IU (아이유) is a South Korean singer-songwriter and actress currently under EDAM Entertainment. She debuted on September 18, 2008 with a stage on M Countdown for the song "Lost Child".
Her stage name is derived from the phrase "I and You", symbolizing that people can become one through music.
IU decided to become a singer when she was 14 after singing at her school's sports competition, as she felt happy receiving the audiences' applause. She started to attend auditions, but failed all 20, and she was also scammed by fake entertainment companies. When IU was in her seventh grade, her family started to have financial problems due to the failure of her father's project. IU had to live apart from her parents in a studio room with her grandmother, younger brother and cousin for a year and a half, in conditions of great poverty.
IU debuted on Mnet M! Countdown on September 18, 2008 with her debut single "Lost Child". It was later released as the title track for her debut mini album Lost and Found on September 24, 2008. However, she did not gain mainstream popularity until her follow-up and debut studio album Growing Up.
On April 16, 2009, IU launched her first full album, titled Growing Up, with the lead promotional number "Boo". Within three weeks, "Boo" went up to the No.1 contenders for SBS Inkigayo, and her name also went up twice on Take 7 together with other notable artists like SG Wannabe and Younha. The song also did well on KBS Music Bank K-Chart, on Mnet M! Countdown chart, and on various online music charts.