The situation of the top 3 girl groups has changed, TWICE is no longer able to compete with BLACKPINK, and Red Velvet is facing a difficult future
BLACKPINK, TWICE and Red Velvet are not only from the BIG3 but are also considered the 3 top 3rd generation girl groups based on popularity and achievements. Over time, their “race” gradually became a game between TWICE and BLACKPINK because the SM girl group showed an unstable performance. But by 2020, the situation of the top 3 girl groups has changed, TWICE is no longer able to compete with BLACKPINK, and Red Velvet is facing a difficult future.
BLACKPINK becomes the biggest girl group
After many delays, BLACKPINK finally has 3 comebacks in 2020, giving them ultimate success in digital music and album sales. They also achieve many prestigious awards.
BLACKPINK’s 3 comebacks all have positive digital achievements, but How You Like That, released in June 2020, is still the most successful. This is the first song of the idol group to achieve Perfect All Kill (PAK) this year. After the iChart system and Melon chart reformed, the song still kept PAK. On iTunes, this song is also a song of the girl group that reached #1 in most countries (64 countries).
For girl groups, YouTube Records also belong to BLACKPINK and How You Like That. Before being defeated by BTS, How You Like That was the most viewed MV in the world in the first 24 hours (86.3 million views). They also become the Kpop girl group to reached 100 – 200 – 300 – 400 – 500 and 600 million views in the shortest time.
BLACKPINK also achieved outstanding achievements in the album sales segment, although this is not a strength of YG artists. As BLACKPINK’s first full album, THE ALBUM set records among Kpop girl groups for first-day and first-week sales. They are also the first girl group to have a Korean album to reach 1 million copies. This is something that TWICE has not been able to do despite being called the “queen of the album” of Kpop.
BLACKPINK’s international performance also outstrips TWICE, Red Velvet, and the rest of the girl groups. Currently, they are Korean female artists with the highest rankings on the Billboard 200 and Billboard Hot 100 charts. The album THE ALBUM debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and Ice Cream – a collaboration song with Selena Gomez, ranked 13th on the Billboard Hot 100.
BLACKPINK’s efforts have been rewarded with a prestigious award at the year-end awards ceremony. Although they did not attend the Mnet Asian Music Awards (MAMA), they still won the Best Female Group award. This partly shows that no one can deny the achievements of BLACKPINK. The 4 YG girls deserve to be recognized as the top girl group nowadays.
TWICE is no longer able to compete with BLACKPINK
In contrast to BLACKPINK, 2020 shows a setback of TWICE. They used to be considered a “digital monster” with many songs reaching PAK, selling the most albums among girl groups, and receiving Daesang awards for many years. But now it is difficult for TWICE to keep up with YG’s competitor.
Album sales is TWICE’s strength, but the two products released this year, MORE & MORE and Eyes Wide Open, did not exceed the number of records sold in the first day and first week of BLACKPINK. Notably, Eyes Wide Open also had lower sales than MORE & MORE even though this is the 2nd full album, celebrating the 5th anniversary of the debut of the JYP girl group.
Top 5 albums with the highest first-week sales of TWICE:
1. MORE & MORE (2020): 332,416 copies.
2. Eyes Wide Open (2020): 245,627 copies.
3. Feel Special (2019): 154,028 copies.
4. Fancy You (2018): 151,051 copies.
5. twicetagram (2017): 129,691 copies.
Top 5 albums with the highest first-week sales of Kpop girl groups:
1. THE ALBUM – BLACKPINK: 689,066 copies.
2. Oneiric Diary – IZ * ONE: 389,334 copies.
3. BLOOM * IZ – IZ * ONE: 356,313 copies.
4. MORE & MORE – TWICE: 332,416 copies.
5. Eyes Wide Open – TWICE: 245,627 copies.
So far, TWICE, despite having the highest total number of albums among K-pop female artists, they still have no album that has reached the milestone of million copies like BLACKPINK’s THE ALBUM.
In the digital music segment, TWICE is at the top of the Kpop group’s PAK record (4 songs), but this year, none of their songs have achieved this title. MORE & MORE at least topped Melon’s real-time chart, but I Can’t Stop Me – the title song of the Eyes Wide Open album quickly dropped on digital charts.
At the MAMA 2020 awards ceremony, TWICE suddenly performed the song Cry For Me and received a positive response from the public, so they released the digital track on December 18. Fans hoped that the effects from MAMA would help the song Cry For Me achieve good results, create an opportunity for TWICE to go upstream. However, the results were not as expected.
TWICE’s new song has bad performance on the Korean chart. After 12 hours of airing, Cry For Me reached No. 2 on Bugs and No. 5 on Genie, completely absent from Flo and Melon charts. It seems that JYP’s decision not to release the MV has caused the song to cool down and not resonate with the public. Once again, TWICE lost the opportunity to regain the position of the top girl group in the digital music segment.
The YouTube segment is not even the strength of the group. MV I Can’t Stop Me only earned 18.9 million views in the first 24 hours, lower than MORE & MORE (19 million views) and far behind TWICE’s 24-hour most viewed MV, FANCY (42,1 million).
TWICE also cannot compete with BLACKPINK in terms of international achievements through Billboard. MORE & MORE is the only product of the group to enter the Billboard 200 chart at … #200. They also have never entered the prestigious Billboard Hot 100 chart.
The poor performance caused the JYP girl group to lose to BLACKPINK in the race to receive the Best Female Group award at MAMA 2020. However, the 9 girls brought Daesang Artist of the Year in the framework of the Asia Artist Awards. This was full of controversial awards because considering the achievement and level of dedication in 2020, they cannot compare with BLACKPINK and BTS.
Red Velvet regretfully leaves the race
Because of Wendy’s last year’s accident, Red Velvet has no comeback in 2020 and only has a few group activities. Although they did not promote the song Psycho, they still won 9 trophies on music shows and got high positions on digital charts.
To maintain Red Velvet’s reputation, Irene and Seulgi formed a relatively successful sub-unit with positive digital music rankings. Their album Monster became the best-selling hard disk of a female sub-unit (206,394 copies).
I thought that after Wendy recovered, Red Velvet would regain their form to return to the race between the 3 BIG3 girl groups, but Irene’s attitude scandal pushed them into a disadvantageous situation. The leader of Red Velvet was accused by a famous fashion editor of being bossy, insulting this person for 20 minutes. Red Velvet’s subsequent activities were canceled, Irene had to apologize and face heavy criticism from the public.
However, SM still seems to have plans for this girl group to come back. However, Red Velvet’s future is still difficult because Knet still criticize Irene, many people even ask her to leave the group so as not to affect the other 4 members.
In previous years, TWICE was considered the “queen of Kpop” because of its huge collection of awards, digital music achievements, and album sales, surpassing two competitors from SM and YG as well as all girl groups. However, in 2020, the situation has changed.
BLACKPINK rose to the top with a series of hard-to-break records, reaching world-class popularity. The 4 YG girls can completely go further than the rest of Kpop, even competing directly with BTS.
BLACKPINK surpasses TWICE. After the lovely bubblegum pop-style songs, the girls seem to be struggling to find music that suits the public’s taste while transforming into an adult image. Even so, they are also criticized for their poor live singing skills after 5 years. The decline in album sales is also an alarming sign for TWICE because this used to be the strength of the group.
However, this is not the end for the JYP girl group. Their advantage is strong and loyal fanbase. If the company makes the right decisions, the members improve their own skills, TWICE still has a chance to regain the top position in their strong areas, or at least maintain reputation for many more years.
Red Velvet has had a bad year, so it seems that they are lagging behind the other 2 girl groups of the BIG3. Irene’s scandal makes the future of 5 girls even more unpredictable. Whether they can regain reputation or not, only time will tell.