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Yuna Ito (伊藤 由奈 Itō Yuna, born September 20, 1983) is an American recording artist, primarily active in Japan. Ito comes from a Japanese father and Korean-American mother.
She was born in Los Angeles and was raised in Hawaii. Ito made her musical debut in Japan with the single, "Endless Story", which was used as one of the theme songs for the film, Nana; she also starred in the film, portraying Reira Serizawa. In 2006, Ito reprised her role as Reira for the sequel of the film singing the theme song, "Truth". In 2007, Ito released her debut album, Heart, which debuted atop the Oricon chart.
Ito was born to a Japanese father and a Korean-American mother in Los Angeles, California. She has a younger brother, Johnny. Her family later moved to Oahu, Hawaii. From a young age, Ito dreamed about becoming a singer. She was inspired by the powerful vocals of Celine Dion. At the age of fifteen, she was offered a recording contract, but turned it down. She later explained: "They saw me as a girl and not a singer."
Initially, when Ito told her parents of plans to become a singer they disapproved of her choice. Her parents wanted Ito to attend school and meet a "nice guy." Ito disagreed with her parents, saying they wanted to "compact her life into a storybook." Ito graduated from McKinley High School in 2001. She moved to Japan in 2003.
In 2005, Ito was chosen to portray Reira Serizawa, the vocalist for rock band Trapnest in the film adaptation of Nana. She released her debut single, "Endless Story", under the name "Reira Starring Yuna Ito"; the song was used as one of the theme songs for the film. "Endless Story" debuted on the Oricon chart at the #2 position. Following the release of "Endless Story" was her second single, "Faith/Pureyes" (2006), which debuted at #6 on the charts.
Ito released her third single, "Precious", which debuted at #3 on the charts. The single contained two b-sides, "I'm Free" and "Secret"; the latter was co-written by Ito and was the first time she contributed to one of her singles. Ito released three more singles in 2006; "Stuck on You", "Losin'", and "Truth". The singles debuted at the respective numbers of #20, #19 and #10. "Truth", released under the name "Reira Starring Yuna Ito", was used as a theme song for Nana 2 in which Ito again portrayed Reira Serizawa.
Ito started off 2007 with the release of her debut album Heart. Upon its release Heart topped the Oricon album chart. Heart was certified Double Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of Japan. In March, Ito released her seventh single, "I'm Here", which debuted at #15 on the Oricon chart.
Her tenth single, entitled Anata ga Iru Kagiri: A World to Believe In, was released in on January 16, 2008. The song is a duet with Celine Dion. When Dion heard Ito's rendition of her song, she proposed the idea of a duet. Dion originally released this song on her latest English album Taking Chances. The song was used in an au LISMO commercial. A World to Believe In was nominated for 'Best Collaboration Video', for the MTV Video Awards Japan '08, but lost to Kumi Koda's Last Angel.
Ito then released her first compilation album Love: Single's Best 2005—2010 on December 8. It marks Ito's final release under her record company as of 2012.
|Year||Studio albums||Chart positions||Certifications|
|2010||Love: Singles Best 2005—2010
|2006||Nana 2||Reira Serizawa||Supporting|
|2010||Celine: Through the Eyes of the World||Herself||Guest|