Palette (IU song)

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Single by IU featuring G-Dragon
from the album Palette
ReleasedApril 21, 2017
FormatDigital download
LabelFave Entertainment
IU singles chronology
"Can't Love You Anymore"
"Dear Name"
G-Dragon singles chronology
"Untitled, 2014"
Music video
"Palette" on YouTube

"Palette" (팔레트; Palleteu) is a song recorded by South Korean singers IU and G-Dragon for the fourth studio album of the same title. IU herself composed the music and penned the lyrics with the collaboration of G-Dragon. The song was released on April 21, 2017, in conjunction with the release of the album as the album's third single, following "Through the Night" and "Can't Love You Anymore".

"Palette" received positive feedback and was a commercial success topping all the major music sites in South Korea. The song debuted atop the Gaon Digital Chart, becoming IU's 16th number one single in South Korea.[2]

The song’s accompanying music video was directed by Lee Rae-kyung, and was the most viewed Korean music video by a female soloist on YouTube in 2017.


"Palette" is a fizzy, electro-pop track which is considered the centerpiece of IU's album and has strong R&B leanings and is described as a charming millennial coming-of-age song with clever word play.[3] The track was written by IU and G-Dragon, while it was produced and composed by IU.[4] It runs for three minutes and thirty seven seconds and is performed in the key of C. The tempo runs at 103 beats per minute and is set in a 4/4 time signature.[5]

Lyrically, the song feels like a declaration of who IU really is. The track describes that now, IU is confident in herself and though she still has questions about herself, she's at least moving forward with self-assurance.[6]

Critical reception[edit]

"Palette" received generally favorable reviews from music critics praising IU's skill as a songwriter and her clever use of word play. The song's message about self-examination and G-Dragon's rap was also praised by critics.

Billboard magazine listed "Palette" at number six on its list of "Best K-Pop Songs of 2017", explaining "The mellow-dy belies a topsy-turvy world of self-satire, idiosyncratic sound effects and throwbacks to older eras." while describing the song as catchy.[7] The New York Times Magazine featured the song on its list of "25 Songs That Tell Us Where Music Is Going" appreciating IU’s ability as a singer-songwriter to project authenticity in K-pop.[8]

Chart Performance[edit]

The song shot to the top of the Instiz iChart upon release, and eventually achieved a Perfect All-Kill, as the single hit Number 1 on all of the major South Korean music sites simultaneously. "Palette" is her tenth career Perfect All-Kill (IU has since extended this number to 12 Perfect All-Kills).

Upon its week of release, the song placed first on the Gaon Digital Charts for the 16th charting week of the year - April 16th to April 22nd - despite being released the 21st of that month.[9] The song became IU's 16th number one song on the Gaon Digital Chart. The following week the song stayed at number one on the chart[10] achieving a "Triple Crown" for taking Number 1 on the Gaon Combined Digital Chart, Online Download Chart and Online Streaming Chart.

On the week of release, the song sold 207,139 downloads according to Gaon[11]; a number which increased to 223,228 during its second week of release.[12] "Palette" also pulled strong streaming numbers, being streamed 2,930,672 times during its first two days of release; a number which increased to 8,859,769 the following week of release. The song stayed a total of three weeks at the top of Gaon's Online Streaming Chart.

By the end of 2017, 1,817,177 downloads of the song have been sold in South Korea according to Gaon - making it the fourth best selling song of the year, and has accumulated over 100 million streams, making it one of the most popular songs of the year by this method of consumption as well.[13][14]

Music Video[edit]

The accompanying music video was directed by Rae-kyung Lee, and released alongside the song.

The music video currently has over 110 million views making it the most popular Korean music video by a female soloist in 2017.

The music video was also the third most watched video of 2017 on YouTube in South Korea.[15]

Live Performances[edit]

Upon the release of her album "Palette," IU began promoting on music shows. She first performed "Palette" on April 23rd's episode of Inkigayo, where her pre-release track, "Through the Night" had won the previous week. IU also performed this song during the 104th episode of Picnic Live Season 2 and during the 882nd episode of Music Bank. Yu Huiyeol's Sketchbook was another televised broadcast featuring a performance of the song where she performed a different version of the song with some changes in the lyrics.[16] She also performed the song at the 7th Gaon Chart Music Awards alongside "Through the Night".

IU has also presented the song at various concerts and musical festivals throughout the year. In most of her live performances of the song, IU is accompanied by several dancers as they perform the choreography featured in the music video.


Chart (2017) Peak
South Korea (Gaon)[17] 1
US World Digital Songs (Billboard) 4


Chart Sales
South Korean Gaon Download Chart[18][19] 2,500,000+


Chart Streaming
South Korean Gaon Streaming Chart[20] 107,192,331+

Music program awards[edit]

Song Program Date
"Palette" M Countdown (Mnet) April 27, 2017[21]
May 4, 2017[22]
Show! Music Core (MBC) April 29, 2017[23]
May 6, 2017
Inkigayo (SBS) April 30, 2017[24]
May 7, 2017
May 14, 2017[25]
Music Bank (KBS2) May 5, 2017
May 19, 2017
Show Champion (MBC) May 17, 2017[26]


  1. ^ Benjamin, Jeff (May 18, 2017). "IU's 'Palette' Proves the Power of Personal K-Pop". Billboard. Retrieved May 29, 2017.
  2. ^ "Gaon Digital Chart - Week 16". Retrieved 2017-04-27.
  3. ^ "IU's 'Palette' Proves the Power of Personal K-Pop".
  4. ^ "Palette Lyrics" (in Korean). Genius. Retrieved December 15, 2017.
  5. ^ "Palette". Find Song Tempo. Retrieved December 15, 2017.
  6. ^ "IU's 'Palette' Proves the Power of Personal K-Pop".
  7. ^ "The Best K-pop Songs of 2017: Critics' Picks". Billboard. Retrieved 2017-12-14.
  8. ^ "25 Songs That Tell Us Where Music Is Going". The New York Times Magazine. Retrieved 2018-03-08.
  9. ^ "Gaon Digital Chart - Week 16". Retrieved 2017-04-27.
  10. ^ "Gaon Digital Chart - Week 17". Retrieved 2017-05-04.
  11. ^ "Gaon Download Chart - Week 16". Retrieved 2017-04-27.
  12. ^ "Gaon Download Chart - Week 17". Retrieved 2017-05-04.
  13. ^ "2017년 Streaming Chart". Retrieved April 21, 2018.
  14. ^ "2017년 Download Chart". Retrieved April 21, 2018.
  15. ^ "YouTube Reveals Top 10 Music Videos In Korea From 2017". Soompi. Retrieved 2017-12-07.
  16. ^ "[IU and Oh Hyuk put on wonderful performances on 'Yoo Hee Yeol's Sketchbook']". Allkpop. Retrieved December 15, 2017.
  17. ^ "Digital Chart – Week 16 of 2017" (in Korean). Gaon Music Chart. Retrieved May 29, 2017.
  18. ^ Cumulative sales for "Palette":
  19. ^ "GAON′s 관찰노트". Gaon Music Chart (in Korean). September 12, 2018. Retrieved September 12, 2018.
  20. ^ Cumulative streaming for "Palette":
  21. ^ ‘엠카운트다운’ 오늘(27일) ‘프듀101’ A등급 무대…혁오 최초 공개. Busan Ilbo (in Korean). April 27, 2017. Retrieved April 29, 2017.
  22. ^ 아이유, '엠카' 결방 속 2주 연속 1위 [종합]. Naver (in Korean). May 4, 2017. Retrieved May 4, 2017.
  23. ^ '음악중심' 아이유, 출연 없이 1위..젝스키스 컴백(종합) (in Korean). April 29, 2017. Retrieved April 29, 2017.
  24. ^ '인기가요' 아이유, 이변 없는 1위..젝스키스 컴백·김희철 MC(종합) (in Korean). Naver. April 30, 2017. Retrieved April 30, 2017.
  25. ^ '인기가요' 아이유,수란- 위너 제치고 압도적인 총점으로 1위 (in Korean). Naver. May 14, 2017. Retrieved May 14, 2017.
  26. ^ '쇼 챔피언' 아이유 '팔레트' 출연없이 챔피언송 1위…김신영 "잘 전달하겠다" (in Korean). May 17, 2017. Retrieved May 17, 2017.