An American-born yet Japanese-signed dancer turned pop star, A.I. began her music career as a backup dancer in a Janet Jackson video. While trained professionally as a dancer, it wasn’t until she made her way to Japan that she was able to land a record deal as a singer. First signed to BMG, she eventually switched to Def Jam Japan and released her debut, Original A.I., for that label in 2003. Her 2005 single (from the 2004 album 2004 A.I.) “Story” was a huge hit that year, selling over 300,000 copies, and its momentum helped propel her third album, Mic-a-holic A.I. to sales in the 500,000 range. Her fourth album, What’s Goin on A.I., was released in September 2006 and was followed up in March 2007 with her first live recording, Live A.I., and a DVD, Nippon Budokan A.I., both of which featured the last show of her What’s Goin On tour. May of that same year found A.I. winning an MTV Japan Video Music Award for Best R&B Video, and by the end of the year she had begun promoting her next album, Don’t Stop A.I. A tour for that album began in early 2008.