DA PUMP Biography (Wikipedia)
Da Pump (ダパンプ Da Panpu) is a Japanese boy band made up of lead vocalist, Issa Hentona and MCs Ken Okumoto, Yukinari Tamaki and Shinobu Miyara. The band formed as students at Okinawa Actors School in 1996. They made their debut on the Avex Trax subsidiary avex tune under the guidance of producer Akio Togashi on June 11, 1997, with "Feelin' Good -It's Paradise". As one of the few male bands unassociated with Johnny's Entertainment, they were the first to gain major popularity reaching their peak in 2001 with the release of Da Best of Da Pump.
On April 7, 2006, Shinobu formally left the band following a hiatus due to a drunk driving incident in 2005. The band went on an unofficial hiatus at the end of 2006. On December 18, 2008, it was announced that Yukinari was leaving the band and that Ken and Issa were actively looking for his replacement. Within hours, their management company announced a brand new Da Pump with seven new members and a new concept as a multimedia entertainment group. The band will start their official comeback on July 15, 2009, with the new single, "Summer Rider" and a tour in the fall. It was announced on December 5, 2009, that Ken Okumoto had left Da Pump to pursue a solo career, leaving Issa the only original member left. Da Pump now consists of Issa, Daichi, Kenzo, Tomo, Kimi, Yori, and U-Yeah.