Bio, Net Worth, Age, Boyfriend, Real Name, Family, Height, Career

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Lee Ji-eun aka IU is a South Korean singer-songwriter, record producer, and actress. IU signed with LOEN Entertainment (now Kakao Entertainment) in 2007 as a trainee and debuted as a singer at the age of 15 with her first extended play (EP) “Lost and Found” in 2008. On April 23, 2009, her first studio album “Growing Up” was released with LOEN Entertainment. The album has 16 songs with 2 instrumental numbers. She then came to fame with the release of “Good Day” (Korean: 좋은 날), the lead single from her 2010 album “Real”. She further gained her success with the 2011 albums, “Real+” and “Last Fantasy”. Her third studio album, “Modern Times” was released in 2013 followed by “Palette” in 2017, and “Lilac” in 2021. 

As an actress, she had a supporting role in the teen drama “Dream High” (2011) and minor appearances in several TV series. She was cast in leading roles in the television drama series You Are the Best! (2013), Pretty Man (2013–14), The Producers (2015), and Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo (2016). In 2019, she starred in the anthology film series Persona and the fantasy television series Hotel del Luna. In 2022, IU starred in Hirokazu Kore-eda’s film Broker. She is nicknamed IU, Nation’s Little Sister, Jingjjang, and Gasiyu. 

What is IU Famous For?

  • IU is a singer-songwriter, record producer, and actress.
  • IU is famous for the lead single “Good Day” from her EP, Real (2010), which remained at the top of South Korea’s Gaon Digital Chart for 5 consecutive weeks. 
  • She is also famous for being one of the best solo artists in the K-pop industry with the success of her EPs including Real (2010), A Flower Bookmark (2014), Chat-Shire (2015), and A Flower Bookmark 2 (2017).

What is IU’s Real Name?

IU was born on May 16, 1993, in Gwangjin District, Seoul, South Korea. Her real name is Lee Ji-eun. She holds South-Korean nationality and her ethnicity is South Korean-Asian. Her present age is 29 as of 2022 and her birth sign is Taurus. She has a religious belief in Christianity. She is the daughter of her father, Lee Jin-Kook, and her mother, Kim Misam. She also has one brother named Lee Jong-Hoon. As per sources, she along with her brother had to move to her grandmother’s house in Gyeonggi province when they were children because her family was facing a difficult financial situation. She had to face poverty at an early age. 

For her education, she went to Dongduk Girl’s High School where she completed her higher education. In 2012, she decided not to join post-secondary education, and instead, she chose to start her career in music. 

How was the Career of IU?

  • At an early age, IU showed interest in pursuing a career in the entertainment industry and began attending acting classes. She then found her passion for singing during her middle school years and decided to become a singer after being applauded for a performance she gave at her school’s sports competition. She later trained at Good Entertainment with Uee, Yubin, Heo Ga-yoon, and Jun Hyo-seong. 
  • In 2007, she signed with LOEN Entertainment and then moved to Bangbae, Seoul. 
  • After training for ten months, she made her debut in 2008 with the single “Lost Child” which she performed live for the first time on the music program M Countdown on September 18, 2008, making it her debut performance as a professional singer. 
  • Lost Child” is the lead single from her debut extended play (EP) “Lost and Found”, which was released on September 24, 2008. 
  • She launched her first studio album, “Growing Up” on April 23, 2009, with the lead promotional single, “Boo”. Several songs from Lost and Found were featured on her debut studio album Growing Up, including “You Know” (Korean: 있잖 아). 
  • She released her second EP, “IU…IM” in late 2009. She began promoting its lead single, “Marshmallow” (Korean: 마쉬멜로우), on music programs on November 13, 2009. 
  • After that, she started appearing on variety shows, performing on Star Golden Bell, Kim Jung-eun’s Chocolate, and You Hee-yeol’s Sketchboo. Also, she appeared as a fixed guest on multiple radio programs such as Kiss the Radio, Volume Up, MBC Standard FM’s Starry Night, and MBC FM4U’s Best Friend Radio. 
  • Her third EP, “Real”, was released on December 9, 2010. A follow-up extended play to Real was released on February 16, 2011, with the title, “Real+”, containing three songs.
  •  In May 2011, IU recorded her first self-composed song, “Hold My Hand” (Korean: 내 손을 잡아), for the romantic-comedy television series, The Greatest Love. She then took part in the reality ice-skating competition series, Kim Yuna’s Kiss & Cry, as a celebrity contestant in July 2011. During this time, she also participated in “Immortal Songs: Singing the Legend”.
  • Her second studio album, Last Fantasy, was released on November 29, 2011. After that, she signed with EMI Music Japan (now part of Universal Music Japan) as a precursor to her entry into the Japanese market. 
  • She then embarked on her first concert tour, Real Fantasy, in June 2012. She played shows in six different cities across South Korea, starting with two shows in Seoul.
  • She started 2013 by taking on her first leading role in a television series, playing the title role in “You’re the Best, Lee Soon-shin”.
  • IU next released her second Japanese extended-play album, “Can You Hear Me?”. Her next Japanese single, “Monday Afternoon”, was released on September 11, 2013. 
  • Her third studio album, “Modern Times” was released on October 8, 2013. 
  • She released her sixth Korean extended play and first cover album, “A Flower Bookmark” on 16th May 2014, and her seventh Korean extended play, “Chat-Shire”, was released digitally on October 23, 2015.
  • In 2015, she starred alongside Kim Soo-hyun, Cha Tae-hyun, and Gong Hyo-jin in “The Producers” as Cindy. She starred in the lead role, Hae Soo, in “Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo” in September 2016. 
  • She published her fourth studio album, “Palette”, on April 21, 2017.
  • She released her second cover album, “A Flower Bookmark 2” on September 22, 2017. In March 2018, she starred in tvN’s My Mister, playing the character Lee Ji-an. She released a single titled “Bbibbi” in October 2018. 
  • On April 11, 2019, she made her film debut in the Netflix anthology series “Persona”.
  • On November 2, 2019, IU began her second Asian tour, titled Love Poem, in Gwangju. 
  • Her fifth studio album, “Lilac” was released on March 25, 2021. She later teased a special album titled “Pieces”, which was released on December 29. 

  • On April 13, 2022, she completed the filming of her first feature film Dream in Hungary. She then starred in the film Broker in May 2022. 
  • On 27th July 2022, it was announced that IU would hold a concert, The Golden Hour: Under the Orange Sun, at the Seoul Olympic Stadium on September 17 and 18, becoming the first Korean female artist to perform there. 

IU Awards and Achievements

  • IU has received over 200 award nominations, winning over 100 of them. The singer has won 21 Melon Music Awards, 16 Gaon Chart Music Awards, 5 Korean Music Awards, 11M net Asian Music Awards, 7 Seoul Music Awards, and 8 Golden Disc Awards. 
  • Likewise, she has also won several awards for her work as an actress, earning the title “Best New Actress” at the 2014 KBS Drama Awards for her performance in You’re the Best, Lee Soon-shin. She received ten Daesang (grand prize) awards from various award shows, including five from the Melon Music Awards and three from the Golden Disc Awards. 
  • In 2012, she was named to the Forbes Korea Power Celebrity list as one of the most influential people in South Korea and has since been mentioned five times. She was honored at the 2015 Korean Popular Culture and Arts Awards, held by the Korean Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, for her influence and success in the music industry.

Who is IU’s Boyfriend?

IU is an unmarried woman. In December 2022, it was rumored that IU (Lee Ji-eun) and actor Lee Jong-suk were dating after they reportedly spent Christmas together in Nagoya, Japan. In January 2023, the couple’s agencies confirmed their relationship. The lovebirds are enjoying their present life a lot. Her sexual orietnation is straight. 

Who is Lee Jong-suk? Everything To Know About South-Korean Actor and Model

IU (right) and Lee Jong-suk (left) are dating each other

Previously, she dated the radio show host and the lead vocalist of the South Korean indie rock band Kiha & The Faces, Jang Kiha. Lee Ji-eun, who is 11 years younger than Jang, met Jang on a radio show hosted by him. She confirmed their relationship in October 2015, on her social media account and stated that it was love at first sight for her. Later, the pair split in the year 2017.

How much is IU’s Net Worth?

IU is a singer-songwriter, record producer, and actress whose net worth is estimated to have between $35 million – $45 million as of January 2023. Without a doubt, her salary will be surely in the millions but the exact figure of her salary is still to get unfolded yet. In early 2022, she was marked as one of the richest K-Pop idols from copyright royalties in South Korea.

At age 15, she gained music fame with a mini album, “Lost and Found” under Kakao Entertainment. Years later, after her debut, she received mainstream success with the single Good Day from her 2010 album, “Real”. Starting out in a supporting role with “Dream High” in 2011, she has embarked on a promising acting career ever since. With K-dramas like My Mister, Hotel Del Luna, Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo, and Persona, she gained her name in the entertainment industry. Her main source of wealth comes from the music industry, acting field, endorsement, and more. She enjoys a comfortable lifestyle. 

IU has done endorsement work for brands like Crown Confectionery’s MyChew candy, Crown Bakery, Y’sb, Alicia: The Story of My Horse and I video game, Nexon’s Dungeon Fighter Online, Unionbay Sportswear, Le Coq Sportif, SK Telecom, Namyang Dairy’s Yogurt Bulgaris, S-Oil, Homeplus, Guess, Elite, The Saem cosmetic, Hoo Roo Rook products, Samsung Electronics, Qdsuh, Unionbay Sportswear, ISOI cosmetics, Global StarCraft II League, SK Planet online store, Mexicana Chicken restaurant chain, MDR series headphones, and Sbenu footwear.

She has been the spokesmodel for various brands like NCsoft’s Aion: Upheaval video game and Chamisul. She was also the ambassador for Expo 2012 held in Yeosu. She has also been a global ambassador for the luxury fashion house Gucci since March 2022.

IU bought a lavish penthouse worth a whopping $11.7 million in Eterno Cheongdam, Seoul in 2021. She also owns residences in Yangpyeong-gun and Gwacheon as well. In 2021, she donated ₩500 million to the Korea Pediatric Cancer Foundation, the Korean Single Mothers and Families Association, the Comprehensive Support Center for Elderly Living Alone, the Child Welfare Association, and the Yeouldol Association to help children with rare diseases.

What tall is IU?

IU stands tall at the height of 5 ft 3.5 inches or 1.62 m and her body weight consist of 45 kg or 99 lbs. She has a slim body type. She has black eye color and her hair color is also black. She often tends to dye her hair in different colors. Her body measurement is 32-23-30 in. She maintains her figure by eating a strict diet. She has got a healthy body at present. 

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