Here you will find out about IU’s (Lee Ji Eun) career path, her work, and interesting facts. IU is one of the most influential K-pop idols, a soloist and actress popular not only in South Korea’s Entertainment industry but also internationally. With all the popularity the artist has already achieved in her career, she stars in highly popular K-dramas, as well as radio/television hosting, and modeling for various brands.
IU’s Early Life
While studying in middle school, Lee Ji Eun (IU’s real name) began taking music seriously. However, not everyone knows that before she debuted and became one of the most best-selling Korean singers, she failed numerous auditions. Approximately twenty of them, to be precise. Moreover, she was the victim of face entertainment companies. Eventually, she made her debut in 2008. She became the soloist from the very start of her career rather than becoming a member of a K-pop girl group.
The singer’s living conditions at that time weren’t the best, so she said that she especially enjoyed the time spent at the studio, where she could eat and sleep well. Lee Ji Eun’s skyrocketing career led to her declining grades at school. Also, she started to rarely appear at school. So, the artist decided not to begin post-secondary education along with her career in the entertainment industry.
IU became the trainee under Kakao M (LOEN Entertainment in the past) in 2007 and made her solo debut a year later, when she turned fifteen years old. Her albums were gradually bringing her mainstream success, but it was the single “Good Day” released in 2010 that made her an acclaimed Korean singer.
“Last Fantasy” and “Real”, the albums released a year later, solidified her girl next door image (she was given the nickname of Korea’s “little sister”). Also, it was the year when she wrote her first song. The lyrics of “Hold My Hand” were written for the drama “The Greatest Love”.
The singer’s album “Modern Times” (2013) indicated her departure from the girlish image to a more mature style.
- Leon Entertainment gave Lee Ji Eun the stage name “IU”, taken from the phrase “I and You”. It points to the unifying power of music between all people.
- IU is one of the most well-known and best-selling solo artists in the Korean entertainment industry, where K-pop groups steal all attention.
- A Gallup Korea survey stated that IU was the most popular Korean artist in South Korea in 2017.
- Billboard stated IU to be the all-time leader of the K-Pop Hot 100 chart (South Korea) since she has got the record number of number-one songs. Moreover, she has remained in the first position for a record amount of weeks.
- She has got seven Daesang awards, the most prestigious awards in the music industry of the country.
- She has been nominated more than two hundred times and won more than 90 of all nominations.
- Forbes Korea Power Celebrity List recognized IU as one of the most influential people in the country.
- She won the title of “Best New Actress” in 2014 for her role in K-drama “You’re the Best, Lee Soo Shin”.
- She is one of the highest-earning Korean stars.
- IU played lead roles in such high-rated K-dramas as Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo, Hotel Del Luna. And My Mister. You can find more series she stared in the table at the end of the article.
IU | Personal Info
Birth date: May 16, 1993
Birth name: Lee Ji Eun
Birth Place: Seoul, South Korea
Stage Name: IU
Nicknames: Nation’s Sweetheart; Nation’s Little Sister
Hometown: Gwangjin-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Zodiac Sign: Taurus
Chinese Sign: Rooster
Height: 161.8 cm
Education: Dongduk Girls’ High School; Shingok Middle School; Gwangjin Middle School; Eonju Middle School; Seoul Guui Elementary School; Hanam Cheonhyeon Elementary School; Seoul Yangnam Elementary School
Family: father, mother, younger brother
IU | Career
Years Active: 2008 – present
Genres: K-pop, soul, R&B
Instruments: guitar, drums, piano
Labels: Universal Japan, EDAM (Kakao M), Warner Taiwan
Training Period: 10 months
Position: singer-songwriter, actress
Solo Debut: September 18, 2008
|A Turtle’s Tale 2: Sammy’s Escape from Paradise (Korean dub); Real (cameo); Shades of the Heart (supporting role); Dream||Dream High; Welcome to the Show; Dream High 2; Salamander Guru and the Shadows; You Are the Best!; Bel Ami; The Producers; Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo; My Mister; Persona; Hotel del Luna||Heroes (2010-11, cast member); Kim Yuna’s Kiss & Cry (2011, figure skater); Hyori’s Homestay (2017, cast member). Hosting: IU Star Nutrition (2009); Gomtv Music Chart Show (2009-10); 28th MBC Creative Synchronicity Festival (2010); 50 years TV Entertainment (2011); Inkigayo (201-13); Quiz Show Q (2012); SBS Gayo Daejeon (2012); Tray Relay Song (2014); SBS Gayo Daejeon (2015, 2017); Palette; IU’s Homebody Signal 2|
|Albums:||Growing Up; Last Fantasy; Modern Times; Modern Times – Epilogue; Palette; Lost and Found; IU…IM; Real; Chat-shire; Love Poem|
|Singles:||Lost Child; Boo; You Know; Marshmallow; Nagging; Good Day; The Story Only I Didn’t Know; Ice Flower; You & I; Peach; Every End of the Day; Beautiful Dancer; Monday Afternoon; The Red Shoes; Friday; My Old Story; Twenty-Three; Through the Night; Can’t Love You Anymore; Palette; Secret Everyone Knows; Autumn Morning; Sleepless Rainy Night; Bbibbi; Love Poem; Bluming; First Winter; Eight; Celebrity|
|EPs:||Lost and Found; IU…IM; Real; IU; Can You Hear Me?; A Flower Bookmark; Chat-Shire; A Flower Bookmark 2; Love Poem|
|OSTs:||“Dream High OST Part.1” (“Someday”); “The Greatest Love OST Part.4” (“Hold My Hand”); “Crash Landing on You OST Part.11” (“Give You My Heart”); “I-LAND OST” (“Into the I-LAND”)|