The Blackpink members were unrecognizable before they were famous

Any self-respecting pop fan knows Blackpink is in our area and taking it over. The Korean foursome stormed the US over the past couple years, unleashing a plethora of insanely catchy hits culminating in a delectable team-up with Selena Gomez on “Ice Cream,” which is just as moreish as the title implies. K-pop boy bands have been making waves for a while now, but Blackpink represents an essentially female-focused take on the idol staple.

As a representative from YG Entertainment, who initially formed the Seoul-based group, noted (via AllKPop), even their name encompasses female empowerment. “Blackpink actually means to say that ‘pretty isn’t everything.’ It also symbolizes that they are a team that encompasses not only beauty, but also great talent,” the rep advised. Of course, this is one seriously good looking band. But Jisoo, Jennie, Rosé, and Lisa didn’t always resemble supermodels (they were still pretty cute, though, to be clear).

Jisoo is Blackpink's free spirit

Jisoo, whose full name is Kim Ji Soo, auditioned for YG Entertainment back in 2010 and signed on as a trainee the following year. She was confirmed as a member of Blackpink in 2013. As NME reports, she previously featured in music videos for fellow K-pop stars Epik High and HI SUHYUN. Jisoo also appeared in the Korean drama Popular. Although she can’t speak English, the band’s lead vocalist and free spirit is fluent in Korean, Japanese, and Chinese. However, as Hypable advises, she can understand English but is simply too shy to speak it (though that’s sure to change as Blackpink gets even bigger).

According to an interview with Elle, Jisoo was the second to last member to join the group officially and is also the oldest. “She came in, eager to learn everything and catch up to everybody, which was really motivating for me as well,” Jennie noted.

Fashionista Jennie is a Chanel ambassador

Jennie (real name: Jennie Kim) is the chattiest of the group. Blackpink’s lead rapper was the first member to be revealed publicly, according to Elle. “I was the first one on the team, and I got to watch everybody come in,” she recalled. E! advises Jennie is known as both “YG Princess” and “Human Gucci” thanks to her expensive taste. She’s the group’s undisputed fashionista and was even named Chanel’s Korean ambassador in June 2018. Her ultimate idol, meanwhile, is Rihanna.

Jennie was the first member to release a solo track, entitled “SOLO.”  She speaks Korean, English, and Japanese, according to NME. Jennie studied in New Zealand, where she was sent at the age of nine, before returning to South Korea to make her pop star dreams come true.

Blackpink's Goddess Rosé is as sweet as her nickname

Lead dancer Rosé, AKA Park Chae Young, has an attitude and vocal style as sweet as her nickname. She was born in Auckland, New Zealand, and was a cheerleader prior to joining Blackpink, according to MTV. Her family moved to Melbourne, Australia, when Rosé was seven, which is also where she auditioned for the group, as per NME. The lead dancer (“Blackpink’s Goddess,” according to KProfiles), was only signed in 2012, so she had the shortest training schedule out of the foursome. Naturally, Rosé was also the final member to be revealed publicly.

Jennie told Elle Rosé “gave us the meaning of what music was supposed to do.” She can play guitar, too, but being born and raised in an English speaking-country put Jennie on the back foot upon rocking up in Seoul. Thankfully, “[Jennie] helped [her] out with the cultural differences.” Shockingly, she admitted, “I had never danced in my life” prior to joining Blackpink.

Paris is calling Lisa's name

The youngest member, or maknae, of Blackpink is also arguably the most well-known. According to MTV, Lisa, who was born Pranpriya Manoban but changed her name to Lalisa after speaking to a fortune teller, is known for her slick dance moves and classic Hollywood looks. NME notes Lisa auditioned for Blackpink in Thailand, where she was born and raised, in 2010, and was signed as a trainee within a year. Lisa had it tougher because she had to learn Korean, too.

Jennie told Elle of YG’s first-ever non-Korean idol, “She was just this young, tall girl with a perfect body…. She started dancing like a robot — she memorized everything in seconds.” As Lisa acknowledged, “My mother says I was always dancing and singing as a child, [pretending] to hold a microphone.” Lisa’s style is the epitome of laid-back Parisian chic. She even modeled for the iconic French brand, Celine, as Vogue noted.

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