|Birth name||Lee Ji-eun (이지은)|
|Born||May 16, 1993|
|Revised Romanization||I Jieun|
Lee Ji-eun (Korean: 이지은; born May 16, 1993), better known by her stage name IU (Korean: 아이유), is a South Korean singer-songwriter and actress. Her stage name is derived from the phrase "I and You", symbolizing that people can become one through music. Her fan club name is Uaena, where each syllable has a different meaning: "U" is "You" from English, "ae" is Sino-Korean for "love", and "na" is Korean for "me".
- 1 Early life
- 2 Career
- 2.1 2008: Debut
- 2.2 2009: First studio album, mainstream success, and other activities
- 2.3 2010: Nagging for We Got Married and third mini album
- 2.4 2011: Rising popularity, Dream High, Real+ and Last Fantasy
- 2.5 2012: Japanese debut and Spring of a Twenty Year Old
- 2.6 2013: You're the Best, Lee Soon-shin, Modern Times and Pretty Man
- 2.7 2014: Hong Kong showcase, A Flower Bookmark, collaborations
- 2.8 2015: The Producers
- 3 Endorsements and other activities
- 4 Discography
- 5 Concerts
- 6 Filmography
- 7 Awards and nominations
- 8 Appearances in other media
- 9 References
- 10 External links
IU decided to become a singer when she was 14 after singing at her school's sports competition, as she felt happy receiving the audiences' applause. She started to attend auditions, but failed all 20, and she was also scammed by fake entertainment companies. When IU was in her seventh grade, her family started to have financial problems due to the failure of her father's project. IU had to live apart from her parents in a studio room with her grandmother, younger brother and cousin for a year and a half, in conditions of great poverty.
IU debuted on Mnet M! Countdown on September 18, 2008 with her debut single "Lost Child". It was later released as the title track for her debut mini-album Lost and Found on September 24, 2008. However, she did not gain mainstream popularity until her follow-up and debut studio album Growing Up.
2009: First studio album, mainstream success, and other activities
On April 16, 2009, IU launched her first full album, titled Growing Up, with the lead promotional number "Boo". Within three weeks, "Boo" went up to the No.1 contenders for SBS Inkigayo, and her name also went up twice on Take 7 together with other notable artists like SG Wannabe and Younha. The song also did well on KBS Music Bank K-Chart, on Mnet M! Countdown chart, and on various online music charts.]
In 2009, IU sang the ending title song, "Araro", as well as the song "Wind flower" for the acclaimed MBC drama Queen Seon Duk. IU was recommended by the director, Sam Kim, citing her "clear tone and her lyrical sensibility". IU was also featured in Mighty Mouth's album Love Class in the song "희망사항". In late 2009, IU recorded MC Mong's song "Love Letter to You" featuring SHINee's Key as the rapper.
2010: Nagging for We Got Married and third mini album
IU recorded the song "잔소리" (Nagging / Scolded) with 2AM's Seulong for the TV show We Got Married. On June 27, 2010, IU won her first award since her debut on SBS Inkigayo for "Nagging". On July 2, 2010, she won another award for that song on KBS Music Bank K-Chart. Soon after, IU was chosen to sing the main OST song for the MBC drama Road No. 1 titled "여자라서" (Because I'm A Woman). IU's other collaborations include duets with Yoo Seung-ho ("사랑을 믿어요" (Believe in Love)), Sung Si-kyung ("그대네요" (It's You)), and Big Bang's Seungri ("I Know").
IU worked with some of South Korea's most famous musicians and producers for her third mini-album, Real, released in December 2010. Lee Min Soo and Kim Eana, the creators of IU's previous hit "Nagging", helped produce her award-winning song "좋은 날" ("Good Day"). IU received three SBS Inkigayo Mutizen Song awards for her performances of the song (on December 18 and December 26, 2010, and January 2, 2011), three awards from KBS Music Bank K-Chart (on December 24 and December 31, 2010, and January 7, 2011), and one award from Mnet M! Countdown on December 23, 2010.
2011: Rising popularity, Dream High, Real+ and Last Fantasy
IU often covers other pop artists' songs with her guitar and features her friend Thunder from MBLAQ, most notably renditions of SHINee's "Juliette", Big Bang's "Lies", Super Junior's "Sorry, Sorry" and Girls' Generation's "Gee".
IU starred in KBS2's drama, Dream High as Kim Pil-sook from 3rd January to 28 February, with a special episode on 1st March.
In January 2011, IU's song "Someday" from KBS's drama Dream High was released. Netizens immediately noticed a similarity to "To My Man", sung by Ash, and accused songwriter Park Jin-young of plagiarism. Songwriter Kim Sin-il filed a lawsuit against Park for plagiarizing "To My Man", in which he eventually won.
Soribada, an online music service provider, combined the music downloads and streams from January 1 to March 30, 2011, to name IU's song, "Good Day" as the number one song of the first quarter. "Someday" and the ballad "Only I Didn't Know", from her Real+ mini-album, placed 4th and 7th place, respectively – showing that IU took 3 of the top 10 digital spots for the first quarter. Her first original composition, "Dreaming" was used in the drama Dream High, but it was not released officially.
On June 18, 2011, IU held her first official fan meeting and mini-concert at AX-Korea. It also marked the 1004th day since she debuted.
On November 29, 2011, IU's second full-length album Last Fantasy was released and achieved an ‘all-kill’ as all 13 songs immediately swept most of Korea's charts. The track list was revealed on November 22, 2011.
2012: Japanese debut and Spring of a Twenty Year Old
On January 24, 2012, IU held a live showcase at Tokyo's Bunkamura Orchard Hall. At the time of the showcase, it was noted that she was the youngest Korean singer ever to perform at the Hall. On March 1, 2012, she released a promotional video for the Japanese version of "Good Day", the title track of her Japanese single album. The album, which includes DVD footage from the showcase, was later released on March 21, 2012.
In early April, 2012, it was announced that IU will be holding her first solo tour, "Real Fantasy", starting in June. The tour features performances in six different cities across South Korea, including Seoul and Busan.
On May 11, 2012, IU released a single album, Spring of a Twenty Year Old. The album contains three songs, one of which was self-composed by IU. This song, entitled "Peach", was digitally released before the album, on May 4, 2012. A 26-minute-long documentary-style music video film was released alongside the album, featuring the album track, "Every End of the Day", and several interviews with IU that showcased her personal thoughts and experiences. This film contained footage of IU's visit to Venice, Italy. Due to her commitments towards preparing for her first solo tour, she was unable to make broadcast promotions for the single. Additionally, while touring, she had to leave her hosting job at SBS' Inkigayo, though she returned upon the tour's completion.
You & I, IU's second Japanese single, was released on July 18.
In December, IU's entertainment company, LOEN Entertainment, announced that IU will be having a comeback in 2013. The album, which is expected to have a mature theme in opposition to the "Nation's Little Sister" image that IU has presented on her previous work.
On December 29, IU hosted the 2012 SBS Gayo Daejeon, an annual music program, alongside Miss A's Suzy and actor Jung Gyu-woon. She was selected for her "stable emceeing skills as she had served as the MC for Inkigayo".
2013: You're the Best, Lee Soon-shin, Modern Times and Pretty Man
IU starred in the weekend drama You're the Best, Lee Soon-shin from 9 March to 25 August on KBS2 Network, portraying a seemingly unlucky girl who remains courageous and bright.
On April 1, 2013, EMI Music Japan was completely merged into Universal Music Japan as a sublabel by the name EMI Records Japan as a result of Universal Music's purchase of EMI in September 2012. All the artists from EMI Music Japan will continue releasing material at Universal Music Japan while still maintaining the catalogue code (TOCT).
It was announced that IU will be performing in Singapore for the first time in her career for the 2013 MBC Korean Music Wave concert in Singapore which also comprises SHINee, EXO, 2PM, 2AM, F.T. Island, B1A4, TeenTop, B.A.P, Kara, Sistar, Miss A and 4Minute, with "mystery superstars" set to be emcees for the night. However, the event was cancelled 10 days before it was due to be held.
On September 16, 2013, LOEN Entertainment revealed two teaser images for her upcoming 3rd full album, Modern Times. The album included tracks of various genres ranging from jazz, Bossa Nova, to swing and Latin pop. The full album was released on October 7, 2013 and quickly topped several Korean music charts as well as Korea's major music programs.
On October 21, 2013, IU was confirmed as a part of the cast of Pretty Man, IU would be taking on the role of Kim Bo Tong. The Wednesday-Thursday Drama aired from 20 November 2013 to 9 January 2014 on KBS2 Network.
A repackaged version of Modern Times, with two additional tracks("Friday", and "Crayon"), was released on December 20, 2013. Her self-composed title track, "Friday" achieved a perfect all-kill on the South Korean music charts. This was IU's second perfect all-kill of the year, following her success with 'The Red Shoes' in October. Also, "Friday" reached number one on all three of Korea's major music programs without any live performance.
2014: Hong Kong showcase, A Flower Bookmark, collaborations
Following her first appearance in Hong Kong on 23 June 2012 at Music Bank in Hong Kong with other K-pop idols, IU brought her Modern Times Showcase to Hong Kong on 23 March 2014. She also collaborated with the new vocal group High4 for their debut song, "Not Spring, Love, or Cherry Blossoms", which was released on April 8. Having reached No. 1 on May 10, 2014 in Billboard's K-pop chart with this song, IU became Billboard's official K-pop all time chart leader with 5 No. 1s since K-pop Hot 100 was introduced in September 2011. IU is also the holder for most weeks at No.1 (14) in the chart.
On May 4, Kiscover, an Asian-based discovery platform added IU as one of their dedicated streaming channels.
On May 16, she released A Flower Bookmark, a remake album of seven old Korean songs, IU held a small concert, titled "Just One Step... That Much More", at Sogang University Mary Hall from May 22 to June 1, in which all the seven new songs were included in the live presentation. The track, "My Old Story", reached the perfect all-kill status 3 days after the album's release.
On July 1, 2014, the digital single "Summer Love", sung by Ulala Session and IU, was released. Its release was postponed until now as the leader of Ulala Session died after the song was recorded in 2012. IU was then featured in the song "Sing For Me" (translated) in the G.O.D.'s 8th album released on July 8, 2014.
On August 9, 2014, IU performed for the first time in the U.S. at the KCON 2014 event held in Los Angeles, U.S.A. Excerpts of the concerts in the event, which included 9 other K-pop artists/groups, was later broadcast in Korea on August 14, 2014 by Mnet as a special program named "M! Countdown 2 Nights in L.A.". She was also interviewed by Billboard.
2015: The Producers
On May 17, IU released her self composed song "Heart" as a gift to her fans, which achieved an all-kill the next day. This song was first revealed in the drama The Producers, however it wasn't included in the OST album. This song was later included in the special edition of the album as a special track.
Endorsements and other activities
IU has secured a number of endorsement deals like 2011 UNIONBAY clothing line (with Seo In-Guk), MyChew candy, codes combine and the action-riding game The Story of My Horse and I, Alicia. In 2011, IU became the next pop star spokesmodel for Mexicana Chicken. Samsung selected IU to represent their Anycall brand, previously endorsed by such stars as Lee Hyori, BoA, and Junki, stating "we believe that [IU] has the potential to create a big bang within the industry". In the same year, IU endorsed SK Telecom, Namyang Dairy, S-Oil, Home Plus, Y'SB, Le Coq Sportif, Elite school uniforms, and was chosen to be the ambassador for Yeosu Expo Korea 2012. In 2012, IU secured endorsement deals for G by Guess and cosmetics brand, The Saem as well. On December 4, 2012, it was announced that IU would endorse NCsoft's Aion: The Tower of Eternity video game.
In June 2014, IU secured her first endorsement from a Chinese company, Qdsuh, for their cosmetic products. In September 2014, IU together with You Hee-yeol, secured the endorsement from Sony for their earphone/headphone products in Korea. On November 21, IU secured an endorsement for Soju brand 'Chamisul'. A few days later, together with Song Jae-rim, she endorsed Sbenu's sneakers. On January 4, IU together with Lee Hyun-woo, secured the endorsement deal for UNIONBAY clothing line. On February 1, IU was appointed as the new model of skincare brand, ISOI.
In August 2009, IU became a host for the new program Gom Music Chart on GomTV, a weekly show where South Korean netizens vote for their favorite songs on the charts. For a time, IU became a fixed guest on Super Junior's Kiss the Radio, Maybee's Raise the Volume, MBC's Starry Night (hosted by Park Kyung-lim and Shin Young) and Chin Chin Radio (hosted by Taeyeon). Upon Taeyeon's departure, she was chosen as a temporary DJ for two weeks together with Beast member Doojoon. IU was the VJ for MBC Game's Star for You. In October and November 2010, IU introduced the competing players in season 2 of GomTV's Global Starcraft II League. IU is also one of twelve original female cast members chosen for the SBS variety show Heroes.
On February 6, 2011, it was announced that IU would be a guest performer for British contemporary jazz & soul singer, Corinne Bailey Rae's 1st Korean concert. She was also featured in K-Will's music video for his song "My Heart is Beating" along with MBLAQ's Lee Joon and Boyfriend's No Minwoo.
Between May and July in 2011, IU attended the filming for SBS's Kim Yu-na's Kiss & Cry, where celebrities show off their figure skating skills. However, she was eliminated in Episode 8. During this time, she also participated in KBS Immortal Songs 2. However due to her overwhelming schedule of Kim Yu-na's Kiss & Cry and MC duties for Inkigayo, she withdrew from Immortal Songs 2 to focus on her upcoming album.
IU performed at the 2011 GSL Blizzard Cup finals, with the songs "Good Day" and "You and I". This was not the first time that she was involved in the GSL, as she also did the voice over for the player introductions and openers in previous seasons.
On March 22, 2012, IU along with ZE:A member Yim Si-wan and Hwang Kwanghee starred in a Samsung CF for their latest smartphone, the 'Wave 3'. It is a three-part drama titled '20, the start of the Wave', which introduced various apps and tools of the 'Wave 3'.
Since February 2013, IU has been an honorary member of the South Korean police force as ambassador for anti-bullying.
|2011||Dream High||KBS2||Kim Pil-suk||Main cast|
|Welcome to the Show||SBS||Herself||Episode 1|
|2012||Dream High 2||KBS2||Kim Pil-suk||Episode 1 (cameo appearance)|
|Salamander Guru and The Shadows||SBS||Pickpocket Jieun||Episode 6 (cameo appearance)|
|2013||You're the Best, Lee Soon-shin||KBS2||Lee Soon-shin||Leading role|
|Pretty Man||KBS2||Kim Bo-tong||Leading role|
|2015||The Producers||KBS2||Cindy||Leading role|
|2012||Sammy's Great Escape 2||Ella||Voice acting, Korean dubbed|
|2009||Star Golden Bell||KBS2||Guest||Ep 262, 02 May 2009, 13 June 2009|
|You Hee-yeol's Sketchbook||Guest||03 July 2009|
|2010||Heroes||SBS||Herself||40 episodes between July 18, 2010 & May 1, 2011|
|Kim Jung-eun's Chocolate||Guest||27 February 2010|
|Scent of Female Singers||TVN||Herself||Episodes 01-03|
|2011||Star Blind Date||SBS||Herself||02 February 2011 (SBS Lunar New Year special)|
|Kim Yu-na's Kiss & Cry||Contestant||until episode 8|
|Running Man||Guest||Episodes 43, 77, 96, 97 and 168|
|The Music Trend||Co-hostess||March 20, 2011 – July 28, 2013|
|Home Sweet Home (Dalgona)||Guest||10 June 2011|
|Night After Night||Guest||04 April 2011|
|Infinite Challenge||MBC||Panelist Guest||Episode 230|
|Come to Play||Guest||Episode 329 and 333|
|Happy Together||KBS||Guest||07 April 2011|
|Hello Counselor||Guest||26 December 2011|
|Immortal Songs 2||KBS2||Contestant|
|2012||MTV Music Island||Musical guest||as premiere episode guest|
|Gayo Daejeon||Co-hostess||December 29|
|Jung Jae-hyung & Lee Hyori's You and I||Musical guest||as premiere episode guest|
|Happy Together||KBS||Guest||07 April 2011, Ep 228 (22 December 2011), Ep 265 (20 September 2012)|
|The Crown Princess Project – Restoring The Royal Family||KBS2||Herself||Lunar New Year special|
|You Hee-yeol's Sketchbook||Guest||25 May 2012|
|Ultimate Quiz Show Q||MBC||Co-hostess||20 episodes between August 19, 2012, and December 28, 2012|
|2013||Picnic Live Soundscape – IU's Secret Vacation||MBC Music||Host||November 11, 2013|
|Happy Together||KBS||Guest||Ep 297 (02 May 2013), Ep 323 (31 October 2013)|
|Hello Counselor||Guest||28 October 2013|
|Hidden Singer||JTBC||Original Singer||Season 2, Episode 7|
|You Hee-yeol's Sketchbook||KBS2||Guest||11 October 2013|
|2014||Music Travel Yesterday||MBC||Musical guest||March 2, 2014, and March 9, 2014|
|Healing Camp||SBS||Guest||07 July 2014|
|Tray Relay Song Competition (translated)||KBS2||Co-hostess||September 8, 2014 with Shin Dong Yub|
|I Am a Man||Guest||Episode 1|
|You Hee-yeol's Sketchbook||KBS2||Guest||11 May 2014, 03 October 2014 (Jeju Acoustic Festival)|
|2015||Infinite Challenge||MBC||Music Festival Participant||Episode 435-440|
Awards and nominations
Appearances in other media
In December 2011, LOEN Entertainment together with dooub, Inc. released an iOS game IU SHAKE.
- Mark Russell (29 April 2014). K-Pop Now!: The Korean Music Revolution. Tuttle Publishing. p. 122. ISBN 978-1-4629-1411-1.
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- IU, Suzy, and actor Jung Kyeo Woon to host the ’2012 SBS Gayo Daejun’. allkpop. (2012-12-25). Retrieved on 2013-01-09.
- "UNIVERSAL MUSIC JAPAN". Universal-music.co.jp. Retrieved 7 October 2014.
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- "IU scores Perfect All-Kill with My Old Story".
- "IU and Ulala Session sing 'Yearning Heart' for part 5 of 'The Lyrics' project". June 29, 2014. Retrieved July 7, 2014.
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- "IU, Cha Tae Hyun, and Kong Hyo Jin Confirmed for ′Producers′". Mwave. 9 March 2015. Retrieved 15 March 2015.
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- "IU and Seo In Kook model for UNIONBAY". Retrieved 2011-01-24.
- "IU's sponsored innerwear selca for codes combine". Retrieved 2013-11-05.
- "IU chosen as new model for "Mexicana Chicken"". Retrieved 2011-01-24.
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- G by Guess. Weheartiu.com (2012-01-25). Retrieved on 2012-08-20.
- The Saem. Weheartiu.com. Retrieved on 2012-08-20.
- IU to endorse NCSoft game Aion. allkpop. (2012-12-04). Retrieved on 2012-12-14.
- "IU is pretty in pink for Chinese makeup brand 'QDSUH'". July 5, 2014. Retrieved July 7, 2014.
- "IU & You Hee Yeol are chosen as exclusive models of Sony's MDR brand". September 30, 2014. Retrieved November 21, 2014.
- "Song Jae Rim and IU Model for Sneaker Brand Sbenu". 1 December 2014.
- "IU and Lee Hyun Woo Become Endorsement Partners for UNIONBAY". January 4, 2015. Retrieved February 7, 2015.
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- "IU gets her own show, Gom Music Chart". August 28, 2009. Retrieved November 21, 2014.
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- "SBS finalizes the 12 member female cast for new variety show Heroes". All K-Pop. 2010-07-02. Retrieved 2011-01-24.
- IU to perform at Bailey Raes concert in Korea. Koreatimes.co.kr. Retrieved on 2011-10-24.
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- "Yesung, Min, IU, Yoseob & more confirmed for "Immortal Song 2″". Allkpop. 2011-05-04. Retrieved 2012-11-22.
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- Blizzard CUP Final Broadcasting Schedule. Gomtv.net. Retrieved on 2012-08-20.
- 2011 GSL Award Ceremony Video – Requires Premium Pass. Gomtv.net. Retrieved on 2012-08-20.
- IU does player introductions for Sony Ericsson GSL Season 2. Allkpop.com (2010-10-22). Retrieved on 2012-08-20.
- "IU and ZE:A's Siwan star in part one of 'Wave 3' CF drama". Allkpop. 2012-03-24. Retrieved 2012-11-23.
- "아이유 막방소감 "엠씨가요 가장 기억남는 실수" 인기가요 MC 하차". Retrieved 7 October 2014.
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- MBC to also cancel ‘Quiz Show Q’. allkpop. (2012-12-11). Retrieved on 2013-01-10.
- Love is like Rainwater outside the Window on YouTube
- One Step Closer on YouTube
- Yu JaeSeok's I am a Man 나는 남자다 - Ep.1 on YouTube
- Yu Huiyeol's Sketchbook 유희열의 스케치북: IU, VIXX, Choi Baekho, Nah Younsun, OKDAL (2014.05.11) on YouTube
- Yu Huiyeol's Sketchbook 유희열의 스케치북: Jeju Acoustic Festival (2014.10.03) on YouTube
- TV: Infinity Challenge Music Festival. netizenbuzz. (July 04 2015).
- "아이유 셰이크 (IU SHAKE)". December 12, 2011.
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