Biography

Basic Profile from YUI-net.com:

Stage name: YUI
Birthday 1987.3.26
Horoscope ARIES
Birth Place 福岡 Fukuoka, Japan
Height 155cm
Blood Type AB
Favorite Place 新宮の海 Shinguu Beach
Hobbies 映画鑑賞 Watching movies、読書 Reading
Likes アコースティックギター Acoustic Guitar、Badminton

Quick Introduction:

YUI is a Japanese singer-songwriter and J-pop/J-rock artist, born March 26, 1987 in Fukuoka, Japan. She sings, plays the acoustic guitar, and writes her own songs. YUI has written a vast number of theme/tie-up songs for popular Japanese drama/film, anime and commercial productions. She is the second female in Japanese music history that has achieved a record of four consecutive No 1. Singles since J-pop star, Utada Hikaru. She is currently signed with Gr8! Records Label, a sublabel under Sony Music Entertainment (Japan).

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YUI’s songs are featured in the following  Japanese dramas, movies, & commercial campaign tie-ups:

Fukigen na Gene (Drama, 2005)
Main Theme song: YUI – feel my soul

Hinokio (Film, 2005)
Main Theme song: YUI – Tomorrow’s way

BLEACH (Anime, 2005)
5th Ending Theme: YUI – LIFE

Taiyō no Uta タイヨウのうた Song of the Sun (Film, 2006)
Main Theme & Insert Songs: YUI for Amane Kaoru – Good-bye days, YUI – It’s happy line, YUI – Skyline

BLEACH (Anime, 2007)
5th Opening Theme: YUI – Rolling star

KDDI au Listen Mobile Service (CM, 2007)
Commercial: YUI – CHE.R.RY

Seito Shokkun! (Drama, 2007)
Main Theme song: YUI – My Generation

Dog in a Side Car Saido Ka ni Inu (Film ,2007)
Main Theme song: YUI - Understand

Closed Note (Film, 2007)
Main Theme song: YUI – LOVE & TRUTH

4 Shimai Tantei Dan (Drama, 2008)
Main Theme song: YUI – Namidairo

Glico “Watering KissMint” (CM, 2008)
Commercial/Digital Single Only: YUI – Laugh away

Sony Walkman NW-S638FK Series Promotion (CM, 2008)
Commercial: YUI – I’ll be

Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood (Anime, 2009)
1st Opening Theme: YUI – again

Kaiji (Film, 2009)
Main Theme & Insert song: YUI – It’s all too much/Never Say Die

Perfect Report (Drama, 2010)
Tie-in Title song: YUI – Rain

U-Can Campaign & Sony Walkman “PlayYou” Campaign (CM, 2011)
Commercial: YUI – It’s My Life/Your Heaven

Paradise Kiss (Film , 2011)
Main Theme song: YUI – HELLO ~Paradise Kiss~
Theme song: YUI – YOU

Mobage CM (Commercial, 2011)
Commercial: YUI – Green a.live

Kaito Royale (Drama, 2011)
Theme song: YUI – Lock On

NHK  NCON (Nコン) –  National School Choir Competition (2012)
Competition song: YUI – fight

YUI’s Songs featured outside of Japan:

  • Hong Kong Singer Fiona Sit covers “Tomorrow’s Way” re-titled as “Dear Fiona” in 2007.
  • Korean Pop and Rock Band called Bay (베이) covered  ”Good-bye days” in 2007.
  • In 2010, the film, Taiyou no uta, was re-produced as a Korean musical production where YUI’s songs were recreated in the Korean language (including “it’s happy line,” “Skyline,” and “Good-bye days”).

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FULL BIOGRAPHY 

Early Life

YUI grew up in a single parent family and so does not have any memory of her father. She does remember always being close to music, be it from her mother’s car stereo or the radio; she would remember the tunes and sing along. By the time she was in elementary school she thought she would like to become a singer.

During her third year in middle school, following the influence of her mother, YUI began keeping a journal of everyday feelings and poetry. Because of this, by the time she was in high school, she began writing songs. While in high school she worked part-time to help pay for tuition. Always busy, she thought there was no longer a road to music. Eventually she became ill. While in hospital, with time to think, she was overwhelmed with the desire to make music. She decided that school and music could not coexist. Upon leaving the hospital she encountered a live street performance and expressed her desire to pursue a musical career to the band, Bianco Nero, at the end of the concert. Bianco Nero recommended to YUI that she should join a private music school and soon, she dropped out of high school and seriously began studying songwriting and guitar at a juku (private music school) in her hometown of Fukuoka.

Aspiring to become a professional, she carried her guitar around and sang at local places such as, the street entrance of Tenjin Station in Fukuoka, the seashore of Shinguu, and in the middle of the rice fields of Kaminofu. Doing these street performances helped YUI to eventually overcome her shyness.

These street performances are important to YUI as this is where her music career. Ever since her second single, “Tomorrow’s way,” she has always included a recorded acoustic version of her previous single (i.e. “feel my soul) in the next single release. Street lives is where she feels most comfortable. Nowadays, it is a rare opportunity to see YUI perform a street live but there are still a few chances for fans to catch a live street performance  as she holds her concert tours.

Early Career 

In March 2004, she sang three songs at an audition hosted by Sony Music Japan, as opposed to the audition rule that a participant could only sing two songs. All judges evaluated her with the highest score, which caused a fierce scramble among labels. She first sang “Why Me”, which was later coupled with her debut single, followed by “It’s happy line” and “I know”, the latter of which was included on her indie single. Sitting cross-legged on the floor, she strummed her guitar and sang. The judges and the others present claimed that “the performance created a tremendous aura from her heavenly voice, and captured the hearts of the whole audience”.

Although she is uncomfortable talking to people, she enjoys communicating with her audience at street performances in the Tenjin district of Fukuoka.

FROM ME TO YOU (2005-2006) Era

Upon leaving her home of Fukuoka for Tokyo, YUI wrote the song “feel my soul”. She was planning its release on an indie label as a tribute to her hometown, when the song caught the ears of Fuji TV producer Mr. Yamaguchi, who happened to see the demo video clip. He claimed YUI’s voice haunted him so much that he went out of his way to visit the recording studio himself. He even made his channel’s prime time drama (Fukigen na Gene 2005) an extraordinary tie-in with YUI’s debut track.

Her first full album, FROM ME TO YOU, was released February 22, 2006. Among its thirteen tracks, nine of them were previously unreleased, and have been well received from her fans. The album features tracks including “LIFE,” which used as the 5th Ending theme song for the popular anime, Bleach (2005), and “Tomorrow’s way” as the main theme song for the movie, Hinokio (2005).The album has already reached as high as the weekly ninth most sold album in Japan, with the main track, “TOKYO”, reaching the number four spot on the MTV Japan’s song charts.

CAN’T BUY MY LOVE (2005-2006) Era

YUI starred in a movie released on June 17, 2006, titled A Song to the Sun or Midnight Sun (in Japanese  タイヨウのうた Taiyō no Uta, which was screened at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival. The main theme song, “Good-bye days” was YUI’s 5th single written for her leading role character, Kaoru Amane. This song coupled with the movie brought huge success and popularity across Asia. The single also included a re-release of her indie single, “it’s happy line.”

The song “Good-bye days” has become her most well-known and trademark music piece. It had charted for 44 weeks on Oricon making her into one of the Japanese music industry’s rising stars.  She was awarded the Best Newcomer Award at the Japan Academy Prize/Awards show for film. At the end of her concert shows, the orchestral version of “Good-bye days” plays as a cue that the show has ended.

Along with “Good-bye days,” her next singles “I remember you,” “Rolling star,” and “CHE.R.RY,”  were very popular. These tracks were included in her sophomore album, CAN’T BUY MY LOVE (2007) which became one of her highest selling albums, shattering her previous album’s sales in one week. “Rolling star” is featured as the 5th Opening to the Bleach anime series, and the single, “CHE.R.RY,” can be seen in KDDI’s au Listen Mobile Service campaign.

I LOVED YESTERDAY (2007-2008) Era

YUI released her 9th single “My Generation/Understand” on June 13, 2007. It was her first double A-side single. “My Generation” was used as the theme song for the drama Seito Shokun!, and “Understand” was chosen as the theme song for the movie Dog in a Sidecar (サイドカーに犬), which starred her senpai at Stardust Promotion, Yūko Takeuchi. It charted at number 1 on the Oricon Weekly Charts for the first week of its release. Her tenth single, “LOVE & TRUTH” was released on September 26 and the title track is the theme song to the Japanese film, Closed Note (クローズド・ノート), starring Erika Sawajiri (also of Stardust) who played the lead role in the film who also played the same role as YUI in Taiyō no Uta, in television-drama version.

During this time, her first two albums were re-released as Winter Sleeve Edition in alternate covers presumably from her “LOVE & TRUTH” photoshoot. Her first live DVD “Thank you My teens” was released on November 14, 2007, which contained footage of one of YUI’s concert during her second live tour. On November 19, 2007, YUI opened her first Live show at Nippon Budokan. The tickets for the concert sold out.

Her first single of 2008, “Namidairo”, was released for sale on February 27, 2008. It is the theme song for the Japanese drama 4 Shimai Tantei Dan. YUI was asked to make a “mysterious and sad sounding” song for the drama tie-in, and she composed the song “Namidairo” as such. Incidentally, the chorus of the song was created by YUI during the time she made her singing debut. A week following the release of her 11th single, the promotional video of a new song “Laugh away”, was released. The song was used as the theme song for the Glico ”Watering KissMint” commercial. “Laugh away” was released as a digital single on March 10, 2008 and also included on her third album which would later be released.

Her third studio album was released on April 9, 2008 titled “I LOVED YESTERDAY“. It charted at number 1 on the Oricon Weekly Charts, with more than 400,000 copies sold, selling only a little behind her sophomore album. The 10th track on the album, titled “OH YEAH” was used as the opening theme song to the morning Japanese show Mezamashi TV. The limited edition version of the album came with a DVD which included music videos of her previous singles and live footage of her Nippon Budokan show. YUI’s third tour, named ‘”Oui”: I LOVED YESTERDAY’ started in May and ended in July.

The album title, I LOVED YESTERDAY’s message is “Kinou wo aiseru youni kyou wo ikiyou. Ashita mo onaji kimochi de itai kara” (昨日を 愛せるように 今日を 生きよう  明日も 同じ気持ちで いたいから) which means in English, “In order to love yesterday, let’s live today without regrets. I want to live tomorrow with the same feeling as well”.

YUI released a single, entitled “SUMMER SONG” on July 2, 2008.This single charted at number 1 on Oricon Weekly Chart. “SUMMER SONG” is YUI’s first number 1 hit single since “I remember you” that was not tied to a drama (“My Generation/Understand”, “Namidairo”), commercial (“Laugh away”), or anime (“Rolling star”). “SUMMER SONG” sold 83,440 copies in a week, making “SUMMER SONG” second highest in first week sales after “LOVE & TRUTH” single.


MY SHORT STORIES & SHORT HIATUS (2008-2009) 

YUI’s latest compilation album, “MY SHORT STORIES“, released 12 November 2008, again charted at number 1 on Oricon, featuring the B-Sides from all her past singles (“feel my soul” to “SUMMER SONG”), along with new song “I’ll be”.

YUI is only the second female artist whose B-side compilation album topped the charts, after Seiko Matsuda’s “Touch Me” in 1984. The last compilation album that reached number 1 was Mr. Children’s B-Side, on 21 May 2007. Due to the success of “MY SHORT STORIES”, sales of her first album FROM ME TO YOU rose again. In her 29 August 2008 “YUI Diary” blog entry, YUI mentioned that she would take a break for a while from all public appearances after this new album to re-energize herself. With this break, she would be able to fully concentrate on next year’s song production. During this break, she contributed a song, “I Do It” to an Okinawan girl band Stereopony. It was released as their third single on April 22, 2009 and as ringtone (chaku uta) on March 18, 2009.

HOLIDAYS IN THE SUN (2010) Era

YUI has announced her return from her 5-month hiatus with a new single just one day before her 22nd birthday, on March 25 on her diary entry in her official website. YUI’s new song is an up-tempo tune titled “again”. It was chosen as the opening theme song of the new Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood anime series, which started on April 5. The single was released on June 3, 2009.”again” debuted atop the Oricon chart selling over 110,000 copies in its first week and currently has the highest opening week sales for a female act in 2009.

On July 27, 2009, YUI’s official website, YUI-net, announced that YUI released her second double-A side single named, “It’s all too much/Never say die”. These two songs were chosen for a movie version of an anime, Kaiji as a theme song and an insert song. The single was released on October 7, 2009 and the movie was released on October 10, 2009. The single debuted at number one with the first week sales of 75,047 copies on Oricon. This is her fifth overall number 1 single.

YUI released her new single “GLORIA” on January 20, 2010 and reached number one with over 80,000 copies sold in the first week. Her next single, “To Mother,” was released on June 2, 2010. After two years and three months since I Loved Yesterday, YUI released her new album Holidays in the Sun on July 14, 2010, which includes her latest five singles: “SUMMER SONG,”again,” “It’s all too much/Never say die,” “GLORIA,” & “to Mother”. This album also includes “Please Stay With Me”, which was used as an insert song for the drama Natsu no Koi wa Nijiiro ni Kagayaku. On November 24 2010, her seventeenth single “Rain” was released. The song was tied-up to FujiTV’s new drama, “PERFECT REPORT”.

PROMOTIONAL & OVERSEA ACTIVITIES  (2011)

The double-A side single “It’s My Life/Your Heaven,” was released on January 26, 2011. Members of the ORESKABAND were featured in YUI’s “It’s My Life” music video (MV). YUI had travelled to a town in Sweden and was inspired to write a song “Your Heaven” for the Sony Play You & U-Can Campaign. They also filmed a MV where YUI shot footage in Sweden using a 8mm camera (similar to her “Sea” and “Muffler” MV).

…..Currently Updating…

Budokan DVD Release
HELLO ~Paradise Kiss~ Theme Song
Hong Kong HOTEL HOLIDAYS IN THE SUN Concert: 1st Concert outside of Japan
3.11 Earthquake/Tsunami & e.u.band members Visits Sendai/Miyagi Schools
Green a.live
TOKYO GIRLS COLLECTION FASHION SHOW
Shanghai Japan Showcase Week 2011

HOW CRAZY YOUR LOVE (2011) & “fight” Era

Lock On
HOW CRAZY YOUR LOVE Album (5th Consecutive album to debut at #1 weekly)
5th Tour Cruising~HOW CRAZY YOUR LOVE

“YUI” HIATUS