Lee Ji-eun aka IU burst into South Korea’s K-pop scene when she was 15years old. Four years later, she’s blossomed into a full blow star with her two albums, appearances in Korean dramas and numerous endorsements. In fact, she’s so popular that she’s been labeled “The Nation’s Little Sister.”
And yesterday she’s joined other K-pop artists the Wonder Girls and Hyuna from 4Minute in being listed on Billboard’s “21 Under 21: Music’s Hottest Minors 2012.” The list is populated by artists such as Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus, Selena Gomez, Nick Jonas and One Direction.
Here’s Billboard’s snippet about the artist:
Why She’s Hot: Most South Koreans would be hesitant to label IU as “hot” — after all, she’s affectionately known as the nation’s “little sister.” But this past year, IU’s unique charm and undeniable hits have made her into a bona fide superstar. Her reign began with the release of her comeback single “You and I,” the No. 1 song of Billboard’s K-Pop Hot 100 chart of the past year. While IU hasn’t hit the same level of global viral awareness as Psy, her popularity has led to success in Japan, where she celebrated Hot 100 hits with Japanese versions of “You and I” and her single “Good Day.” Meanwhile, the singer remains a formidable K-Pop force in with chart toppers like “Every End of the Day” (which held a four-week run at no. 1 on the K-Pop Hot 100), “Peach,” and a collaboration with her labelmates FIESTAR on “Sea of Moonlight.”
So although she may not have a name yet like her oppa PSY, at only 19 years old (Westernized age, she’s 20 in South Korea) there’s still more than enough time for IU to start making a cross-over in the United States. She’s got a bubbling personality on top of her sugary sweet vocals.
Check out one of her top singles “Good Day” below: