Blinks, we know you saw this one coming — all-girl K-pop group Blackpink, some of the most popular women in the world as of now, has been named TIME Magazine’s Entertainer of the Year.
On Monday, the publication shared a feature piece recounting the band’s accomplishments and of course, their VMA performance in August came up. Their hit single ‘Pink Venom’ stole the show and their latest world tour Born Pink spanning October 2022 to June 2023 sold out in a matter of minutes. Expected to hit 27 cities over nine months, the shows were attended by tens of thousands of fans, including celebrities Selena Gomez and Usher.
The quarter, Jennie, Jisoo, Lisa, and Rosé, released their second studio album, Born Pink, in September, which established the record for best-selling album by a Korean girl group, with over two million album sales. It is still streamed religiously by fans on YouTube, where Blackpink is the biggest musical act with over 83 million subscribers.
K-pop produces revenues upwards of $10 billion per year, to which the girl group is a great contributor. A lot of their record label YG’s success is dependent on them. Yet, the group does not look at what they do as business, but passion. “If we consider this in the business way, we wouldn’t be able to do this,” Jennie told TIME. “We do it out of our heart.”
They officially debuted in 2016, being YG’s first girl group in seven years. They instantly racked up viewership numbers with their first singles ‘Whistle’ and ‘Boombayah’.
The group is multicultural and they view that as a strength. Jennie, 26, was born in Seoul but moved to New Zealand as a child. Rosé, 25, was born in Auckland and raised in Melbourne. Lisa, 25, is Thai and grew up in Thailand. Jisoo, 27, is from Gunpo, a small city in South Korea, and the only one of the four who has lived in the country all her life. “We’re all from different cultures,” said Rosé. Their differences, she added, are “only a plus,” especially in the studio.
The girls do not restrict themselves to the group but also work on solo projects on the side. Their first US tour in 2019 was an intense affair that took a toll on them but they have learnt from this experience and are better prepared this time around. “Now we know how to take care of ourselves a little better,” said Jennie. “We try to be prepared in terms of our health and our mental health.”