TThe world’s largest girl group is back and more. Blackpink, the Kpop band and 2019 TIME 100 Next Honorees are due to release their second album. “Born Pink”On Sep.16. And their massive fanbase, called BLINK, is ready—the album has reportedly racked up more than 1.5 million presales and will be followed by a first-ever performance at the MTV VMAs later this month and an exhaustive world tour commencing in October.
On Aug. 19, the group will release the album’s first single, “Pink Venom,” into the wild. We don’t know much about it, but fans are definitely curious: a video promo for the track has already amassed an impressive 20 million views. It has teased the #PinkVenomChallenge, which will almost certainly take over TikTok.
Before you sink your teeth into “Pink Venom,” here’s a primer on what the pop superstars have been up to since 2020, and what to expect next.
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Blackpink: Who is it?
Blackpink is a quartet of girl groups under YG Entertainment. This agency has been behind the iconic Korean acts 2NE1 (Big Bang) and 3NE1. The quartet—Lisa, Jisoo, Jennie, and Rosé—debuted in 2016 with the beguiling “Whistle” and bombastic “Boombayah.” Their effortless, it-girl style and cool confidence charmed the global fan base who would come to be known as Blinks—and rocketed them to the top of music charts around the world.
The name Blackpink represents the group’s two sides: the darker, mature “black” and the sweet, girlish “pink.” Their music reflects this duality, thematically and sonically jumping between heartbroken pop laments and bubblegum bops to cavalier indifference and tongue-lashing ferocity.
We last heard of the band in 2020 when their debut full-length album was released. The Album.It was featured cameos by Cardi and Selena Gomez. 2, on the Billboard 200 Chart, and sold more than 122,000 copies. This was a new record for any K-pop girl band. Singles “How You Like That,” “Ice Cream” (featuring Gomez), and “Lovesick Girls” were global smashes, cementing Blackpink’s status as pop royalty.
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Blackpink is the largest girl group worldwide.
They are internationally recognized as style icons, musicians, and record-breakers. They’ve risen to stardom on the world stage by pairing their musical prowess with Instagram-ready style and aspirational poise. Blackpink don’t just sing your favorite songs, they’d be cool big sisters or best friends. Their presence extends beyond music. They have been models for dozens brands including Adidas, e-gaming company PUBG, as well as being advocates for 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference.
Thanks to the steady guidance of Teddy Park, a producer at YG and their talented musicians, their music has received praises every time since they first released it. Jennie and Lisa’s raps, always delivered with a thrilling bite, are countered by the silky sweetness of Jisoo and Rosé’s vocals. They create music that is a reflection of the contrast colors in their names.
Blackpink are the highest-charting female Korean act on the Billboard Hot 100 and were the first girl group to top Billboard’s Artist 100. In 2020, their single “How You Like That” tied with the The Pussycat Dolls and The Chicks for highest charting single by an all-female group on Billboard’s Digital Song Sales chart.
Blackpink is YouTube’s most popular music artist and has five videos that have more than one million views. The music videos of Blackpink are often the most watched in YouTube’s first 24 hours.
Blackpink is also known for being the first Korean girls group to attend Coachella. They have collaborated extensively with other top musicians, including featuring on Lady Gaga’s “Sour Candy” and Dua Lipa’s “Kiss and Make Up,” in addition to their work with Cardi B and Selena Gomez.
How do we know this? Pink born?
The truth is, it’s very little. In true Blackpink fashion, the group has released very little info aside from a handful of cryptic teasers for “Pink Venom” that show the members standing between two large sets of black glittering fangs. The girls are dressed in blacks and pinks with signature nail art that catches the sunlight. Listen closely and you’ll hear the girls chanting ‘Blackpink” in a teasing schoolyard lilt.
We did get a very promising sneak peek into the album’s production earlier this week. In an interview, hitmaker and OneRepublic frontman Ryan Tedder, who also worked on their Cardi B collab “Bet U Wanna,” recounted working with the members to co-write a track and noted that he had written several other songs for the album. Interview with Good Morning America last month, he said, “From what I’ve been told, and the stuff that I did with them, I can just say is very true to their sound.”
Blackpink: What have they been doing since their release? The AlbumWhat will 2020 look like?
They each have their own successful careers as well the work they do together. Their Instagram followers total more than 60 million, making them among the most well-known people on Instagram.
After the massive success of Jennie’s 2018 solo single “Solo,” Rosé released her debut solo single album R In 2021. The album sold over 440,000 copies its first week. This is the most sales for any Korean soloist. Lisa’s subsequent 2021 solo debut, Lalisa, sold over 736,000 copies in its release week, proving Blackpink’s only competition is each other.
As Rosé and Lisa focus on music, Jisoo and Jennie have both been investing time in acting, with Jisoo appearing in controversial drama Schneedrop and Jennie slated to make her debut in HBO’s 2022 series The IdolFrom the author of Euphoria.
Blackpink’s public image is closely intertwined with fashion, and the members’ taste and style have a seismic impact on social media, sending ripples across the fashion industry and often causing items to sell out. They are so appealing to the masses that they have many fans. Vogue said, “no one loved Blackpink more in 2021 than the fashion industry.”
They are regular collaborators with high-fashion houses and models. Lisa is an ambassador for Celine, Bulgari, and MAC Cosmetics, Jisoo for Cartier and Dior, Jennie for Calvin Klein and Chanel, and Rosé for Tiffany & Co and Saint Laurent. In Sep. 2021, Rosé was the first K-pop idol to attend Vogue Met Gala.
Promotional images and videos for “Pink Venom” show the quartet smoldering in baby pink cutout ensembles from Mugler. Women’s Wear Daily, who says the group leverages fashion “better than any girl group before it,” reports that it’s the first time a single brand has all four members at once. “[I’ve] never known a group of people so powerful,” Mugler’s creative director Casey Cadwallader told WWD. “Their fans are so loyal and energetic, I’ve never experienced anything like it—it can feel like they’re more famous than Michael Jackson.”
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