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Meet BLACKPINK: The Latest, Greatest K-Pop Phenomenon

BLACKPINK

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Meet BLACKPINK: The Latest, Greatest K-Pop Phenomenon

Inside the all-female quartet's pristine pop/hip-hop hybrid sound, stunning viral visuals, and impending global takeover of the music world

GRAMMYs/Jan 12, 2019 - 05:32 am

As Korean pop rounds the bend from its smash crossover breakout year in 2018, led by international phenoms BTS, into a sky's-the-limit 2019, the American mainstream is getting to know a few more names around the household.

Enter BLACKPINK: With an enviable fan army known as "Blinks" and nearly 600 million (!) views on their eye candy-coated video for "DDU-DU DDU-DU," the pop quartet are anything but underground. Their international star only continued to rise when Coachella announced its 2019 lineup earlier this week, with BLACKPINK being the first all-female K-pop act to play the Southern California desert fest.

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But their Coachella milestone and devout online infantry are only the beginning of BLACKPINK's western takeover. On Jan. 9, YG Entertainment, the group's company, announced that BLACKPINK’s In Your Area 2019 world tour will hit North America, Europe and Australia after several already planned tour dates throughout Asia. While the new dates and venues are yet to be revealed, the international scope of their momentum is undeniable. At this point you're either in-the-know or asking: who are BLACKPINK?

BLACKPINK have been making ridiculously catchy music since 2016

As a group, Jennie, Rosé, Jisoo and Lisa came from diverse international backgrounds, with Jennie, Rosé both spending time in New Zealand, Lisa hailing from Thailand and Jisoo as the only member who has not lived extensively outside of Korea. Collectively, they arrived into K-pop's consciousness back in 2016 with their SQUARE ONE, SQURE TWO and "As If It's Your Last" offerings, which introduced their hybrid of sugary K-pop with danceable Latin trap and hyped up hip-hop, a concoction referred to by some as "K-trap."

But what sets BLACKPINK apart is production quality on all fronts, as theirs is a look and sound striving for perfection.

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Consider "Stay," from 2016's SQUARE TWO three-song sophomore EP, a pensive yet peppy ballad that could be dropped seamlessly into virtually any major U.S. brand ad campaign. And as K-pop is traditionally a very visual-heavy genre, the song's video reflects this cross-continental appeal, with its imagery of blighted corporate America complete with a poignant Easter-egg Talking Heads' "Heaven" lyric lettered on the broken down backdrop's theatre marquee, all under a track that's equal parts longing and hopeful. Even in its mess of heartache and rubble, there's not a hair—or a note—out of place.

Exhibit B: the follow-up single, "As If It's Your Last," flaunts meticulously crafted sections with Lisa's stuttered-and-sliced (and all-English) rap sequences building into a soaring melodic pre-chorus before slamming into the hook. Each new musical idea is painted in its own unique temple, all arranged together in a common garden of song, making for a pleasing mix of variety and profluence. From the beginning, the creative powers behind BLACKPINK have struck this same delicate balance of intrigue and accessibility global pop music demands.

Vivifying their voices and mastering their moves on "DDU-DU DDU-DU"

The group's evolution toward perfect pop onomatopoeia is on full display in their breakout 2018 single, "DDU-DU DDU-DU," which features buoyant beats and an irresistible hook. Audiences clearly love it too; its music video is nearing 600 million views on YouTube, and the song became the highest-charting song by an all-female K-pop group on the Billboard Hot 100, entering the chart at No. 55 back in June. Unsurprisingly, the song hiked all the way up to No. 1 on South Korea, Singapore and Malaysia, while hitting No. 2 in New Zealand and No. 7 in Japan.

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"DDU-DU DDU-DU" also debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard World Digital Song Sales chart and on its Emerging Artist chart, becoming the first all-female K-pop act to accomplish the feat.

BLACKPINK's American takeover hits full throttle

As the rest of the world began to take notice, Interscope Records and Universal Music Group took action, signing the group in October of 2018 to represent them outside of Asia. If a major label deal isn't a signpost to success in a country the group has not yet even performed in, what is?

On Nov. 23, 2018, BLACKPINK dropped a nine-song collection of singles constituting their full-length debut, BLACKPINK IN YOUR AREA, named after the group's tagline with the aforementioned banger "DDU-DU DDU-DU" as the lead single.

BLACKPINK also bolstered their rolodex in 2018, collaborating with GRAMMY-nominated British songstress Dua Lipa for "Kiss And Make Up" from the complete edition of her self-titled debut, further deepening their cross-over campaign to an international audience. Like their male counterparts BTS, BLACKPINK maintain the highest pop production of both their music and their videos, giving them seemingly limitless potential for audience accumulation.

BLACKPINK have already won a ton of awards

Furthermore, if BLACKPINK's domestic success at home is any indication, the group's global future is blindingly bright. In the past two years they've won 23 awards and been nominated for a whopping 90 (and counting), including several Goan Chart Music Awards, Melon Music Awards and Mnet Asian Music Awards, all major music awards shows in South Korea. Their first Mnet honor came back in 2016 for Best of Next Artist (Female), proving the critics were on board since day one.

Even better news for the group, the American audiences they are primed to overtake have shown strong streaming habits for hip-hop, a perfect fit for BLACKPINK's leaning into rap to counterbalance their pop appeal. Now, with an ever-growing fan army, a litany of awards under their belts and enough buzz to light up the night sky in pink neon, 2019 appears to be BLACKPINK's to take.

K-Pop Titans BLACKPINK Will Visit U.S. During World Tour
 

Listen: Dua Lipa Drops New Single "Training Season" From Her Upcoming New Album
Dua Lipa performs at the 2024 GRAMMYs.

Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images for The Recording Academy

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Listen: Dua Lipa Drops New Single "Training Season" From Her Upcoming New Album

The song — which Dua Lipa premiered, along with the head-spinning "Houdini," at the 2024 GRAMMYs — will be featured on her forthcoming third studio album. Hear the swirling track and watch its entrancing video here.

GRAMMYs/Feb 15, 2024 - 11:02 pm

Dua Lipa has evaded expectations like "Houdini"; now, she's declaring that "Training Season" is over. The three-time GRAMMY winner and 10-time GRAMMY nominee has released a percolating, questioning new single, "Training Season," the second track from her yet-to-be-announced third album, due out this year. The song’s video opens with Dua Lipa alone and disheartened in a crowded cafe, surrounded by men, but unimpressed by her options.

As the video unfolds, a crowd of hopeful admirers presses against the glass and swirls around her, vying for her attention. She looks on, unimpressed by the multitude of options before her, signaling that the time for "training" has passed. "Training season's over," she declares, underscoring her readiness for something more genuine. "Are you someone that I can give my heart to?” Lipa sings over an effervescent beat. "Or just the poison that I'm drawn to?" Because, in the end, she "Need someone to hold me close / Deeper than I’ve ever known / Whose love feels like a rodeo / Knows just how to take control / When I’m vulnerable."

The song’s release follows her stunning performance at the 2024 GRAMMYs where she opened the show with a mesmerizing medley in which she official debuted “Training Season” and also performed “Houdini.”

Lipa was nominated for Best Song Written For Visual Media and Song Of The Year for her Barbie the Album hit, "Dance the Night," at the 2024 GRAMMYs. Though Billie Eilish took home the golden gramophones in both categories — for another Barbie song, “What Was I Made For?” — Lipa has three GRAMMYs to her name, including 2019’s Best New Artist honor.

Listen to “Training Season” above, and check back on GRAMMY.com for more information about Dua Lipa's upcoming album.

9 Ways Women Dominated The 2024 GRAMMYs

2024 GRAMMYs: Dua Lipa Debuts "Training Season" & Slays "Houdini" In Mesmerizing Opening Performance
Dua Lipa at the 2024 GRAMMYs.

Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images for The Recording Academy

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2024 GRAMMYs: Dua Lipa Debuts "Training Season" & Slays "Houdini" In Mesmerizing Opening Performance

To kick off the 66th GRAMMY Awards, Dua Lipa performed a medley of the first two singles from her upcoming third studio album.

GRAMMYs/Feb 5, 2024 - 01:23 am

Dua Lipa got the party started at the 2024 GRAMMYs with an electric medley of "Training Season" and "Houdini."

Emerging from a steel cage surrounded by a bevy of muscled male dancers, Lipa declared, "Training season's over" with the live debut of her new single before pivoting into "Houdini" complete with full choreography.

"I come and I go/ Tell me all the ways you need me/ I'm not here for long/ Catch me or I go Houdini," the pop star sang as she writhed with her dancers and nailed the end of the performance by sliding onto her knees. 

"Houdini" and "Training Season" are the first two singles off the British-Albanian superstar's forthcoming follow-up to her GRAMMY-winning 2020 LP Future Nostalgia. The GRAMMYs served as a sneak peek of "Training Season," as the track officially arrives Feb. 15.

Meanwhile, "Dance the Night" — Lipa's sparkling dance floor banger from Barbie, which brought all the Barbies and Kens together in the film for a giant party at Barbie's Dream House — and is nominated for two awards at this year's ceremony: Song Of The Year and Best Song Written for Visual Media.

In fact, numerous songs from Barbie the Album packed the latter Category, with Ice Spice and Nicki Minaj's "Barbie World" featuring Aqua, Ryan Gosling's "I'm Just Ken" and Billie Eilish's "What Was I Made For?" also in the running alongside Rihanna's soulful Black Panther: Wakanda Forever ballad "Lift Me Up." Ultimately, Eilish's dreamy, introspective ballad took home the trophy ahead of the telecast.

2024 GRAMMY Nominations: See The Full Winners & Nominees List

2024 GRAMMYs Red Carpet Fashion Highlights: Taylor Swift, Dua Lipa, Billie Eilish, Olivia Rodrigo, boygenius & More
Taylor Swift on 2024 GRAMMYs red carpet.

Photo: Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for The Recording Academy

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2024 GRAMMYs Red Carpet Fashion Highlights: Taylor Swift, Dua Lipa, Billie Eilish, Olivia Rodrigo, boygenius & More

As stars make their way into Crypto.com Arena for the 66th GRAMMY Awards, get a peek at some of the stunning looks from Miley Cyrus, Kylie Minogue, The War and Treaty, and more.

GRAMMYs/Feb 4, 2024 - 10:17 pm

Music's Biggest Night always brings out music's biggest names — and they bring the biggest fashion.

The 2024 GRAMMYs red carpet was stacked with stunning and creative looks. It seems to be the year of the female suit, with boygenius donning matching white ensembles, Romy sparkling in a red pant suit, and Brandi Carlile rocking a bright orange set. Of course, there’s plenty of gorgeous dresses as well, from Dua Lipa's plunging silver look to Victoria Monét's sleek brown gown.

Take a look at some of the most memorable outfits from the red carpet at the 66th GRAMMY awards.

Dua Lipa 2024 GRAMMYs red carpet

Dua Lipa | Lester Cohen/Getty Images for The Recording Academy

Olivia Rodrigo 2024 GRAMMYs red carpet

Olivia Rodrigo | ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images

boygenius 2024 GRAMMYs red carpet

boygenius | Kayla Oaddams/WireImage

Miley Cyrus 2024 GRAMMYs red carpet

Miley Cyrus | Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for The Recording Academy

Ayra Starr 2024 GRAMMYs red carpet

Ayra Starr | ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images

Kylie Minogue 2024 grammys red carpet

Kylie Minogue | Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for The Recording Academy

Babyface and Coco Jones on 2024 GRAMMYs red carpet

(L-R) Babyface and Coco Jones | Lester Cohen/Getty Images for The Recording Academy

Carly Pearce Gayle King War and Treaty at 2024 GRAMMYs

(L-R) Carly Pearce, Gayle King, The War and Treaty | Lester Cohen/Getty Images for The Recording Academy

Larkin Poe 2024 GRAMMYs red carpet

Larkin Poe | Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for The Recording Academy

Brandi Carlile on 2024 GRAMMYs red carpet

(L-R) Catherine Shepherd and Brandi Carlile | Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for The Recording Academy

Kandi Burruss on 2024 GRAMMYs red carpet

Kandi Burruss | Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for The Recording Academy

Dawn Richard 2024 GRAMMYs red carpet

Dawn Richard | Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for The Recording Academy

Official Coachella 2024 Lineup: Headliners Lana Del Rey, Tyler, The Creator And Doja Cat To Lead A Pack of Performers Including No Doubt & Others
Lana Del Rey, Tyler, The Creator, and Doja Cat will headline the 2024 Coachella festival.

Photos (L to R): Kristy Sparow/Getty Images; Monica Schipper/Getty Images for Coachella; Scott Dudelson/Getty Images for Coachella

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Official Coachella 2024 Lineup: Headliners Lana Del Rey, Tyler, The Creator And Doja Cat To Lead A Pack of Performers Including No Doubt & Others

GRAMMY.com digs into the official Coachella 2024 lineup — featuring Doja Cat’s return at the top of the bill with other California natives and more international acts than ever before heading to the Southern California desert April 12-14 and April 19-21.

GRAMMYs/Jan 17, 2024 - 12:32 am

The much-anticipated lineup for Coachella’s waitlisted 2024 festival was officially announced by producers Goldenvoice on Jan. 16. Festival headliners include GRAMMY-winning rapper and record producer Tyler, the Creator, GRAMMY-winning pop and hip-hop artist Doja Cat, and GRAMMY-nominated singer/songwriter Lana Del Rey. These beloved acts lead a pack of top-tier talent sure to resonate well with a global audience. 

Coachella, which kicks off the 2024 festival season, will take place April 12-14 and April 19-21, returning to Indio’s Empire Polo Club in Southern California’s Colorado Desert. Let the good times roll.

Other notable performers include No Doubt, and 2024 GRAMMY nominees Jon Batiste, Ice Spice and Dom Dolla. Best Rap Song nominee Lil Uzi Vert also received top-billing among a plethora of rappers and hip-hop artists including Coi Leray and Lil Yachty.

A welcome sign of growing diversity among the acts, more international musicians than ever have appeared on the roster, including corridos tumbados musicians Peso Pluma, 2024 GRAMMY nominees for Best Música Mexicana Album, who also recently performed at the 2023 Latin GRAMMYs. K-pop acts are also getting shine at Coachella 2024, with ATEEZ and LE SSARAFIM on the bill.

Since its inception in 1999, Coachella has evolved from a simple music festival to a cultural touchstone that encapsulates evolving trends in music, arts, fashion, and social expression. Coachella's lineup has become a barometer of pop culture — marking current and future music trends as well as the tone of the industry. 

Across multiple stages and tents, the festival is a sandbox showcase for experimental work. It’s a place for artists to debut new music, collaborate with other musicians during surprise guest performances and reunions, and make a statement. Beyonce’s culturally significant 2018 performance and celebration of Black college culture that inspired her Netflix documentary “Homecoming” and the unforgettable virtual resurrection of Tupac Shakur in 2012 via hologram serve as prime examples of this phenomena.

Catch the official line-up below and stay tuned for our takeaways from this year’s lineup announcement coming soon.

2024 Coachella Festival Lineup

California Love Is On Full Display

Californians dominate the 2024 Coachella lineup. Major headliners Tyler, the Creator and Doja Cat both hail from the Golden State and although Lana Del Rey (Friday, April 12 and 19) was born in Lake Placid, New York, she calls California her home and source of inspiration. Lana Del Rey is currently nominated in five categories at the 2024 GRAMMY Awards including Album Of The Year and Song Of The Year; Doja Cat is nominated in three categories including Best Pop Solo Performance and Best Rap Song.  

Surprise act No Doubt, which includes vocalist Gwen Stefani, guitarist Tom Dumont, bassist Tony Kanal, and drummer Adrian Young also count Southern California as their original home base. The group formed in 1986 in Anaheim and, over three decades, have netted two GRAMMY Awards and nine nominations. 

Rock Reunions Take Center Stage

Perhaps the biggest surprise act on the bill, No Doubt will reunite for their first major show in almost a decade since their last live performances together in 2015 — much to the delight of the band and Gwen Stefani’s dedicated fanbase. 

Other surprise reunions include new millennium rock band Blur, best known for punchy vocals and kick snare-emboldened tracks. The Britpop act will perform their first U.S. shows in nine years, receiving top billing for both Saturdays. Sublime, who have been performing live for years as Sublime with Rome will also perform on Saturday, though the singular billing begs the question of whether late founding band member Bradley Knowell will appear holographically á la Tupac in 2012. 

The 2024 Lineup Is An International Showcase

Global acts are taking over for one of the most diverse bills in Coachella history, filled with acts from Korea, Japan, Latin America, Africa, France and more.  

Furthering a breakout year in U.S. popularity, K-Pop boy band ATEEZ will perform on Friday. Girl group Atarashii Gakko! alongside superduo Yaosobi will represent Japan. A plethora of artists representing Latin America will perform both weekends: Coachella's lineup includes J Balvin (Columbia), Cimafunk (Cuba) and a roster of Mexican artists including Peso Pluma, Santa Fe Klan, Latin Mafia, Son Rompe Pera and Carin León. Nigerian natives Burna Boy and Tyla, both nominated for Best African Music Performance (one of three brand new categories at the 66th Annual GRAMMY Awards) are billed along with fellow Nigerian, Tems.

Electronic Music Makes A House Call

Highlighting a shift in the sands of music festival lineups over the last few years, electronic, dance, EDM, and trance artists account for a majority of the acts performing at Coachella in 2024. 

Legendary French performer Gesaffelstein, whose work has intertwined with artists like The Weeknd, adds a layer of dark, magnetic allure to the lineup while Justice, known for their GRAMMY-winning electronic beats, round out an electrifying experience. 

Celebrated acts like techno queen Charlotte de Witte and up-and-comers like Dom Dolla — a first-time GRAMMY nominee currently nominated for his remix of the Gorillaz track "New Gold" featuring Tame Impala — represent a nod to electronic music's recent and significant impact within the U.S.

Multiple Acts Return To The Desert

Coachella Valley is set to welcome back multiple seasoned acts in a return to the desert, including inventive linguist Tyler, the Creator, who surprised attendees with an impromptu appearance during Kali Uchis' set on the main stage in 2022. Doja Cat is also making a comeback, ascending to the top of the bill as a headliner after two years. 

J Balvin will bring the reggaeton party back to paradise following his Coachella premiere in 2019. Meanwhile, DJ Snake — the GRAMMY-nominated maestro of trap and electronic fusion will stage a return after first performing in 2016. Techno/house DJ and producer John Summitt will keep the beat alive after his house sound and pulsing rhythms created an electrifying performance 2022. The ever-transcendent and avant garde Grimes will stage a cosmic return to the Coachella stage after last performing in 2016.