Blackpink hit a new 100 high with “Sour Candy”, but their next single could score even better
Blackpink season has arrived.
The Korean pop quartet grabbed their biggest Billboard Hot 100 hit yet this week with their collaboration with Lady Gaga, “Sour Candy,” from the superstar’s new album topped the charts, Chromatic. The song debuted at No. 33, a fitting comeback for the girl group, who hadn’t released a single since “Kill this Love” in April 2019. And with a multi-front rollout leading up to their debut album sold out, Blackpink could soon climb even higher in the Hot 100 with their next single.
Blackpink’s Korean label YG Entertainment last month
It was a smart decision for Blackpink to informally start their comeback by being a guest on a Gaga song. The quartet already had a large die-hard fan base hungry for new music, and “Sour Candy” helped win over many Gaga fans who were equally thrilled to hear her first studio album in four years. (Chromatic gave Gaga her best selling week since Born like this.) But while “Sour Candy” was a smash hit, it also showed just a bit of Blackpink’s full potential. It’s more of a cameo than a full-fledged collaboration, and the band’s brief performance doesn’t do much to showcase each member’s personality. Still, it did achieve its goal of whetting fans’ appetites while piquing the interest of new listeners ahead of the release of the next single.
“Sour Candy” also lacked the element that was arguably the most crucial to the success of previous Blackpink singles: a music video. The quartet have an excellent track record on this front, previously setting 24-hour YouTube records with “Ddu-Du Ddu-Du” and “Kill this Love” (BTS’s “Boy with Luv” has since claimed the 24-hour YouTube record. ); the former also became the first video for a K-pop group to surpass 1 billion views. These videos were both released on the same day as their respective singles, optimizing their week one broadcasts across all platforms. YG confirmed last month Blackpink completed the visuals and choreography for their new album; if they release a music video in tandem with their next single, they will be able to capitalize on their “Sour Candy” momentum while exponentially multiplying their first week streams.
Blackpink has been on an upward trajectory in the United States for the past two years. They won their first entry in the Hot 100 with “Ddu-Du Ddu-Du”, which debuted and peaked at No.55; the following year, “Kill this Love” debuted and peaked at No. 41. On the heels of “Sour Candy” and with a much larger Spotify audience in tow, the group has the potential to shoot even higher with their next single; a top 30 on the Hot 100 doesn’t seem out of reach.
The quartet’s phased release album differs significantly from previous releases, which saw Blackpink release their debut single and accompanying EP simultaneously. It’s possible that dropping two pre-release singles will dilute their Hot 100 performances. But given the mobilization of Blackpink fans around “Sour Candy,” that seems unlikely. The Lady Gaga collaboration debuted at No. 6 in the Spotify Global Rankings and No. 12 in the United States, giving Blackpink the Biggest Girl Group Debut in Spotify History. The band’s next single won’t have Gaga’s muscle behind it, but a music video could make up for lost audio streams.
For at least a year, Blackpink has been on the verge of becoming a superstar in the United States. The record breaking videos, higher and higher rankings on the charts, and enthusiastically received Coachella 2019 performances all hinted at US dominance – if only they released an album. Now, with their highly anticipated feature on the horizon and their biggest pop collaboration yet in the rearview mirror, Blackpink has set the stage for what could be their biggest Hot 100 hit to date. If their comeback goes according to plan, the girl group could soon make the success of “Sour Candy” a simple palette cleaner before the main course.
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