Just A List Of Things That Every IU Fan *Should* Know
IU…how do I even begin describing IU?
For those who have been following the K-pop scene for a while now, you’re probably familiar with who she is. If not, well, you’ve found the right page. *wink* Today, we’re listing down everything you need to know about IU—the South Korean nation’s sweetheart.
Facts about IU:
IU was born on May 16, 1993.
IU’s real name is Lee Ji Eun, and she’s a Taurus. Taureans are said to be gentle and fierce—a description I think aptly suits IU. She looks very gentle, which is probably why she is also known at one point as South Korea’s little sister. But don’t be fooled because she is one tough cookie who has weathered many storms to get to where she is today. Her childhood was a rags-to-riches story, and her parents had to work hard to make ends meet. IU lived mostly with her grandmother in a cold apartment filled with roaches. She’s so used to them, she can kill one with her bare hands!
She debuted at the age of 15!
IU’s dream of becoming a singer started in middle school when she was asked to sing at her school’s athletic competition. She went to more than 20 auditions, including one at JYP Entertainment, but failed all of them. She even went to bogus auditions about twice or thrice! At such a young age, getting conned and rejected would be a harsh reality to accept, but IU believed in herself enough to try and try again. Eventually, she found a home in LOEN Entertainment (now Kakao M) and released her debut single "Lost Child" in 2008.
"Good Day," and the beginning of the road to superstardom.
IU may have gotten her dream of finally becoming a singer, but her debut EP Lost And Found actually flopped in the charts. In 2009, she released two albums: Growing Up (her first studio album) and IU…IM (her second EP). Both albums fared better than Lost And Found, but it wasn’t until her third EP, Real, that things started to change for IU. The lead single "Good Day" topped the charts for five consecutive weeks since its release. The song, famous for its three-octave notes, won many awards including Song of the Year at the 2011 Melon Music Awards.
Over the course of her 14-year career, IU has released a total of five EPs and five studio albums. Her most recent album is Lilac, released in March 2021 with its lead single, "Celebrity." IU is not only a singer—she also writes songs, which, according to GQ Korea’s November 2020 issue, stands at 54 in total. Of all the songs she wrote, she thinks "Through the Night" (from her Palette album) sums up her 20s the best. Since she was mostly known for upbeat songs, "'Through the Night" is a calm, sentimental song, and yet it received so much love. I think it’s a song that changed my image as a singer," she said in an episode of Yoo Hee Yeol’s Sketchbook.
From a fledgling artist in 2008, IU has come a long way and has earned lots of accolades in the process. Her album Palette won Album of the Year at the Melon Music Awards in 2017. Lilac also won Album of the Year at the 2021 Melon Music Awards and Album Bonsang at the Golden Disc Awards. IU has also won several Artist of the Year titles from Cyworld Digital Music Awards in 2011 as well as from the 2014 and the 2021 Melon Music Awards. The song, "eight," which she made in collaboration with BTS’ Suga, also won Best Collaboration at the 2020 Mnet Asian Music Awards.
She is also an actress.
IU is simply unstoppable. Apart from being a singer and a songwriter, she also ventured into acting! In 2011, she starred in the KBS series, Dream High, playing the role of Kim Pil Sook. She starred in three other KBS dramas namely You Are The Best (as Lee Soon Shin), Bel Ami (as Kim Bo Tong), and The Producers (as Cindy). She also starred in the sageuk drama Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo together with some of Korea’s leading actors and idols such as Lee Joon Gi, Kang Ha Neul, Nam Joo Hyuk, and EXO's Baekhyun.
But perhaps her most successful drama to date is My Mister. It went on to win Best Drama at the 55th Baeksang Arts Awards, and IU was even nominated for the Best Actress award from the same award-giving body. In 2019, she starred as Jang Man Wol in Hotel Del Luna, which became the highest-rating tvN drama of 2019.
She is also a friend, a philanthropist, and a doting artist to her fans!
IU was able to collaborate with a lot of Korean artists throughout her career. Some of them even became her lifelong friends! One of her BFFs is actress Yoo In Na, who she first met in the SBS variety show, Heroes, in 2010. She also met T-ara’s Ji Yeon in the same variety show, and the two have been good friends since then too. G-Dragon is also a close friend of IU, whom she collaborated with in the song "Palette." The late Jonghyun of SHINee was also her good friend, someone whom she shared many similarities with. Jonghyun wrote the song "Gloomy Clock," which is part of IU's third studio album, Modern Time.
IU is also known to always pay her good fortunes forward. In 2019, Forbes hailed her as one of the year's Heroes of Philanthropy. To celebrate the release of Lilac, she made donations to two organizations under the name IUAENA, which combines IU’s name and her fan club’s name.
And speaking of fan club, IU loves her UAENAs so much! In 2019, she kept her promise to a fan and attended her graduation ceremony. She brought gifts and flowers and even sang "The Meaning of You" and "BBIBBI" to the delight of the fan and her batchmates, too!
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