IU, born Lee Ji-eun, is a singer-songwriter and actress known for several hit songs and dramas. She began her career in the entertainment industry in 2007 when she signed as a trainee under Kakao M (formerly LOEN Entertainment).
At the age of 15, she launched her music career with the release of her debut album, Lost and Found.
She found success with her succeeding albums, Growing Up and IU… IM, but it was through her hit song “Good Day” that she achieved national stardom status.
IU was born Lee Ji-eun on May 16, 1993 in Songjeong-dong, Seoul, South Korea. She became interested in pursuing a career in the entertainment industry at an early age and began attending acting classes.
After she graduated from elementary, her family’s financial situation deteriorated, prompting them to move to Uijeongbu in Gyeonggi Province.
IU and her younger brother lived in a studio room with their grandmother and cousins for over a year in great poverty. She also had little contact with her parents during this time.
In middle school, IU found her passion for singing and decided to become a singer after being applauded for a performance at her school’s sports competition.
She then attended 20 auditions but failed all of them and was also scammed by fake entertainment companies.
Before she officially signed with LOEN Entertainment in 2007, IU has previously trained at Good Entertainment with other would-be big names in the industry including Uee, Yubin, Heo Ga-yoon, and Jun Hyoseong.
After signing with LOEN, IU initially thought that she might eventually be put into a girl group after training for three to four years. But only eight months into her training, she made her solo debut in 2008.
Due to her living conditions at the time, IU was quoted saying that she “loved being at the studio” because she could eat as much as she wanted and had a place to sleep.
Prior to her solo debut, LOEN coined the stage name “IU,” which was derived from “I and You” to symbolize how people are unified by music.
2008 to 2009: Career Beginnings
IU released Lost Child as her debut single in 2008. She performed it live for the first time on Mnet’s M! Countdown on September 18, 2008, marking her debut performance as a professional singer.
IU Performing “Lost Child”
IU recalled she heard the crowd hurling insults at her through the performance and felt discouraged by it, but now views it as a beneficial experience.
“Lost Child” eventually became the lead single for IU’s debut extended play (EP), Lost and Found, which was released on September 24, 2008.
In November of the same year, she was awarded “Rookie of the Month” by South Korea’s Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism for despite the album not doing well commercially.
In a 2011 article published by the Korea JoongAng Daily, IU was quoted saying, “My first album failed, but I’m grateful for that. If I had become successful as soon as I made my debut, I wouldn’t appreciate my staff members and the popularity that I’m enjoying now.”
She launched her first studio album, Growing Up, on April 23, 2009, featuring the single “Boo,” which she began promoting on KBS2’s Music Bank the next day and was a contender for the number one spot on SBS’ Inkigayo.
IU’s First Studio Album, “Lost and Found”
The song marked a dramatic transformation in IU’s image from the “heavy” and “dark” ballad style of “Lost Child” to the retro-inspired sound of “Boo”. The strategy drew favorable response from the public and brought more attention to the then 15-year-old IU.
Several other songs from her Lost and Found EP such as “You Know,” “Ugly Duckling,” “Lost Child,” and “Feels So Good” were also featured in Growing Up which had a total of 16 tracks.
Following Lost and Found is IU’s second EP, IU… IM, which was released on November 12, 2009 and featured the lead single “Marshmallow”. Promotions for the album began the day after its release with performances on music programs on KBS, SBS, and MBC.
“My first album failed, but I’m grateful for that. If I had become successful as soon as I made my debut, I wouldn’t appreciate my staff members and the popularity that I’m enjoying now.”
Aside from the release of IU… IM, the singer also ventured into doing soundtracks with her participation in the two MBC television dramas, Strike Love” and Queen Seondeok.
She recorded “You Are Always Like That” for Strike Love and the songs “Even Though I Know” and “Wind Flower” for Queen Seondeok.
IU also collaborated with other artists such as Mighty Mouth and The Three Views on their respective albums.
With the steady rise of her popularity, IU also began appearing on more variety shows such as Star Golden Bell, Kim Jung-eun’s Chocolate, and Yoo Hee-yeol’s Sketchbook where she showcased some of her acoustic covers of popular idol group songs including Girl’s Generation’s “Gee,” Super Junior’s “Sorry,” and Big Bang’s “Lies”.
Towards the end of 2009, IU was chosen to be a TV presenter for the first time as the host for the weekly music chart show on Gom TV. She also appeared as a fixed guest member on several radio programs such as Kiss the Radio, Volume Up, MBC Standard FM’s Starry Night and MBC FM4U’s Best Friend Radio.
2010 to 2011: Rising popularity and acting debut
IU released the single “Nagging” on June 3, 2010, a duet she recorded with 2AM’s Lim Seul-ong. The song debuted at number twelve on the Gaon Digital Chart, peaked at the number one position the following week, and remained there for three weeks.
The song was used as one of the theme songs for the second season of popular variety show, We Got Married. It also won the Mutizen award on Inkigayo and placed first on Music Bank.
“Nagging” was followed by the release of “Because I’m a Woman,” one of the theme songs of the MBC period drama Road No. 1 which starred So Ji-sub and Kim Ha-neul.
The song peaked at number six on the Gaon Digital Chart.
IU worked on another collaboration, this time with Sung Si-kyung on the song “It’s You,” which featured on the latter’s album, The First. The song debuted at number one on the Gaon Digital Chart.
IU and Si Kyung Duet, “It’s You”
On December 9, 2010, IU released her third EP, Real, which debuted at number four on the Gaon Album Chart. Real features the lead single “Good Day,” for which IU reunited with lyricist Kim Eana and composer Lee Min-soo whom she previously worked with for “Nagging”.
During the promotional period for Real, IU topped the charts on major music programs M! Countdown, Music Bank, and Inkigayo. The song also drew praises on IU’s vocal abilities, paving the way for the expansion of her fan base to a more varied demographic compared to other K-pop groups.
IU’s Third LP, “Real”
Banking on her rising popularity and to maintain visibility to the public, she joined the cast of variety show Heroes, which aired from July 18, 2010 to May 1, 2011.
Shortly after joining heroes, IU was cast in the teen drama Dream High, alongside other would-be huge stars in the Korean entertainment industry: Suzy, Taecyeon, and Kim Soo-hyun.
Filming for Dream High ran from December 2010 to February 2011, coinciding with IU’s commitment to Heroes and promotions for “Good Day”.
IU Clips From “Dream High”
IU’s role in the KBS drama marks her official debut as an actress. Upon taking the role, she admitted that she was initially doubtful about her readiness to take on acting, but that she gained confidence when she learned that her role would require singing.
She released the single “Someday” for Dream High’s soundtrack, which took the number one spot on the Gaon Digital Chart for the week of January 30 to February 5, 2011. By the end of 2011, the single had sold more than 2.2 million digital copies and remains to be one of IU’s best-selling singles for a soundtrack.
On February 16, 2011, IU released Real+, a follow-up EP to her 2010 release, Real. The album features three songs with the lead single, “Only I Didn’t Know”.
The ballad is a departure from IU’s previous releases and was described as “dark,” “sad,” “nostalgic,” and closer to her music preference. The song was another commercial hit for the singer, debuting at number one on the Gaon Digital Chart.
Following her stint on Dream High, IU took on more side projects. On March 10 of the same year, IU performed as the opening act for British singer-songwriter Corrine Bailey Rae’s solo concert in Seoul where she performed two songs before joining Bailey Rae in her performance of “Put Your Records On”.
IU Performs With Corinne Rae Bailey
In the same month, she was appointed as one of the new hosts of the music program Inkigayo, a position that she held until July 2013. She also participated in K.Will’s EP, My Heart Beating, starring in two of his music videos alongside Lee Joon and No Min-woo.
In May 2011, IU recorded her first self-composed song, “Hold My Hand,” for the television drama, The Greatest Love. The song peaked at number two on the Gaon Digital Chart and sold more than 2 million copies by the end of the year.
She also took part in the reality ice-skating competition series, Kim Yuna’s Kiss & Cry, between May and July of the same year. She competed as a celebrity contestant until she was eliminated in the eighth episode.
Around the same time, IU also appeared in Immortal Songs: Singing the Legend before eventually withdrawing after recording one episode due to her overwhelming schedule.
IU released her second studio album, Last Fantasy, on November 29, 2011. The album had two editions, a regular retail version and a limited special storybook edition of which 15,000 copies were made available to the public.
Within the first two weeks of its release, tracks from Last Fantasy exceeded 10 million downloads. Eight of the album’s 13 songs debuted in the top ten on the Gaon Digital Chart, while the album debuted at number one.
Last Fantasy’s main single, “You and I,” became IU’s most commercially successful single, recording almost 5.5 million digital copies sold by the end of 2012. The song also topped the Gaon Chart and the then-newly established Billboard Korea K-Pop Hot 100 chart.
Shortly before the release of Last Fantasy, IU signed with EMI Music Japan (currently Universal Music Japan), marking her official entry into the Japanese market.
She released the album I□U in Japan on December 14, 2011, featuring a selection of her previously released songs which include “Good Day,” “Nagging,” “Lost Child,” and “The Story Only I Didn’t Know”.
2012: Japanese debut and first solo concert tour
Alongside her continuous promotions for Last Fantasy and the lead single “You and I” in South Korea, IU also began preparations for her debut in Japan.
She played two shows at the Bunkamura Orchard Hall in Shibuya, Tokyo on January 24, 2012 in front of 4,000 people.
In those shows, IU performed six songs, including her debut single “Lost Child” and the Japanese version of “Good Day” with the support of a live orchestra or her own acoustic guitar accompaniment.
Following her concert, IU released the Japanese versions of “Good Day” and “You and I” to moderate success. According to Japan’s Oricon Singles Chart, the Good Day single sold 21,000 physical copies on the first week of release with the song debuting at number 6 on the chart.
On Billboard’s Japan Hot 100 chart, “Good Day” peaked at number 5. “You and I,” meanwhile, debuted at number 4 on the Oricon Singles Chart and number 11 on the Billboard Japan Jot 100.
To promote her Japanese releases, IU toured five cities in Japan – Tokyo, Sapporo, Nagoya, Osaka, and Fukuoka – in a mini-concert series, titled “IU Friendship Showcase – Spring 2012”.
On May 11, she released her fifth Korean EP, Spring of a Twenty Year Old, aptly named to celebrate the singer’s turning 20 in Korean reckoning.
The album contains three songs with the lead single “Peach” which peaked at number 2 on the Gaon Digital Chart for two weeks and the Billboard K-pop Hot 100 for four weeks.
Instead of releasing a typical 4 to 5-minute long music video for the song, IU released a 26-minute documentary-style music film shot in Venice and Burano featuring “Peach” and another song from the album, “Every End of the Day”.
IU’s Promotional Video for “Peach” from “Spring of a Twenty Year Old”
However, due to her commitments for her upcoming concert tour, IU was unable to do broadcast promotions for the album.
In June 2012, IU embarked on her very first solo concert tour, “Real Fantasy”. She played shows in six different cities across South Korea, beginning with two shows in Seoul. The opening dates on June 2 and 3 were sold out within 30 minutes of the tickets going on sale on April 17.
According to reports. 43.8% of the ticket buyers were between the ages of 20 and 29, while 71% were male, feats that were considered uncommon for a K-pop concert. The tour then continued to Ulsan, Jeonju, Suwon, Busan, and Daegu before returning to Seoul with two more encore concerts that ended on September 23, 2012. Notable guest performers included Ra.D., Lim Seul-ong, and Lee Seung-gi.
A few days before the conclusion of her concert tour in South Korea, IU returned to Japan on September 17 to perform one show, the “IU Friendship Special Concert – Autumn 2012” at the Tokyo International Forum in front of over 5,000 people. She had labelmates Sunny Hill as a guest performer and performed a mix of her own songs as well as covers of Korean and Japanese songs such as “Juliette” by SHINee, “Friend” by Anzen Chitai, and “Aishiteru” from the anime series Natsume’s Book of Friends. Her live performances of “Friend” and “Aishiteru” were later released as digital singles.
Towards the end of her “Real Fantasy” promotions, IU returned as a host on Inkigayo after a three-month leave. She also took on another hosting role for the MBC television quiz show, Quiz Show Q, alongside Park Myeong-su and Sun Bom Soo. On December 29, she was tapped to host the 2012 SBS Gayo Daejeon, the network’s annual yearend music program, with Suzy and actor Jung Gyu-woon.
At the 2012 Seoul Music Awards, IU won Record of the Year for last Fantasy and was also among the ten winners of the Bonsang (Main Prize). “Good Day” also won the Song of the Year and Best Pop Song awards at the Korean Music Awards shortly after, while IU was named Female Musician of the Year (Netizen Vote). She also made it to Billboard magazine’s list of the hottest musicians under 21 in 2012.
2013: First starring role and third studio album
IU welcomed 2013 with the lead role in the television series You’re the Best, Lee Soon Shin, which marks her first starring role since her acting debut. The weekend series ran for a total of 50 episode from March 9 to August 25 on KBS2.
IU’s performance in the series gained positive reviews from critics despite there being reservations about her casting. The drama’s viewership ratings also peaked at 30.8% and she was eventually nominated for the Excellence in Acting Award (Best Actress in a Serial Drama) at the 2013 KBS Drama Awards. IU also released her duet with co-star Jo Jung Suk, “Beautiful Song”.
Around the same time, IU released her second Japanese EP, Can You Hear Me?, which features her first original Japanese songs. Two tracks from the album were released as singles – “Beautiful Dancer” and “New World,” which peaked at numbers 66 and 76 on the Billboard Japan Hot 100 chart, respectively. Rolling Stone Japan gave the album a positive review, noting “Beautiful Dancer” and “Truth” as ‘stand-out tracks’.
On September 11, 2013, IU released her next Japanese single, “Monday Afternoon,” debuting at number 27 on Billboard’s Japan Hot 100 chart and number 9 on the Oricon Daily Chart.
On October 8 of the same year, two years after the release of Last Fantasy, IU released her third studio album, Modern Times. The album features a total of 13 tracks – two of which were written by IU herself – ranging from swing to jazz, bossa nova, Latin pop, and folk genres.
Modern Times debuted at number one on the Gaon Album Chart, while seven tracks from the album ranked in the top 10 spots on the Gaon Digital Chart, with the lead single, “The Red Shoes,” taking the number one spot. It also debuted at number four on Billboard’s World Albums Chart with 12 tracks charting on the Korea K-Pop Hot 100.
On the second week of her promotions for Modern Times, IU joined the cast of the romantic-comedy series Bel Ami where she played the role of Kim Bo-tong, a quirky, playful, and carefree girl with an unrequited crush on the male protagonist. The singer’s performance in the drama earned her a nomination for the Outstanding Korean Actress category at the 2014 Seoul International Drama Awards.
Around the same time, IU held her second solo concert series beginning with three shows in November 23 to 24 at Kyung Hee University’s Peace Hall in Seoul and ending on December 1 at the KBS Hall in Busan. Promotions for the album also progressed into 2014 with IU’s very first solo concert in Hong Kong.
On December 20, a repackaged version of Modern Times, Modern Times – Epilogue, was released. It contains two additional tracks – “Friday” and “Pastel Crayon”. The lead single, “Friday,” peaked at number one on the Gaon Digital Chart and became the 10th bestselling digital single of 2014. The song also took the top spot on all three of Korea’s major music programs despite not having any live performances.
2014: A Flower Bookmark
On May 16, 2014, IU released her sixth Korean EP and first cover album, A Flower Bookmark, featuring renditions of seven songs from the 1980s and 1990s. The album was brought about by the request of IU’s fans due to the tremendous feedback she received for her cover songs. Three tracks from the album debuted in the top 10 of the Gaon Digital Chart on the week of its release, with the lead single, “My Old Story,” peaking at number 2.
However, it was IU’s collaboration with Kim Chang-wan on the remake of his 1984 single, “The Meaning of You,” that became the best-selling single of 2014. The album made it to the third spot on Billboard’s Best K-Pop Albums of 2014 and was nominated for Album of the Year at the 2014 MelOn Music Awards.
Shortly after the release of A Flower Bookmark, IU embarked on her third concert series, this time fulfilling her wish to have a more intimate and smaller scale concert. Titled, “Just One Step… That Much More,” the concert was held between May 22 and June 1, 2014 at Sogang University’s Mary Hall which only had a capacity of 450 people. Tickets to all eight shows were sold out within 10 minutes of release on May 7.
For the concert, IU performed all seven songs from A Flower Bookmark and played the keyboard for the first time on stage. Guest acts in her concert include SHINee’s Jonghyun, CNBLUE’s Jung Yong-hwa, ZE;A’s Kwanghee, Kim Bum-soo, Lim Seul-ong, Jo Jung-suk, Ha Dong-kyun, and Akdong Musician. Profits made from the concert series were donated to the victims of the Sewol Ferry Disaster the previous month.
In August 2014, IU made her debut performance in the United States at the KCON music festival in Los Angeles on August 9 and 10. She was the only female act to perform on the first day of KCON where she performed “The Red Shoes,” “You and I,” “Friday,” and “You Know”.
Throughout 2014, she continued to work with other artists, spawning several hit songs that made it to the top ten of music charts. “Not Spring, Love, or Cherry Blossoms,” her collaboration with then debuting group, High4, reached the number one spot of the Gaon Digital Chart and Billboard Korea K-Pop Hot 100. After the song topped Billboard’s Korea K-Pop Hot 100 Chart, IU became its “all-time chart leader” with a total of five number one songs and the artist who has spent the most number of weeks at number one since the chart was created in September 2011.
She also recorded “Anxious Heart” with Ulala Session but was released a year later out of respect for the death of the group’s lead vocalist. The song peaked at number four on the Gaon Digital Chart. The song, “Sing for Me,” which was released as part of god’s eighth studio album, peaked at number nine on the Gaon Digital Chart, while “When Would It Be,” her duet with labelmate Yoon Hyun-sang for his album Pianoforte, also peaked at the same spot.
2015 to 2016: Return to acting
In 2015, IU returned to the small screen two years after her last acting role. She starred alongside Cha Tae-hyun, Gong Hyo-jin, and former Dream High co-star Kim Soo-hyun in The Producers, which was one of the most anticipated TV series in South Korea in 2015. She played the role of Cindy, a diva who participates in a variety show to improve her public image. Through the entire run of The Producers, IU’s popularity in China grew, reportedly receiving offers for projects from Chinese companies.
She recorded two songs for the series – “Twenty-Three” and “Heart” – both of which were released as bonus tracks in her 2015 album, Chat-Shire. IU wrote the lyrics for both songs and also composed “Heart,” which was released as a digital single on May 18. Upon release, the song topped the charts and became the tenth best-selling digital single of 2015. It was also part of South Korea’s Defense Ministry’s propaganda broadcasts to North Korea during the two countries’ tense standoff in August 2015.
After the conclusion of The Producers, IU took part in the biennial music festival hosted by Infinite Challenge as a participating singer-songwriter where she was partnered with host Park Myeong-su. They recorded the song “Leon,” which was inspired by the film Leon: The Professional. They performed the song live at the event on August 13, 2015, where at least 40,000 people gathered at the Alpensia Ski Jumping Stadium in Pyeongchang. “Leon” was released as a digital track, along with the other songs from the festival, and reached number one on all music charts in South Korea.
On October 23, IU digitally released her seventh Korean EP, Chat-Shire, prior to its physical release on October 27. The album features a total of seven tracks (with two bonus tracks in the physical version), including the lead single “Twenty-Three” which topped the music charts upon release. Chat-Shire peaked at number four on Billboard’s World Albums chart. It was ranked by Billboard as the sixth best K-pop album of 2015.
Prior to the release of Chat-Shire, LOEN Entertainment has announced that IU will not be doing broadcast promotions for the album. Instead, she was scheduled to hold a national tour from November to December 2015. The tour began on November 21 in Seoul and continued to Busan, Daegu, and Gwangju, before returning once more to Seoul for the encore concert on December 31.
While on tour to promote Chat-Shire, IU also increased her promotional activities in Hong Kong, China, and Taiwan through fan meetings and concerts in various cities. On December 11, in the middle of her Chat-Shire tour, IU released Smash Hits in Taiwan, a 16-track compilation album of her previously released songs. The album topped the K-pop album chart of KKBOX, Taiwan’s leading online music store, on the first week of its release. Tickets to her Taiwan concert slated for January 2016 also sold out within two minutes after going on sale.
By the end of the 2015, IU hosted SBS’ Gaya Daejeon with Shin Dong-yup and was listed by Ize as one of the “persons of the Year, while GQ Korea named her as the “Woman of the Year”.
In September 2016, she starred in the period drama, Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo, alongside Lee Joon-gi, Kang Ha Neul, EXO’s Baekhyun, Nam Joo Hyuk, and Hong Jong Hyun among others. She played the role of Hae Soo in the series adapted from the Chinese novel Bu Bu Jing Xin.
2017 to 2018: Palette, My Ahjussi
On April 21, 2017, IU released her fourth studio album, Palette, for which she was credited as the main lyricist and producer. Three singles from the album were pre-released – the lead single “Palette” featuring Big Bang’s G-Dragon, “Through the Night,” and “Can’t Love You Anymore”.
The album debuted on top of the Billboard World Albums chart, which was a first for IU since her debut. It also took the top spot of local charts in both album sales and digital downloads, making the album a commercial success. Three singles from Palette also peaked at number 1 on the Gaon Digital Chart, with the title track, “Palette,” spending two weeks on top. The pre-release track, “Through the Night,” however, became the bestselling track from the album and IU’s best-selling single of 2017.
At year-end award shows, Palette received several accolades from industry experts, winning Best Pop Album at the 15th Korean Music Awards, Album of the Year at the Melon Music Awards, and Record of the Year (album) at the 27th Seoul Music Awards. IU also won Best Female Artist at the Mnet Asian Music Awards, Best Songwriter at the Melon Music Awards, Lyricist of the Year at the 7th Gaon Chart Music Awards. IU and her production team also won Producer of the Year, and for her song “Through the Night,” she won the Song of the Year award at the 32nd Golden Disc Awards.
“Palette” made it to Billboard magazine’s list of Best K-Pop Songs of 2017 at number 6, while the album ranked as the best K-pop album of the year. She was also the only Asian artist featured by The New York Times Magazine for their “25 Songs That Tell Us Where Music Is Going”.
In the middle of her promotional period for Palette, IU took part in the reality program Hyori’s Homestay where she worked as a part-timer in Lee Hyori and Lee Sang Soon’s guesthouse in Jeju Island.
On September 18, IU released the single “Autumn Morning,” to commemorate her 9th anniversary in the industry, topping all seven local music charts upon release. Four days later, she released her second cover album, A Flower Bookmark 2, containing her renditions of songs from 1960s to early 2000s.
From November to December of the same year, IU went on tour in various cities in South Korea and Hong Kong to promote A Flower Bookmark 2. Around the same time, she was also featured in Epik High’s title song, “Love Story,” for their ninth album, We’ve Done Something Wonderful. The song achieved a “Perfect All-Kill,” securing the number one spot of daily and real-time charts of all major Korean music sites. By the end of the year, IU was named by Gallup Korea as the most popular K-pop artist of 2017 (a feat she previously achieved in 2014) and the most popular K-pop idol of the year.
In March 2018, IU starred in the tvN drama, My Mister, alongside Lee Sun Kyun. The drama was both a commercial and critical success with audience ratings peaking at 7.3%. It was one of the highest rated Korean dramas in cable television history and IU received positive reviews for her performance in the series.
In July 23, 2018, she collaborated with Zico for his song “Soulmate”. The song was another hit for both artists, topping the daily and real-time charts of 6 major Korean music sites and bagging the number one spot on the Gaon Digital Chart.
In October of the same year, IU released the single “Bbibbi” to commemorate her 10th debut anniversary. The music video for the song was released on October 10 and the following day, IU’s agency confirmed that it has surpassed one million unique listeners on Melon, only 16 hours after its release. According to Kakao M, 23 hours after the song was released, it had broken IU’s previous record for the most number of unique listeners within the first 24 hours, which was also set by her duet with Park Myung-su with “Leon” in 2015.
“Bbibbi” recorded a total of 1,462,625 unique listeners in the first 23 hours. It also peaked at number one on the Gaon Digital Chart and at number five on Billboard’s World Digital Songs Chart. Later in the year, Billboard listed “Bbibii” at number 87 of their list of the “Best Songs of 2018”. It was also listed at number 4 on Billboard’s list of “The 20 Best K-pop Songs of 2018”.
On October 28, IU began her second Asian tour, IU 10th Anniversary Tour Concert.
Awards and achievements
Since IU’s debut in 2008, she has amassed over 180 nominations and has won more than 70 of them. She has bagged eleven Melon Music Awards, five Mnet Asian Music Awards, five Seoul Music Awards, five Korean Music Awards, and four Golden Disc Awards. She has also won several acting awards, including Best New Actress at the 2014 KBS Drama Awards for her role in You’re the Best, Lee Soon-shin.
Among her awards, IU has five Daesang (grand prize) awards to her name, three of which were from Melon Music Awards. The Daesang awards are known to be the most significant awards given to artists in the Korean music industry.
In 2012, she was identified as one of the most influential people in South Korea by Forbes Korea Power Celebrity list and has since been part of the list five times. IU was also recognized at the 2015 Pop Culture & Arts Awards by the Korean Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism for her influence and success in the music industry.
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