Exile (エグザイル, Eguzairu?) is a 14-member all-male Japanese pop band and dance group. On artwork and promotional material, the band name is typeset in all capitals as "EXILE".
The current leader Hiro was originally in the band Zoo before they split up in the mid-1990s. In 1999, he started a new group called J Soul Brothers, which later changed its name to Exile in 2001. (But the name of J Soul Brothers was later revived by Hiro again in 2007 when he helped to form another 7-member group under the new J Soul Brothers monicker.)
Exile has released their singles and albums under Avex Group's label Rhythm Zone. Hiro and Avex's president Max Matsuura came from the same high school.
In November 2003, Exile remade Zoo's hit single "Choo Choo Train", which became a strong promotional single for their third studio album Exile Entertainment. The album sold over a million copies. At first, their music style was influenced by R&B, but their style later became more pop-oriented form. Their 2004 single "Real World" became their first number-one single on Oricon weekly charts. They released the collaboration "Scream" with Japanese rock band Glay in July 2005, peaking at #1 and selling over 500,000 copies on Oricon charts.
Their 2007 studio album, Exile Love, became the highest selling album of Japan in 2008, selling nearly 1.5 million copies on Oricon charts. Their compilation album Exile Ballad Best sold nearly 1 million copies in its first week on Oricon charts, making it the highest first week sales for an album of Japan in 2008. The song, "Ti Amo", was certified Million by the Recording Industry Association of Japan (RIAJ) for 1,000,000 full-track ringtone digital music downloads (Chaku Uta Full). They also won the Grand Prix Award at the 50th Japan Record Awards for "Ti Amo".
In 2009, Exile's song "The Next Door -Indestructible-" (The Japanese version is called "The Next Door") was featured as the theme of Street Fighter IV.
On March 1, 2009, Exile and J Soul Brothers announced to merge as a 14-member group. They released their first studio album under the 14 members, Aisubeki Mirai e, on December 2, 2009. They won the Grand Prix Award for the song, "Someday", at the 51st Japan Record Awards.
In total, they have sold over 17 million records just in Japan.
Vocalists & Performers
# Shokichi, real name Shokichi Yagi (八木 将吉, Yagi Shokichi?), born October 3, 1985.