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L'Arc~en~Ciel Biography

L'Arc-en-Ciel (ラルク アン シエル Raruku an Shieru?, "The Rainbow" in French), styled as "L'Arc~en~Ciel", is a Japanese rock band that formed in 1991. The group has sold over 13 million albums, 16 million singles, and millions of other units, including videos. They were ranked at number 58 on a list of Top 100 Japanese pop musicians, provided by HMV Japan in 2003, and are among the most influential artists in the Japanese music scene. The latest band member is Hyde (vocal), Ken (guitar), Tetsuya (bass), and Yukihiro (drum).The band has a mascot named ciel-chan.

In 1993, the band released their debut album Dune under the indie label Danger Crue. The album was a success and rose to number one on the Oricon indies charts, catching the attention of some major labels. In 1994, L'Arc-en-Ciel signed on with Sony's Ki/oon division, releasing their second album, Tierra that same year. Heavenly followed in 1995. True, released in 1996, became their first number-one, million selling album.

In 1997, "Niji", the first single after Sakura's departure (Sakura is the band former drummer who arrested for heroin possession), was released with Yukihiro listed as a supporting member. Not long after the release of the single, Yukihiro was signed on as the official drummer for L'Arc-en-Ciel.

Their 1998 single "Winter Fall", became their first number-one single on the Oricon charts. They released the album Heart on February 25, 1998. Ark and Ray were released simultaneously on July 1, 1999, and became the first Japanese albums to be released simultaneously in many other Asian countries. Both topped the Oricon music charts, with Ark occupying number one and Ray at number two. The release of Ark and Ray marked the commercial high point of the band's career, with each selling over two million copies.

Their next album Real was released on August 30, 2000. However, it was their last studio album for some time. "Stay Away" from the album Real was featured in DrumMania 4th Mix, making the song playable on the machine.

The compilation Clicked Singles Best 13 was released on March 14, 2001. The compilation included twelve songs chosen by fans online in Asia and an additional thirteenth song, "Anemone". Their album Real was re-released as Super Audio CD on July 4, 2001. L'Arc-en-Ciel's last new single before their hiatus, "Spirit Dreams Inside: Another Dream", was released on September 5, 2001. Their English language song "Spirit Dreams Inside" was adopted for the closing theme song to the movie Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within.

Their debut performance abroad was in Baltimore, the United States in 2004 with 12,000 audience, and in 2005, the band performed in Seoul, Korea and Shanghai, China enjoying rapturous reception from an audience of 10,000 in both countries.

In 2005, the band released various singles, including "Killing Me", "New World", and "Jojōshi". These were later featured on their album, Awake, which was released on June 22 with twelve tracks, including "Lost Heaven", the closing theme of the Fullmetal Alchemist movie. The band's single, "Link", released on July 20, 2005, was also featured in the movie as the opening theme, which was included by their next album Kiss.

On December 1, 2009, L'Arc-en-Ciel announced the release of a new single, "Bless", on January 27, 2010. It was used as the theme song for NHK's broadcast of the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. Also, Tetsu announced that he has changed his stage name to "Tetsuya" and released his first artist book, which ranked No.6 among the Talent Book Charts, while featuring early live pictures and a 30,000 character Interview with the bassist.

On March 10th, L'Arc-en-Ciel released their 5th best-of album, entitled Quadrinity: Member's Best Selections. It is featured in 4 CDs with 7 tracks per band member, chosen and re-mastered by each of them. The first press edition also comes with a DVD which includes a variety quiz show with the band titled "The L'Arquiz". [source : Laruku]

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