Aiko (singer)

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Aiko Yanai[1]

(1975-11-22) 22 November 1975 (age 45)
  • Singer
  • songwriter
Years active1998–present
Musical career
  • Vocals
  • keyboard
LabelsPony Canyon

Aiko Yanai (柳井愛子, Yanai Aiko, born 22 November 1975), known by her stage name Aiko, (stylized as aiko) is a Japanese pop singer and songwriter. She is most famous for her hit songs Ashita, Kabutomushi, Hanabi, Sakura no Toki, Boyfriend, and Kira Kira.

Music career[edit]

In April 1996, Aiko became a radio host of FM Osaka after graduating from college. She released a CD which she produced independently with her friends of college in August. She participated in "The 5th Music Quest Japan Final" on 10 October, and was awarded the Excellence Award shared with Ringo Shiina.[3] She released an EP on an independent label in 1997, followed by a single and a mini-album in 1998.[citation needed]

In July 1998, Aiko debuted on a major label with her first single, Ashita (あした; "Tomorrow"), which was used as the theme song for the movie Toire no Hanako-san.

In 2000, her second album, Sakura no Ki no Shita (桜の木の下; "Under the Cherry Blossom Tree"), reached number one in the Oricon weekly charts, with the total CD sales amounting to 1.4 million copies. Her sixth single, Boyfriend, sold over 500,000 copies and became her best-selling CD single. She made her first appearance in NHK's 2000 Kohaku Uta Gassen.


  • Chiisa na Marui Koujitsu (小さな丸い好日; Little Calm Good Day) (1999)
  • Sakura no Ki no Shita (桜の木の下; Under the Cherry Blossom Tree) (2000)
  • Natsufuku (夏服; Summer Clothing) (2001)
  • Aki Soba ni Iru yo (秋 そばにいるよ; Autumn is Beside Me) (2002)
  • Akatsuki no Love Letter (暁のラブレター; Love Letter of Daybreak) (2003)
  • Yume no Naka no Massugu na Michi (夢の中のまっすぐな道; The Straight Ahead Path in a Dream) (2005)
  • Kanojo (彼女; Girlfriend) (2006)
  • Himitsu (秘密; Secret) (2008)
  • Baby (2010)
  • Toki no Silhouette (時のシルエット; Silhouette of Time) (2012)
  • Awa no You na Ai Datta (泡のような愛だった; It was a Love Like Foam) (2014)
  • May Dream (2016)
  • Shimetta Natsu no Hajimari (湿った夏の始まり; Beginning of a Humid Summer) (2018)



  • "Love Like Pop" (1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015) Love Like (愛好, Aiko, love-like)
  • College musical festivals (1999, 2003; 7 places in all)
  • "Baby Peenats Meeting" (2001, 2004; fan club members only)
  • "Love Like Rock" (2002, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2017 (fan club members only), 2009; no-seat concerts, 2011, 2013, 2015 at Zepp Tokyo)
  • "Love Like Aloha" (Summer 2003, at Katase beach, Enoshima; Summer 2006 and 2008, at Southern Beach, Chigasaki, 2012 and 2015)




Aiko has presented several regular radio programs, including local radio programmes in the Kansai area before she achieved widespread fame in July 1998.

  • Count Down Kansai Top40 (FM Osaka, April 1996 – December 2001)
  • Poppun Kingdom (MBS, April 1997 – ?)
  • Young Town Music Max (MBS, October 1997 – September 1999)
  • Baby Peanuts (FM Osaka, October 1998 – ?)
  • Aiko's (NBS, November 1999 – March 2003), containing the popular musical feature Sing! Aiko.



  • "Aiko Bon" (2005) was the first official book about Aiko. The book contains her autobiography (in an interview style), photos, feature articles from monthly magazine GbMusicnet and liner notes by herself.[4]


Year Type Title
1996 Music Quest Japan Final Excellence Prize – Himawari ni Nattara
2000 Teen's Music Festival Final Teen's Grand Prize – Aitsu o Furimukaseru Hoho
Saku ya Kono Hana Award, Music (Osaka city) * This award is given to a person or an organisation who contributes to a promotion of Osaka culture.
2002 Metropolitan Action on Smoking or Health Stop-smoking Grand Prize
The Japan Gold Disc Award[5] Rock Album of the Year – Natsufuku
2004 The Japan Gold Disc Award[6] Rock & Pop Album of the Year – Akatsuki no Love Letter
2018 MTV VMAJ[7] Best Female Video -Japan-
2020 Space Shower Music Awards[8] BEST POP ARTIST


  1. ^ "Aiko". MTV. 31 March 2010. Retrieved 30 December 2010.
  2. ^ "Biography" (in Japanese). Pony Canyon. Archived from the original on 24 July 2010. Retrieved 7 July 2010.
  3. ^ YAMAHA MUSIC FOUNDATION. "The 5th MUSIC QUEST JAPAN FINAL". Retrieved 29 December 2014.
  4. ^ "「キャッチ本゛」閉店のお知らせ M-ON! BOOKS – エムオン・エンタテインメント". 「キャッチ本゛」閉店のお知らせ – M-ON! BOOKS – エムオン・エンタテインメント. Archived from the original on 14 March 2009. Retrieved 29 December 2014.
  5. ^ "第16回ゴールドディスク大賞 受賞作品/アーティスト|THE GOLD DISC". Retrieved 5 May 2019.
  6. ^ "THE JAPAN GOLD DISC AWARD|THE GOLD DISC". Retrieved 5 May 2019.
  7. ^ "Best Female Video -Japan- | MTV Japan". Retrieved 30 May 2019.
  8. ^ "SS MVA 2020".

External links[edit]