BLACKPINK is unlikely to disband regardless of their individual contract decisions
After over 9 months of rumors surrounding BLACKPINK’s contract with YG Entertainment, recent exclusive reports from Korean media shed light on the group’s first contract renewals. However, upon the announcement, concerns arose that BLACKPINK might face a situation similar to the disbandment of their senior group, 2NE1, back in 2016.
While Rosé has reportedly renewed her contract, there are discussions ongoing for Jennie, Lisa, and Jisoo, with the likelihood that they might sign contracts with other companies.
There are rumors that Lisa may sign a contract with a U.S. recording label, worth up to 60 billion won ($40 million), including 6 albums during the contract period. Lisa will also have the right to establish her own studio, work with producers, composers, and own the album rights.
Regarding Jennie, in her recent interview, she hinted at a solo album and even suggested the possibility of leaving YG. Jisoo, too, has been suspected of prioritizing her acting career. However, YG has quickly denied these claims, stating that discussions are ongoing, and nothing is confirmed yet.
The contract situation of BLACKPINK raises concerns about history repeating itself, akin to 2NE1’s situation.
Apart from BLACKPINK, 2NE1, another legendary girl group under YG Entertainment, disbanded after 7 years of promotions. In 2016, YG announced that CL and Dara had signed a new contract with the company as a soloist, while Park Bom decided to leave. Prior to that, Minzy had also left the group, leading to 2NE1’s official disbandment after extensive discussions.
At this point, YG stated, “We all agree that it would be difficult for 2NE1 to continue as a group. Instead of waiting for the next promotional activities of 2NE1, we will focus on the solo activities of the members.”
Therefore, with respect to contract speculations, BLACKPINK’s situation seems similar to 2NE1, with not all members resigning. For 2NE1, it took 7 years before the group reunited at Coachella for a performance in 2022, causing concerns that BLACKPINK might follow a similar path, not actively promoting together as BLACKPINK for an extended period.
However, according to latest reports, while BLACKPINK may not renew together with YG, the members are in discussions with the company regarding a strategy for continued activities under BLACKPINK. Specifically, even if they sign contracts with other companies, the members will still participate in BLACKPINK activities for at least 6 months each year.
If this comes to fruition, it would resemble the situation of Super Junior members Eunhyuk, Donghae, and Kyuhyun when their contracts with SM Entertainment expired. These members left SM but continued to promote with Super Junior while engaging in various solo activities at the same time.
Similarly, Taeyang and Daesung of BIGBANG were announced by YG to not renew their contracts with the company but were confirmed to remain members of BIGBANG.
In the case of BLACKPINK, it appears that they may have a completely different approach compared to 2NE1’s situation 7 years ago. Regardless of whether Jisoo, Jennie, and Lisa sign with other companies, all four members are expected to stay in BLACKPINK.
This seems well-founded, as Jennie affirmed during their recent BORN PINK concert, “We will continue to work hard and become an even cooler BLACKPINK.” Furthermore, at the same concert, YG hinted twice that BLACKPINK members will stay together.
Moreover, if the minimum 6-month annual promotion turns out to be true, it will be great news for fans who experienced a two-year hiatus from BLACKPINK.
On the other hand, it makes sense for Jisoo, Jennie, and Lisa to seek separate paths for their solo careers at this point. Therefore, whether they decide to stay or explore new paths, BLACKPINK will persist, journeying through their careers just as they have for the past 7 years, and nothing will change, as stated in YG’s latest message: “BLACKPINK Forever.”