Japanese Singer May J. Performs with Full Orchestra for Billboard Classics Concert

Ichiro Fujisato
May J. performs Nov. 5, 2017, at the Tokyo Bunka Kaikan with the Billboard Classics Orchestra/ Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra at her Billboard Classics concert, "May J. Premium Concert 2017: Me, Myself & Orchestra."

Japanese songstress May J. performed with the Billboard Classics Orchestra/ Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra on Sunday (Nov. 5) at her Billboard Classics concert called May J. Premium Concert 2017: Me, Myself & Orchestra at the Tokyo Bunka Kaikan.

Billboard Classics is a popular series of concerts organized by Billboard Japan that present collaborations between pop artists and a full orchestra performing specially arranged versions of their hits and covers of famous pop songs.

The 29-year-old singer -- best known for her Japanese cover of "Let It Go" that was played over the closing credits of the Japanese-dubbed version of Frozen -- began the show with her songs "Sparkle" and "Futari No Mahou."

May J. had sung with orchestras before, but this was her first time performing with one for a full concert.

"There were so many songs of mine that I wanted to sing with a full orchestra," she told the audience during her 17-song set.

She then performed exquisite covers of <a href="/music/Whitney-Houston">Whitney Houston</a>'s "I Will Always Love You" and <a href="/music/Andrea-Bocelli">Andrea Bocelli</a> and <a href="/music/Sarah-Brightman">Sarah Brightman</a>'s "Time to Say Goodbye" along with more of her own singles, closing the main set with a lushly orchestrated version of a song she wrote, "My Star: Message."

"I really enjoyed rehearsing with May J. and the orchestra," conductor Hirofumi Kurita said after the show. "I think that came across to the audience today. I'm hoping May J. and the orchestra can continue broadening their horizons together."

May J. agreed with Kurita, saying that she had been looking forward to the show since rehearsals.

"I was so excited," she said. "I felt very blessed to have been able to perform my songs in front of everyone with a full orchestra."


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