We can’t picture BLACKPINK with anyone besides Jennie, Lisa, Rosé and Jisoo. But, as BLACKPINK’s original members show, there were other YG Entertainment trainees who could’ve been in the band. Who woulda thunk?
As BLINKS know, BLACKPINK debuted in 2016 with the their song “Boombayah” from their album, Square One. Since then, the K-pop band has become one of the most well-known girl groups in the world. In 2018, BLACKPINK became the first K-pop act to perform at Coachella. The band has also sold millions of albums in the four years since their debut, and they’ve even recorded with stars like Dua Lipa. They’ve made friends with celebrities too, like Ariana Grande, Harry Styles and Lana Condor, whose movie, Netflix’s To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You, features one of BLACKPINK’s songs: “Kill This Love.”
There’s no doubt that BLACKPINK is a household name in the music world, but the band could’ve looked very different. It’s hard to picture BLACKPINK as anything else except a four-member girl group. But according to rumors over the years, there were other trainees who could’ve sang hits like “Ddu-Du Ddu-Du” and “As if it’s Your Last” with the band. Find out who BLACKPINK’s original members (and what happened to them) ahead.
Before there was BLACKPINK, there was Pink Punk. An Amino Apps user claims that the band was first named Pink Punk and consisted of Jennie, Jisoo, Lisa and a member named Eunbi as the original lineup. Eunbi was a finalist on 2010’s Superstar K 2 and was expected to be one of the band’s vocalists. But Amino Apps reports that Eunbi left BLACKPINK and YG Entertainment as a trainee because of health reasons. A rep for YG said in a statement at the time, “It is true. It is very regretful that a friend, who trained with us for a long time, has left without fulfilling her dream. It was decided that her [future] activities would put too much stress on her health.”
Eunbi was the only original member of BLACKPINK. Though we know the band with four members now, BLACKPINK almost had nine members, which was unlike YG Entertainment at the time. Among those members was Miyeon, a singer, rapper and dancer, who joined YG Entertainment as a trainee around the same time as Jennie, the Amino Apps user claims. (As BLINKs know, Jennie was the first member of BLACKPINK and had been a trainee at YG Entertainment the longest.) It’s unclear why Miyeon left BLACKPINK, but according to Amino Apps, she was kicked out because of her relationship with Mix & Match contestant Jinhyeong. (As BLINKs also know, YG Entertainment has a strict no-dating rule, which is why most members of BLACKPINK have been single.) Amino Apps also reports that Miyeon may have also been removed from BLACKPINK because she didn’t make the final cut. She has since debuted in Cube Entertainment’s (G)I-dle.
Euna, a rapper who competed on 2011’s Superstar K 3, was also a part of BLACKPINK’s original nine-member lineup. According to the Amino Apps user, she was expected to be the next CL from 2NE1, another YG Entertainment girl group that many compare to BLACKPINK. Euna never debuted with BLACKPINK and left YG Entertainment as a trainee. She explained in a statement at the time that she didn’t feel ready to be an idol. “At the time, I wasn’t ready spiritually, nor was I ready to sing or dance. I felt that I had no skill. I just had talent. There were so many skilled kids in YG Entertainment so the competition was high. I realized how lacking I was. I wondered if being a singer was the right path for me, and finally I decided that I should go back to school,” she said. In 2015, Euna debuted in Music K Entertainment’s girl group The Ark. The group disbanded a year later.
According to Amino Apps, Sua, a former contestant on Unpretty Rapstar 2, was considered as a member of BLACKPINK. Those rumors were denied by YG Entertainment, who said at the time that Sua was still a trainee and was not ready to debut with any girl groups. “Moon Sua is a trainee that still has a long way to go. She is not one of YG’s new girl group members,” the statement read. In 2019, Sua left YG Entertainment after 10 years as a trainee.
Like Euna, Hanna was also a contestant on Superstar K 3. Per Amino Apps, she was dubbed as K-pop’s next Lee Hi because of her soulful voice. After her time on Superstar K 3, Hanna signed to YG Entertainment as a trainee. She has since been featured on Jinusean’s “Tell Me One More Time” and is expected to debut as a solo artist.
As of 2017, Jinny was still a trainee at YG Entertainment and was expected to debut in a girl group after she didn’t make the final cut for BLACKPINK. She was also a close friend of Lisa during their trainee days. Jinny left YG Entertainment in the past couple years and has since competed on Produce 48.