and Fifth Harmony, helped write the track.
Photo: Kelly Samson, Gallery Photography
Photo: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic
GRAMMY Rewind: Kendrick Lamar Honors Hip-Hop's Greats While Accepting Best Rap Album GRAMMY For 'To Pimp a Butterfly' In 2016
Upon winning the GRAMMY for Best Rap Album for 'To Pimp a Butterfly,' Kendrick Lamar thanked those that helped him get to the stage, and the artists that blazed the trail for him.
Updated Friday Oct. 13, 2023 to include info about Kendrick Lamar's most recent GRAMMY wins, as of the 2023 GRAMMYs.
A GRAMMY veteran these days, Kendrick Lamar has won 17 GRAMMYs and has received 47 GRAMMY nominations overall. A sizable chunk of his trophies came from the 58th annual GRAMMY Awards in 2016, when he walked away with five — including his first-ever win in the Best Rap Album category.
This installment of GRAMMY Rewind turns back the clock to 2016, revisiting Lamar's acceptance speech upon winning Best Rap Album for To Pimp A Butterfly. Though Lamar was alone on stage, he made it clear that he wouldn't be at the top of his game without the help of a broad support system.
"First off, all glory to God, that's for sure," he said, kicking off a speech that went on to thank his parents, who he described as his "those who gave me the responsibility of knowing, of accepting the good with the bad."
He also extended his love and gratitude to his fiancée, Whitney Alford, and shouted out his Top Dawg Entertainment labelmates. Lamar specifically praised Top Dawg's CEO, Anthony Tiffith, for finding and developing raw talent that might not otherwise get the chance to pursue their musical dreams.
"We'd never forget that: Taking these kids out of the projects, out of Compton, and putting them right here on this stage, to be the best that they can be," Lamar — a Compton native himself — continued, leading into an impassioned conclusion spotlighting some of the cornerstone rap albums that came before To Pimp a Butterfly.
To Pimp a Butterfly singles "Alright" and "These Walls" earned Lamar three more GRAMMYs that night, the former winning Best Rap Performance and Best Rap Song and the latter taking Best Rap/Sung Collaboration (the song features Bilal, Anna Wise and Thundercat). He also won Best Music Video for the remix of Taylor Swift's "Bad Blood."
Watch Lamar's full acceptance speech above, and check back at GRAMMY.com every Friday for more GRAMMY Rewind episodes.
Photo: Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic via Getty Images
New Music Friday: Listen To New Releases From Miley Cyrus, Selena Gomez, Blackpink & More
The summer of 2023 may be winding down, but its musical offerings remain white-hot. Check out some new songs and albums that arrived on Aug. 25, from Maluma to Burna Boy.
The faintest hint of fall is in the air, but the summer of 2023's musical deluge continues unabated. Across genres, scenes and styles, the landscape continues to flourish.
We have Miley Cyrus's first song since Endless Summer Vacation — a vulnerable, proudly "unfinished" offering. On the opposite end of the vibe spectrum, Selena Gomez has thrown caution to the wind with the carefree "Single Soon."
Miley Cyrus — "Used To Be Young"
On her first song since Endless Summer Vacation arrived in March, two-time GRAMMY nominee Cyrus avoids tidiness, and pursues honest reflection.
"The time has arrived to release a song that I could perfect forever. Although my work is done, this song will continue to write itself everyday," she said in a statement. "The fact it remains unfinished is a part of its beauty. That is my life at this moment ….. unfinished yet complete."
"Used to Be Young" belongs to the pantheon of "turning 30" jams; therein, Cyrus looks back on her misspent youth, and the attendant heat of the spotlight. "You say I used to be wild/ I say I used to be young," she sings.
In the stark video, she gazes unflinchingly into the lens, without varnish or artifice.
Selena Gomez — "Single Soon"
Where Cyrus' new song bittersweetly gazes backward, Gomez's carbonated new jam "Single Soon" is focused on the promised reverie of tomorrow — sans boyfriend.
"Should I do it on the phone?/ Should I leave a little note/ In the pocket of his coat?" the two-time GRAMMY nominee wonders, sounding positively giddy about her unshackling from Mr. Wrong.
As the song unspools, Gomez gets ready for a wild night out; the song ends with the portentous question, "Well, who's next?" If you're ready to slough off your summer fling, "Single Soon" is for you.
Ariana Grande — Yours Truly: Tenth Anniversary
The two-time GRAMMY winner and 15-time nominee's acclaimed debut album, Yours Truly, arrived on Aug. 30, 2013; thus, it's time to ring in its tin anniversary.
Granted, these aren't "new songs," per se: rather, in a weeklong celebration, Grande is reintroducing audiences to Yours Truly.
Dive in, and you'll find "Live From London" versions of multiple songs. Plus — perhaps most enticingly — the sprawling re-release contains two new versions of "The Way," her hit collaboration with late ex Mac Miller.
Maluma — Don Juan
Papi Juancho is dead; long live Don Juan. "Fue un placer," Maluma wrote on Instagram last New Year's Eve. (It translates to "It was a pleasure.")
And with that, the Colombian rap-singing heavyweight ushered in a new character. He's now Don Juan — in a reference both to the fictional libertine and his birth name of Juan Luis Londoño Arias.
Now, Don Juan's out with his titular album — which he dubs a "mature" blending of the musics that got him going, like reggaeton, house, salsa, and hip-hop.
Burna Boy & Dave — "Cheat On Me"
Just over a year after his latest album, Love, Damini, Burna Boy is back with I Told Them… The Nigerian star offers another forward-thinking missive with his seventh album.
Featuring the likes of 21 Savage, J. Cole, and Wu-Tang Clan's GZA and RZA, I Told Them… is one highlight after the next — and "Cheat On Me" is one of them. For the advance single, the GRAMMY-winning Afro-fusion dynamo teamed up with London rapper Dave.
Therein, the pair expound on getting out of their own way. The chorus, powered by a sample from British-Ghanian singer/songwriter Kwabs, sums it all up: "I couldn't see/ I was cheating on, cheating on me."
Blackpink — "The Girls"
BLACKPINK are a bona fide cross-cultural sensation, but they won't stop at the music: they're a game now.
A little over a year after their second studio album, Born Pink, the acclaimed South Korean girl group has released a mobile app, succinctly called "The Game." Therein — and above — players can watch the video for "The Girls," their first post-Born Pink jam.
Don't say Jisoo, Jennie, Rosé, and Lisa didn't warn you: "Stop sign, we're burning it down/ Better watch out, we coming in loud/ Bang, bang, just playing around/ Don't mess with the girls, with the girls, with the girls."
The Killers — "Your Side of Town"
The Killers' beloved debut album, Hot Fuss, turns 20 next year; as a ramp-up, here's "Your Side of Town," a new slice of electro-pop from the Vegas crew.
The sleek, aerodynamic, Auto-Tuned "Your Side of Town" is their first single since their acclaimed pair of albums, 2020's Imploding the Mirage and 2021's Pressure Machine.
Here, the five-time GRAMMY nominees take a Pet Shop Boys-like tack with the music; lyrically, they're still putting the "heart" in heartland rock.
"I'm hanging on your side of town/ I notice when you're not around," frontman Brandon Flowers sings on the chorus. "Can't keep my cool, I'm burning inside/ A broken heartbeat, barely alive."
But the Killers — like everyone on this list — remain very alive.
Photo courtesy of YG Entertainment.
5 Ways BLACKPINK's MetLife Concert Was A Joyous Celebration Of Their Career
K-pop phenoms BLACKPINK took over New Jersey’s MetLife Stadium on Aug. 11 and 12, marking both their biggest North American shows to date and their 7th anniversary as a group. Take a look at five special highlights from night one.
At one point in BLACKPINK's concert at MetLife Stadium on Aug. 11, Jennie tilted her head toward the sky. It was the K-pop juggernaut's first of two nights playing at the football stadium, and the singer wanted to properly say hello to the tens of thousands who had gathered.
"Second floor! Third floor! And… is that fourth floor?" She surveyed the BLINKs seated at the edges of the venue before turning to members Jisoo, Rose and Lisa with a look of disbelief. "No way," Lisa responded as the entire stadium erupted in cheer. "New Jersey has leveled up — whole other level," Rosé said. "Unbelievable."
Just last year, BLACKPINK performed in New Jersey at a sizable, but much smaller venue. Prudential Center had three levels instead of four, and the boost in attendance could easily be felt at MetLife. The sky glowed rosy pink as the legions of BLINKs waved the group's hammer-shaped lightsticks in hand.
The concert on Aug. 11 was part of BLACKPINK's Encore leg of their Born Pink World Tour, and MetLife was the first North American stop. Born Pink kicked off in Seoul in October 2022, and since then, BLACKPINK has traversed dozens of cities around the globe. Though the setlist was expected to be similar to that of last year's — BLACKPINK has not released music as a group since their 2022 stateside concerts — that did not lessen the Encore shows' demand.
Besides, BLINKs know 2023 is a major year for BLACKPINK: the act is celebrating their seventh year anniversary — almost exactly to the date, since they debuted on Aug. 8, 2016. The group's contract is also set to expire this year, and given that YG Entertainment has not announced news of renewals, there's an added sense of urgency for many BLINKS to watch their beloved idols perform live.
And BLACKPINK did not disappoint. Across two hours, Jisoo, Jennie, Rosé, and Lisa delivered one rousing hit song after another and showed how far they've come since August 2016. Here are five ways the first of the group's two MetLife concerts was a celebration of their career.
At Last, Every Member Performed Solo Music
Though BLACKPINK has not released new songs as a group in 2023, earlier this year Jisoo made her solo debut, becoming the final member to do so. At past BLACKPINK concerts, Jisoo sang covers including Camila Cabello's "Liar" and Zedd ft. Foxes' "Clarity" as the other members performed their solo music. And while the covers showcased Jisoo's sophisticated charm, they left fans wanting her solo music to come sooner — and the wait was finally over.
Jisoo performed both the springy dance-pop track "Flower" and, for the first time, the buoyant EDM-infused "All Eyes on Me." And all eyes were surely on the eldest BLACKPINK member as she strutted down the runway in a sparkling silver dress.
With all of BLACKPINK performing songs they have their personal stamps on, the setlist not only demonstrated how they have grown both collectively and individually — it felt more complete than ever.
The Throwback Songs Had The Venue Shaking — Literally
BLACKPINK's more recent singles, from "Shut Down" to "Pink Venom," are undeniable pop anthems. But the ensemble has released addictive bangers since the very start of their career, and the fervor at MetLife during the throwback songs was a testament.
When "Boombayah," one of BLACKPINK's debut songs, started playing, the already roaring screams rose in volume. BLINKS swung their lightsticks more powerfully than before to the heavy beats of the song, and there was no hesitation when Jennie yelled "jump!" as the final verses approached. The floor began to shake as fans on all levels leapt in place while the group did the same on stage.
The quartet's 2020 hit song "Lovesick Girls" played immediately after, and once again the tens of thousands jumping across the stadium caused the ground to quake. The same electrifying energy filled the space when BLACKPINK performed their other early songs — from "DDU-DU DDU-DU" and "Forever Young" to "PLAYING WITH FIRE" and "As If It's Your Last" — in the second half of the show.
With pyrotechnics and fireworks, the MetLife show was already leaving a searing impression. But there's nothing quite like feeling the impact of a group through the floor literally trembling.
Diversity Of BLINKs Was On Full Display
Anyone who has attended a BLACKPINK concert knows that the group's fans come from all backgrounds, genders and ages. This was also extremely evident from one look at those waiting in line to enter MetLife.
But one addition to the concert from last year's Prudential Center show highlighted BLINKS' diversity even more. The giant screens presented a dance challenge in the minutes before the encore, and cameras zoomed in on fans who grooved to the music — some replicating the choreography to a tee while others improvised with pizzazz.
Two young girls in matching black shirts and sequined magenta skirts danced to "Pink Venom," and moments later a man in a rosy bucket hat performed the "Flower" choreography with a lightstick in hand. Two women in hot pink hijabs swayed to "How You Like That," before a male BLINK in a white dress shirt body rolled to the post-chorus and ended the performance with a wink.
BLINKS Joined BLACKPINK In Singing Happy Birthday
The most obvious way this show celebrated BLACKPINK's career was, well, with an actual celebration. Near the end of the concert, the members crowded around a four-tiered black and pink cake adorned with ribbons and roses.
"Can we sing happy birthday to ourselves?" Rosé asked as the four artists held banners that read, "Happy 7th year anniversary / BLACKPINK BLINK FOUREVER." The crowd of course screamed a resounding "YES!" and joined in on the song. "Happy birthday to Jennie Jisoo Lisa Rose," Lisa sang with a chuckle.
BLACKPINK Reminisced On A First Meeting From 10 Years Ago
The most heartwarming moment of the show happened shortly after the birthday celebration. "Remember the day that we met?" Jennie asked softly. "So romantic," Rosé laughed, seemingly surprised at the turn in conversation — just after she said she didn't want to cry that evening.
"I remember the first day you came to YG," Lisa said to Rosé. Then, BLINKS were treated to a different kind of performance. "Should we reenact the elevator scene?" Rosé asked as she put down the anniversary banner and stepped in front of the cake to get ready.
"I was with all my books and stuff," Lisa recalled as she gathered more anniversary banners and clutched them in front of her chest as if they were books. Rosé pretended to press an elevator button. "I'll go downstairs to say hi to the girls," she said, almost in a whisper. "Oh, I'm so nervous."
Together, the two of them pretended that the elevator door opened with a ding. "And then I walked into the room and was like this [motions a wave], 'Hi,' and they were so welcoming!"
At this moment, Jennie and Jisoo embraced her in a hug. "And then all night we played the guitar, til morning," Rosé remembered as her fingers strummed the air.
In the past 10 years, BLACKPINK has trained together, debuted together, and now, celebrated their seventh anniversary together. So much of their journey to becoming a top girl group is unseen by the public, but for those few minutes Jisoo, Jennie, Rosé, and Lisa warmly welcomed BLINKS into their memories — creating an unforgettably meaningful celebration for everyone involved.
All images courtesy of YG Entertainment.