Many incidents in 2023 made BLACKPINK the center of public attention, both positively and negatively
Despite not having many new releases in 2023, BLACKPINK achieved significant success. The highlight was their “Born Pink” tour performing at the 2023 Coachella, becoming the first K-pop representative to take on the headliner role.
According to Touring Data, BLACKPINK’s tour exceeded 260 million USD in revenue from 56 shows, becoming the highest-grossing tour in the history of Asian artists.
However, 2023 is also a tumultuous year for the girl group, as BLACKPINK members frequently stirred up social media with both their professional and personal lives.
Various dating stories
It is no exaggeration to say that BLACKPINK was surrounded by dating rumors in 2023, with ample evidence indicating that Jennie and BTS’s V were in a relationship. The stars were allegedly spotted traveling together, holding hands on the streets of Paris, and “leaked footage” of their dates constantly emerged. This unexpected relationship between idols from rival groups stirred up the fans, although both artists remained completely silent.
Recently on December 6th, Korean media reported that Jennie and V have officially decided to part ways, putting an end to this alleged “romance”.
Meanwhile, Lisa draws attention for dating rumors with Frédéric Arnault, the CEO of Tag Heuer and son of Bernard Arnault, the second-richest person in the world and head of LVMH.
In particular, numerous images of the couple spending time together, with rumors even suggesting that Frédéric Arnault chartered a private jet to take Lisa to France, circulated. During periods with no official schedules, Lisa often traveled to Europe, supposedly to meet her rumored boyfriend. There were even rumors that they introduced each other to their families, but of course, no official statement from both parties.
Jisoo, who enjoyed huge success for her solo song “Flower”, had a relationship with actor Ahn Bo-hyun. At the time, Korean media “revealed” the secret couple, who later admitted to their relationship and hoped for public support.
However, the couple did not receive a positive response from fans. Many believed that Ahn Bo-hyun was not “worthy” of Jisoo, and even brought up his past scandals of allegedly following a controversial YouTube channel and mistreating staff. Despite evidence defending him, many viewers still held negative opinions about the actor.
In the end, the couple decided to part ways 2 months after going public. Like many other celebrity breakups, the reason cited was busy schedules, growing apart, and a decision to end the romantic relationship.
Finally, Rosé, who continued to be active in various advertising campaigns, also faced romantic rumors.
At the time, netizens discovered “evidence” suggesting that Rosé and actor Kang Dong-won were in a relationship. The two were seen allegedly wearing matching outfits and coincidentally checking in at the same locations. They were also present at a party hosted by designer Eva Chow.
In response, Rosé’s agency YG initially stated they could not confirm the relationship. However, as reactions became sour, the company announced that the dating rumors were false and requested the public to stop spreading inaccurate information.
Involvement in 18+ drama, “strip club” controversy, false drug allegations
Eva Chow’s party also raised suspicions about Rosé using drugs. However, these accusations were clearly baseless, as YG promptly refuted them and stated that they would take vigorous legal action against the person spreading false information. Many Korean newspapers cleared Rosé’s name, pointing out that white lines on the table in a photo of Rosé were simply table frames and the streaks in the ashtray were stone patterns
Meanwhile, Jennie, who made her acting debut with HBO’s “The Idol”, received heavy criticism. In the drama, Jennie played the role of a dancer and friend of the female lead. As the show was filled with scandalous scenes, suggestive choreography, and crude dialogues, Jennie faced intense backlash, and even criticisms about her acting skills.
On top of that, “The Idol” was described by movie critics as trash content that aligns with male fantasy and promotes misogynistic views.
Most shocking of all was Lisa, who agreed to perform at the 18+ night club “Crazy Horse” in Paris, France as BLACKPINKundergoes contract renewal negotiations. As the club is known for its “stripping performance”, Lisa’s appearance as dancer there caused turmoil in the K-pop fan community. During her performance, Lisa wore sexy lingerie alongside scantily-dressed female dancers.
As a result, public opinion turned against Lisa, with many believing Lisa’s “strip club” performance to be cheap and can have a negative impact on young audiences.
The situation became more tense when Lisa’s social media account in China went inactive, affecting her image as a brand ambassador in the Chinese market, where she was previously highly popular. Suspicions of the Thai beauty being blacklisted intensified, and fans worried that Lisa might face difficulties in continuing activities in the Chinese market despite her previous popularity.
Whether BLACKPINK will continue with YG after seven years of activity has been a topic of discussion for ages, especially since the group’s contracts with YG expired in August.
Previously, both the members and YG did not make any clear statements, and negotiations have been slow, causing YG’s stock to constantly fluctuate whenever a new “sign” emerged.
In the end, on December 6, fans finally got to sigh with relief as it was announced that all members of BLACKPINK renewed their contracts with YG for group activities. However, their personal activities will not be managed by YG.