Lee Ji Eun, prominently known as IU, is one of South Korea’s most successful singers and actresses. If you’re new to the K-pop and K-drama scene, it’s definitely high time for you to upgrade your taste by getting to know Uaenas‘ (IU’s fandom name) “queen”.

IU’s journey in the entertainment industry was never easy for her as there were a lot of hindrances along the way when she was just starting out to make a name for herself. In the end, her perseverance paid off, not to mention that the soloist is known to be a donating angel to the community amidst the pandemic coronavirus outbreak in South Korea.

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>>> See more: IU To Celebrate 12th Debut Anniversary With Mini Concert On KBS ‘Yoo Hee Yeol’s Sketchbook’

IU’s story of success is indeed an inspiring story. In this article, you will know the things she had to endure before reaching her dreams.

Here’s a quick list of things you should know about IU that will make your heart melt.

1. She came from a poverty-stricken family.

IU’s family was well-to-do at first until her family had a debt that went out of control and resulted into bankruptcy. Her parents decided to send IU and her younger brother to their grandmother.

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Along with her brother, they had no choice but to live under their grandmother’s care and had to live in a room with cockroaches. They soon moved to another relative’s home where the young IU had to endure all of their verbal abuse. Sometimes, the relative would shout at her and even discouraged her to practice singing and should go to school instead.

IU had to sleep with a heavy heart and decided that she will do everything to reach her dream to become a singer. Her grandmother did everything she could do to provide the needs of IU and her brother, which in the end was not enough to sustain the daily needs of the two children.

2. She got scammed.

IU started to embark on her journey in becoming a popular singer, she would enter different auditions but she failed in the selection process, until a fraud scammed and robbed her.

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An agency fooled her to send them a large amount of money so that she could start her training and TV appearance. IU was devastated because the money that was robbed from her was her grandmother’s hard-earned cash from selling accessories.

3. IU debuted under LOEN Entertainment.

After all the trials and tribulations, which includes auditioning and getting rejected by one of the Big 3 agencies, IU finally got accepted under the management of LOEN Entertainment. She debuted in 2008 with her hit song “BOO” and “Marshmallow,” which she collaborated with predebut Zico who remains a close friend of hers until today.

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In 2009, she was able to give back everything she owes to her family and succeeded as a popular singer. She even gifted her dad his dream car.

While the songstress keeps his family members’ identity hidden as much as she can, IU at times shares the bonding moments she experiences with them using her Instagram account. There have also been some screenshots of text messages that have circulated through social media, showing how IU is still a baby to the eyes of her parents and a cute sibling to her brother.

4. IU did not go to college to pursue her dreams.

When IU was featured on the show Healing Camp, she revealed the reason why she didn’t go to college: she did not have the qualifications to do so.

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The singer’s success continued to grow and popular college universities in South Korea simultaneously offered her admission opportunities, but she declined them all.

Her fans commended her for focusing on her career.

“College entrance exams are for people who worked hard for it, I won’t even have the time to go to college and have a normal college life. So I decided not to pursue a college education,” IU shared.

5. IU has a heart for those who are in need.

Contrary to her feisty and nasty character in the hit fantasy series “Hotel Del Luna,” IU is an angel in real life.

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In 2015, reports said that the singer donated $100,000 to a charity and chose not to announce it in public. But because of her incredible deed, the press did not miss the opportunity to show the world how IU is still the girl she is when she had nothing. She even sent four students from her high school alma mater to college and funded them with her scholarship program.

>>> See more: IU Donates Ice Vests To Nurses In COVID-19 Pandemic

IU also donated books to her old school’s library and donated money to support the school fund for educational purposes.

Just recently, because of the coronavirus outbreak in South Korea, IU donated to different welfare facilities to help contain the virus and she also donated funds for equipment that will be used by the medical staff.