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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 April 2019

Who are Blackpink? Meet the all-girl band set to be K-pop's next big thing

The Korean group already has a major international fan base

Blackpink's new video has set a YouTube record. From left: Lisa, Rosé, Jisoo and Jennie. Getty Images 
Blackpink's new video has set a YouTube record. From left: Lisa, Rosé, Jisoo and Jennie. Getty Images 

If BTS are anything to go by, Forbes' 30 Under 30 Asia list is a good mark of international success for K-pop bands – the all-male group was listed on the 2018 list, and have since exploded in popularity.

A year on, the 2019 list includes Blackpink, an all-girl group from South Korea that you can expect to hear a lot more of, made up of Jisoo, 24, Jennie, 23, Rosé, 22, and Lisa, 22.

Jennie has made recent headlines, after going public with her relationship with fellow K-pop star, Kai of Exo. She was also the first to go solo, releasing the aptly named single Solo in late 2018.

The band debuted in 2016 with Boombayah, and have since risen to popularity with a string of Korean number ones, including Whistle and Ddu-Du Ddu-Du. The latter, which was released in June 2018, also hit number 55 in the US Billboard Hot 100 and is currently the most-watched music video by a K-pop group on YouTube, with more than 735 million views at the time of writing.

It is undeniably catchy:

And they are showing no sign of slowing down in 2019. Their second EP, Kill This Love, is set for release on April 5, and includes singles Kill This Love and Don't Know What To Do. Blackpink are also the first female Korean group to be listed on the Coachella festival line-up.

They are a truly global group. Of the four members, only Jisoo grew up in Korea. Jennie was raised in New Zealand, Rosé in Australia and Lisa in Thailand.

Of the group's astronomic rise and global influence, eTalk's Elaine Lui said: "They represent the Korean diaspora, a specific experience with universal relatability – so many of us are the products of both home culture and new culture combination.

"Eventually then, or maybe already, considering the still-increasing hysteria over BTS, it won’t be called K-pop, it’ll just be what it is: pop, pure proper popular music."

Blackpink have an undeniably passionate fan base, known as the Blinks. Their fans have a clear trademark and wave light sticks from crowds "so that we can always identify our Blinks", Rosé explained in a February 2019 interview with Michael Strahan and Sara Haines.

As they prepare to release Kill This Love, expect to hear a lot more from Blackpink and their Blinks.

Updated: April 4, 2019 12:18 PM

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