Blackpink has taken two popular colors and turned them into the names of one of the biggest girl groups of all time. The pop supergroup was formed in 2016 by the South Korean entertainment company, YG Entertainment. Though the band was originally supposed to have nine members, the company whittled it down to four now-famous faces: Jisoo, Jennie, Rose, and Lisa. Though the band has only released two studio albums so far, it’s enough to spawn 12 singles and make them one of the most well-known groups in the world.
Videos by American Songwriter
Videos by American Songwriter
So how did they get the name Blackpink? We answer the question below.
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Behind the Meaning
The colors “black” and “pink” combined hold special meaning for the all-female quartet, with Jennie and Rose admitting that at first, they struggled with coming up with a group name and trying to find one word that described them.
“If there was a color mixed with black and pink, in the right amount, we would’ve gone with that color, but since we couldn’t find that…,” explains Jennie on Access Hollywood. “We just put them together and made one word,” Rose completes.
“We wanted to express the diversity of the group and how far and different genres we could try and do and show you guys,” Jennie adds.
“Blackpink is, we kind of felt like there are two colors that represented us the most because we’re very girly, but at the same time, we’re very savage too,” Rose shared on Jimmy Kimmel Live. “We have a song called ‘Pretty Savage’ which kind of goes with Blackpink, and so we thought it described us the best.”
“Pretty Savage” is featured on their 2020 debut, The Album, and though it wasn’t released as an official single, it did chart in multiple countries, reaching No. 2 on the World Digital Song Sales chart.
According to the South Korean website, Naver, a representative from YG said that Blackpink also means “pretty isn’t everything” and represents how the band members combine their skill and confidence for success. It also means “special women’s group.” Before landing on the moniker that made them a household name, Jisoo revealed in an interview on their online show, Star Road, that previous name options were Pink Punk, Magnum, and Baby Monster.
Blackpink released two simultaneous debut singles, “Whistle” and Boombayah,” in August 2016, which hit No. 1 in South Korea. Their first full-length project, The Album, followed four years later and debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 in the U.S. Their second album, Born in Pink, was released in 2022 that topped both the Billboard 200 and Circle Album chart in South Korea. It became the best-selling album by an all-female group from South Korea. Additionally, all 12 of the singles released have reached the top five on Billboard‘s World Digital Song Sales chart and peaked inside the top 10 in their native country.
American audiences latched onto “Ice Cream,” their 2020 single featuring Selena Gomez that hit No. 13 on the Billboard Hot 100. In 2019, they were the first all-female K-Pop group to perform at Coachella.
Photo by Scott Dudelson/Getty Images for Coachella