Meet The Beautiful and Talented Singer And Hallyu Actress, IU!
Lee Ji-eun, born on May 16th, 1993, professionally known as IU, is a South Korean singer-songwriter and actress. IU debuted as a singer, then later started to act. IU also participates in hosting activities. She rose to fame mainly since 2010 and from then, she has received many titles from the public, such as “Nation’s Little Sister.”
IU is not only popular in Korea but also internationally; for sure she is one of the most popular singers in Korea and always climbs up all the charts. She always manages to spoil our ears with her sweet voice so as to create a beautiful song. In this article, we have come up with a list of top 15 IU songs that you must have on your playlist. So let’s go through the list.
#1 Palette (feat. G-Dragon)
According to Billboard, “Palette,” released on Friday (April 21st), is the title track of her newly released fourth Korean album and is an autobiographical reflection of the songstress growing into herself as a 20-something with a nine-year-long career under her belt.
Off-kilter percussion, thumping bass, saccharine synths, and electronic blips create a venue for IU’s muted, explorative millennial pop anthem, while BIGBANG’s G-Dragon joins in as a rapper offering sage advice and motivation to the younger musician.
A sequel to 2015’s “Twenty-Three,” where she similarly addressed her burgeoning sexuality and adulthood, “Palette” showcases IU’s identity as a popular singer who rose to fame as a girlish teenager and is now ready to mature despite the ups and downs of her career. While in the former track IU sang about being a riddle-like woman in-between, this new single shows an artist filled with self-love and confidence: “I like it, I’m 25,” she sings in the chorus, later adding, “I got this.”
After expressing herself while showing that she has both changed (she prefers dark purple over hot pink) and stayed the same (she still loves Corinne Bailey Rae), IU is joined by G-Dragon. The rapper offers up inspiration and words of wisdom to IU based on his own experience (“When I’m just me, I shine the brightest”) as he has already entered his 30s. (The song reflects Korea’s age system, where G-Dragon is 30 and IU is 25, even though internationally they are 28 and 23, respectively.) Almost as if breaking character, G-Dragon addresses IU by her given name “Jieun” rather than her stage name as if to redirect the listener’s attention to the fact that “Palette” is indeed the artist’s personalized message rather than just another typical, manufactured pop song.
The music video for “Palette” furthers the song’s message, contrasting the IU of 2017 with her past self. To counter her former clean-cut image, “Palette’ shows the singer exploring her coming-of-age persona through a variety of styles including bright pink hair, boyish blazers, and a retro skirt suit, all of which sharply differ with a depiction of IU as her 18-year-old self performing her break-out 2010 hit, “Good Day.”
As she continues to vacillate between adulthood and youth, the singer is seen playing with games and toys, kissing a statue, singing karaoke and dancing on her own, all while messages pop up on screen to reflect her anxieties and emotions: A street sign saying “don’t touch,” a colorful notebook with the words “every day happy” in bright hues, and a computer pop up asking, “Do you know this? Everyone hates you?” with the only options of choice being “I know” and “me too.” Though “Twenty-Three” was IU’s declaration of adulthood, “Palette” is the artist’s affirmation of self-confidence and a successful ode of coming into oneself.
The reflective “Palette’ was co-written by IU and Lee Jong-hoon, while IU and G-Dragon wrote the lyrics. It’s one of two songs on Palette that the singer composed, along with “Can’t Love You Anymore.” IU also acted as the album’s primary lyricist. The ten-track Palette, released on April 21st, is IU’s first full-length album since 2013’s Modern Times.
And don’t forget to watch the music video for “Palette” here.
#2 Not Spring, Love, or Cherry Blossom (feat. HIGH4)
IU wrote the song, which was HIGH4’s debut song, and sings throughout it to provide the boy band with a feminine touch. Even though the members are rookies, HIGH4’s rougher vocals interspersed with IU’s voice showing the contrast between masculine and feminine voices and coming together to create a sweet, catchy song that is perfect for spring days.
As the title suggests, this song is not about spring, love or cherry blossoms – the three most common subject matters of songs this season. Instead, it’s about a person — not in a relationship — who receives a sudden revelation when he/she looks around and sees that everyone is part of a couple. This person has no one to hold hands with and frankly, the love songs are a little bit too much for them.
Watch the music video below.
#3 Good Day
The title of this song is “Good Day” and it is featured in IU’s third mini-album Real released on December 9th, 2010, by LOEN Entertainment. “Good Day” is composed by Lee Min-soo and written by lyricist Kim Ee-na.
As for the song’s lyrical content we first go to a statement from LOEN Entertainment in which they explain as quoted, “The lyrics of the song portray a girl who is in love yet too shy to confess her feelings, expressing the sweetness and uneasiness of a girl’s first crush in a pure yet honest manner.”
It did portray that. LOEN Entertainment also added, “No doubt IU’s mind-blowing vocals and her timid yet cute performance will make the hearts of all male fans race for her.”
Watch the music video of one of IU’s legendary songs below.
#4 You and I
The MV for the title track of IU’s 2nd regular album, “You and I,” was produced by Hwang Soo-Ah. The same producer was also involved in IU’s MVs for “Good Day” and “The Story Only I Didn’t Know.” The MV for “You and I” is about a girl who steps into a time machine and goes on a time travel to meet her boyfriend of the future.
On KBS 2TV’s Yoo Hee Yeol’s Sketchbook, which aired on December 16th, IU and Yoo Hee Yeol discussed her new single. He commented, “Your title song has a fairytale-like aura.” She answered, “’Nagging,’ ‘Good Day,’ and ‘You and I’ are part of a series of fairytale-like songs, and those will probably be the last ones.”
IU explained, “Since I’m turning 20 in less than 3 weeks, I wanted to say to my future boyfriend to wait until then.”
Watch the MV again to refresh your memory!
“Bbibbi” was released as a digital single on October 10th, 2018. “Bbibbi” is a laid-back alt-R&B track with confrontational and introspective lyrics that makes use of sound effects and onomatopoeia.
The song was considered a “warning” to IU’s haters and critics, with her turning around commentary on her image. Particular attention was paid to her delivery, including phrases and words like “yellow C-A-R-D” and “hello stu-P-I-D.” “Bbibbi” refers to a pager in Korean, in particular, the noise the device makes before people leave a message. “Bbibbi” is also the Korean name of Pippi Longstocking, the titular character of the Swedish children’s novel Pippi Longstocking.
The video currently has over 100 million views, making it the second most popular Korean music video by a female solo artist in 2018. Watch the “Bbibbi” music video below.
#6 Ending Scene
IU wrote the lyrics and Sam Kim composed the song. The lyrics of this song seem to be from the perspective of someone talking to an older lover. They’re romantic, sad, and thoughtful all at the same time.
The story behind this pays homage to the song’s English title: “Ending Scene,” with IU and Soo Hyun in a place that appears to be a cinema theater, laced with clouds and colorful string tied to each of their limbs as IU presses play on a movie. However, this is nothing like a movie date as they are watching back the memories of their relationship, skipping from their first meeting to multiple dates and also their first kiss.
Watch the music video here.
#7 Every End of the Day
“Every End of the Day’ was released as a CD single, titled Spring of a Twenty Year Old. The single has a double A-side hit singles, “Peach” and “Every End of the Day” which were also released digitally, consisting of three tracks in total, one of which was composed by IU.
The music video for the track “Every End of the Day” was released on May 11th, 2012. This 26-minute-long short film is done in a documentary style and features interviews with IU, as well as footage from her previously mentioned trip to Venice. The song itself is a lively up-tempo song, that sounds similar to older pop music. The arrangement features string instruments. The lyrics and music video tell the tale of a girl who is deeply in love with a man that she hopes will make the first move.
Watch the full MV below!
She mentioned that the lyrics were written to convey the emotion one feels when looking at their lover and that she had put in special attention into portraying one verse of the lyrics from the perspective of a male thinking about a pretty girl.
On May 14th, 2012, IU also revealed the secret to her latest single, “Peach,” during a mobile chat session with her fans through me2day. During the conversation, IU revealed for the first time, “I wrote ‘Peach’ thinking about f(x)’s Sulli, from a man’s point of view.” She didn’t further explain what characteristic of Sulli was so intriguing to write a song about her, but fans seemed to understand what she meant through her lyrics.
Here’s the music video teaser for IU’s “Peach.”
#9 Red Shoes
“The Red Shoes,” the album’s lead track, is a song with big band sounds, dramatic developments, and elaborate choruses. The song was inspired from a fairy tale under the same title written by Danish author Hans Christian Andersen, and the movie plot for its music video was adapted from the 1948 British film of the same title. Comparing to red shoes, it tells about a woman who begins her journey for the once-brilliant and summer-like days she had with her lost love, counting on her fate.
The single was released on October 8th, 2013, along with the whole album, and its music video was officially unveiled at 11:00 am KST. The video, directed by South Korean music video director Hwang Soo-ah. “The Red Shoes” reached number one on both the Gaon Singles and Download Charts on the third week of October 2013. It also topped the Billboard Korea K-Pop Hot 100 for two consecutive weeks, becoming the singer’s third number-one hit on the chart, after “You and I” (2011–12) and “Every End of the Day” (2012).
Watch “The Red Shoes” music video below.
#10 Lost Child
The music video for “Lost Child” featuring Thunder, was uploaded through LOEN Entertainment’s official YouTube channel on July 19th, 2011, and she was 14/15 years old when this song came out. The song is written by Choi Gap-won and arranged by Min Woong-shik and Lee Jong-hoon.
Watch the music video to relax yourself.