Lee JiEun, commonly know as IU, is a South Korean singer and actress. She was born on May 16, 1993.
IU debuted on September 24, 2008 with 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, 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.
In 2009, IU sang the ending title song, “Araro” for the acclaimed MBC drama, Queen Seon Duk, where she was recommended by the music director of the drama, 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,” 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.
IU received three SBS Inkigayo Mutizen awards for her performances of the song “좋은 날” (‘Good Day‘) (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”.
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 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 also one of twelve original female cast members chosen for the SBS variety show Heroes.
Most recently, viewers have been captivated by IU’s acting abilities as ‘Pil Sook’ in the KBS 2TV teen drama series Dream High.