BLACKPINK is a South Korean girl group formed by YG Entertainment. The group is composed of three South Korean members – Jisoo, Jennie, and Rosé – and one Thai member – Lisa. They officially debuted on August 8, 2016 with the single Square One, which included their first number one hit, “Whistle”, and the group’s first number one hit on Billboard World Digital Songs chart, “Boombayah”.
They enjoyed commercial success in their first five months and were hailed as the New Artist of the Year at the 31st Golden Disk Awards and the 26th Seoul Music Awards.
BLACKPINK is currently the highest-charting female K-pop act on Billboard Social 50, peaking at number 15, and the first female K-pop act to have three number 1 hits on Billboard’s World Digital Song Sales Chart. They are also the first K-pop act to be included in YouTube’s Global Top 25 Summer Songs for their 2017 hit song, As If It’s Your Last, while the song’s music video is presently YouTube’s most viewed music video of a female group released in 2017 with 238 million views.
2016: Official Debut
YG Entertainment officially began promotions for their new girl group in August 2012 by releasing teaser images and making the members participate in songs and advertisements. But the line-up and name of the group wasn’t finalized until June 29, 2016.
Groomed as the first girl group to debut under YG Entertainment since 2NE1 in 2009, BLACKPINK officially debuted on August 8, 2016 with the release of their debut single, Square One. The single contains the tracks “Whistle”, which was produced by YG’s resident producer, Teddy Park, and Future Bounce. The lyrics was written by Teddy Park, iKON’s B. I., and Bekuh BOOM. “Boombayah”, the second title track from Square One was also produced by Teddy Park and co-written by Bekuh BOOM.
“Whistle” and “Boombayah” charted at number one and two on the Billboard World Digital Songs chart, making BLACKPINK the fastest the act to do so and the third K-pop act to hold the top two positions after fellow YG artists Psy and Big Bang. “Whistle” topped Gaon’s digital, download, streaming, and mobile charts in August 2016. BLACKPINK also made it to number one on the weekly, popularity, music video, and K-pop music video charts of China’s biggest music-streaming website, QQ Music. “Boombayah” also set the record for the most-viewed debut music video by a Korean act.
On August 14, 2016, the group had their first music show performance on SBS’ Inkigayo. The girls went on to win first place on the show just 13 days after their debut, breaking the record for the shortest time for a girl group to win on a music program after debut.
They wrapped up their promotions for Square One on September 11, 2016, with another win on Inkigayo.
On November 1, 2016, BLACKPINK released their second single album, Square Two, with the lead singles “Playing with Fire” and “Stay”. The songs are also produced by Teddy Park, along with R. Tee and Seo Won Jin.
The group appeared on Inkigayo once again for their comeback stage on November 6, followed by a performance on Mnet’s M Countdown on November 10.
“Playing with Fire” became BLACKPINK’s second single to hit number one on the Billboard World Digital Songs chart and peaked at number 3 in South Korea, with “Stay” not too far behind at the 10th spot.
Within the first five months of their career, BLACKPINK enjoyed tremendous commercial success in and out of South Korea. The group eventually won numerous rookie awards at major Korean year-end shows, including Asia Artist Awards, Melon Music Awards, Golden Disk Awards, Seoul Music Awards, Gaon Chart Music Awards, and Mnet Asian Music Awards, where they also won Best Music Video for “Whistle”. Billboard also named them as one of the best new K-pop groups of 2016.
2017: “As If It’s Your Last” and Official Japanese debut
On May 16, 2017, YG Entertainment announced BLACKPINK’s Japanese debut in summer 2017 with a debut showcase on July 20 at Tokyo’s Nippon Budokan. The group was also set to release a mini album on August 9, 2017. More than 14,000 people attended the showcase which was initially reported to have 200,000 people trying to get tickets for it.
The day after the announcement of their Japan debut, a snippet of the music video for the Japanese version of their song “Boombayah” was aired on TV in Japan. But the album’s release date was later changed to August 30.
On June 22, BLACKPINK released a new digital single titled “As If It’s Your Last”, which debuted at number 1 on Billboard’s World Digital Song chart after just one day of tracking. This also marked the group’s third number 1 hit on the chart. Within 17 hours of its release, the music video for “As If It’s Your Last” gained more than 11 million views on YouTube, becoming the fastest music video to surpass the 10 million mark by a K-pop group and breaking the record previously held by BTS for “Not Today”. With more than 13.3 million views within the first 24 hours after its release, BLACKPINK’s music video also became the second most viewed online video in the first 24 hours by a Korean act, next to Psy’s “Gentleman”. It later on set the new record for the most liked music video by a Korean girl group on YouTube.
On August 30, 2017, BLACKPINK made their official Japanese debut with the release of their self-titled extended play. The EP debuted at number 1 on the Oricon Albums Chart with 39,000 physical copies sold within its first week, making them the third foreign group to top the chart with a debut release after t.A.T.u’s 200 km/h in the Wrong Lane in 2002 and fellow Korean group and YG Entertainment artist, 2NE1’s Nolza in 2011.
2018: Reality show and repackaged Japanese album
BLACKPINK welcomed 2018 with their own reality show titled “Blackpink House” which airs on Naver’s V Live app and the group’s official YouTube channel.
Also in January 2018, BLACKPINk received a Bonsang Award at the Seoul Music Awards for their song “As If It’s Your Last” and was part of the Global Artist Top 10 list of Naver V Live App.
Within three weeks of their debut. BLACKPINK made a huge impact in South Korea that they immediately placed second behind EXO in terms of brand reputation based on a study by Korea Institute of Corporate Reputation in August 2016. Another study focused on girl groups revealed that BLACPINK’s brand influence had already surpassed that of Girls’ Generation and Twice for September 2016.
In May 2017, BLACKPINK became ambassadors for Incheon Main Customs and endorsed several brands including Reebok, Moonshot, St. Scott London, and Lotte Trevi sparkling water. They also appeared in major magazines including Nylon Japan, South Korea’s 1st Look, and Singapore’s Teenage.