May 3, 1981
|Died||January 21, 2007 (aged 25)|
Incheon, South Korea
|Cause of death||Suicide by hanging|
|Other names||Heo Yun|
|Revised Romanization||I Hye-ryeon|
|Revised Romanization||Heo Yun|
U;Nee committed suicide on January 21, 2007 at age 25.
U;Nee was born Lee Hye-Ryeon (이혜련) on May 3, 1981 in Seo-gu, Incheon, South Korea. She had a difficult childhood and was born to an unwed mother. Her father died when she was young and she was raised by her grandmother as result.
2003: Debut and U;Nee Code
In 2003, U;Nee debuted as a dance-pop singer, with upbeat songs (although some of her songs were upbeat songs, she rapped in many of them), as heard in her very first single, 가 (Go). The song was well received by Korean media, and garnered her many fans. The track was then featured on her debut album, U;Nee Code, released on June 12, 2003. U;Nee Code sold well.
2005: Image Transition & Call Call Call/Passion & Pure – EP
In 2005, her record label started to market her as a sexy singer, focusing more on her image, while transforming her dance-pop style music into a sexy R&B sound, as heard in her 2005 single, "Call Call Call". U;Nee underwent plastic surgery, enlarging her breast size in the process and having slight surgery on her jaw and nose. Soon after, U;Nee released her 2nd album, Call Call Call, with sales equally similar to U;Nee Code, even though the lead single, Call Call Call, was performed frequently and landed within the Top 10 of Korean Music Charts. U;Nee's record company then tried to advertise her more as a sexy singer, which gave her harsh criticism from netizens. U;Nee, who was personally soft-spoken and reserved, found this difficult to bear. U;Nee was also known as "ユニ" (Yuni) in Japan.
2006: U;Nee in Japan
In 2006, U;Nee was marketed abroad in Asia. Her debut single, One, taken from Call Call Call, was released in Japan in February 2006. The single also included an alternate version of Sun Cruise from her debut album, U;Nee Code, and Follow Me, a song that would later appear on her 3rd and final album, Habit. She held a showcase performing a variety of her songs from her Call Call Call album with great reviews, thus gaining her many fans in Japan.
U;Nee committed suicide on January 21, 2007 at her home in Seo-gu, Incheon, South Korea. U;Nee's grandmother found her hanging from a door frame after she had returned from a church service. After an investigation by the police, it was determined that U;Nee had suffered from depression and stress.There was no suicide note, but she did write that she felt lonely on a Web site: "I feel everything is empty. I am again walking down a path to reach a destination that I don't know."
U;Nee's management company released her third album as planned on January 26, 2007, five days after her death.
- "New Generation Report – Adults Don’t Know"
- "The Theme Game"
- "The Tears of a Dragon"
- "The King and the Queen"
- "Call Call Call"
- "Singer U;Nee Dies in Apparent Suicide". Chosun Ilbo. Chosun Ilbo Co. January 22, 2007. Retrieved 27 March 2017.
- U;Nee on Daum Cafe