IU is a very talented actress, singer and exceptional songwriter. She was born on May 16, 1993, in Songjeong, Seoul in South Korea, and named Lee Ji-Eun at birth. She comes from humble beginnings and had to be split from her parents to live with her grandmother due to the hardship they were in.
IU went through a lot in her early childhood to become the very successful and influential artiste that she has become today and her story and rise to stardom is an inspiration for so many people, not only in South Korea but all over the world. So much is out there in the public space about IU, but here are 5 things that you probably don’t know about IU.
1. Her First Early Projects Failed
IU made her singing debut in 2008 releasing her EP “Lost and Found” which had the hit single “Lost Child”. Though she had initial challenges with her debut album which was not a commercial success, she has grown in leaps and bounds since then. Her Subsequent singles, studio albums, and EPs have been chart-toppers and very successful commercially. Her singles “Good Day” and “Nagging” are 2 of the best selling singles in South Korea till date, and has sold more than 4 million digital downloads copies. Her studio album “Last Fantasy” and one of its singles “You and I” had more than 6 million paid downloads
2. She Is a Multi-Award Winning Entertainer
IU is probably one of the most successful artists in South Korea. She has received about 200 nominations for awards and recognition and has won well over 70 of her nominations. She has also received the most prestigious honor and awards available by winning about 5 Daesang awards for her work in the Korean entertainment industry. She has also won 11 Melon Music awards, 5 Korean Music awards, and 4 Golden Disc Awards, among others.
IU also received the Best New Actress award in 2014 for her talent in films such as Lee Soon-shin and You’re the Best. She has also been honored by her country’s Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism for her contributions and influence across the nation.
She made her acting debut in 2010 as a cast member of the television show, Heroes, and a year later, she appeared in Dream High. Her first film appearance was in 2012 titled A Turtle’s Tale 2: Sammy’s Escape from Paradise. She has also appeared in other television shows such as You are the Best, The Producers, My Mister and so many others.
3. She Dated A Popular Radio-host
In the past, IU has been linked to dating Hyunwoo – a Korean actor, and Eunhyuk – Super Junior’s rapper, songwriter and singer. It turns out that her relationship with both celebrities was just cordial and not romantic at all. However, it was confirmed that she and Jang Kiha – a Korean actor, radio host and songwriter, were actually dating. Their relationship began sometime in 2015, when she was interviewed by him on his radio show and continued to blossom from then on. It was rumored that they ended their romance in 2017 or 2018 due to their very busy schedules.
4. She Is Quite Philanthropic
IU is one celebrity who is willing to give back to society for all that she has been given. She supported her country’s National Police Agency in their anti-bullying campaigns which they took to the schools to stamp out the behavior, and was consequently made an ambassador for the police agency and made an honorary member as well. She has been a volunteer for the Green Umbrella Children’s Fund since 2015 and has donated funds worth more than ₩100,000,000 to help underprivileged children in the society.
IU began a scholarship program in her Alma-Mater tagged “IU Scholarship”, which is meant to help students from poor homes complete their education. She also has a program to help 5 students pay for room and board in school, and provided about ₩20,000,000 for it.
5. She’s a Millionaire
IU has been in the Korean entertainment industry for over a decade. She began her career as a singer and has gone on to become an actress as well, appearing in several films and television shows over the years. She is currently worth approximately $15 million, a fortune that has come largely from her music and film career. Her net worth also put her amongst the top 10 earning celebrities in Korea.