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This is a Korean name; the family name is Lee.
Ailee (South Korean singer) on Oct 11, 2013 (2).jpg
Ailee performing in October 2013
Background information
Birth name Amy Lee
Lee Yejin (이예진)
Born (1989-05-30) May 30, 1989 (age 25)
Denver, Colorado, US
Origin South Korea
Genres K-pop, dance, R&B, electropop
Occupation(s) Singer, actress, dancer
Instruments Vocals, piano, flute
Years active 2012–present
Labels YMC Entertainment (South Korea)
Associated acts Wheesung, Jay Park, Johnnyphlo, Decipher, Hyorin, Taeyang, Yiruma
Website Japanese official site
Revised Romanization I Yejin
McCune–Reischauer Yi Yejin

Amy Lee (Korean name: Lee Yejin; Hangul: 이예진; Hanja: 李藝眞, born May 30, 1989), better known by her stage name Ailee (Hangul: 에일리), is an American singer under South Korean record label YMC Entertainment.[1] She released her first single, "Heaven", in February 2012.

Life and career[edit]

Early life and career beginnings[edit]

Ailee was born in Denver, Colorado on May 30, 1989, but grew up in New Jersey. She attended Palisades Park Junior/Senior High School before moving to Leonia. She graduated from Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School, and went onto study communications, journalism and criminal justice at Pace University[2] before dropping out to pursue a career in music.[1] She got into singing by creating a YouTube channel called "mzamyx3" and later "aileemusic" because she wanted to garner more attention to her singing on the web. She moved to South Korea in 2010 after she landed an audition through her uncle's connections.[3] She sang Big Mama's "Resignation," and was recruited on the spot.

Before her K-pop debut, Ailee was signed under Muzo Entertainment, an independent agency based out of New York and New Jersey, where she collaborated with several artists, such as Johnnyphlo (who is also signed in Korea) and Philadelphia-based rapper Decipher. During her trainee days under YMC Entertainment, she was featured in Wheesung's "They Are Coming" song released on October 9, 2011.[4] Ailee was also featured in Decipher's song "Catch Me If You Can", which also featured Jay Park. Ailee performed with Jay Park, Art of Movement, Johnnyphlo, Decipher, and Clara C at "projectKorea III" at Rutgers University in 2010.[5]

On September 13, 2011, Ailee along with Wheesung held a performance on the MBC's Chuseok special episode of Singer and Trainee. Ailee's stage presence was immediately felt by the audience, who were amazed that she was like a professional singer, even though she had not yet officially debuted. Following her solo performance of "Halo" by Beyoncé, singer BMK expressed, "Wherever she goes, she has the potential to be a big star. She definitely has the voice." After the judges had graded everyone, Ailee won first place.[6]

2012: Debut, Invitation [edit]

On February 6, the music video teaser for Ailee's debut song, Heaven, was released. Heaven was written and produced by Wheesung.[7] On the 9th, Ailee released the song and the music video, which featured Beast's Gi Kwang.[8][9] Later that day, she made her debut stage performance of "Heaven" on M! Countdown,[10] and then on SBS Inkigayo on February 11.[11] Just one month after her debut, she dominated the Cyworld Music Awards on February where she won two awards for “Song of the Month” and “Rookie of the Month“.[12] In March 2012, Ailee made her first appearances on KBS's Immortal Song 2 with performing Patti Kim’s song “Light and Shadow” from 1967.[13] On May 19 of part 2 of the ‘J.Y. Park' special, Ailee performed J.Y. Park’s debut song “Don’t Leave Me“. She beat Davichi’s Lee Haeri by 1 point, 419 to 418, for the win.[14] Later on June 30th episode, Immortal Song 2 featured composer Yoon Il Sang. She performed "Fate" by Lee Seung Chul and won again with 402 votes.[15] In August, it was announced that Ailee was making a temporary leave from the show in order to focus on her music.[16] She performed her final stage on August 6, and the episode aired on September 1.[17] Later in August, Ailee made an appearance in the 3rd episode of Jay Park's online web series, Jay Park TV, where she was backstage attending Park's concert in Seoul.[18] Ailee also, co-hosted the ABU Radio Song Festival with Han Seok Joon which took place on October 11, 2012.[19][20]

On October 16, Ailee released her debut mini album, Invitation which contained the title track, “I’ll Show You“ (보여줄게).[21] The mini album contains six tracks.[22] It was produced by producers such as Kim Do Hoon, Lee Hyun Seung, Park Guentae, Duble Sidekick, Wheesung, and featured artists such as Verbal Jint, Swings and Simon D.[23] On October 18, Ailee made her comeback with "I'll Show You" on M! Countdown.[24]

2013-present: A's Doll House, Japanese debut and Singing Got Better[edit]

On July 4, 2013, Ailee announced that she would release her second mini album entitled, A's Doll House, on July 12, 2013.[25] The album's single "U&I", topped music charts within 4 hours of release and earned Ailee her first "All-Kill" status.[26] Popularity for the physical album was also deemed high when nearly all stores in Korea were sold out of the soloist's album on the first day of release. Orders overwhelmed the amount of stock, and a representative from Ailee's agency stated, "The rate at which this album is selling is many times greater than the previous album’s."[citation needed]

On August 4, 2013 was revealed that Ailee will be making her Japanese debut with "Heaven" under Warner Music Japan.[27] On September 5, a video of her teasing the chorus of the song was released, along with some part of it and the release day of the single, stated to be released on November 6.[28]

On September 14, 2013 it was announced that Ailee will release a digital single "Higher" with pianist Yiruma.[29] On September 16 "Higher" was released online.[30]

On December 16, 2013 it was revealed that Ailee will be making a comeback after a 6 month hiatus in January 2014. According to a YMC spokesperson, she is currently arranging her schedule and planning her comeback.[31] Ailee will be reuniting with her mentor Wheesung who also produced "Heaven". The title track for her upcoming release is called "Singing Got Better" (노래가 늘었어) and it's described as delicate rock ballad perfected with Ailee's distinctive voice and color.[32]

A music video teaser was released on January 2 ahead of the full release. In the teaser, we see Ailee exiting a building surrounded by bodyguards while she remembers a fight she had with her significant other.[33] Both the full Music Video and the full digital song was released on January 6. The music video features MBLAQ's Lee Joon.[34] "Singing Got Better" reached #1 on Korea's major charts: Mnet, Bugs, Olleh, Soribada, Naver Music, Daum Music, and Genie.[35]


Main article: Ailee discography


Television Drama[edit]

Year Title Role
2012 Dream High Season 2 Ailee

Variety Shows[edit]

Year Title Network Notes
2011-2014 Immortal Song 2 KBS2 Contestant
2013-2014 Great Marriage JTBC Cast
2013 Escape Crisis No.1 KBS Guest
2014 Laws of the City SBS Series regular
2014 MBC Music Ailee's Vitamin MBC Cast
2014 Running Man SBS Guest


Year Commercial Note
2012 Touch In Sol
2013 Kyochon Chicken With Super Junior [36]
Philippines Tourism Endorsement via the interactive film "Fun Girl, Ailee's 3-Day and 2-Night Trip"[37][38]
Cherish Furniture Endorsement
KTX Korail with Shin Bora [39]
2014 Oran-C [40]

Awards and nominations[edit]


  1. ^ a b "YMC Entertainment Official Website". 
  2. ^ "Ailee The K-pop and YouTube sensation". 2012-07-23. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Wheesung unveils ‘They Are Coming’, final mini-album before enlistment". 2011-10-09. 
  5. ^ "Jay Park, Art of Movement, Johnnyphlo, Decipher & more to perform at Rutgers University!". allkpop. Retrieved 31 December 2012. 
  6. ^ "Wheesung and Trainee Ailee Wow the Audience". Soompi. 2011-09-16. Retrieved 03-08-2012.  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  7. ^ "Ailee releases "Heaven" MV teaser feat. B2ST’s Kikwang". Allkpop. 02/06/2012. Retrieved 02/06/2012.  Check date values in: |date=, |accessdate= (help)
  8. ^ "Ailee releases "Heaven" MV teaser". Soompi. 02/08/2012. Retrieved 03/08/2012.  Check date values in: |date=, |accessdate= (help)
  9. ^ "Lee Ki Kwang appears on Ailee's "Heaven" music video". Soompi. 02/07/2012. Retrieved 03/08/2012.  Check date values in: |date=, |accessdate= (help)
  10. ^ "Ailee makes an angelic debut with "Heaven" on ‘M! Countdown’!". Allkpop. 02/09/2012. Retrieved 02/09/2012.  Check date values in: |date=, |accessdate= (help)
  11. ^ "Ailee Makes Debut Inkigayo Performance". Soompi. 02/12/2012. Retrieved 03/08/2012.  Check date values in: |date=, |accessdate= (help)
  12. ^ "Rookie singer Ailee wins two titles from Cyworld Music Awards". Allkpop. 03/02/2012. Retrieved 2012-10-17.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  13. ^ "John Park & Ailee make their first appearance on ‘Immortal Song 2′". Allkpop. 2012-03-24. Retrieved 2012-10-17. 
  14. ^ "Ailee claims victory on Immortal Song 2". Allkpop. 2012-05-19. Retrieved 2012-10-17. 
  15. ^ "Ailee claims victory + cast of ‘Immortal Song 2′ cover the greatest hits by composer Yoon Il Sang". Allkpop. 2012-06-30. Retrieved 2012-10-17. 
  16. ^ "Super Junior’s Ryeowook and Ailee to exit ‘Immortal Song 2′". Allkpop. 2012-08-13. Retrieved 2012-10-17. 
  17. ^ "Super Junior's Ryeowook and Soloist Ailee to Leave 'Immortal Song 2'". Kpopstarz. 2012-08-13. Retrieved 2012-08-13. 
  18. ^ "JAY PARK TV - EP 03". Jay Park. Retrieved 26 September 2012. 
  19. ^ "ABU TV Song Festival 2012 Participants". Retrieved 2012-08-17. 
  20. ^ "ABU TV Song Festival 2012". Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 2012-08-17. 
  21. ^ "Ailee releases "I’ll Show You" MV (ft. MBLAQ’s G.O) + ‘Invitation’ mini album". Allkpop. 2012-10-15. Retrieved 2012-10-17. 
  22. ^ "Naver News". 07/03/2012. Retrieved 07/03/2012.  Check date values in: |date=, |accessdate= (help)
  23. ^ "Ailee Comes Back with Album 'Invitation'". kpopstarz. 2012-10-16. Retrieved 2012-10-17. 
  24. ^ "Ailee comes back with "I’ll Show You" on ‘M! Countdown’". Allkpop. 2012-10-18. Retrieved 2012-10-23. 
  25. ^ Nate News, 에일리가 돌아온다! 12일 새 앨범 발표 July 4, 2013. Retrieved July 10, 2013. Language, Korean.
  26. ^ Nate News, 에일리, 신곡 '유앤아이(U&I)' 티저 영상 공개 '컴백 신호탄' July 5, 2013. Retrieved July 10, 2013. Language, Korean.
  27. ^ Ailee to make her Japanese debut in September
  28. ^
  29. ^ Ailee to take it 'Higher' with collaboration featuring pianist Yiruma
  30. ^ Ailee takes you 'Higher' with collaboration featuring pianist Yiruma
  31. ^ Ailee Confirms Comeback for January 2014
  32. ^ Ailee reuniting with mentor Wheesung for 'Improved Song' comeback on Jan. 6th!
  33. ^ Ailee Releases Comeback Teaser for “Singing Got Better”
  34. ^ Ailee asserts her 'Singing Got Better' in new song produced by Wheesung!
  35. ^ [1]
  36. ^ Super Junior and Ailee to spend a sweet year together for ‘KyoChon Chicken’
  37. ^ Allkpop: Ailee takes you on a date around the Philippines in an interactive film for Philippine Tourism
  38. ^ Manila Bulletin: DOT taps K-pop star Ailee to promote PH tourism
  39. ^ Ailee and Shin Bora Look Like Sisters In Recent Photo
  40. ^ Ailee Becomes New Brand Model for Oran-C

External links[edit]

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
A Pink
14th Mnet Asian Music Awards - Best New Female Artist Solo
Succeeded by
Crayon Pop
Preceded by
16th Mnet Asian Music Awards - Best Vocal Performance Female
2013 - 2014
Succeeded by