Calling all die-hard Blinks to celebrate the multi-talented star’s birthday today with a look back at her most iconic moments

Be it her chart-topping and record-setting solo single or the way she embodies the vintage yet timeless Chanel spirit, Jennie Kim of K-pop girl group Blackpink knows how to make a splash.

The singer and rapper, not to mention captivating dancer, is often making headlines for her impeccable fashion sense or when she is headlining world tours with her fellow Blackpink bandmates. Whatever the occasion, whatever the reason, the songstress seems to possess the uncanny ability to delight her fans and endear herself to her audience every single time. As she turns 26 on January 16, we toast the K-pop megastar’s most memorable moments that made us all love her.

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1. When she was the first Blackpink member to make her solo debut

Jennie went solo in November 2018 with her first single, simply titled Solo, thrilling fans with her unique vocal skills and topping charts in South Korea and the US. The official music video reached 450 million views on YouTube within six months—a record-setting achievement by a K-pop female soloist at that time—and Jennie went on to win Song of the Year at the 2019 Gaon Chart Music Awards and Best Digital Song (Bonsang) at the 2020 Golden Disc Awards, both major music awards in South Korea.

2. When she wore her mother’s old Chanel T-shirt to Paris Fashion Week

Jennie is famous for her love for all things Chanel, so much so that she has been affectionately nicknamed the “human Chanel” by her followers. She became Chanel’s official brand ambassador in 2017 and has since popularised the vintage Chanel look in K-fashion. She gets a lot of love whenever she takes to social media wearing the brand, but fans loved it when she revealed during an interview with Elle Indonesia at 2018 Paris Fashion Week that she was wearing her mother’s old Chanel T-shirt to the Chanel by the Sea show, and even kickstarted the “opening mum’s closet” trend.

3. When she encouraged her fans to prioritise their wellbeing

It’s no secret that being a K-pop idol comes with a lot of pressure. There are strict rules that govern everything from their appearance and behaviour to their diet and exercise routines. All of which can be detrimental to one’s mental health. Queen Jennie, however, is not shy about putting her mental and physical wellbeing first. In a 2017 post on the Blackpink Instagram account is a photo of Jennie practising aerial yoga and it’s captioned, “For a peaceful mind and a healthy me”, inspiring millions of her fans to put their health first.

In the Netflix documentary Blackpink: Light Up the Sky, Jennie says that “Some days, just like every other human being, you feel extra happy, and some other days you’re feeling down. We always have to be on stage looking perfect—it’s like working out for two hours every day. It never gets easy; it gets harder, actually”. The same documentary also shows that Jennie takes great care of her physical health with sessions with her Pilates instructor Jessie Yeo every day, and the two have even developed a sweet friendship, with Yeo saying the superstar is “like my little sister”.

4. When she met her idol Rihanna

Ask Jennie who her role model is and she’d say, “Rihanna”. Indeed, when she auditioned for YG Entertainment, the production company behind Blackpink, she sang RiRi’s Take a Bow. Understandably then, it was a dream come true for Jennie when the two met at a Fenty Beauty event in Seoul in 2019. And as expected, when the pictures from the party landed on social media, it promptly broke the internet.

5. When she had no time for trolls going for Lisa

Jennie and fellow Blackpink member Lisa’s friendship is well known—the two even call themselves “JenLisa”—so it’s hardly surprising when Jennie publicly supported Lisa when the latter was subjected to online racism due to her being the only Blackpink member who is not ethnically Korean. (Lisa is Thai.) Addressing the crowd during their 2019 concert in Bangkok, Jennie said that they should all be “proud of Lisa”. Not only that, when Lisa debuted her single Lalisa in 2021, Jennie—as well as Jisoo and Rosé—posted videos on Instagram of their attempts at the dance routine featured in the Lalisa music video, which morphed into a social media dance challenge. Jennie, Jisoo and Rosé were even wearing matching sweatshirts with “Lisa” written on them. Here’s to sisterhood, we say.

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