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YUI

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Fukuoka, Japan (2003 – present)

Yoshioka Yui (吉岡唯; known/stylized as YUI (ユイ)) (born March 26, 1987 in Fukuoka, Japan), is a and . She sings and plays acoustic guitar, and writes her own songs, and apart from playing acoustic guitar, she also likes watching movies, reading books, and playing badminton. Her third single “LIFE” was the fifth ending theme for BLEACH, a popular Japanese anime series, which has brought her some international fame.

YUI began writing poems in ninth grade. At the age of 16, by recommendation of a friend, she began studying song, songwriting, and guitar at a private music school in her native Fukuoka. Aspiring to become professional, she carried her guitar around and sang at local places such as the seashore of Shingu and in the middle of the rice fields of Kaminofu.

In March 2003, at an audition hosted by Sony Music Japan, all judges evaluated her with the highest score, which caused a fierce scramble among labels. At this audition, she sang three songs - her first song “Why me”, which was later coupled with her debut single, as well as “It’s happy line” and “I know”, which were included on her indie single - as opposed to the audition rule 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 claimed that “the performance created a tremendous aura from her heavenly voice, and captured the hearts of the whole audience”.

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