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The Trendsetter
Lalisa ‘Lisa’ Manobal

In global pop culture, the notion of soft power has evolved significantly. No longer confined to traditional channels of diplomacy and politics, it now encompasses the influence wielded by cultural icons like Lalisa Manobal, better known as Lisa Blackpink.

Recently honoured as a Cultural Icon at the Asian Hall of Fame 2023, Lisa's ascent as a true Thai soft power figure is undeniable. In celebration of the International Women's Day which falls annually on March 8, her selection as one of the Bangkok Post's women of the year for 2024 in the Trendsetter category is not only apt but essential in recognising her profound impact, both in Thailand and beyond.

As a member of the internationally acclaimed K-pop group Blackpink, Lisa stands as one of the most recognisable and successful idols in the industry. Her solo singles Lalisa and Money have collectively garnered a staggering 1.2 billion views on YouTube, securing her a place in the Guinness World Records. Notably, Lisa made history as the first K-pop soloist to win an MTV VMA in the United States, further solidifying her status as a global phenomenon.

With an Instagram fanbase of 81.7 million, Lisa holds the title of the most-followed K-pop idol on the platform, showcasing her immense popularity and influence. Beyond her musical prowess, Lisa's multilingual abilities, fashion sense and captivating stage presence have thrilled audiences worldwide, cementing her position as one of the most influential artists of her generation.

Lisa's journey from her birthplace in Buri Ram province to international stardom is a testament to her unwavering determination and passion for music. Raised by her Thai mother and Swiss stepfather, she nurtured her love for K-pop from a young age, dreaming of one day becoming a part of the industry. Her audacious decision to audition for YG Entertainment in Thailand at the age of 13 marked the beginning of her remarkable odyssey. Out of thousands of applicants, Lisa emerged as the sole non-Korean trainee, showcasing her exceptional talent and resilience.

Following five years of rigorous training, Lisa made her debut with Blackpink in 2016, propelling the group to unprecedented heights of success. Their global impact has been monumental, with chart-topping hits and record-breaking achievements becoming synonymous with their name. As a dancer, Lisa has not only mesmerised audiences but also served as a mentor and inspiration to aspiring performers worldwide.

Lisa’s solo endeavours have further solidified her status as a cultural icon. Her debut solo single Lalisa shattered records upon its release, becoming the most-viewed YouTube music video by a solo artist in 24 hours. Through her music videos, Lisa pays homage to her Thai heritage, incorporating traditional elements that showcase the richness of Thai culture on a global stage.

Her philanthropic efforts, including donations to aid flood victims in Thailand and initiatives to promote cultural exchange through music, underscore her commitment to giving back to her community and fostering global understanding.

Lisa embodies the essence of Thai soft power, transcending borders and bridging cultures through her artistry and advocacy. Her journey from a small town in Thailand to global superstardom serves as a source of inspiration for countless young people, both in Thailand and around the world. As she continues to break barriers and redefine norms, Lisa remains a beacon of hope and empowerment, representing the best of Thai culture on the world stage.

“ Lisa embodies the essence of Thai soft power, transcending borders and bridging cultures through her artistry and advocacy. ”
Pawarapa Dupassakoon
Brand Empowerment Leader
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Suchada Ithijarukul
Business Empowerment Leader
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