YUI is a Japanese pop-rock singer-songwriter born and raised in Fukuoka, Japan. She grew up in a fatherless house and, consequently, holds no memory of her father. She sings and plays the guitar, and writes her own songs. She is relatively known outside of Japan, with singles such as "Rolling Star" and "again" chosen as the opening themes of popular anime Bleach and Fullmetal Alchemist, respectively. Her international reach was displayed in her recent concert in Hong Kong, which sold out despite it being her first time performing outside of Japan.
- Stage Name: YUI
- Real Name: Yoshioka Yui (吉岡唯)
- Birthdate: March 26, 1987
- Birthplace: Fukuoka, Japan
- Height: 155 cm / 5'1"
- Blood type: AB
- Favorite place: Shingu Sea in Fukuoka
- Hobbies: Movies, reading, acoustic guitar, badminton
- Family: Father (deceased), mother, grandmother, no siblings
YUI began writing poems in ninth grade. At the age of 16, by recommendation of a friend, she began studying singing, songwriting, and guitar at a private music school in her hometown in Fukuoka. Aspiring to become professional, she carried her guitar around and performed at local areas like the seashore of Shingu and the middle of Kaminofu's rice fields.
In March 2003, at an audition hosted by Sony Music Japan, all of the judges evaluated her with the highest score, which caused a fierce scramble among labels. At this audition, she sang three songs: "Why me" (which was later coupled with her debut single), "It's happy line", and "I know" - though the audition rules stated that a participant could only sing two songs. Sitting cross-legged on the floor, she strummed her guitar and sang. The judges and the others present at the audition claimed that "the performance created a tremendous aura from her heavenly voice, and captured the hearts of the whole audience". "It's happy line" was then released as an indie single in December 2004, with "I know" as the second track.
Upon leaving Fukuoka for Tokyo, YUI wrote the song "feel my soul". She was planning to release it 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" an extraordinary tie-in with YUI's debut track.
Although she is not the most comfortable when it comes to talking to people, YUI enjoys communicating with her audience at street performances in the Tenjin district of Fukuoka.
Her first full album, "FROM ME TO YOU", was released on February 22, 2006 to great acclaim. Among its 13 tracks, 9 of them were brand new, and these have been well received by her fans. The album has already sold quite well, reaching as high as the weekly 9th most sold album in Japan, and the main track, "TOKYO", has reached the number 4 spot on the MTV Japan song charts.
YUI has been honing her acting and singing skills in a movie released on 17 June, 2006 called "Taiyou no Uta", which has since been released in various Asian countries as well.
She released her second album entitled "CAN'T BUY MY LOVE" on April 4th, which had a more experimental sound to it. It went straight to #1 on the charts, and stayed there for two consecutive weeks. Her third album, "I LOVED YESTERDAY" was released April 9th 2008, hitting #1 on the charts yet again.
YUI released her first compilation album, "MY SHORT STORIES", on November 12th. It contains all of her B-sides from her previous singles as well as a new song, "I'll be. After this release, she went on a small hiatus to re-energize herself.
In 2009, after the hiatus, YUI made a comeback with the chart-topping single "again". It was the opening song for popular anime Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood. This single became one of her best-selling singles to date, having sold over 110,000 copies on the first week of its release.
On October 7th, YUI released her first double A-side single in 2 years, "It's all too much / Never say die". Both songs were featured in the movie Kaiji as the theme song and an insert song respectively. The single reached #1 on the Oricon charts, making YUI the third female singer-songwriter to have 3 consecutive #1 singles, after Matsutoya Yumi and Utada Hikaru.
YUI started off 2010, the 5th year anniversary since her debut, with the release of "GLORIA" on January 20th. High school students from around the country have been sending in their 「Attack Pledge」, and with these pledges in mind, YUI created a title song with an encouraging melody. The song was aired as Benesse Corporation's 「Shinkenzemi Highschool Correspondence Course」's CM song.
A month before the release of her much-anticipated fourth studio album, YUI released a single entitled "to Mother". It reached #1 on the Oricon charts, giving YUI her fifth consecutive #1 Oricon single (seventh overall). "HOLIDAYS IN THE SUN" was released on July 14th, nearly 2 and a half years after "I LOVED YESTERDAY". It topped the Oricon charts, and was her third studio album to do so.
A promotional single for Christmas, "Rain" was released on November 24th as her 17th major single. The title song was used as the theme song for a Fuji TV drama, PERFECT REPORT. Unfortunately, the single only managed to peak at #2 on the Oricon weekly charts, thus effectively ending her consecutive #1 singles streak.
On December 18, 2013, YUI announced that she would be taking a break from music. After a few months, she returned to music with short blonde hair and a new band called FLOWER FLOWER, which made its official debut in May 2013.
- [2006.02.22] FROM ME TO YOU
- [2007.04.04] CAN'T BUY MY LOVE
- [2008.04.09] I LOVED YESTERDAY
- [2010.07.14] HOLIDAYS IN THE SUN
- [2011.11.02] HOW CRAZY YOUR LOVE
- [2008.11.12] MY SHORT STORIES (B-side Compilation Album)
- [2012.12.05] GREEN GARDEN POP
- [2012.12.05] ORANGE GARDEN POP
- [2012.10.24] SHE LOVES YOU
- [2004.12.24] It's happy line (indies)
- [2005.02.23] feel my soul
- [2005.06.22] Tomorrow's way
- [2005.11.09] LIFE
- [2006.01.18] TOKYO
- [2006.06.14] Good-bye days (YUI for Amane Kaoru (雨音薫))
- [2006.09.20] I remember you
- [2007.01.17] Rolling star
- [2007.03.14] CHE.R.RY
- [2007.06.13] My Generation / Understand
- [2007.09.26] LOVE & TRUTH
- [2008.02.27] Namidairo
- [2008.07.02] SUMMER SONG
- [2009.06.03] again
- [2009.10.07] It's all too much / Never say die
- [2010.01.20] GLORIA
- [2010.06.02] to Mother
- [2010.11.24] Rain
- [2011.01.26] It's My Life / Your Heaven
- [2011.06.01] HELLO ~Paradise Kiss~
- [2011.10.05] Green a.live
- [2012.09.05] fight
- [2008.03.10] Laugh away
- [2008.05.01] OH YEAH ~YUI Acoustic Version~
- [2008.12.22] I'll be ~YUI Acoustic Version~
- [2007.11.14] Thank you My teens
- [2011.03.09] HOTEL HOLIDAYS IN THE SUN
- [2012.03.28] Cruising ~HOW CRAZY YOUR LOVE~
Other Video Releases
- [2006.06.02] Taiyou no Uta x YUI to Kaoru no Uta (タイヨウのうた×YUIと薫のうた)
- [2006.11.22] Taiyou no Uta Premium Edition
- [2007.09.05] Movie "Closed Note" Music Movie with YUI
Compilations / Other
- [2006.01.25] HIT STYLE (#27 feel my soul)
- [2006.12.13] BLEACH THE BEST (#8 LIFE)
- [2008.03.05] Best of LISMO! (#9 CHE.R.RY)
- [2008.04.16] J-MOVIE SONGS (#6 Good-bye days)
- [2008.09.24] Shiawase ni Nareru Uta (#20 Happy Birthday to you you)
- [2008.12.17] BLEACH BEST TUNES (#1 Rolling star)
- [2009.02.18] J-Popper Densetsu 2 "DJ Kazu in WHAT's IN? 20th MIX" (#30 Rolling star)
- [2009.03.25] Title wa LIFE Desu. (#30 Rolling star)
- [2009.10.14] FULLMETAL ALCHEMIST Original Soundtrack (#5 again (TV size))
- [2012.02.29] FULLMETAL ALCHEMIST THE BEST (Disc 2 #1 again)
- [2006.06.17] Taiyou no Uta (as Amane Kaoru)
- [2009.02] FROM ME TO YOU
- [2009.02] CAN'T BUY MY LOVE
- [2009.02] I LOVED YESTERDAY
- [2009.02] MY SHORT STORIES