Iconiq (real name Ayumi Itou, also known as Ayumi Lee) is a Korean-Japanese pop artist who managed to pull off a tricky feat of charting in both of these countries, although with less bang than BoA, the number one Korea/Japan superstar. Born in 1984 into a family of Japanese Koreans, Itou grew up in Japan but began her career in Korea, being scouted at a show put on by the Korean boy band H.O.T. show and proceeding to become the leader of the newly founded girl band Sugar in 2002 under the name Ah Yoo Mee. Sugar never achieved big stardom and were put on hiatus in 2006; Itou then released two singles, including a cover of the theme song of the popular franchise Cutie Honey. When the disbandment of Sugar was confirmed, Itou was signed by S.M. Entertainment in 2007 as Ah Yoo Mee, but did not make much headway on the label: her involvement was limited to a single phrase recorded for the 2007 Summer SMTown compilation. In 2008, she left Korea for Japan, signing with Avex and debuting as an actress; she had small roles in several doramas and the lead part in the Kafu no Machiwabite movie. But in 2009 she returned to music, debuting on Rhythm Zone under the name Iconiq. Her first Japanese single, "I'm Loving You," was recorded with Atsushi of Exile (available exclusively on the ringtone download service Chaku-Uta), and in 2010 the digital single "Change Myself" and the album of the same name followed. The full-length, which also featured Verbal from m-flo and sported a Madonna cover, charted at number three and sold 60,000 copies.
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