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IU (Korean: 아이유), birth name Lee Ji-eun ( Korean ：이지은), is a Korean singer and actress. Her stage name is derived from the phrase “I and You”, symbolizing that people can become one through music.
She signed with LOEN Entertainment (currently known as Kakao M) as a trainee in 2007 and began her career as a singer by releasing her first mini-album, “Lost and Found”, at the age of 15.
She then released albums “Growing Up” and “IU… IM” which boosts IU’s popularity.
What really made IU popular in South Korea was her hit song “Good Day” on her 2010 album “Real”.
“Good Day” topped South Korea’s Gaon digital charts for the fifth week in a row, maintaining a record for the longest number of weeks with PSY’s Gangnam Style.
After the success of the 2011 album “Real+” and “Last Fantasy”, IU established a strong position in South Korea’s music charts and further cemented the image of the girl next door, winning the title of “Nation’s Little Sister”.
IU’s third regular album, “Modern Times,” released in 2013, is a mature style that is different from the previous teen image.
IU’s later albums, “A Flower Bookmark” and “CHAT-SHIRE,” both deviated from mainstream Korean musical styles but did not shake her dominance of the music charts.
In the Korean pop music industry, dominated by boy groups and girl groups, IU is one of the best-selling solo artists.
She has been one of Forbes magazine’s top 40 names in South Korea’s celebrity power list since 2012, reaching the highest number 3 in 2012.
IU fandom name is “UAENA”（Korean：유애나）, which has the meaning where each syllable has a different meaning: “you” is from English, “ae” is Sino-Korean for “love”, and “na” is Korean for “me”.
Aside from her music career, IU has also ventured into hosting radio and television shows, as well as acting. Following her supporting role in teen drama Dream High and minor appearances in several television series, IU starred in You’re the Best, Lee Soon-shin, Pretty Man, The Producers, Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo, My Mister, Persona and Hotel del Luna. [wiki]
Update: On January 6, it was announced that she has signed with EDAM Entertainment, a new company established by Bae Jong Han, her manager of 12 years.
Along with IU, all of her staff members, known as the “IU Team” at her previous company Kakao M, have moved together to EDAM Entertainment.
Kakao M has also invested in EDAM Entertainment and will provide support for the agency to grow steadily as a subsidiary of the company.