Amy Lee (Korean name: Lee Yejin; Hangul: 이예진; Hanja: 李藝眞, born May 30, 1989), better known by her stage name Ailee (Hangul: 에일리), is a Korean-American singer under YMC Entertainment, a South Korean record label. She released her first single, "Heaven", on February 8, 2012.
1.2 2012: Debut, Invitation,
1.3 2013-present: A's Doll House and Japanese debut,
2.1 Korean discograpy
2.2 Japanese discography
5 Awards and nominations,
6 Music Show Awards
6.1 Music Bank,
6.2 Show Champion,
8 External links,
Ailee was born in Denver, Colorado on May 30, 1989, but grew up in New Jersey. She attended Palisades Park Junior/Senior High School before moving to Leonia. Although she graduated from Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School, she dropped out of Pace University (where she claims to have studied communications, journalism and criminal justice) in order to pursue a music career. She got into singing by creating a YouTube channel called "mzamyx3" and later "aileemusic" because she wanted to garner more attention to her singing on the web. She moved to South Korea in 2010 after she landed an audition through her uncle's connections. She sang Big Mama's Resignation and was recruited on the spot.
Before her K-pop debut, Ailee was an artist under Muzo Entertainment, an independent agency based out of New York and New Jersey, where she collaborated with several artists, such as Johnnyphlo (who is also signed in Korea), and Philadelphia based rapper Decipher.
During her trainee days under YMC Entertainment, she was featured in Wheesung's "They Are Coming" song released on October 9, 2011. Ailee was also featured in Decipher's song "Catch Me If You Can", which also featured Jay Park. Ailee performed with Jay Park, Art of Movement, Johnnyphlo, Decipher, and Clara C at "projectKorea III" at Rutgers University in 2010.
On September 13, 2011, Ailee along with Wheesung held a performance on the MBC's Chuseok special episode of "Singer and Trainee". Ailee's stage presence was immediately felt by the audience, who was amazed that she was like a professional singer, even though she had not yet officially debuted. Following her solo performance of "Halo" by Beyoncé, singer BMK expressed, "Wherever she goes, she has the potential to be a big star. She definitely has the voice." After the judges had graded everyone, Ailee won first place.
On January 30, 2012, Ailee made her acting debut in KBS Dream High Season 2 as Ailee, one of the members of the fictional K-pop group HershE.
2012: Debut, Invitation:
On February 6, the music video teaser for Ailee's debut song, Heaven, was released. Heaven was written and produced by Wheesung. On the 9th, Ailee released the song and the music video, which featured Beast's Gi Kwang. Later that day, she made her debut stage performance of "Heaven" on M.net M! Countdown, and then on SBS Inkigayo on February 11. Just one month after her debut, she dominated the Cyworld Music Awards on February where she won two awards for "Song of the Month" and "Rookie of the Month". On February 22, Ailee released her OST song "Superstar" for KBS's Dream High 2 together with Sistar's Hyorin & T-ARA's Jiyeon.
In March 2012, Ailee made her first appearances on KBS's Immortal Song 2 with performing Patti Kim's song "Light and Shadow" from 1967. On May 19 of part 2 of the 'J.Y. Park' special, Ailee performed J.Y. Park's debut song "Don't Leave Me". She beat Davichi's Lee Haeri by 1 point, 419 to 418, for the win. Later on June 30th episode, Immortal Song 2 featured composer Yoon Il Sang. She performed "Fate" by Lee Seung Chul and won again with 402 votes. In August, it was announced that Ailee was making a temporary leave from the show in order to focus on her music. She performed her final stage on August 6, and the episode aired on September 1. Later in August, Ailee made an appearance in the 3rd episode of Jay Park's online web series, Jay Park TV, where she was backstage attending Park's concert in Seoul. Ailee also, co-hosted the ABU Radio Song Festival with Han Seok Joon which took place on October 11, 2012.
On October 16, Ailee released her debut mini album, Invitiation which contained the title track, "I'll Show You". The mini album contains six tracks. It was produced by producers such as Kim Do Hoon, Lee Hyun Seung, Park Guentae, Double Sidekick, Wheesung, and featured artists such as Verbal Jint, Swings and Simon D. On October 18, Ailee made her comeback with "I'll Show You" on M! Countdown.
2013-present: A's Doll House and Japanese debut:
On July 4, 2013, Ailee announced that she would release her second mini album entitled, A's Doll House, on July 12, 2013. The album's single "U&I", topped music charts within 4 hours of release and earned Ailee her first "All-Kill" status. Popularity for the physical album was also deemed high when nearly all stores in Korea were sold out of the soloist's album on the first day of release. Orders overwhelmed the amount of stock, and a representative from Ailee's agency stated, "The rate at which this album is selling is many times greater than the previous album's."
On August 4, 2013 was revealed that Ailee will be making her Japanese debut with "Heaven" under Warner Music Japan. On September 5, a video of her teasing the chorus of the song was released, along with some part of it and the release day of the single, stated to be released on November 6.
On September 14 it was announced that Ailee will release a digital single "Higher" with pianist Yiruma. On September 16 "Higher" was released online.
On November 10, 2013, the Korean pop gossip site AllKPop.com published a story about some nude photos that had surfaced which were from Ailee's pre-debut. Fans quickly noticed that these photos had been uploaded far earlier in the year (during the early summer of 2013), and nobody (besides those visitors to the site) had even seen the photos. Ailee was also allegedly threatened by her ex-boyfriend that if she "did not comply with his wishes, he would spread pictures and videos of her".
As a result of the scandal, Ailee has been removed from some online advertising (notably Kyochon, a Korean fried chicken company). Kyochon responded, "Ailee's commercial contract hasn't ended. But consumers have been showing sensitive reactions to Ailee's recent situation, and Ailee's agency (YMC) is also not entirely keen on the singer's exposure at this time, so we took certain steps." On the other hand, various companies and blogs (such as "Omona They Didn't" on LiveJournal and "Beyond Hallyu", a British K-pop blog) have come out to support Ailee, and have announced that they will no longer use AllKPop as a source on their websites due to the site's decision to publish the photos.
When asked about the scandal, AllKPop owner Johnny Noh tweeted "With that said @allkpop was not the source of the leaks, we cant take credit. But dont be surprised if in the new yr we blow some doors open".
On November 11, 2013, Ailee's company YMC issued the following statement: "The pictures are of her she took when she was offered to be a lingerie model... We will be taking legal action. When Ailee was living in America, she received a lingerie modeling offer from a famous company there. She took nude photos because they wanted a better judgment of her body but the company was unable to be contacted after she took them. She reported them to the police and it was later found that she was frauded by a company who approached other college girls as well. Ailee discussed the matter with her ex-boyfriend, a current AllKPop employee, and he claimed that he would need to see the exact content of the pictures before coming up with a solution so she sent them to him."
In response to the allegations, AllKPop issued a statement of their own, claiming that the tip-off had come from Toronto, Canada (Allkpop is stationed out of New Jersey), all the allegations against the company and Mr. Lee were false, and they'd be seeking legal action of their own. They also claimed that the tipster had told them that he would be taking the story to Dispatch media if AllKPop did not take it, which directly contradicts the statement issued by Dispatch, in which they revealed they turned down the tipster, as his actions were illegal and unethical, and that the tipster was Ailee's ex-boyfriend (Mr. Lee) (during the conversation, the tipster mentions that releasing the images "would not be illegal in the US", which he would not have said if he were actually in Canada). On November 13, Dispatch released the audio recording of the call, and it was confirmed that the person who had contacted Dispatch media did indeed work at AllKPop.
Ailee later appeared at the 5th MelOn Music Awards night on November 14, where she tearfully accepted an award while the audience (including some of her peers) greeted her with loud cheers and chanted her name. In her speech, Ailee thanked everyone for supporting her, and made a deep bow of respect.
On November 15, Ailee's ex-boyfriend (AllKPop's Vice President of Content Daniel Lee) admitted that it was him in the audio recording attempting to sell the photos, although he denied that he leaked the photos to AllKPop.
On November 17, it was revealed that several Korean media agencies were preparing (separate) lawsuits against AllKPop, both for Ailee's scandal, and copyright infringement, which could possibly result in AllKPop being sued for over $10 million dollars. Fans of Ailee were further outraged when it was revealed that AllKPop had obtained potentially compromising images of 2PM singer Ok Taecyeon back in 2009, but chose not to release them out of a desire to "respect Taecyeon's privacy" (while their statement about Ailee's photos had been that they felt "required to do their journalistic duty to release the photos to the public"), and called for a boycott of AllKPop, resulting in them losing 22,000 followers on social media, although they have since regained their previous level of followers. Some notable members of the boycott include f(x) member Amber Liu, G.NA, Jay Park, Super Junior member Choi Siwon, miss A member Min and U-Kiss member Kevin Woo.
On November 24, the original police report that Ailee had made regarding the photos surfaced, which elaborated on the circumstances in which the photos were taken ("a friend of Ailee had requested 50 nude photos for a lingerie company camera test and Ailee agreed without suspicion, discovering later that her friend's Facebook had in fact been hacked").
On December 4, AllKPop removed the censored photos from the original article.