Lead-up week to the Grammys included performances from America’s biggest stars and Ailee was also one of those performers. Surprised that a K-pop act performed during Grammys week? Seems like no one was more surprised than Ailee herself.
“It was really weird they were all singing along in Korean lyrics,” she recalls of her LA performance. “To think they actually recognized who I was, was really surprising for me, because I didn’t think that a lot of people would know who I was when I came here. Everyone was so warm and welcoming, it was really, really fun.”
Will Ailee return again for more fun? "Right now, I don't think I have anything planned," she says. It's been three years since she came home to America so she's eager and hopeful to come back soon.
Despite no immediate plans to return to America, it looks we will be getting music in English from Ailee soon. She reveals there may be an English track included on either her next album or the subsequent release. Ailee international fans a treat this past winter when she released both a Korean and English version of holiday song “My Grown Up Christmas List.”
Yet when it comes to her fellow K-pop acts, who are also going international, Ailee is overjoyed by the success. “I feel like it’s about time!” she laughs. “K-pop has come a long way. I’m really, really proud to be part of this movement and hopefully I can be one of the people that enhances K-pop.” In the genre, Ailee’s favorite artists are BIGBANG (“I love that group,” she says) and 2NE1. She also lists Whitney Houston, Rihanna, Beyonce and as favorite American pop acts. The last two names she may have brushed shoulders with at the Grammys Sunday night as she did attend ceremony. Ailee has a big thank you to give Beyonce after rising to prominence with a cover of "Halo" on reality show "Singer and Trainee."
The self-proclaimed "Jersey girl" hopes her new album will be released this year in spring or summer, but her direction has not been set yet. She is still recording and deciding tracks.
Regardless of the direction, a likely bet is the songs will be hits. (Just this week, her one-off soundtrack contribution “Ice Flower” rises 20 spots from No. 31 to No. 11.) “I don’t know why the songs do so well, but I’m just so thankful about everything,” the singer says. “I’m just really thankful. I’m trying to stay as humble as possible about it.”