BLACKPINK just made history as the first K-pop girl group to ever book the Coachella festival, but ahead of that performance — and ahead of upcoming TV appearances this week on Good Morning America, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and Strahan & Sara — the South Korean sensations played their American live concert Saturday afternoon, at Universal Music Group (UMG) CEO Lucian Grainge’s annual “Music Is Universal” pre-Grammy brunch.
While other heavy-hitter performers of the afternoon perhaps better known in the States — Post Malone, Greta Van Fleet, Ella Mai, J Balvin, Midland, Lil Baby, YG, and 2Chainz — elicited warm receptions, BLACKPINK’s dazzling “Ddu-Du Ddu-Du” and “Forever Young” were highlights of the day. The normally jaded industry crowd at the private event, held at the Row in Downtown Los Angeles, paid rapt attention, with some party guests even rushing to the front to snap photos and videos of Jisoo, Jennie, Rosé, and Lisa’s U.S. debut.
As the performance, which evoked both the loose vivaciousness of the Spice Girls and slick choreography of Destiny’s Child, was live-streamed on Universal Music’s Instagram stories, the hashtag #HereComesBLACKPINK started to trend worldwide.
While K-pop is bigger than ever in the States, so far mainstream America media has primarily focused on boy bands like BTS (who will appear at Sunday’s Grammy Awards). BLACKPINK, along with Girls Generation’s Tiffany Young and Yuri, former Wonder Girls member Sunmi, and girl group Red Velvet, could change all that.
BLACKPINK are certainly already off to a strong stateside start: Last year, their first Korean EP, Square Up, went to No. 40 on the Billboard 200 album chart (the highest U.S. chart position ever for an all-female K-pop group), while “Ddu-Du Ddu-Du” went to No. 55 on the Billboard Hot 100. They’ve also racked up more than 18 million YouTube subscribers, and at the time of “Ddu-Du Ddu-Du’s” video release in 2018, it quickly became the all-time most-viewed YouTube video by a Korean act.
BLACKPINK will perform at Coachella weekends one and two, taking place at Indio, California’s Empire Polo Field April 12-14 and 19-21.
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