The two top-tier groups, BTS and BLACKPINK, are both facing the most significant turning point in their careers
BTS officially enters a “2-year break”
Recently, Jung Kook completed his solo promotion with the release album Golden. The “golden maknae” of BTS conquered the global stage with a billion-stream hit, remarkable debuts on the Billboard Hot 100, and continuously breaking million-selling records. Amidst his rising solo career, Jung Kook personally announced his military enlistment schedule in December.
Big Hit Music, the managing company of BTS, also confirmed that 4 members, RM, V, Jimin, and Jung Kook, will soon fulfill their military duties, following the prior enlistment of the other three members, Jin, j-hope, and Suga. December of this year marks the milestone when BTS officially enters a “2-year break.”
To minimize the hiatus duration, Big Hit is working to finalize BTS’s enlistment schedules within this year, promising a collective return in 2025. From July 2022 to November 2023, BTS successfully achieved the goal of all 7 members debuting as solo artists.
BLACKPINK and the unpredictable future
In the 7th year of their career, BLACKPINK excellently concluded the Born Pink World Tour, conquering revenue peaks and spreading fame globally. However, the group faces an uncertain future as their contract renewal with the management company YG approaches.
YG is at risk of not being able to retain all 4 members, Jennie, Lisa, Jisoo, and Rosé. According to the financial report for the third quarter, the contract with BLACKPINK is still under discussion. Korean media reports suggest the possibility of BLACKPINK renewing the contract but with some members not directly affiliated with the company.
This scenario mirrors cases like SNSD or EXO, where the groups continue to operate, but some members leave the management company to independently handle their individual activities. Faced with conflicting rumors, YG consistently denies and announces that contract negotiations are ongoing.
After the end of the final Born Pink performance in Seoul at the end of November, the four girls attended a national banquet in the United Kingdom, where they were honored with the MBE honorary medal by King Charles III. This was a rare occasion for BLACKPINK to appear together. Currently, the members are on a temporary hiatus, pursuing individual schedules, and the date of their comeback remains known.
Is Kpop about to lose BTS and BLACKPINK?
According to experts, during BTS’s two-year hiatus, BLACKPINK could rule Kpop if they continue their group activities. When it comes to global accomplishments and influence, no other Kpop artist has outshone BTS and BLACKPINK. Groups that are doing well like SEVENTEEN, NewJeans, or Stray Kids still seem to be missing a few factors to achieve the same level of impact as BTS and BLACKPINK in the international market.
BLACKPINK’s comeback date has always been uncertain. YG Entertainment even froze BLACKPINK’s activities for nearly two years after their first album, leaving fans on the edge of their seats.
In 2021, BLACKPINK didn’t release any new music as a group, with only Rosé and Lisa making their solo debuts. Fans have gotten used to BLACKPINK’s unpredictable schedules.
After the end of BLACKPINK’s world tour Born Pink, insiders spilled that Jennie and Rosé are preparing for solo releases, Jisoo is focusing on acting, and Lisa has plans that are hard to predict. Coupled with Lisa’s recent Crazy Horse controversy and rumor of being blacklisted in China, fans are concerned about BLACKPINK’s future, especially when their contract renewal with YG hasn’t been confirmed yet.
As for BTS, fans are holding firm to the promise that the group will make a comeback with all seven members in 2025. In September, all BTS members extended their contracts with HYBE. However, a two-year break is too long to confidently say anything. BTS will indeed return, but it’s not sure whether they’ll hit the heights of their career again, akin to their golden era.
Kpop witnesses the debut of hundreds of rookies each year, all competing fiercely for top positions. The hiatus during enlistment brings substantial changes for boy groups, altering their status and dynamics post-members’ discharge. With the current landscape, Kpop fans can’t help but be anxious about the potential loss of BTS and BLACKPINK.