aiko is a Japanese pop singer-songwriter under the Pony Canyon label. She is well known within Japan for her cheerful disposition. Her songs are generally upbeat, although she has also released some slower tempo numbers and focuses primarily on the topic of love. As proof of her popularity, she won Oricon's subscriber survey as favorite singer in both 2005 and 2006.
- Stage Name: aiko
- Birth Name: Yanai Aiko (柳井愛子)
- Birthdate: November 22, 1975
- Birthplace: Osaka, Japan
- Blood Type: AB
- Hobbies: Bathing, sleeping, dogs, driving
- Favorite Food: mustard mentaiko, yams, umeboshi (plum)
- Height: 152 cm / 5'0"
- Footsize: 21.5 cm
- ???? (1997–1998)
- Pony Canyon (1998–)
aiko studied popular music vocals at the Osaka College of Music, graduating in 1996. After graduating at the age of 21, she was offered a position as DJ at FM OSAKA. Through 1997 and early 1998, aiko released a number of indie mini-albums and singles, all of which failed to chart. Fortunately, this persistent young woman didn't allow this depressing start to lower her spirits.
With the release of "Ashita" in the July of 1998, aiko established her first Oricon chart position. Despite peaking at #89, the single stayed on the charts for five weeks and was re-issued in 2001 as a 12cm single release. With the release of her first single came aikos first one man performance at Esaka BOOMIN HALL.
Her third single "Hanabi" garnered public recognition for the songstress, with the single reaching #10 on the Oricon charts. Following this release, every one of aiko's releases has been subject to intense television coverage. Releasing her first major debut album in April 1999, aiko found herself slowly climbing up the charts, reaching #30. Although this result can be seen by some as unimpressive, that fact that the album managed to hold a place in the chart for twenty-six is surely commendable for a first attempt.
The year 2000 saw aiko's popularity reaching new heights, with her second album "Sakura no Ki no Shita" selling over 1,000,000 copies and reaching the #1 position on the Oricon charts. Not only that, the album managed to maintain a place in the rankings for sixty-four weeks and has so far been aiko's best selling album. Her second single of 2000, "Boyfriend", became aiko's best selling single to date, selling over 500,000 copies and achieving #2 position on Oricon.
Most significantly in this particular year, aiko was invited to perform at NHK's Kohaku Uta Gassen and has since performed at the event five times in total. Unfortunately, due to the word tetrapot being used within a song's lyrics and because of its similarity to the word tetrapod (a registered trademark), aiko faced some brief controversy over legal battles with NHK. Fortunately, this disagreement was resolved without any amendments made to the lyrics.
In 2001, with the beginning of aiko's "LOVE LIKE POP Vol.6 Tour", she had already found herself a devoted following. Unfortunately, while touring aiko contracted acute tracheitis, and certain dates had to be canceled. However, in order to make it up to her disappointed fans, aiko held a special performance at Tokyo Kokusai Forum. Even in the face of her illness, aiko stayed strong as her releases for 2001 all reached high positions on the Oricon. Her seventh and eighth single reached the top five and her third album, "Natsufuku", reached the #1 position and held it for 18 weeks.
2002 saw aiko holding her first no-seat concert, "LOVE LIKE ROCK", in Tokyo, Nagoya and Osaka. This particular tour consisted of only six dates and unlike the previous year's misfortune, the entire tour went off without a hitch. During her "LOVE LIKE ALOHA" tour in 2003, aiko performed at Katase Beach in Enoshima on August 30, and on the 31st of October she held her first festival performance at an institution, Aoyama Gakuin University.
The year 2004 saw aiko taking a break and she came back in 2005 with a new album. Also, for the first time in her career, she released her first official book, "aiko bon". This book contains her autobiography written in interview style and is accompanied by photographs and articles from the magazine GbMusicnet as well as linear notes from the artist herself.
With her popularity proven in the Oricon's survey, her tour "LOVE LIKE ALOHA Vol.2", held on August 30, 2005 on the Southern Beach at Chigasaki, was attended by 25,000 people. aiko's seventh album "Kanojo" once again hit #1 on the Oricon, selling over 400,000 copies.
2007 has been a relatively quiet year for aiko, despite the fact that she celebrated her 10th anniversary this year. She went on tour, "LOVE LIKE POP Vol.10", in January of this year, starting at MARINEMESSE FUKUOKA and concluding at Yokohama Arena. On the 15th of October, she held a special meeting with her fan club, Peenats (which is their third get together since the fan club's creation), to celebrate her anniversary. In addition to this meeting, she also held a special live for the fan club’s members: LOVE LIKE ROCK LIMITED FOR BABY PEENATS MEMBERS.
- [1999.04.21] Chiisa na Marui Koujitsu (小さな丸い好日; Little Calm Good Day)
- [2000.03.01] Sakura no Ki no Shita (桜の木の下; Below the Cherry Blossom Tree)
- [2001.06.20] Natsufuku (夏服; Summer Clothing)
- [2002.09.04] Aki Soba ni Iru yo (秋 そばにいるよ; Autumn is Beside Me)
- [2003.11.27] Akatsuki no Love Letter (暁のラブレター; Love Letter of Daybreak)
- [2005.03.02] Yume no Naka no Massugu na Michi (夢の中のまっすぐな道; Within the Dream, the Straight Ahead Path)
- [2006.08.23] Kanojo (彼女; Girlfriend)
- [2008.04.02] Himitsu (秘密; Secret)
- [2010.03.31] BABY
- [2012.06.20] Toki no Silhouette (時のシルエット; Silhouette of Time)
- [2014.05.28] Awa no You na Ai Datta (泡のような愛だった; It was a Love Like Foam)
- [2016.05.18] May Dream
- [2018.06.06] Shimetta Natsu no Hajimari (湿った夏の始まり; The Beginning of a Humid Summer)
- [2011.02.23] Matome I (まとめI; ConclusionI)
- [2011.02.23] Matome II (まとめII; ConclusionII)
- [2019.06.05] aiko no Uta. (aikoの詩。; aiko's Songs)
- [1998.04.21] Hachimitsu (ハチミツ; Honey) (Indie)
- [1998.07.17] Ashita (あした; Tomorrow)
- [1999.03.03] Naki Mushi (ナキ・ムシ; Crybaby)
- [1999.08.04] Hanabi (花火; Fireworks)
- [1999.11.17] Kabutomushi (カブトムシ; Beetle)
- [2000.02.17] Sakura no Toki (桜の時; Cherry Blossom Time)
- [2000.09.20] Boyfriend (ボーイフレンド)
- [2001.02.21] Hatsukoi (初恋; First Love)
- [2001.05.30] Rosie (ロージー)
- [2001.11.21] Oyasuminasai (おやすみなさい; Good Night)
- [2002.04.24] Anata to Akushu (あなたと握手; I Shake Hands With You)
- [2002.08.14] Kondo Made ni wa (今度までには; By This Time)
- [2003.04.23] Chouchou Musubi (蝶々結び; Butterfly Knot)
- [2003.08.06] Andromeda (アンドロメダ)
- [2003.11.06] Eriashi (えりあし; Nape of Neck)
- [2004.04.28] Kaban (かばん; Briefcase)
- [2004.09.01] Hana Kaze (花風; Flower Wind)
- [2005.02.16] Mikuni Eki (三国駅; Mikuni Station)
- [2005.08.03] Kirakira (キラキラ; Sparkle)
- [2005.11.30] Star (スター)
- [2006.07.12] Kumo wa Shiro Ringo wa Aka (雲は白リンゴは赤; Clouds are White, Apples are Red)
- [2007.03.21] Ashita (re-release) (あした)
- [2007.05.30] Shiawase (シアワセ; Happiness)
- [2007.08.22] Hoshi no Nai Sekai / Yokogao (星のない世界 / 横顔; World Without Stars / Face in Profile)
- [2008.03.12] Futari (二人; Two People)
- [2008.07.23] KissHug
- [2009.02.18] milk / Nageki no Kiss (嘆きのキス; Kiss of Grief)
- [2010.02.03] Modorenai Ashita (戻れない明日; Tomorrow That Won't Come Back)
- [2010.04.21] Mukaiawase (向かいあわせ; Face to Face)
- [2011.05.11] Koi no Super Ball / Form (恋のスーパーボール / ホーム; Super Ball of Love / Train Platform)
- [2011.11.23] Zutto (ずっと; Always)
- [2013.07.17] Loveletter / 4gatsu no Ame (Loveletter / 4月の雨; April Rain)
- [2014.01.29] Kimi no Tonari (君の隣; Beside You)
- [2014.11.14] Atashi no Mukou (あたしの向こう; Beyond Myself)
- [2015.04.29] Yumemiru Sukima (夢見る隙間; Dreaming Space)
- [2015.11.18] Puramai (プラマイ; Plus Minus)
- [2016.03.09] Motto (もっと; More)
- [2016.09.21] Koi wo Shita no wa (恋をしたのは; I was in Love)
- [2017.11.29] Yokoku (予告; Announcement)
- [2018.05.02] Straw (ストロー)
- [2020.02.26] Aozora (青空; Blue Sky)
- [2020.10.21] Honey Memory (ハニーメモリー)
- [2018.04.24] Melon Soda (メロンソーダ) (Radio Darlings×aiko)
- [2000.11.22] Utau Inu (ウタウイヌ; Singing Dog)
- [2000.11.22] Love Like Pop
- [2002.03.20] Yuurakucho de Aimashou ~Love Like Pop Vol.VI~ (有楽町で逢いましょう～Love Like Pop Vol.VI～)
- [2003.03.19] Utau Inu 2 (ウタウイヌ2)
- [2004.04.14] Love Like Rock
- [2005.05.11] Love Like Pop add.
- [2006.09.20] Utau Inu 3 (ウタウイヌ3)
- [2007.03.21] LOVE LIKE POP add. 10th Anniversary
- [2009.03.04] DECADE
- [2011.07.27] Pop to Rock (ポップとロック; Pop and Rock)
- [2012.03.21] Utau Inu 4 (ウタウイヌ4)
- [2013.04.03] 15
- [2015.03.20] aiko 15th Anniversary Tour "ROCKS"
- [2015.03.20] aiko 15th Anniversary Tour "POPS"
- [2016.05.03] ROCK to ALOHA (ROCKとALOHA; Rock and Aloha)
- [2018.03.14] Utau Inu 5 (ウタウイヌ5)
- [2019.03.13] My 2 Decades
- [2020.01.29] My 2 Decades 2
Compilations / Other
- [1996.08.01] Doutei Omnibus CD Vol.1 (#3 MORE&MORE, #11 AB Gata no Futari, #17 Ano Ko e)
- [2002.12.11] Queen's Fellows: Yuming 30th Anniversary Cover Album (#3 Seshiru no Shuumatsu)
- [2008.08.20] Utahime Collection - Prisoner Of Love (#1 Kabutomushi, #2 Sakura no Toki, #3 Eriashi, #4 Yokogao)
- [2020.03.18] Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra - TOKYO SKA TREASURES ～Best Of Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra～
Books / Magazines
- [2005.03.29] aiko bon
- [2009.02.xx] Yume no Naka no Massugu na Michi (夢の中のまっすぐな道)
- [2011.05.xx] BAND SCORE aiko Best Album "Matome II"
- [2011.02.xx] YOU MUSIC March 2011 Issue (Feature)
- [2011.02.xx] Cut March 2011 Issue (Feature)