All Blackpink members renew contracts with label YG

SEOUL – All members of mega K-pop girl group Blackpink renewed their contracts with YG Entertainment on Dec 6, the company said, ending speculation around their future and driving up shares in the leading K-pop label by more than 20 per cent.

Rumours surrounding Blackpink and their potential future plans have abounded since the quartet’s original contracts expired in August, with local reports even claiming in September that member Lisa had rejected YG’s renewal offer.

But YG announced on Dec 6 that all members – Jenny, 27, Lisa, 26, Jisoo, 28, and Rose, 26 – have renewed their contracts with the company for “group activities”.

“After careful discussion with Blackpink, we signed an exclusive contract for group activities based on deep trust,” the label said in a statement sent to AFP.

“With YG’s full support, Blackpink plans to repay the love of fans around the world with activities commensurate with their global status, including the release of a new album and a large-scale world tour.”

Blackpink, who first emerged out of South Korea’s wildly popular K-pop scene in 2016, have also been recognised for their efforts on climate advocacy.

In November, the members were given honorary Member of the Order of the British Empire medals by King Charles III, for their work for the COP26 climate summit in 2021.

Their official YouTube channel has 92.3 million subscribers, making them one of the most subscribed artistes in the world on the platform.

Blackpink’s other achievements include being the first K-pop girl group to reach the top of the US Billboard 200 chart, and the first Asian artistes to headline prestigious music events such as Coachella.

YG, on the other hand, was at the centre of the notorious Burning Sun entertainment and sex scandal – which revolved around a Gangnam nightclub of the same name – that rattled South Korea in 2018.

The label was hard hit when Seungri – a former member of popular boy band BigBang – retired from show business in 2019 amid mounting criminal investigations.

He was later sentenced to 18 months in prison for offering women to potential investors for sexual services, among other charges.

YG Entertainment’s shares were up 24.58 per cent at 59,800 won (S$61) in afternoon trading in Seoul. AFP

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