At the mention of well-known K-Pop soloists, singer IU is always a name that makes the list. Whether she’s releasing music for shows or collaborating with other artists, her songs always top the charts.
Even Korean celebrities never miss a chance to attend IU’s concerts, like the two-day concert The Golden Hour attended by over thirty K-Pop idols and fellow actors. Despite how famous IU has become, she wasn’t famous from the start and used the inspiration of one particular girl group to keep going during those rough times.
On the newest episode of IU’s Palette, the singer and actress admitted that her 2008 debut didn’t immediately skyrocket her to fame. She said, “I was not very famous when I first debuted…”
Like many K-Pop artists who don’t immediately take off, IU worked hard to slowly gain a fanbase. Although it was tough to keep working without seeing quick results, IU gained strength from the girl group KARA. IU said, “KARA was a hope for me at that time.”
IU was inspired by seeing KARA start from the bottom and work their way up to becoming one of the most popular groups. Speaking to KARA about how meaningful they were to her, IU said, “KARA became loved for steadiness, from zero to one.”
IU was grateful to have such an impactful group appear on her show because they could inspire other artists like they did for her.
So I saw you guys be on top. I thought, ‘I can do that too.’ It’s not just about me, I think.
I debuted only a year later, but KARA might be the hope for other artists—not even [just] for me.
If IU hadn’t seen KARA’s journey of starting from nothing and becoming so well-loved, she might not have kept going to become the successful singer and actress she is today.