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Yoko Ishida is a Japanese singer who made a career singing theme songs for anime series and branched out into proper J-pop in the mid-2000s. She specializes in cute, fluffy pop songs; she also composes and records songs for children, and is known as an avid fan of "para para," a Japanese pop-dance style popularized by SMAP in the ‘90s.
Niigata-born Ishida got her lucky break the typical J-pop way — she won a singing contest. In her case, it was the Anime Song Singer Contest in 1992; she was 19 at the time. The success brought her a deal with Columbia, on which Ishida debuted in 1993 with the single "Otome no Policy," the theme of Sailor Moon R. It was a smash hit, and Ishida proceeded to record several more singles, but slowed down after 1995. In 1998, she left Columbia, and in 2000 signed to Geneon and resumed her career by starting the series of "Para Para" remixes of anime songs, including tunes from Evangelion, Gundam Wing, and Cowboy Bebop. She also recorded theme songs for the A Little Snow Fairy Sugar, Ai Yori Aoshi, Petite Princess Yucie and Gunparade March series in 2001-2003, and in 2002-2004, she worked as a radio show host. More importantly, in 2003 Ishida made her debut as an original J-pop artist with the album Sweets. Its follow-up, All of Me, came in 2005; the same year, a sizeable chunk of her catalog was made available in the U.S., where she was promoted as the "Anime Pop Star." Her American shows were documented on a DVD, and in 2005-2007, she also played Brazil, Mexico, Spain, and Korea, and recorded songs for Ah! My Goddess and Shakugan no Shana anime series. A collection of her singles came out 2008, released in Korea as well as Japan. She recorded no new material in 2009, but scheduled her return for spring 2010 with the single "Private Wing."
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