1. She experienced poverty.
IU’s family was rich until debt took everything away. IU and her younger brother lived with their grandmother while their parents handle the situation. IU is very close to her grandmother. They first lived in a small room with many cockroaches. Then they moved to their relative’s house and IU experienced verbal abuse. The relative will always shout at her saying she will never become a singer so she should just study instead of practice singing. IU will always pretend to be asleep whenever her drunk relative arrives. She kept in mind that she will be a singer someday.
2. She experienced being conned and robbed.
Even when IU became a trainee, she faced a lot of challenges. She was conned while she was searching for auditions to enter. An agency lied to her when they told her that she will train and appear on TV programs in exchange for a large sum of money. What made IU more depressed was that the money was her grandmother’s savings from selling small accessories.
3. IU shared her success with her family.
IU debuted in 2008 and she became a rising rookie. IU saved money and bought her father’s dream car in 2009. She keeps her family life private but she shared some family-related posts on social media. She is still her parents’ little girl and a silly older sister when it comes to her brother.
4. IU’s main priority is her career.
IU shared that she did not have the grades to go to college during her episode in Healing Camp. With her popularity, many Korean universities offered special admission but she turned them down. Fans are happy with her decision to stay focused on her career. IU said that college entrance is deserved by students who tried their best. She said that she will not pursue college because she doesn’t have time for it.
5. She is over-fatigued and unhealthy.
IU fainted and was rushed into the hospital before she promoted her “Real” album. Fans were worried about her health as she appeared quite skinny. IU started working out to become healthy again. She revealed on Hyori’s Bed and Breakfast, that she is doing different yoga postures to stay fit.
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6. Her battle with an eating disorder
IU talked about having bulimia in 2014. It is a condition where a person becomes obsessed to lose weight which causes depression and self-induced vomiting. She is now trying to stay healthy by following a set of eating schedule.
IU said that she was stressed and unhappy. She said that everything would make her skin crawl. She said she disliked herself so much and fell into the deep hole of self-pity. She only got 2 choices- to sleep or to eat. She was binge eating when she’s not sleeping.
7. IU is a kind-hearted person.
IU donated $100,000 USD to help the needy children in the year 2015. The press had to cover her donation to charity because she doesn’t want to reveal her good deed. She is supporting a scholarship program at the high school she is from. She is sending four outstanding students who can’t finance their college education. She donated books and donated funds for educational purposes.
8. She values friendship.
IU found a good friend in actress Yoo In Na and they are BFF goals. They have a huge age difference but that did not stop them from being best friends. Fans are happy that their idol is lucky to find one great friend and the best support system.
IU said that they did not share the same blood and not real sisters, but Yoo In Na is her best friend. She thanked her for being her top fan and muse.
9. She misses her deceased friend.
IU felt heartbroken over her friend, SHINee’s Jonghyun’s death. Jonghyun is an important person for her. He wrote and was featured on “A Gloomy Clock”.
She said that she was only close to very few people. She said that she puts the pressure to someone she considers her close friend. She avoids saying things like that in public but she feels that she was Jonghyun’s close friend.
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10. She turns her weakness into a strength.
IU shared how she was able to write the song, “A Lost Puppy”. She said that she imagined that was no longer popular and unloved while writing. Pitchfork reviewed this song as one of the “20 Essential K-Pop Songs”.
Pitchfork described “A Lost Puppy” as a sad and hopeless song written by a lighthearted 18-year-old icon.
11. IU wants to know herself more.
IU talked about her self-esteem in an interview with CeCi Magazine. She said that she has low self-confidence and it never bothers her. She knows that she will not be arrogant. Fans love IU’s down-to-earth side. IU said that she sees herself negatively as other people look up to her. She said that her weakness can become her strength. She will not be cocky because she knows who she really is.