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This is a Korean name; the family name is Lee.
For other uses, see Amy Lee (disambiguation).
130929 양주목화페스티벌 기타 가수 직찍 (Ailee) (3)
Ailee performing in 2013
Born Amy Lee
Lee Yejin (이예진)

(1989-05-30) May 30, 1989 (age 26)
Denver, Colorado, United States
Other names Ailee
Musical career
Years active 2012–present
  • YMC Entertainment (South Korea)
  • Warner Music (Japan)
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 (Hangul에일리), is a Korean-American singer. She is signed under YMC Entertainment in South Korea[1] and Warner Music in Japan. Dubbed the "Korean Beyonce",[2] Ailee has been acclaimed by both those in the music industry and the general public with the "highest expectations for her debut", boasting of a charisma that takes over the stage as well as top vocal and sensational rap skills.[3]

Ailee grew up in New Jersey, United States, and began her singing career as a YouTuber. Before her K-pop debut, Ailee was signed under Muzo Entertainment in America. After moving to South Korea in 2010, she passed an audition and became an artist for YMC Entertainment. After being recognized for her singing on Singer and Trainee, she also started acting in the KBS drama series Dream High 2 before her official debut. She has currently released three extended plays and one studio album.

Ailee has received the Best New Artist Award at the MelOn Music Awards, Golden Disk Awards, Gaon Chart K-Pop Awards and the Seoul Music Awards. She has also received Best Newcomer and three Best Female Vocal Performance at the Mnet Asian Music Awards for "U&I" , "Singing Got Better" and "Mind Your Own Business". For her work in Fated to Love You's OST, "Goodbye My Love", Ailee won Best Original Soundtrack at the 7th Korea Drama Awards.

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 at Pace University[4] before dropping out to pursue a career in music.[5] 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.[4] 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.[6] 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.[7]

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.[8]

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.[9] On the 9th, Ailee released the song and the music video, which featured Beast's Gi Kwang.[10][11]

Later that day, she made her debut stage performance of "Heaven" on M! Countdown,[12] and then on SBS Inkigayo on February 11.[13] Just one month after her debut, she won two awards at the Cyworld Music Awards—"Song of the Month" and "Rookie of the Month".[14] In March 2012, Ailee made her first appearances on KBS's Immortal Songs 2 with performing Patti Kim’s song “Light and Shadow” from 1967.[15] 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.[16] Later on June 30th episode, Immortal Songs 2 featured composer Yoon Il Sang. She performed "Fate" by Lee Seung Chul and won again with 402 votes.[17] In August, it was announced that Ailee was making a temporary leave from the show in order to focus on her music.[18] She performed her final stage on August 6, and the episode aired on September 1.[19] 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.[20] Ailee also, co-hosted the ABU Radio Song Festival with Han Seok Joon which took place on October 11, 2012.[21][22]

On October 16, Ailee released her debut mini album, Invitation which contained the title track, “I’ll Show You“ (보여줄게).[23] The mini album contains six tracks.[24] 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.[25] On October 18, Ailee made her comeback with "I'll Show You" on M! Countdown.[26] On November 23, She was able to acquire her first trophy in a music program (Music Bank) beating Psy's Gangnam Style.

2013-2014: A's Doll House and Magazine[edit]

Ailee 'Magazine' Album Photo Scan

On July 4, 2013, Ailee announced that she would release her second mini album entitled, A's Doll House, on July 12, 2013.[27] The album's single "U&I", topped music charts within 4 hours of release and earned Ailee her first "All-Kill" status.[28] 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."[29]

On August 4, 2013, it was revealed that Ailee will be making her Japanese debut with "Heaven" under Warner Music Japan. The music video was released on October 21.[30] Ailee started to promote the song with a showcase at Shibuya O-East, Tokyo on October 21.[31] The single was released on November 6, and also included the song "Starlight".[citation needed]

On September 14, 2013 it was announced that Ailee will release a digital single "Higher" with pianist Yiruma.[32] Two days later, "Higher" was released online.[33] On December 16, 2013 it was revealed that Ailee will be making a comeback after a 6-month hiatus in January 2014.

A music video teaser was released on January 2 ahead of the full release.[34] Both the full music video and the full digital song was released on January 6. The music video features MBLAQ's Lee Joon.[35] "Singing Got Better" reached #1 on Korea's major charts: Mnet, Bugs, Olleh, Soribada, Naver Music, Daum Music, and Genie.[36]

Ailee 'Mind Your Own Business' performance at M Countdown 151001

On September 16, 2014 it was announced that Ailee will be having a comeback through YMC Entertainment's official Twitter account. On September 21, 2014 the teaser for Ailee's "Don't Touch Me" was released. It was written by Min Yun-jae, Jakops, and Ailee. The full MV was released in September 25, 2014. Later that day, promotions for her new album, Magazine, commenced. It peaked at #2 for the Gaon Single Chart. She won the first trophy for "Don't Touch Me" in October 5, 2014 on SBS Inkigayo.

2015-present: "Johnny", first Solo Concert, and VIVID[edit]

On June 30, Ailee released "Johnny" as her contribution to the Brave Brothers’ tenth anniversary project.[37]

On July 4th, Ailee held her first solo concert, titled Fatal Attraction, which was held at Olympic Hall in Olympic Park, Seoul. Tickets sales broke records in an internet site proving her immense popularity.The concert was attended by 4,500 people.[38]

On September 20th, it was announced that Ailee will be having a comeback through YMC Entertainment's official Twitter account. In addition, a video teaser of her title track entitled "Mind Your Own Business" (너나 잘해) was released on 1theK's YouTube page on September 22. Ailee's first full-length album, entitled VIVID, was released on the 30th of September 2015. She won her first trophy for this promotion on October 7, 2015 on Show Champion.

On November 30, it was announced that Ailee would be releasing a collaboration digital single with Seventeen entitled "Q&A" on December 4.[39]


Main article: Ailee discography


Ailee performing U&I

Television Drama[edit]

Year Title Role
2012 Dream High Season 2 Ailee

Variety Shows[edit]

Year Title Network Notes
2011-2015 Immortal Songs 2 KBS2 Contestant
2013-2014 Great Marriage JTBC Cast
2013 Escape Crisis No.1 KBS Guest
2013 Weekly Idol MBC Every1 Guest, episode 76
2014 Laws of the City SBS Series regular
2014 MBC Music Ailee's Vitamin MBC Cast
2014 Running Man SBS Guest, episode 211-212
2014 Tray Song Relay KBS2 Guest
2014 One Fine Day MBC Season Regular
2015 You Hee-yeol's Sketchbook KBS2 Guest, episode 264

Awards and nominations[edit]


  1. ^ "YMC Entertainment Official Website". 
  2. ^ "Ailee, San-E, Jay Park to hold shows". January 30, 2015. Retrieved 2015-10-04.  External link in |website= (help)
  3. ^ "Korean-American singer to watch our for – Ailee – 에일리". Koreabridge. Retrieved 2015-10-04. 
  4. ^ a b "Korean Entertainment News". HanCinema. Retrieved 2015-10-08. 
  5. ^ "YMC Entertainment Official Website". Retrieved October 7, 2015. 
  6. ^ "Wheesung unveils 'They Are Coming', final mini-album before enlistment |". Retrieved 2015-10-08. 
  7. ^ "Jay Park, Art of Movement, Johnnyphlo, Decipher & more to perform at Rutgers University!". allkpop. Retrieved 31 December 2012. 
  8. ^ "Wheesung and Trainee Ailee Wow the Audience". Soompi. 16 September 2011. Retrieved 8 March 2012. 
  9. ^ "Ailee releases "Heaven" MV teaser feat. B2ST’s Kikwang". Allkpop. 6 February 2012. Retrieved 6 February 2012. 
  10. ^ "Ailee releases "Heaven" MV teaser". Soompi. 8 February 2012. Retrieved 8 March 2012. 
  11. ^ "Lee Ki Kwang appears on Ailee's "Heaven" music video". Soompi. 7 February 2012. Retrieved 8 March 2012. 
  12. ^ "Ailee makes an angelic debut with "Heaven" on ‘M! Countdown’!". Allkpop. 9 February 2012. Retrieved 9 February 2012. 
  13. ^ "Ailee Makes Debut Inkigayo Performance". Soompi. 12 February 2012. Retrieved 8 March 2012. 
  14. ^ "Rookie singer Ailee wins two titles from Cyworld Music Awards". Allkpop. 2 March 2012. Retrieved 17 October 2012. 
  15. ^ "John Park & Ailee make their first appearance on ‘Immortal Song 2′". Allkpop. 24 March 2012. Retrieved 17 October 2012. 
  16. ^ "Ailee claims victory on Immortal Song 2". Allkpop. 19 May 2012. Retrieved 17 October 2012. 
  17. ^ "Ailee claims victory + cast of ‘Immortal Song 2′ cover the greatest hits by composer Yoon Il Sang". Allkpop. 30 June 2012. Retrieved 17 October 2012. 
  18. ^ "Super Junior’s Ryeowook and Ailee to exit ‘Immortal Song 2′". Allkpop. 13 August 2012. Retrieved 17 October 2012. 
  19. ^ "Super Junior's Ryeowook and Soloist Ailee to Leave 'Immortal Song 2'". Kpopstarz. 13 August 2012. Retrieved 13 August 2012. 
  20. ^ "JAY PARK TV - EP 03". Jay Park. Retrieved 26 September 2012. 
  21. ^ "ABU TV Song Festival 2012 Participants". Retrieved 17 August 2012. 
  22. ^ "ABU TV Song Festival 2012". Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 17 August 2012. 
  23. ^ "Ailee releases "I’ll Show You" MV (ft. MBLAQ’s G.O) + ‘Invitation’ mini album". Allkpop. 15 October 2012. Retrieved 17 October 2012. 
  24. ^ "Naver News". 3 July 2012. Retrieved 3 July 2012. 
  25. ^ "Ailee Comes Back with Album 'Invitation'". kpopstarz. 16 October 2012. Retrieved 17 October 2012. 
  26. ^ "Ailee comes back with "I’ll Show You" on ‘M! Countdown’". Allkpop. 18 October 2012. Retrieved 23 October 2012. 
  27. ^ Nate News, 에일리가 돌아온다! 12일 새 앨범 발표 July 4, 2013. Retrieved July 10, 2013. Language, Korean.
  28. ^ Nate News, 에일리, 신곡 '유앤아이(U&I)' 티저 영상 공개 '컴백 신호탄' July 5, 2013. Retrieved July 10, 2013. Language, Korean.
  29. ^ "Demand for Ailee’s New Album "A’s Doll House" Is High". Soompi. July 17, 2013. Retrieved February 20, 2015. 
  30. ^ "Check out an all new PV for the Japanese version of Ailee's 'Heaven' |". Retrieved 2015-10-04. 
  31. ^ "Ailee to hold a showcase in Japan this October |". Retrieved 2015-10-04. 
  32. ^ "Ailee to take it 'Higher' with collaboration featuring pianist Yiruma |". Retrieved 2015-10-04. 
  33. ^ "Ailee takes you 'Higher' with collaboration featuring pianist Yiruma |". Retrieved 2015-10-04. 
  34. ^ "Ailee Releases Comeback Teaser for "Singing Got Better"". Soompi. Retrieved 2015-10-04. 
  35. ^ "Ailee asserts her 'Singing Got Better' in new song produced by Wheesung! |". Retrieved 2015-10-04. 
  36. ^ "Ailee sweeps 7 charts with 'Singing Got Better' + fellow singers show support |". Retrieved 2015-10-04. 
  37. ^ "Ailee Reveals Seductive Choreography for New Track "Johnny"". Soompi. Retrieved 2015-10-04. 
  38. ^ "Ailee's Killer 1st Solo Concert - Raps with Cheetah". Retrieved 2015-10-04. 
  39. ^ "Ailee To Team Up With Seventeen Members In Collaborative Single". Soompi. Retrieved December 4, 2015. 

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