Blackpink began forming when YG Entertainment held tryouts both within and outside of South Korea, seeking recruits who were either preteens or teens, to create a new girl group after the launch of the label's first girl group in 2009. According to the members, joining the label as trainees was similar to enrolling in a full-time pop-star academy, with Jennie calling it "more strict than school" and Rosé comparing it to The X Factor with dorm rooms. For members who had left behind life outside of South Korea, the pace of training alongside the culture shock was tough, with Rosé recalling calling her parents crying. Preparations for Blackpink's debut began as early as 2011 when YG Entertainment revealed on November 14, 2011 that the label's new girl group would debut in the early half of 2012 featuring at least seven members. From then, there were numerous news and rumors surrounding the new girl group about their debut being delayed but there was no official information. It was only until May 18, 2016 that YG Entertainment confirmed the new girl group, stating that the members were selected through years of stiff competitions and confirming that the debut would be in July. The label later confirmed that Jang Hanna and Moon Sua, who were introduced to the public as potential members of the new girl group, were not included in the debut lineup.
Jennie was the first member revealed to be in the group on June 1. Jennie joined YG Entertainment as a trainee in 2010 after moving back to South Korea from New Zealand. In 2012, she was introduced to the public for the first time through a photo titled "Who's that girl?" via the official blog of YG Entertainment on April 10. Jennie continued to be promoted as a member of the new girl group with multiple collaborations, such as starring in G-Dragon's 2012 music video "That XX" from One of a Kind EP and featuring in G-Dragon's "Black" from 2013 album Coup d'etat, and Lee Hi's "Special" from 2013 album First Love. Lisa was revealed to be the second member on June 8, 2016. Lisa was the only individual among 4,000 applicants to pass the 2010 YG Entertainment audition in her native Thailand, becoming the first foreign trainee to join the label in 2011. She was first introduced in 2012 with a video that was posted on YG Entertainment's official Youtube channel titled "Who's That Girl???". Lisa also appeared in the music video for Taeyang's "Ringa Linga" in 2013. She then took on her first modelling job in 2015 for street-wear brand Nona9on, following by modelling for cosmetics brand Moonshot in 2016.
On June 15, Jisoo was revealed to be the third member. Jisoo joined YG Entertainment as an trainee in July 2011. She appeared in several advertisements and music videos in her pre-debut years, including "Spoiler + Happy Ending" (2014) from Epik High's studio album Shoebox and Hi Suhyun's music video "I'm Different" (2014). She also made a cameo appearance in 2015 drama The Producers. Rosé was revealed to be a member on June 22, 2016. She ranked first among 700 applicants in the 2012 YG Entertainment audition in Australia, resulting in a trainee contract with the label and a move to Seoul to begin her training. She was featured in G-Dragon's track "Without You" from One of a Kind EP in 2012 as "? from YG New Girl Group". However, her featuring vocals and identity was kept secret for almost four years until the her official public introduction when it was revealed that she participated in the song.
On June 15, 2018, the group released their first Korean-language EP, titled Square Up. The lead single, "Ddu-Du Ddu-Du", debuted at number 17 on the Official Trending Chart in the United Kingdom, making them the first female K-pop group to enter the chart since its launch in 2016. The single also debuted at number 55 on the Billboard Hot 100, with 12.4 million U.S. streams and 7,000 downloads in the tracking week ending June 21, 2018, making Blackpink the highest-charting Korean girl group on the chart. The single also debuted at number 39 on the U.S. Streaming Songs chart, making Blackpink became the first K-pop girl group to enter the chart. Square Up also brought the group their first entry and the highest-charting album by an all-female K-pop group at the time of its release on the Billboard 200, debuting at number 40 with 14,000 equivalent units. The EP also topped the Billboard World Albums chart. In South Korea, Square Up debuted at number one on Gaon Albums Chart. "Ddu-Du Ddu-Du" peaked at number one on the digital, download, streaming, and mobile charts on Gaon in its second week, while "Forever Young" peaked at number two. YouTube's official tally saw the music video for "Ddu-Du Ddu-Du" garner a total of 36.2 million views within 24 hours after its release, making it the most-viewed online video in the first 24 hours by a Korean act and the second most-watched music video of all time in first 24 hours of release at that time.
Blackpink (Hangul: 블랙핑크; commonly stylized as BLACKPINK or BLΛƆKPIИK) are a South Korean girl group formed by YG Entertainment, consisting of members Jisoo, Jennie, Rosé, and Lisa. They debuted in August 2016 with their single album Square One, which spawned "Whistle" and "Boombayah", their first number-one hits in South Korea and on the Billboard World Digital Song Sales chart, respectively.
Promotions for their debut began in the first week of August 2016 with the release of teaser images, videos, and advertisements. The first girl group to debut under YG Entertainment in six years, Blackpink released their debut single album, Square One, on August 8, 2016, consisting of tracks "Boombayah" and "Whistle". The two tracks charted at number one and two on the Billboard World Digital Song Sales chart, which made Blackpink the fastest act to achieve such feat and the third Korean artist to hold the top two positions simultaneously, after label mates Psy and Big Bang. "Whistle" quickly topped the digital, download, streaming, and mobile charts on Gaon. The group also reached number one on the weekly, popularity, music video, and K-pop music video charts of China's biggest music-streaming service, QQ Music. Blackpink's first music show performance was aired on August 14, 2016, on SBS's Inkigayo. They won first place on Inkigayo 13 days after their debut, breaking the record for the shortest time for a girl group to win on a music program after debut. They wrapped up their promotions for Square One on September 11, 2016, with another win on Inkigayo.
On June 29, YG Entertainment confirmed that the new girl group includes four members instead of the original plan of having nine members, and revealed Blackpink as the group's official name. According to a representative, Blackpink means "pretty isn't everything" and symbolizes that "they are a team that encompasses not only beauty, but also great talent." Jisoo later disclosed in a press conference that they almost debuted as 'Pink Punk', 'Baby Monster' or 'Magnum'. Blackpink released their first dance practice video on July 6 to great attention from viewers. On July 29, YG Entertainment confirmed that Blackpink's debut would be on August 8, 2016.
Blackpink released their second single album, Square Two, consisting of tracks "Playing with Fire" and "Stay", on November 1, 2016. The group began their promotions on Inkigayo on November 6 and on Mnet's M Countdown on November 10. "Playing with Fire" was Blackpink's second single to reach number one on the Billboard World Digital Song Sales chart and first K-pop girl group song to chart on the Canadian Hot 100. In South Korea, "Playing with Fire" peaked at number three while "Stay" placed in the top ten. Blackpink's commercial success in their first five months earned them several rookie awards at major Korean year-end music award shows, including the Asia Artist Awards, Melon Music Awards, Golden Disc Awards, Seoul Music Awards, and Gaon Chart Music Awards. Additionally, Billboard named them one of the best new K-pop groups of 2016.
On January 17, 2017, Blackpink revealed the name of their fan club—"Blink", a portmanteau of "black" and "pink." On June 22, the group released their first standalone digital single, "As If It's Your Last". It was described as a "mixed genre of music" and a change of sound from their previous releases. The song debuted at number one on Billboard's World Digital Song Sales chart one day after release, making it their third number-one hit on the chart. The music video for the song later went on to break the record for the most-liked music video by a Korean girl group on YouTube as well as the most-viewed K-pop group music video in the first 24 hours of release. On July 20, 2017, Blackpink held a showcase at Nippon Budokan in Tokyo, which was attended by more than 14,000 people, with as many as 200,000 people attempting to purchase tickets. The group made their Japanese debut on August 30, 2017, with the release of a self-titled Japanese extended play that included Japanese versions of their previous singles. The EP debuted and peaked at the top of the Oricon Albums Chart. Blackpink ranked among YouTube's Global Top 25 Songs of the Summer for 2017 with "As If It's Your Last".
In May 2017, Blackpink became ambassadors for Incheon Main Customs. The group has endorsed and collaborated with several high-end brands including Puma, Reebok, Louis Vuitton, Adidas, Dior Cosmetics, Moonshot, St. Scott London, Shibuya 109, Tokyo Girls Collection x CECIL McBEE, and Sprite Korea. In July 2018, the group ranked first in brand reputation based on an analysis by The Korea Reputation Research Institute. In November 2018, Blackpink became brand ambassadors for a Singaporean e-commerce platform, Shopee.
In January 2018, it was announced that the group's debut Japanese EP would be re-released under the name Re:Blackpink. The digital version included the same songs as the original release, while the physical version included a DVD containing all music videos and six songs in the Korean language.
In October 2018, the group signed with Interscope Records in a global partnership with YG Entertainment; they were to be represented by Interscope and Universal Music Group outside of Asia. In November 2018, Blackpink announced additional tour dates for their "In Your Area World Tour", which covered thirteen dates across Asia from January to March 2019. Jennie debuted with her single, "Solo", at Blackpink's Seoul concert on November 11; both the song and its official music video were released the following day. Their first Japanese studio album, Blackpink in Your Area, was made available digitally on November 23 and physically on December 5. The album included Japanese versions of all of their previous releases and debuted at number 9 on the Oricon Albums Chart, selling an estimated 13,000 copies in its first week.
In December 2018, Blackpink donated their prize money from the Elle Style Awards 2018 worth ₩20 million (around $16,630) to low-income, single-parent households in South Korea.
In November 2019, Blackpink were listed in Time Magazine's inaugural "Time 100 Next", a list of 100 rising stars in the world. Forbes Korea Power Celebrity named Blackpink the most influential celebrities in South Korea in 2019 and the third most influential in 2020.
The group has broken numerous online records throughout their career; the music videos for "Kill This Love" (2019) and "How You Like That" each set a record for the most-viewed music video within the first 24 hours of release. "How You Like That" set five total Guinness World Records and became the fastest Korean track to reach double platinum on QQ Music, China's biggest music streaming platform. Blackpink's other accolades include the New Artist of the Year Awards at the 31st Golden Disc Awards and the 26th Seoul Music Awards, as well as recognition as the most powerful celebrities in South Korea by Forbes Korea in 2019 and as the first female Korean group on Forbes' 30 Under 30 Asia. They are currently the most-followed girl group on Spotify and the most-subscribed music group, female act, and Asian act on YouTube.
In January 2019, the music video for "Ddu-Du Ddu-Du" became the most-watched music video by a South Korean group, surpassing BTS' "DNA". In November 2019, the video surpassed one billion views. In September 2019, Blackpink overtook One Direction as the most-subscribed music group on YouTube. In November 2019, Blackpink surpassed Fifth Harmony and Little Mix to become the most-followed girl group on Spotify. Following the release of "How You Like That" and its music video on June 26, 2020, Blackpink set five Guinness World Records, including those for the most-viewed YouTube video in the first 24 hours of release and the most viewers for a video premiere on YouTube.
Blackpink made their American debut at the Universal Music Group's 2019 Grammy Artist Showcase, an invite-only event at the ROW in Downtown Los Angeles on February 9, 2019. The group appeared on several American television shows following their debut performance, including The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and Good Morning America. In March of the same year, they became the first-ever K-pop girl group to cover Billboard magazine.
In April 2019, Blackpink made a donation of ₩40 million (around $33,300) to the Hope Bridge Association of the National Disaster Relief for the victims of the Goseong wildfire in South Korea.
Blackpink's third extended play, Kill This Love, led by a single of the same name, was released on April 5, 2019. Kill This Love debuted at number 24 on the Billboard 200, while the lead single reached number 41 on the Hot 100, becoming the highest-charting releases by a female Korean act on the two major Billboard charts. "Kill This Love" was included on Billboard's list of the 100 Best Songs of 2019. The song "Forever Young", released as a B-side from the EP Square Up (2018), surpassed 2.5 million downloads in December 2019, making it the group's fifth song overall and their second to achieve a platinum certification for downloads from the Korea Music Content Association (KMCA), after "Ddu-Du Ddu-Du". The group performed at the 2019 Coachella Festival on April 12 and 19, 2019, making them the first female K-pop group to do so.
In September 2019, member Lisa donated ฿100,000 (around $3,200) to help the victims of monsoon floods in her hometown Buriram, Thailand.
On October 16, 2019, a Japanese version of Kill This Love was released to the Japanese market, peaking at number 17 on the Oricon Albums Chart. The group embarked to Japan for a variety of promotional activities, including appearances on Japanese music television programs TV Asahi's Music Station and Fuji TV's Love Music.
As of March 2020, the four members of Blackpink are the most-followed Korean idols on Instagram, with the top four most-followed being Lisa, Jennie, Rosé and Jisoo, in that order.
On April 22, it was confirmed the group would be featured in Lady Gaga's sixth studio album, Chromatica, on the track titled "Sour Candy", which was released as a promotional single on May 28, 2020. On the Billboard Hot 100 chart, the song debuted at number 33, giving Gaga her 25th top 40 hit and Blackpink their first, becoming their highest-charting song in the United States to date as well as the highest charting song by a K-pop girl group. In Australia, the song debuted at number 8, becoming Blackpink's highest-charting hit in the country. It also became their first top-twenty single in the United Kingdom, debuting at number 17.
In the midst of the group's comeback preparations, YG Entertainment released a prologue of Blackpink's newest reality show, 24/365 with Blackpink, on June 13 ahead of its launch on YouTube. The show documents their 2020 comeback alongside sharing their daily lives through vlogs. On July 23, YG Entertainment announced that a new single featuring an unnamed artist, later revealed to be Selena Gomez, would be released on August 28. On July 28, the band announced their debut Korean studio album, The Album, would be released on October 2, 2020.