Blackpink, a four-piece girl group consisting of Rose, Jennie, Lisa and Jisoo, each with her own charm, is undisputedly one of the biggest girl groups in the world -- if not the biggest.
It is the highest-charting female K-pop act in the US, with its self-titled single and EP having peaked at No. 41 on the Billboard Hot 100 and at No. 24 on the Billboard 200.
With a huge international following, the group’s music videos are also some of the most watched to date, with four of them among the all-time top 10 in K-pop.
Here are some of the group’s most defining tracks, the ones that solidified their stardom.
In the summer of 2018, it was with this track from their double A-side digital single “Square One” that the four girls first left their mark on the music scene at home. The track debuted atop the Gaon download chart and went on to top the monthly chart with 413,820 downloads.
The song, which hooked listeners with an unforgettable whistle, also won music program awards including SBS’ “Inkigayo” and Mnet’s “M Countdown,” as well as the best music video award at the Mnet Asian Music Awards 2016.
“Boombayah,” the other half of the band’s debut single, was also a great commercial success, helping the four musicians pull off an impressive debut.
The powerful dance track with energetic hooks and exotic beats also topped the US World Digital Songs.
‘Playing With Fire’
The group swiftly followed up its successful debut single later in 2016 with “Square Two,” consisting of three tracks: “Playing With Fire,” “Stay” and the acoustic version of “Whistle.”
With lyrics written by Teddy and music composed by Teddy and R.Tee, the synth-rich pop song with its extremely catchy chorus might not be as impactful as the band’s previous singles the first time you hear it -- but it’s hard to deny that the track is a grower.
“Stay” was a departure from the band’s previous singles. The acoustic guitar riffs and harmonica sounds see the otherwise dancing queens take a more acoustic approach.
The folk-pop track was composed by South Korean songwriter Seo Won-jin, while Jennie and Jisoo wrote the lyrics.
‘As If It’s Your Last’
The 2017 straight pop number came out after Blackpink named their fan club “Blink,” a contraction of “black” and “pink.”
The song, which mixes multiple genres including house, reggae and Moombahton, was met with a warm reception and racked up over 2.5 million downloads.
The record-breaking single was released in June 2018 and currently stands as the most viewed music video by a K-pop group on YouTube, having racked up over one billion views.
The song fronted the group’s first EP, “Square Up,” featuring four tracks, and topped multiple music programs’ charts including MBC’s “Show! Music Core” and KBS’ “Music Bank,” not to mention getting a whopping 100 million streams.
The hip-hop-inspired electropop song featuring trap beats and drops also appeared on music charts around the world, including US’ Billboard Hot 100 and the UK singles chart. The video broke multiple records upon release, becoming the most viewed video in the first 24 hours by a Korean act, before the record was broken by BTS’ “Idol” later in the year.
Written by Teddy, this track offered yet another take on electronic dance music and enjoyed success without the music video treatment.
Nominated for song of the year for the month of June at Gaon Chart Music Awards 2019, the dance practice video racked up over 110 million views.
‘Kill This Love’
Earlier this year, Blackpink released yet another megahit single, adding to its impressive discography.
The song was the first work to be released since the group signed on with Interscope Records. The girls appeared on multiple TV shows in the US, including “The Late Late Show With James Corden,” where they performed “Kill This Love.”
The all-out dance anthem opens with thumping bass sound as the strong presence of an airhorn is felt throughout the track.
As the latest single enjoyed an international chart success, the song also marked the beginning of another chapter in Blackpink’s career. The band became the first K-pop girl groupo to perform at Coachella this year, as well as touring around the world. The Japanese leg of the band’s 2019 “In Your Area” tour will take place in early December and January next year.
By Yim Hyun-su (email@example.com)