In a stunning solo debut, Blackpink's Rose, 24, has stormed the charts around the world.
On The Ground, the first single from the album R, was released together with a music video last Friday (March 12) and has already topped multiple music charts, including reaching No. 1 on iTunes in more than 51 regions, including Singapore.
The anthemic song, sung entirely in English, has also broken records on YouTube with its explosive music video.
Within 24 hours of its release, the video had racked up 39 million views, breaking an eight-year record held by another K-pop soloist, Psy, for his 2013 hit Gentleman with 36 million views.
At the same time, Blackpink’s How You Like That music video has garnered 800 million views on YouTube and, according to the all-girl group’s agency, it took only 260 days, the shortest time for a female K-pop act.
Even before its release, Rose's two-track album – the second song, Gone, is also in English – had already set a record for the number of stock pre-orders by a female South Korean soloist.
More than 400,000 albums were ordered ahead of its release worldwide.
In a press conference before before the album release, the pop idol, who was born in New Zealand, said: "For each song, there's a language that goes with it. I thought hard about what language would help make the song more complete and thought English would fit the song."
On March 16, she will premiere On The Ground on American TV on The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon.
However, the success of her long-awaited solo album was marred by news that a big fan of hers in Myanmar was killed the day before its release.
According to a rights group, 12 people were killed on March 11 in the ongoing protests in the country.
Devastated Blackpink fans, known as Blinks, posted their condolences and prayers for 19-year-old Lin Htet, a university student, who had been saving up to buy Rose's album but died before he could listen to it. – The Straits Times/Asia News Network
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