This year has been insane for everyone, but not always in the best way possible. However, for BLACKPINK, 2020 has been one of their biggest years yet, and here’s how they managed to own it. Let’s look back at all they’ve given to us in the past twelve months!
To say that BLACKPINK started the year big is an understatement. ‘Sour Candy’ wasn’t the first time BLACKPINK worked with a western artist, but it was by far the most important one. They collaborated with the one and only Lady Gaga on her sixth album, Chromatica. Not only was this BLACKPINK’s first release since their iconic song, ‘Kill This Love,’ but it also did really well on the charts. ‘Sour Candy’ debuted at number 33 on Billboard 100, giving BLACKPINK their first Top 40 hit. It also became the groups first Top 10 single in Australia (where it debuted at number 8) and their first top-twenty single in the UK (where it debuted at number 17). This was just the beginning, as we were only in May, and we had no idea what was coming.
The first pre-release single: ‘How You Like That’
And then, what we thought would never happen did – it was announced that BLACKPINK would be releasing their first full-length album in 2020, and the first taste of it was their pre-release single, ‘How You Like That.’
After the huge impact that ‘Kill This Love‘ had, we were not expecting anything less than a hit from them, and that’s exactly what they gave us. At the time of its release, the music video broke the record for the most viewed music video in the first 24 hours and other countless records. The song earned them their third number 1 on the Gaon Digital Chart, also topping the Gaon Monthly Chart. ‘How You Like That’ did amazingly well, winning awards in Korea and the US. It also charted at number 33 on the Billboard Hot 100, tying with ‘Sour Candy’ as the highest-charting song by a female Korean act at the time.
With the addictive sound, the insane aesthetics, and all the attitude, BLACKPINK were back, and there was no way you could not know about it.
The Dream Collab: BLACKPINK x Selena Gomez
The second song that was released was the dream collab we never knew we needed: BLACKPINK and Selena Gomez. They teased ‘Ice Cream‘ and its collaboration for a while, but this wasn’t something we expected. Their third western collaboration showed us a whole new side of BLACKPINK, as the song sets itself apart from every other song by the group. It was fun and witty, and we absolutely loved it. It debuted and peaked at number 13 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, surpassing both ‘Sour Candy’ and ‘How You Like That.’ Not only that, but ‘Ice Cream’ broke the groups own record of the longest-charting song by an all-female Korean act, which they achieved with ‘Kill This Love.’
If there was something ‘Ice Cream’ proved to us, it’s that BLACKPINK could do it all and were more than ready to release their first album.
Debut album: THE ALBUM
BLACKPINK’s first album in Korean, THE ALBUM, was everything we wanted and expected, and much more. It was released on October 2nd with 8 songs. These girls proved themselves to be worthy of all the success and impact they’ve had – not that they needed to prove anything, to be honest. The album included its three singles and 5 new songs, including a collaboration with Cardi B and track ‘Pretty Savage.’ It was included in several year-end lists such as Billboard’s Top 50 Best Albums ranking at 11, and their Top 25 Best Pop Albums. Needless to say, this was their best release yet.
When it comes to charts, THE ALBUM did as well as everyone expected and even better. The album debuted and peaked at number 2 on the Billboard 200 chart, making it the highest-charting album by a female group since 2006. They also became the second Korean girl group to hit number 1 on both the albums and singles chart on iTunes in the US. In Korea, it broke the record for first-week sales in Hanteo for a girl group, selling 590,000 copies in just one day. It also became the first and only album by a female act to receive a million certifications from Gaon. Overall, it was met with international success, as we all expected. Not only THE ALBUM but also the unforgettable title track and third single: ‘Lovesick Girls.’
‘Lovesick Girls’ was new, fresh, nostalgic, yet full of energy. This song was everything we needed from BLACKPINK. The music video was stunning with the neon lights and the insane visuals. It actually became the fastest female music video in YouTube history, to hit 10 million views within just 52 minutes. The song was also written with Jennie and Jisoo, which we loved to see; it really showed what they were able to do. Not only was the song met with positive reviews from critics, but it was also included as one of the best K-Pop songs of the year by TIME Magazine. The song charted in the Billboard Digital Song Sales chart, the Billboard Hot 100, and the Billboard Streaming Songs chart. It also had 6 wins on Korean music shows.
‘Lovesick Girls’ wasn’t just a song, but it also was a reset for BLACKPINK’s discography. If there’s something it proved, it was that BLACKPINK isn’t going anywhere any time soon, and they’ll keep owning it.
Light Up The Sky
A big part of the promotion for BLACKPINK’s first Korean album was of course: Light Up The Sky. The Netflix documentary showed the behind the scenes of the group, the making of songs, and such. It also emphasized their individuality, as they explained their background and how they came together to form BLACKPINK. The movie shed a whole different light on the group, showing sides of them we had never seen before. It was Netflix’s first K-Pop original content and also BLACKPINK’s first documentary.
Of course, all of these amazing releases amounted to Korean recognition in many ways. They were this year’s most awarded girl group at the Mnet Asian Music Awards by winning four different awards: 2020 Visionary, Best Dance Performance (Female) for ‘How You Like That,’ Best Female Group, and Worldwide Fan’s Choice Top 10. BLACKPINK was also awarded at the Melon Music Awards for two awards. They were awarded Top 10 Artist and Best Dance Performance (Female) for ‘How You Like That,’ as well. At the APAN Music Awards, they won Best Global Female Group and Best Music Video with ‘How You Like That.’ The Golden Disk Awards also nominated BLACKPINK in the Album Division, the Digital Song Division with ‘How You Like That,’ and for Most Popular Artist.
Needless to say, BLACKPINK has been totally owning the game in every sense possible, and this is just in Korea.
Something no one could ever deny is the immense success BLACKPINK has had globally over the years. All 2020 did was reaffirm what we already knew and made it bigger. BLACKPINK was the most listened to K-Pop female act on Spotify and the second most listened to K-Pop act in general. They also were the first-ever K-pop girl group to win a VMA, with ‘How You Like That’ winning Song Of The Summer. They were nominated in awards shows all over the world, in countries such as Brazil, Japan, Thailand, and more. The group won Best Music Video Choreography for ‘Kill This Love’ at the iHeart Radio Music Awards. Variety also chose BLACKPINK as the 2020 Hitmakers of the year, and they also were nominated for the People’s Choice Awards.
To add to all those awards, ‘Kill This Love’ was also featured in Netflix’s original movie: To All The Boys: P.S. I Still Love You, reaffirming their global impact. They also entered the Guinness World Record with ‘How You Like That.’ At the time of its release, the song broke 5 different records.
First online show: THE SHOW
To follow up with the promotion for THE ALBUM at the beginning of the month, BLACKPINK announced their first-ever online concert through YouTube, THE SHOW. Originally, it was supposed to take place on December 27th, but it was later pushed back to January 31st. What was supposed to close off this insane year for BLACKPINK ended up being the first thing we’ll see from them in 2021. It shows that chances are, next year will be even bigger for them.
Their solo achievements
Even though they have the most success together, and as much as we love these four girls together, we can’t leave out all their solo activities and achievements. They’ve had impressive deals with big companies for modeling. Apart from that, here are some of the most memorable activities and achievements this year and some things to look forward to for next year.
This year, Lisa released two dancing videos on her YouTube channel: LILI’s FILMS. Not only did she show how much of an amazing dancer she is, but she also went viral. Or at least her legs did. She was also a mentor in Youth With You (and she also went viral because of that). Rosé’s solo debut was hugely teased in the movie. It was also announced that Jisoo would finally be having her debut as an actress in a KDrama next year. As for Jennie, her solo song, ‘SOLO,’ became the first K-Pop female solo music video to hit 500 million views.
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Featured image source: YG Entertainment via BLACKPINK’s Instagram (@blackpinkofficial)