Birth name : Lee Ji-eun (이지은)
Born : May 16, 1993 (age 18) Seol, Sout Korea
Genres : K-pop
Occupations : Singer
IU debuted on a Korean music program called 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.” However, the album was not commercially successful. It wasn’t until her follow-up album that she succeeded in breaking into the mainstream. On April 16, 2009, IU launched her first full album, titledGrowing 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.
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.” 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.
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”).
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 Lee Na, the creators of IU’s previous hit “Nagging”, helped produce her award-winning song “좋은 날” (“Good Day”), together with Shin Sa Dong Tiger and lyricist Choi Gab Won. IU received three SBS Inkigayo Mutizen 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.
IU often covers other pop artists’ songs with her guitar and features her friend Thunder from MBLAQ, most notably renditions of SHINee “Juliette,” Big Bang “Lies,” Super Junior “Sorry, Sorry” and Girls’ Generation “Gee.”
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 KBS’s Dream High OST and her ballad “The Story Only I Didn’t Know” placed 4th and 7th place, respectively – showing that IU got 3 of the top 10 digital spots for the first quarter.
IU also recently also sang a self composed OST called “Hold my Hand” for drama series The Greatest Love.
IU’s album Last Fantasy was released on November 29, 2011. The track list was revealed on November 22, 2011.
IU achieved an ‘all-kill’ with her new album Last Fantasy as all 13 songs immediately swept most of all the charts.
IU will be holding a live at Tokyo’s Bunkamura Orchard Hall on January 24, 2012.
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, 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. IU is currently the VJ for MBC Game’s Star for You as well as for GomTV’s Starcraft 2 Global StarLeague, on which she introduces competing players. IU is also one of twelve original female cast members chosen for the SBS variety show Heroes.
IU has secured a number of endorsement deals, including the 2011 UNIONBAY clothing line (with Seo In-Kook), 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.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.”
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. She has also recently been featured in K-Will’s music video for his song “My Heart is Beating” along with MBLAQ’s Lee Joon.
Earlier on, IU had been filming for SBS’s Kiss & Cry, where singers show off their figure skating skills. However, she was eliminated on episode 8.
IU performed after the awards ceremony of the 2011 GSL Blizzard Cup finals, where she performed the songs “Good Day” and “You and I”. 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.