BLACKPINK, as of this writing, is the most successful K-pop girl group of all time, and they have a myriad of accolades to prove it. For instance, just in 2018 — two years after the group debuted (and became the first K-pop girl group to chart on the Canadian Hot 100 chart) — they picked up three charting milestones on the Billboard charts, per Billboard. First, they earned the “highest-charting hit ever by a K-pop girl group” on the Billboard Hot 100 with their single “Ddu-Du Ddu-Du.” Secondly, their second EP, Square Up, debuted at No. 40 and became “the highest charting album by an all-female K-pop group at the time.” Lastly, they became the first female K-pop group to debut at the top of the Emerging Artists chart — and that’s just the beginning of it.
BLACKPINK also beat out BTS to earn three Guinness World Records after they dropped the video for “How You Like That” in June 2020. The video became the most viewed video on YouTube in 24 hours, the most viewed music video on the platform in 24 hours, and the most viewed music video by a K-pop group in 24 hours. To date, they’re still breaking records. On Aug. 22, 2022, they released “Pink Venom,” the first single of their sophomore album, Born Pink. It’s now the biggest music video debut of the entire year.
With all their success, BLACKPINK has unsurprisingly worked with some of the biggest artists in the world: Selena Gomez (“Ice Cream”), Cardi B (“Bet You Wanna”), and Lady Gaga (“Sour Candy”), to name a few. More impressively, BLACKPINK is making these moves with just four members: Jisoo, Jennie, Rosé, and Lisa. Read on to learn more about the powerhouse women ahead of their 2022 MTV Video Music Awards debut.
Jisoo was born on Jan. 3, 1995 in the Gyeonggi-do province in South Korea, and is the oldest member of the record-holding girl group. Therefore, fans (known as BLINKS) have looked at her as the leader of the pack. However, she had been adamant that there is no group leader. “We spent many years together during training and are like friends so we decided that it’ll be better for us to go without a leader,” she said while on Choi Hwa Jung’s Power FM, according to Allkpop. Jisoo trained for five years to get to where she is today, which included three to four dance lessons each day on top of vocal lessons, per Marie Claire.
Although Jisoo trained incredibly hard alongside her BLACKPINK members, she expressed in the band’s Netflix documentary, Light Up the Sky, that she never in a million years would have guessed her dreams would come true. “I’m living a very different life than the one I thought I’d be living. I used to want to be a writer or a painter, although I couldn’t paint very well. I joined the drama club when I was in 11th grade. They were saying I should try auditioning because I needed the experience,” she recalled. “My first audition was at YG [Entertainment]. I didn’t know much at all about YG before I arrived there the first day. It felt like something far removed from me. I never thought I’d actually be doing it for real.”
While Jisoo has not released solo music as of this writing, she certainly has branched out into other aspects of the industry. She has a few acting credits under her name, including 2019’s Arthdal Chronicles. Her debut leading role was in Disney+’s drama, Snowdrop, which was released in 2021. She has also enjoyed several brand deals with some of the biggest names in fashion and beauty, including Dior, Cartier, and Adidas.
Jennie was born in South Korea on Jan. 16, 1996 and is the second oldest member of BLACKPINK. She’s generally seen as the main rapper in the group. Jennie grew up in Seoul and New Zealand, and was only 14 when she signed to YG Entertainment. However, she was not always sold on being a singer. “When I turned 15, I was deciding whether I should move to America. I went there, I checked the school out. Everything was kind of decided, like 80 percent, and I came back to New Zealand to pack my stuff up. That’s when I realized I don’t want to go to America and do another study there by myself. I actually want to become a singer,” she explained in Light Up the Sky, per Marie Claire. “I don’t know where it came from.”
The seemingly last-minute decision has certainly paid off, and in 2018, she became the first member of BLACKPINK to release solo music. Called “SOLO“, Jennie’s debut single was released in Nov. 2018 and has nearly one billion views on YouTube. Like Jinsoo, Jennie has also dipped her feet in acting and stars in The Weeknd‘s upcoming HBO series The Idol. “I found the script very intriguing, so I wanted to be part of the series,” she said to the Korean news agency Yonhap in a statement. “I feel very excited. I’ll work hard, so please watch me with affection.” Also like Jinsoo, Jennie can often be seen in high fashion brands. She appears to prefer Chanel.
Jennie has been open about her emotional journey to stardom, and reflected on her gratitude when BLACKPINK became the first girl K-pop group to perform at Coachella in 2019. “When we first heard that we would [be the first K-pop girl group to] perform at Coachella, it felt unreal. We still can’t forget the very moment we went on stage and saw the audience for the first time,” she recalled to Entertainment Weekly in Oct. 2020. “That’s when we really felt that people were really listening to BLACKPINK’s music, and thanks to that experience, we gained a lot of energy and felt our fans’ love for us.” She concluded, “It was…. very precious for us, and we’ll always remember it fondly.”
Rosé is the second youngest girl in the group and was born on Feb. 11, 1997 in New Zealand. She was there for eight years and then moved to Australia. She would face another big move eight years later, when she had an offer to train alongside Jisoo and Jennie. “I was 16. I went, auditioned, and then they called me and they were like, ‘Can you fly to Korea within two months?’ And then my whole life changed,” she explained of her auditioning process in Light Up the Sky, per Marie Claire. “In Australia, I dropped out of school. I had never even imagined myself living apart from my family. I hadn’t even slept more than two weeks out of home.”
When she got to YG, she was immediately drawn to who would become her other bandmates. “It was us four. I don’t even know why, but it was us four. We covered songs ’til morning. All of us, we were singing. Somebody was harmonizing,” she remembered.
Rosé was the final person added to BLACKPINK, but the second member of the girl group to release her own music. She came out with “Gone” in April 2021, which has more than 200 million views on YouTube. It’s no surprise fans have taken a liking to her solo music; according to Soompi, she is nicknamed “Golden Voice”. She’s not only an incredible singer, though. Rosé can play the piano, guitar, and dances like a pro on stage. Fans also love her because she’s super relatable, as she’s not afraid to show off her love for food — a refreshing look in Hollywood for many. One fan proved this true by creating a compilation of clips of her eating on the group’s 2018 reality show, BLACKPINK HOUSE.
Last, but certainly not least, is Lisa, who was born on March 27, 1997, making her the youngest member of BLACKPINK. She was born and raised in Thailand, and she bonded with Jennie upon her arrival at YG because she could speak English with her. “I didn’t speak any Korean. I only knew how to say ‘Hello,’ so it really was a new start,” Lisa, the only non-Korean member of world-famous group said in Light Up the Sky, according to Marie Claire. “Fortunately, there was Jennie. She was the only one who could speak English along the trainees. I spoke English with her and if something were to happen, I would talk to her.”
Lisa is known for her impressive rap and dance skills. According to Light Up the Sky, Lisa would prepare the choreography for all the group’s dances during their years of training together. “For that, we’d have to plan everything ourselves, but we each had a role,” she explained. “If someone was in charge of vocals, we’d give them that role, but I always took on the role of the dancer. So I’d always design the choreography. Every month! Literally every month for five years.”
Although Lisa is one of the biggest stars in the world, she noted to Rolling Stone that she feels like she has much more to do in terms of developing her character. “Whenever I go to Thailand, there’s this new generation of babies that all look up to me: ‘I want to be like Lisa, unni!’ But when I look at myself, I am lacking in so many areas,” she humbly stated in May 2022. “There are so many things I don’t know because I’m still young. They look up to me as an idol, but I still don’t think I’m perfect enough to be their idol. Am I there yet? Am I ready? I’m actually really curious. In what ways am I an idol to those kids? I still feel I have a long way to go.”
She also said she does not plan on leaving BLACKPINK anytime soon and hopes the band lives on for years to come. “I don’t think we’ve even talked about this amongst ourselves. We’ve jokingly said, ‘Jisoo unni is going to live in Hawaii. Lisa will return to Thailand,’ but I don’t want to think about the end. It’s too sad,” she said. “Someday we’ll get married and things like that. But then I see the Spice Girls, how they got together for a reunion concert. Can we do that too someday? Will I be able to dance then, like I do now? I mean, won’t BLACKPINK last at least 10 more years? We’ll be nearly 40 by then.”
Unlike some of her bandmates who have released solo singles, Lisa dropped a solo album in 2021, titled Lalisa. In November of that year, Lisa shared with Billboard what were inspirations were for the project. “I don’t write lyrics, but [producer Teddy Park] always asks me: ‘Do you have anything you want to deliver to the fans? What’s the vibe you want to do?’ I told him that in ‘Lalisa, I wanted to put some Thai vibes in it, and he actually put some Thai traditional music into the dance break,'” she recalled. “This is my first solo, and I want to represent that I’m Thai to all the fans around the world.”
And for those looking to connect with Lisa in bigger ways, she loves showing off her life via travel and lifestyle vlogs on her personal YouTube channel, which has more than 10 million subscribers!