IU (singer)

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IU at a fan signing event in Anyang, South Korea in April 2012
Background information
Birth nameLee Ji-eun (이지은)
Born(1993-05-16) May 16, 1993 (age 19)
South Korea
OccupationsSinger, Actress, Composer
Years active2008–present
LabelsLOEN Entertainment (Korea)
EMI Music Japan (Japan)
Golden Typhoon (Taiwan)
WebsiteOfficial Korean Website
Official Japan Website
EMI Artiste Page
Official Facebook
Official Verified Twitter
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IU at a fan signing event in Anyang, South Korea in April 2012
Background information
Birth nameLee Ji-eun (이지은)
Born(1993-05-16) May 16, 1993 (age 19)
South Korea
OccupationsSinger, Actress, Composer
Years active2008–present
LabelsLOEN Entertainment (Korea)
EMI Music Japan (Japan)
Golden Typhoon (Taiwan)
WebsiteOfficial Korean Website
Official Japan Website
EMI Artiste Page
Official Facebook
Official Verified Twitter
IU (아이유)
Revised RomanizationI Ji-eun
McCune–ReischauerYi Chi-ŭn

IU (Korean: 아이유), born as Lee Ji-eun (Korean: 이지은, May 16, 1993), is a South Korean singer and actress.[1] Her stage name, IU, is derived from "I and You", which symbolizes that we can become one through music.[2] In her home country of South Korea, she is often referred to as the "Nation's Little Sister" due to her various personality traits.[citation needed] Her fan club name is U-ana (Uaena).[citation needed]



2008: Debut

IU debuted on a Korean music program called Mnet M! Countdown in September 18, 2008. On September 24, 2008, she released her first mini-album, Lost and Found, in which the most famous song was the title track, "Missing Child."[3] However, the album was not commercially successful. It wasn't until her follow-up album that she succeeded in breaking into the mainstream.

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 #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.[citation needed]

In 2009, IU sang the ending title song, "Araro", for the acclaimed MBC drama Queen Seon Duk, where she was recommended by the director, Sam Kim, citing her "clear tone and her lyrical sensibility."[4] She was also featured on Mighty Mouth's album Love Class in the song "희망사항." In late 2009, IU recorded MC Mong's song "Love Letter For You (Neoyege Sseuneun Pyeonji)," featuring SHINee's Key as a rapper in the song.

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 Shi Kyung ("그대네요" (It's You)), and Big Bang's Seungri ("I Know").[citation needed]

IU worked with some of South Korea's most famous musicians and producers for her third mini-album, Real, released in December 2010.[5] Lee Min Soo and Kim Eana, the creators of IU's previous hit "Nagging", helped produce her award-winning song "좋은 날" ("Good Day")."[6] 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.[citation needed]

2011: Rising popularity, 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."[7]

Soribada, an online music service, 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. Her song "Someday" from the KBS drama Dream High OST and her ballad "The Story Only I Didn't Know", from her Real+ mini-album, placed 4th and 7th place, respectively – showing that IU got 3 of the top 10 digital spots for the first quarter. Her first original composition, "Dreaming" was used in the drama Dream High, but not released officially.

On June 18, 2011, IU held her first official fanmeeting and mini-concert at AX-Korea. It also marked the 1004th day since she debuted.[8]

IU also sang a self-composed OST called "Hold my Hand" for drama series The Greatest Love.[9]

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 all the charts.[10][11] The track list was revealed on November 22, 2011.

2012 to present

On January 24, 2012, IU held a live showcase at Tokyo's Bunkamura Orchard Hall.[12] At the time of the showcase, it was noted that she was the youngest Korean singer ever to perform at the Hall.[13] On March 1st, 2012, she released a promotional video for the Japanese version of "Good Day", the title track of her Japanese single album.[14] The album, which includes DVD footage from the showcase,[15] was later released on March 21, 2012.[16]

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.[17]

IU released the single album, Spring of a Twenty Year Old, on May 11th, 2012.[18] The album contains three songs, one of which is self-composed by IU. This song, entitled "Peach", was digitally released before the album, on May 4th, 2012.[19] 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 showcase her personal thoughts and experiences. This film contains footage of IU as she visits Venice, Italy.[20] Due to her commitments towards preparing for her first solo tour, she was unable to make broadcast promotions for the single. She also had to leave her hosting job at SBS' Inkigayo.[21]

You & I, IU's second Japanese single, was released on July 18th.[22]

Endorsements and other activities


IU has secured a number of endorsement deals,[23] including the 2011 UNIONBAY clothing line (with Seo In-Kook),[24] MyChew candy, 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.[25] 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.".[26] In the same year, IU endorsed for 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 the endorsement deals for G by Guess[27] and cosmetics brand, The Saem[28] as well.

Other activities

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.[citation needed] For a time, IU became a fixed guest on Super Junior's Kiss the Radio, Maybee's Raise the Volume, and 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 B2ST member Doojoon.[citation needed] IU is currently the VJ for MBC Game's Star for You.[citation needed] In October and November of 2010, IU introduced the competing players in season 2 of GomTV's Global Starcraft II League.[29] IU is also one of twelve original female cast members chosen for the SBS variety show Heroes.[30]

IU took up a role as Kim Pil Suk in the KBS 2TV teen drama series Dream High.[31]

On February 6, 2011, it was announced that IU would be a guest performer for British contemporary jazz & soul singer, Corinne Bailey Rae, during her 1st Korean concert.[32] 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 Kiss & Cry, where celebrities show off their figure skating skills. However, she was eliminated in Episode 8.[citation needed]

IU performed at the 2011 GSL Blizzard Cup finals,[33] with the songs "Good Day" and "You and I".[34] This is not the first time she would be involved in the GSL, as she also did the voice over for the player introductions and openers in previous seasons as well.[35]


Korean Discography

Studio albums

Japanese Discography

  • 2011: I □ U


Solo Concert


2011Dream HighKBS2Kim Pil Suk
Welcome to the ShowSBSHerselfEpisode 1
2012Dream High 2KBS2Kim Pil SukEpisode 1 (Cameo Appearance)
Salamander Guru and The ShadowsSBSPickpocket JieunEpisode 6
Cameo appearance
2012Sammy Adventures 2MovieElla
2011Kim Yu-na's Kiss and CryContestantUntil episode 8
InkigayoHostMarch 20, 2011 – May 27, 2012
1 vs. 100KBS2Guest
Immortal Song 2Contestant
Entertainment BroadcastGuestas guest for 'guerilla date'
You Hee-Yeol's SketchbookGuest
Come To Play[37]MBCGuestMarch 14, 2011
Radio StarMusical GuestMarch 30, 2011
E!TV SpecialSBSHost
Running ManGuestEpisode 43
Strong HeartGuestDecember 20, 2011
Mak Irae ShowTooniverseGuestJuly 15, 2011
Night After NightSBSGuest
2012Running ManGuestEpisode 77, 96, 97
Lee Hyori's You and IKSTMusical Guestas premier episode guest
MTV Music IslandSBSMusical Guestas premier episode guest
Strong HeartGuestMay 22, 2012 & May 29, 2012


  • Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism: Power Rookie Award
  • 17th Republic of Korea Entertainment Arts Awards Ceremony: New Generation Singer Award
  • 11th Korea Visual Arts Festival: Photogenic Award
  • Cyworld Digital Music Awards: Song Of The Month (June) ("Nagging")[38]
  • 25th Golden Disk Awards: Digital Music Bonsang[39]
  • 2nd Melon Music Awards: 2010 TOP 10
  • 2010 Cyworld Digital Music Awards: Song Of The Month (December) ("Good Day")[40]
  • 2010 SBS Entertainment Awards: Variety New Star Award

Music Programs

These are a collection of IU's wins on Korea's televised music shows. Inkigayo is aired on SBS, M! Countdown on Korean cable channel M.net, Music Bank on KBS, and Music on Top on Korean cable channel jTBC.

Music Bank

2010July 2Nagging
December 24Good Day
December 31
2011January 7
December 9You & I
December 16
December 23
December 30
2012January 6
January 13


2010June 27Nagging
December 19Good Day
December 26
2011January 2
December 18You & I
December 25
2012January 1

M! Countdown

2010December 23Good Day

Music On Top

2012January 12You & I

Appearances in other media

In December 2011, LOEN Entertainment together with dooub, Inc. released an iOS game IU SHAKE.[48]


  1. ^ 아이유(IU). people.nate.com
  2. ^ Teenage Singer IU Is Open to Surprises @ HanCinema :: The Korean Movie and Drama Database, discover the South Korean cinema and drama diversity. Hancinema.net. Retrieved on 2012-08-20.
  3. ^ IU in KBS WORLD[dead link]
  4. ^ "IU sings for Queen Seon Duk OST". All K-pop. 2009-09-09. http://www.allkpop.com/2009/09/iu_sings_for_queen_seon_duk_ost. Retrieved 2011-01-24. 
  5. ^ "IU had famous helpers for her upcoming mini-album, "REAL"". All K-pop. 2010-12-03. http://www.allkpop.com/2010/12/iu-had-famous-helpers-for-her-upcoming-mini-album-real. Retrieved 2011-01-24. 
  6. ^ Interview with the Producers of IU’s ‘Good Day’. Retrieved on 2012-02-24.
  7. ^ Yoo Hee Yeol's Sketchbook. July 20, 2009. Youtube.com (2009-07-20). Retrieved on 2011-10-24.
  8. ^ IU to hold first official fanmeeting (+ mini-concert) on June 18th [2011.06.09] – IU ♥ WeHeartIU – Lee Jieun International Forum. Weheartiu.com. Retrieved on 2012-08-20.
  9. ^ IU releases "Hold My Hand" from 'The Greatest Love' OST. All K-pop. (2011-05-24). Retrieved on 2012-04-23.
  10. ^ IU achieves an ‘all-kill’ with her new album, ‘Last Fantasy’. Allkpop.com (2011-11-28). Retrieved on 2012-08-20.
  11. ^ IU reveals her comeback teaser photo. Retrieved on 2011-11-18.
  12. ^ [111214] IU to hold Japan Showcase Live next January – IU ♥ WeHeartIU – Lee Jieun International Forum. Weheartiu.com. Retrieved on 2012-08-20.
  13. ^ IU becomes the youngest Korean singer to perform at Japan's Bunkamura Orchard Hall. All K-pop. 2011-12-14. Retrieved on 2012-06-07.
  14. ^ IU's PV for Japanese debut single "Good Day" released All K-pop. (2012-02-29). Retrieved on 2012-04-23.
  15. ^ YESASIA: Good Day – Type A (SINGLE+DVD+PHOTO BOOKLET)(First Press Limited Edition)(Japan Version) CD – IU, Toshiba EMI – Japanese Music – Free Shipping Yesasia.com. Retrieved on 2012-04-23.
  16. ^ IU performs 'Good Day' on Music Japan All K-pop. (2012-04-08). Retrieved on 2012-04-23.
  17. ^ IU to hold her first ever solo concert tour! All K-pop. (2012-04-05). Retrieved on 2012-04-23.
  18. ^ IU releases new single, 'Spring of a Twenty Year Old'. All K-pop. (2012-05-10). Retrieved on 2012-05-20.
  19. ^ IU releases new single "Peach". All K-pop. (2012-04-04). Retrieved on 2012-04-04.
  20. ^ IU releases music video film for 'Every End of the Day'. All K-pop. (2012-05-11). Retrieved on 2012-05-20.
  21. ^ "IU to forego broadcast promotions for “Peach” to focus on tour preparations". 3 May 2012. Star Nate News. http://news.nate.com/view/20120503n11378?mid=e0102. Retrieved 16 July 2012. 
  22. ^ IU to release "You & I" as her 2nd Japanese single in July. All K-pop. (2012-05-2012). Retrieved on 2012-06-05.
  23. ^ "IU may have earned over 4 million dollars in 2010". All K-pop. 2010-12-29. http://www.allkpop.com/2010/12/iu-may-have-earned-over-4-million-dollars-in-2010. Retrieved 2011-01-24. 
  24. ^ "IU and Seo In Kook model for UNIONBAY". http://www.allkpop.com/2011/01/iu-and-seo-in-kook-model-for-unionbay. Retrieved 2011-01-24. 
  25. ^ "IU chosen as new model for "Mexicana Chicken"". http://www.allkpop.com/2011/01/iu-chosen-as-new-model-for-mexicana-chicken. Retrieved 2011-01-24. 
  26. ^ "Samsung Anycall picks up ‘almighty’ IU to be their model". http://www.allkpop.com/2011/01/samsung-anycall-picks-up-almighty-iu-to-be-their-model. Retrieved 2011-01-24. 
  27. ^ G by Guess. Weheartiu.com (2012-01-25). Retrieved on 2012-08-20.
  28. ^ The Saem. Weheartiu.com. Retrieved on 2012-08-20.
  29. ^ "IU does player introductions for Sony Ericsson GSL Season 2". All K-Pop. 2010-10-22. http://www.allkpop.com/2010/10/iu-does-player-introductions-for-gsl-season-2. Retrieved 2011-02-23. 
  30. ^ "SBS finalizes the 12 member female cast for new variety show Heroes". All K-Pop. 2010-07-02. http://www.allkpop.com/2010/07/sbs-finalizes-the-12-member-female-cast-for-new-variety-show-heroes. Retrieved 2011-01-24. 
  31. ^ "IU transforms into an ‘ugly girl’ for "Dream High"". All K-pop. 2010-12-27. http://www.allkpop.com/2010/12/iu-transforms-into-an-ugly-girl-for-dream-high. Retrieved 2011-01-24. 
  32. ^ IU to perform at Bailey Raes concert in Korea. Koreatimes.co.kr. Retrieved on 2011-10-24.
  33. ^ Blizzard CUP Final Broadcasting Schedule. Gomtv.net. Retrieved on 2012-08-20.
  34. ^ 2011 GSL Award Ceremony Video – Requires Premium Pass. Gomtv.net. Retrieved on 2012-08-20.
  35. ^ IU does player introductions for Sony Ericsson GSL Season 2. Allkpop.com (2010-10-22). Retrieved on 2012-08-20.
  36. ^ IU's First Exclusive Concert, Uncle Fans Go Wild | Soompi. Soompi. 2012-06-04. Retrieved on 2012-07-26.
  37. ^ ’93-line’ IU, Luna & Jiyeon take selcas at “Come to Play”. Allkpop. March 9, 2011. Retrieved July 8, 2012.
  38. ^ Cyworld Digital Music Awards – Song Of The Month (June) "Nagging". Cyworld. Retrieved June 2, 2012.
  39. ^ Winners from the 25th Golden Disk Awards. Allkpop.com. Retrieved on 2011-10-24.
  40. ^ Cyworld Digital Music Awards – Song Of The Month (December) "Good Day". Cyworld. Retrieved June 2, 2012.
  41. ^ a b Winners from the 20th High1 Seoul Music Awards. Allkpop.com (2011-01-20). Retrieved on 2011-10-24.
  42. ^ Winners from the 2011 Mnet 20’s Choice Awards. Allkpop.com (2011-07-07). Retrieved on 2011-10-24.
  43. ^ Award winners. Tvcf.co.kr. Retrieved on 2012-08-20.
  44. ^ Cyworld Digital Music Awards – Song Of The Month (December) "You and I". Cyworld. Retrieved June 2, 2012.
  45. ^ from the 9th Korean Music Awards. Daum.net (2012-02-20) Retrieved on 2012-02-21.
  46. ^ from the 9th Korean Music Awards. Naver.net (2012-02-29) Retrieved in 2012-02-29.
  47. ^ Cyworld Digital Music Awards – Song Of The Month (May) "Peach". Cyworld. Retrieved June 2, 2012.
  48. ^ "아이유 셰이크 (IU SHAKE)". December 12, 2011. https://www.facebook.com/iushake. 

External links