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Jade Villalon

Lisa Ooki Date of Birth: August 12, 1980 (San Diego, CA)
Active From: 2000
Group Involvement: Vocalist of Sweetbox
Related Projects: Final Fantasy X-2
Official Web Site: Sweetbox Official Site


Note: This biography was written exclusively for Square Enix Music Online by Resk. The act of copying it without advance written permission is regarded as a copyright infringement. It was last updated on September 1, 2006.

Born in San Diego, California on August 12, 1980, Jade Valerie Villalon entered a world that brought together her American, German, and Irish heritage with an early life in Japan. Her career seemed destined to be a success from the time she moved to Japan when she was three. While in Japan, she pursued an early acting career by appearing in various advertisements. She later moved back to the USA and settled in New York, where she toured on behalf of theater productions. In 1987, Jade showed everyone just what she was made of when she auditioned for a role in the Broadway musical Gypsy. She also continued to pursue an acting career with roles on Touched by an Angel and appearances in music videos. After her success on the stage, she pursued a music career with the band Gemstone. However, it was short lived when the band split up.

Jade soon found her roots in the musical world, when she was offered the position of lead singer in the duo-group Sweetbox by Geo (the other half of the duo), when the previous singer Tina Harris left in 1998. With Jade in the spotlight, the duo would begin what would become a long string of successful albums, and a career spanning almost a decade. Jade's first album with Sweetbox, entitled Classified, gained success with the critics and on the charts, and earned a gold certification in Japan. Their second album, 2002's Jade, was successful in both Asia and Europe, where the single "Lighter Shade of Blue" was on the charts at #1 for four straight weeks. A year later, the album was re-released as an acoustic version. 2003 was a big year for Jade.

With two hit albums and a degree of worldwide success under Jade's belt, she soon received more attention when Square Enix came to her doorstep. She accepted their request to provide vocals for the English versions of "real Emotion" and "1000 Words" for the game Final Fantasy X-2. Both tracks were widely successful in North America (as was Jade's nickname, 'Jade from Sweetbox'), and although she wasn't asked to do the voice of Lenne as her Japanese counterpart Kumi Koda had done (the voice would be provided by seasoned voice actress Cree Summer), Jade still remains part of a signature group of women to perform for the game franchise. On the heels of the success of the two tracks, Sweetbox's fourth and fifth studio albums (the third and fourth with Jade) Adagio and After the Lights were released in 2004. Also in 2004, a combination of half the tracks from both albums was released, called 13 Chapters.

Sweetbox has continued to be active and Jade's career has remained strong. In 2005, the duo's first greatest hits album Greatest Hits (in Japan) or The Best of Sweetbox 1995-2005 (in Europe) was released. This album also featured a re-recorded version of Sweetbox's very first hit, "Everything's Gonna Be Alright." The track, originally sung by Tina Harris, was lyrically altered for the new version "Everything's Gonna Be Alright -reborn-," and was sung by Jade. The duo also received the No. 1 Cross-Border Artist award from FONO magazine in the same year. Jade's fifth album with the duo, Raw Treasures Volume 1, was also released in late 2005. 2006 has also been a busy year for Sweetbox. It has brought Jade's sixth studio album Addicted early on in the year, and the duo's first live album Live and remix album Best of 12 Collection this past summer. What's next for Jade? Only time will tell.

List of Songs for Related Projects

Song Title Game Featured In
real Emotion Final Fantasy X-2 (English Version)
1000 Words Final Fantasy X-2 (English Version)

List of Covered Albums

Album Title Catalog No.
Final Fantasy X-2 International + Last Mission Original Soundtrack AVCD-17388
Sweetbox - Adagio AVCD-17405