New data reveals how K-pop artists use English words in top streamed tracks, with ‘love’ coming out top
Calling all BTS Army and Blinks! Which band is more likely to share their feelings? Music streaming service, Deezer, teamed up with the world leader in licensed lyrics, LyricFind, to determine which English words and phrases BTS and Blackpink use the most in their top played songs.* The data found both K-pop bands are more likely to use specific words and phrases in English to emotionally connect with fans.
Looking at the top 10 songs for each band, “love” was the most popular word sung by both groups. BTS used “love” the most – singing it 65 times compared to Blackpink at 43 times. The group is also more likely to use emotive language to express how they feel as they say “Love you so bad” 8 times in their mega-hit, ‘Fake Love’. But their need for love and affection isn’t always an easy path – BTS mentions “pain” 13 times in ‘On’, compared to Blackpink who avoids it completely.
While the mega boy band takes a more touchy-feely approach, Blackpink is unapologetically direct in what they want. They use “sorry,” in a not-so-sorry way. It’s sung 11 times on their hit tracks including ‘Kill this Love‘ and ‘Kiss and Make Up‘, while BTS only uses it three times. But the ladies also have a sweet side as they sing “kiss” 65 times across their top 10 songs, compared to the BTS fellas who only use it twice in their top tracks.
Blackpink is also all about “you.” The ladies sing about “you” 98 times, compared to BTS at 54 times. There’s really no “you” without “me,” so it makes sense that Blackpink would sing about “me,” 58 times, while BTS plays it cool at 49 times.
“It’s amazing how K-pop bands like BTS and Blackpink have managed to reach so many music fans around the world by singing most of their songs in Korean. The English words and phrases that they do use are also quite revealing as to how they communicate and connect emotionally with non-Korean speaking fans. It was only a matter of time before both bands decided to sing only in English, finding new ways to express how they feel with their fans,” said Mauricio Mendoza, Head of Content and Artist Marketing for The Americas.
Blackpink is also all about girl power! The top 10 list found that although both bands enjoyed success collaborating with Western artists, Blackpink support fellow female artists. The girl group peaked at #3 with vocals on Lady Gaga’s “Sour Candy” and #5 on ‘Kiss and Make Up‘ with Dua Lipa. BTS seems to be more gender agnostic as they’ve worked with both male and female artists including Halsey in ‘Boy with Luv‘ and “Make it Right” with LAUV.
Below are BTS and BLACKPINK’s top 10 K-Pop tracks with both Korean and English words on Deezer:
Boy With Luv (ft. Halsey)
Life Goes On
BLACKPINK’s Top 10 English/K-Pop Tracks on Deezer
How You Like That
Kill This Love
Sour Candy (with Lady Gaga)
Kiss and Make Up (ft. Dua Lipa)
As If It’s Your Last
Playing with Fire
*Deezer looked at top ten K-Pop songs from the period of January 1 to December 15, 2020. Tracks must feature both Korean and English lyrics. All English tracks were excluded.