"I used to put on makeup and wear clothes with so much colour. I dyed my hair every colour. I wondered if the public would still like me if I took all that away," said Lee on the inspiration behind the title of her latest album, "Black," at a press conference in Seoul Tuesday.
Lee wrote the lyrics for eight of the 10 tracks on the album. She also participated in the composition of eight songs.
"People have always loved me for smiling and being bright," she said.
"But there are darker and sadder sides within me. It was sad that only one side of me was being loved. Now, I want to be brave and show my true self.
"If I had been loved before for a pretty appearance, now I want to be loved as a musician who makes moving music," Lee said.
Lee is currently starring in the JTBC reality series "Hyori's Bed and Breakfast" with husband and musician Lee Sang-soon.