Top Tier Idols, IU and G-Dragon
Similarly dubbed as the King and Queen of Korean music charts, G-Dragon and IU have recently collaborated for the song “Palette,” featured in IU’s fourth full-length album. The song itself talks about IU’s perception of herself and how much she has grown over the years, with G-Dragon’s verse complimenting that idea and urging her on her journey to discover herself. Through the song, both artists are not only able to display their own personal charms but also their friendship that was unknown to most until the release of the song.
As the song reached number one on multiple music charts, as expected of the duo, fans and the public began to wonder about the nature of their relationship, how the two got to know each other and became close. So let’s take a look at the successes of both IU and G-Dragon and their blossoming friendship!
IU started off her career as a solo singer debuting under Kakao M, formerly Loen Entertainment. She was signed as a trainee in 2007 and released her first album at just 15 years old, titled Lost and Found. The album established her name in the industry, but it was not until “Good Day” was released that she became a household name in the Korean entertainment industry. The song was the title track of her 2010 album, Real, and set a record breaking 5 weeks straight on the Korean music charts. She followed up the success with more hits such as “You and I”, “Red Shoes”, “Through The Night”, “Palette”, and most recently, “Ppippi”.
Not only is she one of the few incredibly successful recent mainstream Korean female solo artists, but she is also a very well established actress. She has starred in various dramas such as Dream High, The Producers, Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo, and My Mister. Furthermore, she has sometimes also taken part in the soundtrack for the dramas, which is proof of her multi-talented personality. Through the success, she has earned herself various spots in Korean variety shows, one of them being the music festival special of Infinity Challenge. This is one of the times she has directly encountered and interacted with G-Dragon.
Not very much different from IU’s beginnings, G-Dragon also started off his career as an idol, yet different from her, he debuted in a group. G-Dragon debuted as the leader of the boy group Big Bang, signed under YG entertainment, in 2006. His career with Big Bang is definitely notable in the grand scheme of things as he was able to reach the number one spot multiple times, both domestically and internationally, with songs such as “Lies”, “Last Farewell”, “Day by Day”, “Bang Bang Bang”, and more.
As he promotes with his group, he also does quite a few solo projects on the side, such as the albums Heartbreaker and Coup d’Etat, as well as the EPs One of a Kind and Kwon Ji Yong. The hits contained in those few projects are legendary and became chart toppers instantly, having a sing-a-long quality to each and every one. His songs are easy to empathize with and depict the lowest points of his life. Thus the successes that his albums and hits have brought also helped him to be invited to the Infinity Challenge Music Festival Challenge along with IU.
Friendship Between IU and G-Dragon
IU and G-Dragon’s friendship has such a distinct and unique beginning, but one of their most notable appearances is during Infinity Challenge‘s Music Festival Special. The two were invited as guests by the regulars of the show and were made to help the regulars write, produce, and perform songs at the bi-annual festival that they hold. They were both paired with a different cast member, IU with comedian Park Myung-soo and G-Dragon together with band member Taeyang, were paired with comedian Hwang Kwang-hee. They interacted in between segments, through some cleverly done talk sessions and games done by the regulars. Not only that, but they seemed to also be friendly off-screen, encouraging each other in the process of the work.
In 2017, IU came back with her fourth album, titled Palette, that featured a title track of the same name. The song tells a story of her own struggles in discovering herself and her progress throughout her career. Not only that, but the song also featured a verse done by G-Dragon himself, a display of their friendship. When asked about the collaboration, IU responded by revealing the fact that she has been a fan of his for a long time. During the process of making the song, she asked him for a lot of advice and the featuring did not come into play until later in the process. As she was writing and producing her song, at one point a part came out where it seemed to be the perfect place for a rap verse, more importantly, someone who had G-Dragon’s style and tone of rap.
Their friendship can really be seen when they are together, for example, when they are guests at each other’s concerts. They have attended each other’s concerts as guests, such as IU’s Palette concert and G-Dragon’s Motte III World Tour Concert. What’s amazing about these guest appearances is that it is not only done at their domestic concerts, but also at the ones abroad, such as IU’s participation in G-Dragon’s Motte III concert in Taiwan. They usually do a short ment before their performance together, sometimes chatting about how they came to be friends and how glad they are to be performing together. Aside from performing Palette together, IU also sometimes fills in for the female parts in GD’s other songs.
Much to IU’s surprise, G-Dragon did not only partake in the title track of her album but also in helping to customize Palette‘s photo book with a collage. The collage he made for the photo book can be seen in a behind the scenes video she uploaded herself on her Instagram account. The video contains a look at the photo book that has been pasted with cutouts of flowers and other 3D flower stickers. Three days prior to uploading the video, she revealed on her concert that she has received a very heartwarming gift from G-Dragon, one of her top three most heartfelt gifts she has received that year.
Other than the photo book, the two have also exchanged others gifts, one in the form of a refrigerator that IU has given G-Dragon leading up to his military enlistment. The refrigerator is not an ordinary refrigerator as it is filled with soju bottles with a G-Dragon version of the label pasted on it. This serves as an inside joke because IU is currently the brand ambassador of one of the biggest soju brands in Korea. G-Dragon revealed this by posting a picture of the gift on his social media account.
So what do you think of their friendship? Does it make you want to be friends with G-Dragon and IU? Comment your thoughts in the section below!