Ai Otsuka - THE BEST


Ai Otsuka (大塚 愛, Ōtsuka Ai, born September 9, 1982) is a female Japanese pop singer-songwriter and pianist from Osaka, Osaka Prefecture, Japan. She has two pet dwarf rabbits, Choko and Kokoa. She is a popular artist on the avex trax label and is best-known for her 2003 hit Sakuranbo, which stayed in the Top 200 Oricon Weekly Singles Chart for 85 weeks.

A piano player since age 4, Otsuka composes and co-produces her songs. She also writes her own lyrics. Her music ranges from upbeat catchy pop/rock music that can be heard in tracks like Happy Days and Sakuranbo to touching ballads like Daisuki da yo, Planetarium and Kurage Nagareboshi.

Otsuka's debut album Love Punch was released in March 2004 and was a huge success, reaching #3 on the oricon charts, earning Otsuka nicknames such as "The New Guru of Love". Her second single called "Sakuranbo" stayed on the Oricon top 200 charts for 101 weeks. Surprisingly, Otsuka's second album, Love Jam, was released only 8 months after her first in November 2004 and debuted at #1.

In other works, Otsuka has acted in the "Tokyo Friends" drama. She also has a radio show called "Otsuka Ai ai-r Jack" and has appeared in various CMs. Furthermore, Otsuka pens column in two Japanese magazines; "Love Column" in Zipper and "Love World ~ Eye Love Pictures" in B-Pass. Kimi iro Omoi, Otsuka's first photobook, was released on March 1st, 2005.

A talented graphic artist as well, the first pressings of her albums and some singles have included a limited edition picture book illustrated by Otsuka herself. Many of her illustrations can be seen at the Gallery section of her official website.

Love Jam Tour 2005, her first tour, began on April 24, 2005. It was completed in June 2005 and a Live DVD with footage was released on July 27, 2005. Love Cook, her 3rd album was released on December 14, 2005.

Every year Ai also has her own Love is Born tour to mark her anniversary of being in the music industry and her birthday in September.

Otsuka performed at Makuhari Messe on July 7, 2007, for one of Japan's two Live Earth concerts, alongside contemporaries Kumi Koda and Ayaka.