Which IU Era Is The “Most Successful” In Her Career? Online Poll Ends Up Proving She’s A Living Legend

Error: Can’t choose one. Correct answer is all of the above.

When a viral post asked for IU‘s “most successful” era, over 500 fans responded…

IU | @_IUofficial/Twitter

…and while the votes went all over the place, one thing became clear: She’s a living legend! The thing is, it is difficult for IU’s fans to agree on one because there is not a single era that IU did not serve.

| theqoo

  • “Wow. Each era is a legend.”
  • “I think 2017 because she got rid of a lot of haters this era. She became invincible.”
  • “I choose 2014. The flower bookmark era.”
  • “She started impressing me in 2017.”
  • “You know, this is hard. I can’t pick one over the other.”
  • “IU is amazing.”
  • “This is insane, though?! LOL. There is not a single era I don’t want to pick.”
  • “She’s an all-time legend.”
  • “2011 or 2017.”
  • “I feel like 2017 was when she became 100% embraced by the whole nation.”
  • “Just realizing how incredible she is… Personally, though, I think 2011 or 2014.”
  • “2022 for sure! And she’s becoming more successful with each era! I still can’t believe she sold out two nights of the Olympic Stadium.”
  • “She became a hot celeb in 2011 but she became a true musician and artist in 2017.”
  • “She keeps breaking her own records with each era! How fascinating.”
  • “I can’t choose! Go, IU!”

Don’t believe us? Check out IU’s most significant “eras” and pick one. Just one. Chances are, it won’t be possible. The correct answer is “All of the above.”

1. 2010-2011

In December 2010, IU dropped one of her first mega-hits, “Good Day.” Following the song sweeping all music charts after its release, IU earned the nickname “Nation’s Little Sister.”


In early 2011, IU also made her small-screen debut as part of the leading cast of Dream High. Building the foundation of her acting career with this K-Drama, she received positive feedback from the viewers who, at the time, had doubts about idol-turned-actors.

By the end of 2011, IU was dominating Korea’s trends: The song “You & I” took home multiple consecutive wins. The iconic white-collared dress was sold out and worn across the nation. She signed 18 brand endorsements, throning herself the “Queen of Commercials.”

2. 2013-2014

In December 2013, IU made the official-unofficial switch to a singer-songwriter with her original creation, “Friday.” This song is one of IU’s longest-running fan-favorite: At its release, it remained on the MelOn music chart for 96 consecutive weeks.


In May 2014, IU released her first-ever remake album. A Flower Bookmark received high praise from critics for capturing IU’s unique vocal tone and musical talent and re-creating Korea’s most beloved classic folk hits.

IU at the 6th MelOn Music Awards | @MoonLight_iu/Twitter

Based on her accomplishments, she was deemed the most fitting for the “Artist of the Year” title. And, to no one’s surprise, IU took home the AOTY award at the 6th MelOn Music Awards! As the first female artist to receive the AOTY award since MMA’s establishment in 2005, IU made it clear that she owned 2014.

3. 2015

In 2015, IU’s fame as an actress spiked outside Korea—and significantly in China—thanks to the KBS K-Drama Producer. As Cindy, an attitude-y celeb with a heartbreaking past, she boasted incredible chemistry with her co-star Kim Soo Hyun.

As a singer-songwriter, IU birthed one of her most viral songs in 2015: “Leon.” With the help of Infinite Challenge, the most prominent TV entertainment program at the time, IU and comedian Park Myung Soo‘s duet became an absolute summer phenomenon.


By October 2015, IU cemented her singer-songwriter status with her first “self-produced” album CHAT-SHIRE. The shift in concepts—from bubbly to bratty—did spark some concerns. But IU confronted the trolls head-on and overcame the controversies with no real impact on her reputation.

4. 2017-2018

IU at the 9th MelOn Music Awards.

In the spring of 2017, IU produced an album that made her an irreplaceable artist in the world of K-Pop. The album eventually brought her not one, but two daesangsPalette became “Album of the Year” at the 9th MelOn Music Awards while “Through The Night” became “Song of the Year” at the 32nd Golden Disc Awards.

And in the spring of 2018, IU appeared in a series that made her an irreplaceable actress in the world of K-Dramas. As Lee Ji An, IU nailed the development of a character unlike her previous works. Hence, since its premiere, My Mister remains a favorite among countless idols, actors, and industry professionals. It is with My Mister that IU, for the first time since her debut, won her first nomination for a Baeksang Arts Awards.

A fan’s view of the stage at IU’s “dlwlrma” concert. | @yonoo88/Tistory

But the most significant accomplishment of 2018 for IU was, perhaps, her 10th anniversary concert, “dlwlrma.” IU became the second female artist, after Patty Kim, to perform at the KSPO Dome. What was impressive, though, was that IU sold out all 14,000 seats for both nights of the concert.

5. 2019

IU in “Hotel Del Luna.” | tvN Drama/Facebook

2019 marked IU’s big screen debut. Her Netflix movie Persona was, though experimental, well-received by K-Movie audiences in Korea and around the world. Following the anthology film, IU starred in the K-Drama Hotel Del Luna as the sole female lead, and her acting career peaked once again. The series, recognized as tvN’s most successful K-Drama with the highest viewer rating in 2019, gave IU another Baeksang Arts Award nomination.

2019 also marked IU’s biggest concerts. For two nights of the “Love, Poem” concert in Seoul, IU booked the KSPO—where, in 2018, she performed as the second-ever female artist. But in 2019, IU stepped up her game and became the first female artist to use a 360° stage. She had all 28,574 seats sold out in one minute,  too: And with that, the “Love, Poem” concert went down in history as the biggest performance led by a Korean female artist.

6. 2022

IU at the 36th Golden Disc Awards. | News1

As soon as the new year dawned, at the 36th Golden Disc Awards held on January 8, IU gave herself another stellar record with a SOTY award for “Celebrity.” Having turned 30 in Korean age as of 2022, IU became an artist who has won a daesang in each decade of her life—in her teens, 20s, and 30s.

In May 2022, IU also celebrated a personal achievement as an established actress on the big screen. Invited to the 75th Cannes Film Festival, IU made her first red carpet debut with the K-Movie Broker. In Korea, Broker brought her the honor of winning the Best New Actress awards at three different ceremonies, as well as the Star of the Year award and the Popular Star award.

In September 2022, IU smashed her own record and re-wrote history with “The Golden Hour” concert. Becoming the first Korean female artist to perform at the Olympic Stadium in Seoul, IU sold out a total of 88,000 seats—after seeing over 440,000 fans “in line” at the time of the ticket sales.

Source: theqoo and NamuWiki