Ji-eun Lee, known professionally as IU, was born on May 16, 1993. The South Korean pop star first grew to national fame with her hit song ‘Good Day,’ which awarded her mainstream success. Lee is also a songwriter and actress, starring in several films. This pop star is a force to be reckoned with, and we will help you celebrate her birthday today.
IU, Nation’s Little Sister, Nation’s Sweetheart
May 16, 1993
Ji-eun Lee is a talented singer, songwriter, and actress born in Songjeong-dong, Seoul, South Korea. Lee was interested in the entertainment industry from a young age, attending acting classes in her junior years. After some difficult financial times, Lee and her brother went to live with their grandmother. During her middle school years, she found her passion for singing after being applauded at a school performance. In 2007, Lee was signed to LOEN Entertainment and she moved to Bangbae, Seoul, where she trained for 10 months. Her first single was released, titled ‘Lost Child,’ and she performed it for the first time as a professional singer in 2008.
In 2009, she debuted her first studio album, “Growing Up.” Lee was cast in the variety show “Heroes” from 2010 to 2011. Her second album, “Last Fantasy,” was released on November 29, 2011, in two editions — a regular retail version and a special storybook edition. After being in the studio for most of her free time, her grades began to drop, and she decided not to pursue further education after attending Dongduk Girls’ High School in 2012. That same year, Lee played two shows in Japan and later went on to do her solo concert tour in six cities across South Korea.
Lee started 2013 by taking her first leading role in a series titled “You’re the Best, Lee Soon-shin,” and later releasing her third studio album, “Modern Times.” She had her first American debut in 2014 at the KCON music festival, where over 42,000 people were in attendance. During the late 2010s, Lee took on various acting roles, came out with more singles, and debuted her fourth studio album in 2017. This megastar is only just getting started, and we are excited to see what she comes up with next.
She starts training as a singer with LEON Entertainment.
She releases her first-ever studio album, titled “Growing Up.”
She gets her first role in a South Korean television series, "You're the Best, Lee Soon-shin.”
Lee performs at her first American music festival, KCON.
She releases her fifth studio album, “Lilac.”
Why We Love IU
She never gave up on her dream
Even after little success with her first few singles and even being booed on stage, Lee never gave up on her dreams of becoming a singer. Instead, she pushed through and now feels it was a beneficial experience.
She is all for anti-bullying
Since 2012, Lee has been part of the anti-bullying campaign by South Korea's National Police Academy. She also received the honorary title of “Senior Police Officer” in 2014 for a two-year term.
She is a philanthropist
She has donated very generous amounts of money to many worthy causes in her career. Some of the foundations she supports are the Green Umbrella Children's Foundation, The Korea Pediatric Cancer Foundation, and the Korean Single Mothers and Families Association. She also gave financial aid to five college students, assisting in covering their room and board.
5 Surprising Facts
She has been honored by her government
She was honored by the Korean Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism for her influence and success in the music industry.
The meaning behind her stage name
‘IU’ is ‘I’ and ‘You’ (You and I), which she says means, “you and I become one through music.”
One of the wealthiest K-pop singers
Lee is one of the richest and highest-earning K-pop singers today.
“Nation's Little Sister”
Due to her pure and innocent image, Lee has been dubbed the “Nation’s Little Sister,” or the “Nation’s Sweetheart,” in South Korea.
Her favorite foods
Her favorite foods are raw fish and sweet potatoes.
What is IU’s favorite color?
Her favorite color is light purple.
What is IU’s most famous song?
Her hit single ‘Celebrity’ is one of the pop star’s most popular songs.
What is IU’s fandom name?
IU’s fandom name is ‘Uaena.’
IU’s birthday dates