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BLACKPINK debuts in US: A Look At Their Big Year Ahead

K-pop girl group BLACKPINK performs at Universal Music's Grammy Artist Showcase, Feb. 9 (local time). Courtesy of Universal Music Group

BLACKPINK performs live at Universal Music's Grammy Artist Showcase

By Kwak Yeon-soo

K-pop girl group BLACKPINK made a successful U.S. debut at Universal Music's Grammy Artist Showcase in Los Angeles, Saturday (local time), alongside heavy-hitters Post Malone, Greta Van Fleet and Ella Mai.

This comes ahead of appearances on ABC's "Good Morning America" and CBS's "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert."

In January, BLACKPINK made history as the first K-pop girl group to secure a spot in the Coachella music festival's lineup. The group will perform twice, on April 12 and 19, at Coachella, before starting a North American and European tour.

Formed in 2016, BLACKPINK ― consisting of Jisoo, Jennie, Rose and Lisa ― has gained massive popularity around the world thanks to hits like "As If It's Your Last," "Forever Young" and "Ddu-duDdu-du."

YG Entertainment CEO Yang Hyun-suk shared his excitement about BLACKPINK's U.S. debut and the group's big year ahead in a press release, saying: "I believe American and European markets will be a blue ocean for BLACKPINK as there have been very few popular girl groups found in over a decade. The latest girl group I remember is Spice Girls, who made their debut in 1996."

K-pop girl group BLACKPINK held its "BLACKPINK 2019 World Tour with KIA [IN YOUR AREA] in Manila" at the Mall of Asia Arena in Manila, the Philippines, on Feb. 2. Courtesy of YG Entertainment

He analyzed BLACKPINK's likely success through YouTube statistics, saying: "According to the data, the U.S. was the biggest revenue source for BLACKPINK's latest 'Ddu-du Ddu-du' and was ranked fifth in music video view records. Brazil and Mexico ranked seventh and ninth, respectively. France, Russia, the U.K. and Germany were included in the top 20 list of countries."

"I recently discussed BLACKPINK's promotional plans with Lucian Grainge, the CEO of Universal Music, and John Janick, Chairman of Interscope Records, and was able to feel their affection and dedication toward the group. With three members being fluent in English, we are all hoping for the group's successful promotions."

The label head hinted that BLACKPINK will release a new mini-album in mid to late March, saying he understands fans' concern that the group has fewer songs compared to its career length. The anticipated single will be its first return in nine months since releasing "Ddu-du-Ddu-du" in June.

"I am sorry for being unable to fulfill fans' requests," Yang said. "It sure is important to release new songs more often, but for me the quality of their songs and music videos is more important. I have listened to their new songs and I was relieved. The songs were above and beyond my expectations."

Regarding the solo project launched by Jennie, Yang said he wants to bring forth the remaining three members' solo releases in 2019.

"Rose's solo project is scheduled for after the group's new release," Yang said. "We have selected the song for Rose, while Lisa and Jisoo are still working on theirs. My goal for BLACKPINK this year is to make sure they have two albums and Rose, Lisa and Jisoo release their solo projects."


K-pop girl group BLACKPINK performs at Universal Music's Grammy Artist Showcase, Feb. 9 (local time). Courtesy of Universal Music Group

BLACKPINK performs live at Universal Music's Grammy Artist Showcase

By Kwak Yeon-soo

K-pop girl group BLACKPINK made a successful U.S. debut at Universal Music's Grammy Artist Showcase in Los Angeles, Saturday (local time), alongside heavy-hitters Post Malone, Greta Van Fleet and Ella Mai.

This comes ahead of appearances on ABC's "Good Morning America" and CBS's "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert."

In January, BLACKPINK made history as the first K-pop girl group to secure a spot in the Coachella music festival's lineup. The group will perform twice, on April 12 and 19, at Coachella, before starting a North American and European tour.

Formed in 2016, BLACKPINK ― consisting of Jisoo, Jennie, Rose and Lisa ― has gained massive popularity around the world thanks to hits like "As If It's Your Last," "Forever Young" and "Ddu-duDdu-du."

YG Entertainment CEO Yang Hyun-suk shared his excitement about BLACKPINK's U.S. debut and the group's big year ahead in a press release, saying: "I believe American and European markets will be a blue ocean for BLACKPINK as there have been very few popular girl groups found in over a decade. The latest girl group I remember is Spice Girls, who made their debut in 1996."

K-pop girl group BLACKPINK held its "BLACKPINK 2019 World Tour with KIA [IN YOUR AREA] in Manila" at the Mall of Asia Arena in Manila, the Philippines, on Feb. 2. Courtesy of YG Entertainment

He analyzed BLACKPINK's likely success through YouTube statistics, saying: "According to the data, the U.S. was the biggest revenue source for BLACKPINK's latest 'Ddu-du Ddu-du' and was ranked fifth in music video view records. Brazil and Mexico ranked seventh and ninth, respectively. France, Russia, the U.K. and Germany were included in the top 20 list of countries."

"I recently discussed BLACKPINK's promotional plans with Lucian Grainge, the CEO of Universal Music, and John Janick, Chairman of Interscope Records, and was able to feel their affection and dedication toward the group. With three members being fluent in English, we are all hoping for the group's successful promotions."

The label head hinted that BLACKPINK will release a new mini-album in mid to late March, saying he understands fans' concern that the group has fewer songs compared to its career length. The anticipated single will be its first return in nine months since releasing "Ddu-du-Ddu-du" in June.

"I am sorry for being unable to fulfill fans' requests," Yang said. "It sure is important to release new songs more often, but for me the quality of their songs and music videos is more important. I have listened to their new songs and I was relieved. The songs were above and beyond my expectations."

Regarding the solo project launched by Jennie, Yang said he wants to bring forth the remaining three members' solo releases in 2019.

"Rose's solo project is scheduled for after the group's new release," Yang said. "We have selected the song for Rose, while Lisa and Jisoo are still working on theirs. My goal for BLACKPINK this year is to make sure they have two albums and Rose, Lisa and Jisoo release their solo projects."


Kwak Yeon-soo yeons.kwak@koreatimes.co.kr


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