|Birth name||Ayumi Itō|
|Also known as||Ayumi Lee, Yumi Ito, Ahyoomee|
|Born||August 25, 1984|
|Origin||Tottori Prefecture, Japan|
|Occupations||Singer, actress, dancer, MC, model|
|Labels||Starworld (Korea) (2002-2007)
SM Entertainment (Korea)
Rhythm Zone (Japan)
United Asia Management
|Associated acts||Exile Atsushi, SM Town, Sugar, Verbal|
|Revised Romanization||I Ayumi|
Itō Ayumi (伊藤亜由美 or 伊藤あゆみ?)
Ayumi Itō (伊藤 亜由美 Itō Ayumi?) (born August 25, 1984), better known by her stage name Iconiq (stylized ICONIQ), is a Japanese singer of Korean ethnicity in Japan. She was a member of the Korean girl-group Sugar. Ito was born as a third generation Korean resident and raised in Japan for much of her younger life and is the reason for her Japanese accent, although she is now fluent in both languages. Although Ayumi's name is commonly believed to be Japanese in origin, she has explained that her name is hanja-based.
She was scouted by entertainment company Starworld at a H.O.T. concert, debuting as part of the girl group Sugar in 2002. The band released two albums in Japan and three in Korea, however were met with only moderate commercial success.
In 2006, the group disbanded, and Iconiq released two solo singles as Ayumi. The first, a cover of the theme song for Cutie Honey (in the style of the Kumi Koda's 2004 version), was released on July 13, 2006, however was criticized by Korean media for her "heavy accent" and the overall Japanese feel of performances. Her second digital single, "Jalmotdoen Mannam" (Korean: "잘못된 만남", "Wrongful Meeting") was released on November 7, 2006, and is a cover of Kim Gun Mo's hit from 1995.
She switched labels in February 2007, moving from Starworld to SM Entertainment and started collaborating with SM Town on their summer and winter albums that year. However, she did not release any solo material in this time. In 2008, Iconiq moved to Los Angeles to study dance, and find new inspiration as a musician.
In late 2009, she changed her stage name to Iconiq, and debuted in Japan under Rhythm Zone. Her first promotions were for Shiseido's Maquillage cosmetics line, for which her song "I'm Lovin' You" (a duet with Exile vocalist Atsushi) was used in commercials, and Iconiq's images used in billboards. Iconiq was marketed around her buzz cut hair-style, often called "baby short hair" (ベビーショートヘア?), along with the catch-phrase "Watashi ga kawaru. Ongaku de kawaru." (私が変わる。音楽で変わる。 I change. I change through music.?). Her hair style was suggested by her management as a strong image to compliment her desire for a theme of change.
Iconiq's official Japanese profile did not mention her past as a member of Sugar or her Korean heritage, however vaguely references starting activities "overseas" in 2002. Concerns about the motives of this were raised in the Korean media. Korean netizen reactions were mixed, with some seeing the decision as "embarrassment" of her past, while others reasoned Iconiq's Japanese career's stylistic differences were the cause. Tokyo Sports ran an article about Iconiq's past as a Korean idol, however later apologised to Iconiq's record label.
After two more promotional songs used in Maquillage commercials, "Change Myself" and "Bye Now!," she released her debut album, Change Myself, on March 10, 2010. The album debuted at #3 on Oricon's albums chart, the highest debut position since Yui Aragaki's Sora in late 2007. Since then, she has released her debut single "Tokyo Lady," and released an EP called Light Ahead in September. The EP was promoted with three music videos directed by Diane Martel, including "Tokyo Lady."
In January, 2011, her official homepage featured a sample of an unreleased song. Days later, it was removed without explanation. Since then, the homepage stated "New Song this Spring" and has revealed the title "I will love".
|Oricon singles charts
|Billboard Japan Hot 100
|RIAJ digital tracks
|2010||"I'm Lovin' You" (Iconiq x Exile Atsushi)||Digital download||—||—||8||—||Change Myself|
|"Tokyo Lady"||19||21||—||10,000||Light Ahead|
|"Light Ahead"||Promotional single||—||49||62||—|
|"Make It Right"||—||—||—||—|
- "Cutie Honey" July 3, 2006
- "Jalmotdoen Mannam" (Korean: 잘못된 만남, Wrongful Meeting) November 7, 2006
Japan Record Awards
|2010||Iconiq "Change Myself"||New Artist||Won|
|Best New Artist||Nominated|
- "Rising Star Set to Shine". The Japan Times. 2010-05-28. Retrieved 2010-07-24.
- Sugar profile at Toy's Factory
- Ayumi is in love with J.League soccer star, Koreanmovie.com
- Ayumi explains the origin of her name on KBS's Star Golden Bell.
- 엠파스 - 인물검색
- Chosun Ilbo. Ayumi's Hit Solo Debut Divides Online Critics. Retrieved 10 November 2006.
- (Korean) Sports Chosun.'큐티 하니' 아유미, 亞무대 활동위해 보아 소속사와 계약. Retrieved March 9, 2007.
- "PROFILE – ICONIQ Official Website" (in Japanese). Rhythm Zone. Archived from the original on August 20, 2010. Retrieved August 20, 2010.
- "謎の"坊主"女性アーティスト、ICONIQ。ATSUSHI （EXILE） とのコラボ曲が、資生堂「マキアージュ」CM曲に決定" (in Japanese). CDJournal. 2009-11-24. Retrieved 2010-07-24.
- "ATSUSHI（EXILE）の心を動かした新人・ICONIQが、2009年新人最高DL記録を樹立" (in Japanese). Barks. 2009-12-17. Retrieved 2010-07-24.
- "新人美女アーティストがEXILE・ATSUSHIとの"丸刈り2ショット"で衝撃デビュー" (in Japanese). Oricon. 2009-12-09. Retrieved 2010-07-21.
- "新人・ICONIQが初登場3位、デビューアルバムTOP3入りは新垣結衣以来2年3ヶ月ぶり" (in Japanese). Oricon. 2010-03-16. Retrieved 2010-07-21.
- "ICONIQ、レコチョクウィークリーも2作品連続1位獲得" (in Japanese). Barks. 2010-01-28. Retrieved 2010-07-24.
- "ICONIQがMASERATI、スターバックス、kitsonら7企業とコラボCMを制作" (in Japanese). Barks. 2010-03-09. Retrieved 2010-07-24.
- "資生堂「マキアージュ」キャスティング＆楽曲タイアップ決定！". Rhythm Zone. January 20, 2010. Archived from the original on July 24, 2010. Retrieved July 24, 2010.
- "NOをYESに変えるICONIQアルバム「CHANGE MYSELF」インタビュー" (in Japanese). Chocoage. March 2010. Retrieved 2010-07-24.
- "아유미 일본 공식 홈피, 신상정보에 한국 활동 언급 없어" (in Korean). Max Movie. December 10, 2009. Retrieved August 20, 2010.
- "아유미 日활동 시작, 과거 한국활동 안밝혀 ‘대체 왜?’" (in Korean). Newsen. January 22, 2010. Retrieved August 20, 2010.
- "韓国での過去は恥部？ 坊主頭の新人歌手ICONIQにバッシングと"悪行暴露"" (in Japanese). Men'z Cyzo. Archived from the original on August 20, 2010. Retrieved August 20, 2010.
- "「ICONIQは元韓国アイドル」報道で東スポがエイベックスに全面降伏していた" (in Japanese). Livedoor. Archived from the original on August 21, 2010. Retrieved August 20, 2010.
- Daily Sports (September 10, 2010). "ＩＣＯＮＩＱ最新ミニアルバムＰＶで魅せた". Livedoor. Archived from the original on September 15, 2010. Retrieved September 15, 2010.
- "ＩＣＯＮＩＱのＰＶに世界的スタッフ". Daily Sports. August 23, 2010. Retrieved September 18, 2010.
- "「レコ大」大賞候補にいきもの、AKB48、植村花菜ら". Natalie. November 20, 2010. Retrieved November 21, 2010.
- "アーティスト： ICONIQ". Oricon. Retrieved 2010-07-24.
- "オリコンランキング情報サービス「you大樹」". Oricon. Retrieved 2010-07-24. (subscription only)
- "Hot 100｜JAPAN Charts｜Billboard JAPAN" (in Japanese). Billboard.
- "有料音楽配信チャート" (in Japanese). RIAJ.
- Winners announced for the 52nd Japan Record Awards
- Official website (Japanese)