[Featured Artist] Yuna Ito 伊藤 由奈

By: laraceres14/Lady-Rinoa

YunaIto.jpg picture by laraceres

The beautiful Yuna Ito, born on 20 September 1983, is a J-Pop singer born to a Japanese father and a Korean-American mother in Los Angeles, and was raised in Hawaii. She is currently signed with Sony Music Japan.

Trivia: She attended a Japanese school in the US with another J-Pop artist, Angela Aki.

History:

She made her debut in 2005 with the song “Endless Story” which was used as one of the theme songs of the live-action film adaptation of Ai Yazawa’s hit manga series “NANA.” She also appeared in the movie with the role of “Reira Serizawa,” the vocalist of TRAPNEST. The single hit the number two position in the Oricon chart, making it a smash hit.

25186-yunaitoendlessstory2ha_large.jpg picture by laraceres

In the following year, she released her second single “Faith/Pure Eyes” which debuted at the 6th position in the Oricon Chart. Her next single “Precious”, like “Endless Story,” was a hit song and it debuted at the 3rd position in the Oricon chart. This was followed by other singles such as “Stuck On You,” “Losin’,” and “Truth.” “Truth” was used as one of the theme songs for the film “NANA 2,” wherein Yuna reprised her role as Reira Serizawa again.

In 2007, she released her debut album “Heart” and it topped the Oricon charts. Futhermore, it went on to sell over 500,000 copies, making it certified double platinum. It was followed by the single “I’m Here.” Her next single “Mahaloha” involves collaborationg with Micro from the group Def Tech. And at the end of the year, she released the single “Urban Mermaid.”

REIRAStarringYunaIto.jpg picture by laraceres

In January 2008, Yuna Ito released her 10th single “Anata ga Iru Kagiri ~A World to Believe In~” which she sang with Celine Dion. Celine Dion invited Yuna to collaborate with her after hearing the J-Pop artist cover her hit song “My Heart Will Go On” in 2007 for the Celine Dion tribute album. Celine Dion also invited Yuna to be the guest at her concert in Tokyo.

Yuna released her sophomore album “Wish” the month after and it debuted at number three at the Oricon chart. Furthermore, it was a RIAJ certified gold for selling over a 100,000 copies. And in June, she was chosen to sing the theme song “Gate” for the documentary movie with the same title.

On 3 September 2008, she released the single “miss you.” And in October, she released the upbeat song “Koi wa Groovyx2.” An English version of the song was also released under the pseudonym Christine Ito.

The following year, Yuna collaborated with J-hiphop duo Spontania for their single “Ima Demo Zutto feat. Ito Yuna.” And on 4 March 2009, Yuna released her 13th single “trust you,” which was used as the fourth ending theme of the anime “Mobile Suit Gundam 00 Second Season.” It was an Oricon top 5 hit, her first after two years since “Mahaloha.” And on 31 March, she released the digital single “Ima Demo Aitai Yo feat. Spontania”, an answer to “Ima Demo Zutto.”

On 27 May, she released her third studio album “Dream.”

yuna_ito_dream_cddvd0.jpg picture by laraceres

After months of hiatus, Yuna then released a digital single and music video for her cover of Aerosmith’s “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing”, featuring her with her now short hair.

Currently, Yuna announced the release of her first BEST album entitled “LOVE” which will be released on December 8, 2010 to commemorate her 5th anniversary in the entertainment scene.

Sources:

Wikipedia

Official Website

Recommended songs:

+ Precious

+ Endless Story

+ losin’

+ Journey

+ Anata ga Iru Kagiri ~A WORLD TO BELIEVE IN~ (DUET with Celine Dion)

+ trust you

+ miss you

+ Mamotte Agetai

I’ve been a fan of Yuna Ito since her debut when I watched the film “NANA.” I found her voice unique in the J-Pop scene and her songs are beautiful.

Ever since her breakthrough in 2005 and the success of her single “Precious,” Yuna Ito’s career has been going downhill. The sales of her singles and albums are not that high as it used to be, and it saddens me that her latest single “Mamotte Agetai”, released on 3 November 2010, didn’t chart in the top 10 of Oricon despite it being her comeback single and a beautiful ballad at that.

So for those who haven’t heard Yuna’s songs yet, please do check it out. You won’t be disappointed. 🙂

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