Blackpink: super-stans creating global stars

K-pop has firmly established itself in mainstream culture as hyper-managed boy bands and girl groups have broken through language barriers to become global idols. What does the international popularity of Blackpink reveal of modern fandom? And how exactly are stans reshaping pop music?

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A shuddering synth beat, the electric piping of trumpets, a ruh-puh-pah-pum-pum on the snare. No, this is not a modern rendition of ‘The Little Drummer Boy’, it’s the searing intro to ‘Kill This Love’ by girl band Blackpink. With more than 730 million plays on YouTube, the track – which veers from EDM to rap to pop in just over three minutes – is just one example of K-pop’s growing influence on the international music scene.