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Jennie (singer)

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Jennie wearing a white blouse crossing her arms. Her hair is down.
Jennie for Marie Claire Korea in October 2018
Native name
Born (1996-01-16) January 16, 1996 (age 23)
Seoul Capital Area, South Korea
  • Singer
  • rapper
Musical career
OriginSeoul, South Korea
Years active2012–2013, 2016–present
Associated acts
Korean name
Revised RomanizationGim Je-ni
McCune–ReischauerKim Cheni
Signature of Jennie.svg

Jennie Kim (Korean김제니; born January 16, 1996), better known by the mononym Jennie, is a South Korean singer and rapper. She debuted as a member of the girl group Blackpink in August 2016 under YG Entertainment.


Jennie Kim was born in the Seoul Capital Area, South Korea on January 16, 1996, and is her family's only child.[2][3][4] When Jennie was eight years old, she went on a trip with her family to Australia and New Zealand. While they were in New Zealand, her mother asked her if she liked the place and if she wanted to stay, Jennie replied "yes" without knowing the outcome ahead, as she was only a child. A year later, she was sent alone abroad to study at Waikowhai Intermediate School in Auckland, New Zealand and lived with a home-stay family.[5] In 2006, Jennie appeared in MBC’s special documentary "English, Must Change to Survive" she spoke about her experiences in learning a new language.[6] It was shown in the documentary that Jennie's left arm was broken and in a cast. In a V Live, Jennie explained that while carrying her $2 drink she had tripped and broken her arm by putting out her hand to save it from dropping because she received only $5 per week allowance.[7] During her adolescent years, she dreamed of becoming a ballet dancer.[8]

After graduating middle school she transferred to ACG Parnell College.[5] She had heard a lot about K-pop while residing in New Zealand and managed to find a particular interest in the music of YG Entertainment.[9] Her mother was planning to transfer her to Florida, United States at the age of 14 so she could become a lawyer or teacher, but Jennie had called her mother crying on the phone, opposing of her wishes. Jennie thought she might not be able to find work she liked residing alone in Florida, her family fully supported her decision and she moved back to South Korea.[10][9] Jennie participated in an audition held by YG Entertainment that same year and performed Rihanna's "Take A Bow". She later succeeded in joining the label as a trainee.[11] Jennie told High Cut Korea that she was so afraid of strangers and terrible at taking the initiative to be funny, that she could barely say "Hello" during her audition.[12] Jennie initially auditioned as a vocalist, but the company thought she should be a rapper instead since she was the only trainee capable of speaking English, and most of the songs she covered included raps.[13][14] She attended Cheongdam Middle School and Chungdam High School during her trainee days.[15]


2012–2016: Debut with Blackpink and rising popularity[edit]

On April 10, 2012, a photo of Jennie was uploaded with the question, "Who's that girl?" via the official blog of YG Entertainment.[16] Her name was not revealed at the time, so she was called "Mystery Girl" and rumoured to be a potential of YG's upcoming girl group.[17][18] Her photograph gained a great deal of interest from netizens for her mysterious charm and unique exotic beauty. She instantly became the most searched-after topic on numerous portal sites under the name "Mystery Girl".[19][20] Information about her identity eventually was discovered through netizens' investigations. On April 13, a YG Entertainment representative verified the information and were unable to hide their surprise by stating, "The name and age are right. When she was very young, she moved abroad so we didn't believe individuals in Korea would uncover her profile with just a photo".[21]

On August 30, 2012 YG Entertainment posted a YouTube video through their blog titled "YG Trainee - Jennie Kim". She is proficient in Korean, English and Japanese.[22] In the video, Jennie covered B.o.B.'s song "Strange Clouds" featuring Lil Wayne and was confirmed as the first official member of the upcoming girl group. She gained attention for doing a fast-beat English rap, that showed off her strong rapping skills in a stylish yet powerful manner, contradicting with her girlish image.[23][24] On September 1, Jennie made her first public appearance as the lead actress in G-Dragon's music video "That XX" from his solo album, One of a Kind.[25][26] Reports stated that Jennie was scheduled to debut in a girl group with more than seven members between September and October, but it was pushed back to January 2013.[27][28]

On January 21, 2013, the company released another video through their blog titled "Jennie Kim - YG New Artist".[29] The video featured Jennie covering the song "Lotus Flower Bomb" by rapper Wale. The company's representatives stated that Jennie was finalised as member of YG's new girl group along with Kim Jisoo and that her strength lies in rap while also being good at singing and dancing.[30][31] In March 2013, she featured in the song "Special" for Lee Hi's debut album First Love.[32]

On June 19, 2013, YG Entertainment announced another postponement.[33] The group was intended to have ten members, but the competition became fierce among the trainees after further auditioning, leaving only Jennie and five other members. The article also stated that Jennie and the remaining members would have sequential appearances to see if they are ideal for the public and then completely team up the following year.[34][35] In August, Jennie was the first member to make her appearance featuring as a vocalist on Seungri’s song "GG Be" for his extended play, Let's Talk About Love.[36] Jennie expressed in V Live that she didn't do very well and that she didn't expect to be featured on the song when Seungri had asked her for help with the song guide, because she was focused on being a rapper and hadn't started to singing as a vocalist for very long.[37] In September 2013, she featured on G-Dragon's song "Black" and recorded the hook in less than five days before the release of his album, Coup d'etat.[38] On September 8, she made her first stage appearance alongside G-Dragon on SBS' Inkigayo.[39][40] Despite the many official statements made by the company, Jennie's debut did not occur and was constantly postponed.[41]

On June 1, 2016, she was the first member to be revealed for YG's new girl group.[42] On August 8, 2016, Jennie debuted in the girl group Blackpink with the release of their single album Square One.[43] Jennie is the group's main rapper and vocalist (depending on the song she will be either a sub-vocalist[44] or a lead vocalist[45] with Jisoo). According to group-mate Jisoo, she is also responsible for the general organisation[46] and group decision making.[47] Jennie described her six-year trainee life as being a "cold-heart world" which was really "mean". She recalled her six-year experience as a trainee in a V Live, saying that at the end of each month one group, dance and solo song had to be performed and that the CEO, producers and artists were watching and evaluating their training. She further explained that a lot of things had to be done every month, she had to prepare outfits, songs, make the accompaniment, and practice the choreography. Regarding her trainee life, Jennie also said she had to film videos of herself rapping, singing, popping and krumping every week for mid-term evaluations as well.[37]

2017–present: Television success and solo debut[edit]

Jennie appeared with fellow Blackpink member Jisoo on Running Man in July 2018.[48] A video of her crying after going through a horror room with Lee Kwang-soo went viral in South Korea, gaining over one million views on a portal site, and a total of over three million views when counting total views on major portal sites, VOD, and social media. She was selected as the best variety star of 2018 discovered by Running Man.[49] Jennie was immediately invited again after dominating searched keywords in real time and attracting big view ratings through her previous appearance.[50][51] Jennie was said to rank first among casting choices and received multiple proposals from broadcasters for variety shows.[52][53] On October 1, Jennie was confirmed to be cast member for Yoo Jae-suk's new variety show, Village Survival, the Eight.[54]

In mid-October 2018, an announcement of Jennie's official solo debut was made.[55] In the midst of preparation for her debut, she decided that her single "Solo" would first be revealed to fans at Blackpink's In Your Area tour in Seoul ahead of release on November 12.[56] Jennie explained how "Solo" became the song for her debut at her press conference on November 12, saying that “When I'm at Teddy's studio, he'll make a song and I'll just record the guide for it. It wasn't that he was working on a solo track for me. He just said, ‘I have something new, let's try it.’ So I recorded the song he had, and it happened to be a great fit.”[57] The song was described as a "hip-hop track with pop elements", and is designed to show the co-existence of Jennie's external and internal characters - showing the sides of a "delicate girl" and an "independent woman".[58]

Jennie's song "Solo" dominated the Korean daily and weekly charts, and achieved an "All-Kill" after reaching number one in the real-time charts of major music sites for 15 consecutive days. "Solo" debuted on the Gaon Music Charts at number one and won a triple crown for topping the Digital, Download, and Streaming charts.[59] The song remained the on the Digital and Mobile Charts for two consecutive weeks, and on the Streaming Chart for three consecutive weeks.[60][61] Overseas, she topped the Billboard's World Digital Songs chart and also reached the top ranking of iTunes in 40 countries in 24 hours, demonstrating strong global popularity.[62][63] The song was featured in the New York Times's playlist.[64] "Solo" became the most viewed music video by a female Korean solo artist of all time in the first 24 hours of release.[65][66] Jennie then became the first and only female Korean solo artist to surpass 300 million YouTube views within six months.[67][68] Jennie's first appearance as a solo artist on SBS' Inkigayo and MBC Show! Music Core was postponed as broadcasters had cancelled all the performances scheduled for that week, so YG Entertainment uploaded "Solo" choreography videos as an alternative for fans.[69] On November 25, Jennie received her first music show win as a solo artist at Inkigayo.[70]

In April 2019, she became the first Korean solo artist to perform at Coachella. Her performance was listed under "The 10 Best Things We Saw at Coachella 2019", with Billboard describing it as "mind-blowing" and "stunning" for fans and casual passersby.[71][72]

Other ventures[edit]


Jennie faces to the left and holds both her hands in front of her chest, palms outward.
Jennie at a fansign for Blackpink's Square Up, June 24, 2018.

Jennie was chosen as the new model for Chanel Korea Beauty and shot her first pictorial for the brand with Harper's Bazaar Korea as their new muse in January 2018.[73][74] Jennie became the Ambassador of Chanel Korea in June. A spokesperson from Chanel Korea explained that Jennie's loyalty to the brand as well as her trendy style is in line with Chanel's image, as they seek to target young and trendy millennial's in addition to current consumers.[75] Jennie attended the launch of Chanel's new fragrance "Les Eaux De Chanel" in Deauville, France, that same month. She met and interviewed Chanel's in-house perfume creator, Olivier Polge, and shot a pictorial for his new collection of fragrances with Cosmopolitan Korea.[76][77] In October, she became the Global Ambassador for the French fashion house, joining label-mate G Dragon. She attended her first Chanel fashion show as a Korean representative during Paris Fashion Week, sitting front row next to Pharrell Williams and Pamela Anderson.[78] In March 2019, Jennie attended Karl Lagerfeld's last Chanel show.[79]

Hera, a South Korean luxury beauty brand owned by Amore Pacific, announced in January 2019 that they had chosen Jennie as their new model due to her "elegant and luxurious" image. She will represent the brand alongside actress Jun Ji-hyun, as the company aims to expand its target audience through both models.[80][81] Jennie's first advertisement for the brand was in February for the Red Vibe lip series, the sales were five times higher than Hera's previous lip product and due to the growing popularity they are referred to as "Jennie's lipsticks".[82]



When Jennie first began to rap, she studied artists like Lauryn Hill and TLC, whose work she admires and respects.[83] Jennie cited Rihanna as her main influence and role model.[84]

Jennie has been reading fashion magazines and looking at different clothing styles since she was a child.[85] Her interest in fashion came from her mother. Jennie says that Chanel has been part of her life since she was young and still remembers her first memory with the label founded by Gabrielle Chanel. "I remember when I was little, I look through my mother's wardrobe, and search for whatever vintage Chanel I could find" she told Elle Indonesia.[86]

Fashion and voice[edit]

For her solo debut, she was very involved in the production of the outfits, concept, and choreography.[87] Jennie put together more than 20 outfits, for her music video. She recalled in an interview with Billboard that during the process she had thought about the way each outfit would accompany the song and what she could do differently, helping her to learn many different ways of approaching fashion.[88][89] Vocal coach Shin Yoo-Mi, who's worked with Blackpink for six years until they debuted, had trained Jennie during preparations for her solo debut. In an interview, she described Jennie as a multi-player who is good at singing, rapping, and writing lyrics.[90]

Public Image[edit]

Jennie is instrumental in the fashionable image of Blackpink. Since her debut, she has drawn attention to her natural yet exotic beauty and has been crowned as an "It girl" and "Icon" among female fans as she carries both stage costumes and plain clothes fashion perfectly. Also well expressed was her luxury style of luxury brands; so Jennie was given the nicknames "Human Gucci" and "Human Chanel".[91] Her portfolio of styles range from Gucci and Saint Laurent to niche labels such as Marine Serre and Richard Quinn.[92] Jennie was quickly noticed for her great sense of fashion and was invited to several fashion events like Saint Laurent's 'Summer 17 Collection Launch Party' by Anthony Vaccarello,[93] Chanel's 'Mademoiselle Privé' exhibition,[94] and Prada's 'Comics Collection Launch Party'.[95] House of Chanel then chose her as "House Ambassador" after eyeing the ripple effects of fashionista Jennie.[91] She is known to have tremendous selling power, as photos on her social media become articles and the items she shows become a trend.[96] While promoting her debut single Solo, Jennie wore various hairpins for her solo stage with a 5-by-5 hairstyle partition. The hairpins instantly became a trend and are referred to as "Jennie's hairpins" due to the increasing popularity of the items.[97][98][99]

Jennie had her first cover magazine and solo pictorial for Dazed Korea with Saint Laurent in April 2017.[100] Jennie was the first Korean celebrity to model for Boucheron Paris, a 160-year-old luxury jewellery brand. It was said that Jennie's "elegant" and "luxurious" atmosphere moved Boucheron's mind to focus on image marketing. The pictorial was presented in the high-end membership magazine Heren in 2017 and was called "art that embodies light".[101] She has since graced the cover of numerous fashion magazines, including Dazed, Haper's Bazaar, Elle, Marie Clarie, High Cut, W, Cosmopolitan, and Billboard.

Jennie has a chic and strong image when on stage that can't be easy to approach, but when she comes down from the stage, she has a cute personality and a reversal charm that captivates both men and women.[102] Jennie describes herself as "quiet" and "shy", especially around strangers. "My personality may be what people think about my personality. But rather than being a person that other people have branded me as, I want to be a good individual who thinks for herself" she said in an interview with Harper's Bazaar when questioned about her personality.[103] The producer of Village Survival, the Eight, Jung Chul-Min described Jennie as being "really funny" stating that, “Contrary to the charisma she shows on stage, she is a shy person who has girlish, baby-like charms. Jennie gets more comfortable with each episode, she brings out more fun and enjoys it even more".[104]

Impact and influence[edit]

She is renowned for her brand recognition and marketing power, having topped "Individual Girl Group Members Brand Power Ranking" consecutively.[105] The data is analysed and published monthly by the Korean Business Research Institute to demonstrate how much influence a celebrity has on consumers.[106] In 2018, she ranked second, receiving 12.2 percent of the votes in the Most Favorite Idols survey conducted annually by Gallup Korea, which involved 1,501 Korean men and women aged 13 to 29 as respondents.[107][108]

Jennie was awarded by Instagram as the "Most Loved Account of 2018" in South Korea, based on the number of views and likes received by Instagram stories and posts shared that year.[109][110]

Forbes acknowledged Jennie's contribution of "gaining a new foothold in Korea's beauty trends", as one of the reasons why Blackpink topped Forbes Korea Power Celebrity in 2019.[111]

In 2019, Jennie was ranked first in the 'Top 50 Google Worldwide Most Searched K-pop Female Idol 2019 Mid-Year Chart', recently released by Google.[112]


Single albums[edit]

Title Details Peak positions Sales
Solo 2

As a lead artist[edit]

Title Year Peak positions Sales Certifications


US World
"Solo" 2018 1 1 67 11 22 2 13 80 2 1 Solo
  1. ^ The Korea Music Content Association (KMCA) introduced music recording certifications for albums, downloads and streamings in April 2018, for every record released after January 1, 2018.[115]

As a featured artist[edit]

Title Year Peak chart positions Sales Album

"Special" (Lee Hi featuring Jennie) 2013 21 16 First Love
"GG Be" (지지베) (Seungri featuring Jennie) 18 38 Let's Talk About Love
"Black" (G-Dragon featuring Jennie) 2 3 10 Coup D'etat
"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released in that region.


Variety shows[edit]

Year Title Role Network Ref.
2018 Village Survival, the Eight Cast member SBS [134]

Music videos[edit]

Year Title Director Role Ref.
2018 "Solo" Han Sa-min Herself [135]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Works Result Ref.
2018 12th SBS Entertainment Awards Rookie Award (Female) Running Man,
Village Survival, the Eight
Nominated [136]
Scene Stealer Award Nominated [137]
2019 8th Gaon Chart Music Awards Song of the Year – November "Solo" Won [138]
2nd M2 X Genie Music Awards The Female Solo N/A Nominated [139]
21st Mnet Asian Music Awards Best Female Artist Pending [140]
Artist of the Year Pending
Best Dance Performance "Solo" Pending


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External links[edit]