9 Facts You Didn't Know About IU: Happy Birthday Lee Ji Eun

Here are nine lesser-known facts about the 'Lilac' girl, Lee Ji Eun, popularly known as Nation's Little Sister, IU.

More the merrier. It is true in the sense of Korean pop bands. Be it BTS, NCT, ATEEZ

It is none other than the Lilac girl IU. One of the most popular Kpop singers, IU is celebrating her birthday today. She was born on May 16 in 1993 in Seongjeong Dong in Seoul. IU is also popular as an actor. Her popular dramas Include Dream High, Producers, Persona and Hotel Del Luna. Here are nine facts about the singer, who is killing the ranking charts with the success of her latest single Lilac.

IU Lilac
IU in the cover of her latest track Lilac. Instagram

1) Why IU?

IU's birth name is Lee Ji Eun. But as every singer in Kpop field has a special name to make them stand out among the others. Thus, Lee Ji Eun became IU. The name has a simple meaning, it is I and You. I is singer's promise that she will deliver the best music and You is the hope that the listener can relate to her music and enjoy it. In fact, her Instagram handle has the name "dlwlrma". Each of the alphabets corresponds with the keys on the keyboard if you type the Korean characters of Lee Ji Eun.

2) Staying Away from Parents

IU came from humble background. Her family's financial situation was badly hit when she was an elementary student. She had to move to Gyeonggi Province and stayed with her brother and grandmother for over one year. The family couldn't afford to stay together in Seoul due to poverty.

3) The Choice

IU found happiness in singing and her talent was recognized when she was in middle school. As she git to sign with LOEN Entertainment in 2007, she moved to Seoul. It was difficult to manage school and her training as a singer. She managed to graduate from Dongduk Girls' High School in 2012 and decided not to pursue post-secondary education to concentrate on her singing.

4) Dreadful Auditions

Can you believe, IU failed more than 20 auditions, before being accepted by LOEN Entertainment. She was also scammed by fake entertainment companies. In fact, JY Park was recorded as saying he wants to find out who failed IU from his company's auditions. "My heart breaks every time I see IU. I'm going to find the person who rejected IU from our audition and penalise him," JY Park had said. IU also acted with JY Park in the drama Producers that also starred Ok Taecyeon and Kim Soo Hyun.

5) IU Chose Studio to Home

Due to financial conditions at home, she chose to make a solo debut instead of being a part of girl group in 2008. She got a chance to debut after training for ten months. IU was always seen in the studio. As she did not want to talk about her family's condition, she would always say that she loved being in the studio and almost lived there. Reality is that she could eat food to her stomach's content and sleep well in the studio than at home.

6) Nation's Little Sister

Her first single was released in 2008. But Lost Child failed to impress the audience and the singer took it as a challenge and released her first solo album Growing Up in 2009. IU released an extended play, IU...IM towards the end of 2009. This was well received by the audience. On June 3, 2010, IU released the single Nagging, a duet that had also featured 2AM's Lim Seul Ong. By then, IU's popularity had started soaring and she was known as 'Nation's Little Sister'.

7) Why Staff Loves IU?

IU is known for her kind-heartedness. It is said that when renewing her contract with Kakao M [which was previously known as LOEN Entertainment] IU had only one demand. "I want to continue working with my staff who are like family. Raise the salaries of my staff."

8) IU and Dating

IU dated indie singer Jang Ki Ha. She met the Indie singer in 2013 and it was love at first sight. Jang Ki Ha was the host of a radio show and IU was his guest. Initially 11 year age difference was not a matter between the couple. But sadly, the couple broke up in 2017.

9) IU's Best Friend

Having a best friend when you are in a competitive field is very important. Thus, the person who was by IU's side come what may was actress Yoo In Na. They met during the shooting of a commercial and even after a decade their friendship is strong.

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