IU, whose real name is Lee Ji-eun, debuted in 2008 as a solo singer under Loen Entertainment and later joined EDAM Entertainment, a Kakao Entertainment subsidiary.
IU is one of the most renowned solo female singers in Korea, respected for her exquisite vocals and songwriting skills that make her a truly versatile artist, as well as her acting skills that have allowed her to land major roles in well-received dramas and films as actor Lee Ji-eun.
IU was not met with fanfare at first, especially from K-pop lovers who preferred to see groups with dance accompanying their songs.
She openly reminisced after her debut stage as having been a sad one without any clap from the audience in an interview with the press afterward, but quickly became a Korean sweetheart with “Good Day” (2010) dance-slash-pop track followed by “YOU&I” (2011), “Friday” (2013) and “The Red Shoes“ (2013).
She started her acting career in 2011 as a cast of “Dream High,” a KBS drama series set in a fictional arts high school where students endeavor to become celebrities, along with multiple appearances on TV shows that highlighted her acting skills and natural talent in front of the camera. In that same year, she released her first official self-written song “Hold My Hand” (2011), and has since released multiple songs that she wrote herself.
IU had focused on her acting career in 2022 but announced that she will be making a comeback to the music scene in 2023.
What is the meaning of her stage name, IU?
IU means “You and I becoming one through music.” IU debuted at the young age of 15 and has been considered one of the most well-established names in both the music and acting industries after successfully pulling off major roles in popular programs.
Is IU rich?
Most likely, yes. She was named the richest K-pop female singer by the South China Morning Post in 2021, which guessed that she had 52.7 billion won ($39.8 million) of cash as her asset that year, and is known to have bought a 13-billion-won villa with all cash in the wealthy neighborhood of Cheongdam-dong in southern Seoul in 2021.
IU’s songs have been streamed millions of times around the world, and her tour tickets sell out within seconds while her acting career shows its success with numbers, giving a rough yet safe guess that the numbers of her bank account keep growing and growing.
Is IU an actress?
Ever since her first drama series “Dream High” (2011), IU has been starring in some of the most popular dramas in Korea, including “My Mister” (2018), “Hotel del Luna” (2019) and “Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo” (2016).
She also recently had a breakthrough in movies with “Broker” (2022), directed by Hirokazu Kore-eda, which was invited to the Cannes Film Festival and won lead actor Song Kang-ho the first Best Actor Award for a Korean.
Is IU a K-pop idol?
There is no clear-cut definition of a K-pop idol, but IU is considered more as an artist or singer than an idol. The so-called “self-produced” idols who make their own music are on the rise, but K-pop idols generally sing songs that are written or composed by other producers. Most of the idols’ songs are also accompanied by heavy choreography. Both do not apply for IU.