Namie Amuro in MTV Asia Aid 2005
September 20, 1977 |
Naha, Okinawa, Japan
|Genres||R&B, pop, pop rap, dance, electronica, electropop, EDM, urban, house|
|Occupations||Singer, actress, dancer|
|Associated acts||Super Monkey's, Suite Chic|
Namie Amuro (安室奈美恵 Amuro Namie?, born September 20, 1977) is a Japanese R&B singer, fashion icon and former actress. She was, at the height of her popularity, referred to as the "Teen Queen" and the title "Queen of Japanese Pop Music". Born in Naha, Okinawa, Amuro debuted at the age of 14 as an idol in the girl group Super Monkey's. Though mostly unsuccessful, the group gained popularity during their final year together with the single "Try Me (Watashi o Shinjite)" (1995). Amuro left Toshiba-EMI after releasing two more solo singles; she continued her music career as a solo singer with the then-small independent label Avex Trax. Under the guidance of producer Tetsuya Komuro, Amuro quickly became a commercial success, producing several million-selling records and starting several fashion trends. Her single "Can You Celebrate?" (1997) became Japan's best selling single by a solo female artist. However, in late 1997, Amuro put her career on hold due to her pregnancy and marriage.
She returned to music in 1998 with the number-one single, "I Have Never Seen", but faced gradually declining sales. After unofficially severing ties with Tetsuya Komuro in 2001, Amuro joined the Suite Chic group, and then as a solo singer made forays into R&B and hip-hop. Since reinventing herself as a hip-pop singer with her sixth studio album Queen of Hip-Pop (2005), Amuro has achieved new-found fame and popularity. Her seventh album Play (2007) debuted at the top of the charts, and was followed by a number one single 60s 70s 80s (2008).
Over two decades after her debut, Amuro has remained one of the longest surviving popular female acts in Japan. She continues to successfully combat social stigma as a divorced, working, single mother. On July 30, 2008, Amuro released her first greatest hits album, Best Fiction, since transitioning to R&B music. It spent six consecutive weeks at the number-one position on Japan's Oricon weekly charts, and was elected as "the best album of the year" at the 50th Japan Record Awards. From 2008 to 2009, she toured Japan to promote the album. It was estimated that she played to an audience as large as 400,000 people, potentially the largest of her career. According to Music Station, Namie is the 12th best selling artist in Japan, with 31.21 million copies sold as of this date.[when?]
- 1 Biography
- 1.1 Early life and career
- 1.2 1995-1997: Commercial success, marriage, and pregnancy
- 1.3 1998–2001: Personal struggles
- 1.4 2002–2006: Decline in sales and popularity
- 1.5 2007–2009: Revived popularity, Best Fiction & Past < Future
- 1.6 2010–2011: Checkmate! and Live Style 2011
- 1.7 2012: Uncontrolled and 20th Anniversary
- 1.8 2013-Present: Dimension Point, Feel and Ballada
- 2 Influence
- 3 Discography
- 4 Concerts and tours
- 5 Filmography
- 6 Theme Songs
- 7 See also
- 8 References
- 9 Further reading
- 10 External links
Early life and career
Namie Amuro was born in Naha, Okinawa, raised solely by her mother, Emiko Taira, as she had divorced when Amuro was 4 years old. Taira worked as a nursery school employee and bar hostess to support her three children. Through her mother's side, Amuro is one quarter Italian. Although she had no ambition to become a singer, she was discovered at age 12, while visiting a friend. Amuro was scouted by Masayuki Makino, the owner of Okinawa Actors School, a performing arts school. Amuro eventually enrolled there. Two years later, Makino placed her in an idol group called Super Monkey's with five other girls. A year after its September 1992 debut on Toshiba-EMI, the group relocated to Tokyo despite Emiko Taira's disapproval.
Super Monkey's did not gain much success and the group changed members constantly. They changed their name to "Namie Amuro with Super Monkey's" in 1994 to reflect Amuro's rising popularity. Aside from group activities, she had bit parts in television dramas and small films. "Try Me: Watashi o Shinjite", produced by Italian eurobeat producer Dave Rodgers, and Max Matsuura, was released on January 25, 1995, peaking at the number-eight position and charting for 25 weeks on the Oricon chart. The other four members of the Super Monkey's formed their own group, MAX, under the Avex Trax label. Amuro released two more solo singles under Toshiba-EMI before moving to Avex Trax herself.
1995-1997: Commercial success, marriage, and pregnancy
Amuro's debut single under Avex, "Body Feels Exit", was released in October 1995 after she switched record labels. The single was the first produced from her working relationship with producer Tetsuya Komuro. A second Komuro-produced single, "Chase the Chance" was released two months later. It became her first number-one, million-selling single. She won the Golden Arrow Award 1995.
In the first half of 1996, Amuro accumulated million-selling singles — "Don't Wanna Cry" and "You're My Sunshine". Her studio album Sweet 19 Blues, released on July 22, 1996, was a commercial success, selling over three million units. Amuro's popularity increased as well: she became a fashion icon, starting a trend called Amuraa characterized by tanned skin, dyed hair, miniskirts and boots. On November 27, 1996, she released the single "A Walk in the Park", which also sold over a million copies. At the end of 1996, Amuro won the Grand Prix Award, the highest honor at the Japan Record Awards, for her song "Don't Wanna Cry", making her the youngest artist to have won the award. She made Okinawa more popular in Japan and many people from Okinawa such as Speed followed her. The members of Speed said that the Okinawa Actors School was changed by her influence.
Amuro's first single of 1997, "Can You Celebrate?", eventually sold 2.29 million copies, making it the best-selling single by a solo female artist in Japan. That year, after the release of another single, "How to Be a Girl", and a second album, Concentration 20, Amuro toured Japan's four domes in the summer. On August 3 of that year, the sales of Amuro's records reached 20 million.
On 22 October 1997, Amuro announced at a press conference that she had married Masaharu Maruyama (better known as "Sam" of the band TRF) while three months pregnant; she has since been credited for popularizing shotgun weddings in Japan. At the end of the year, she won the Grand Prix Award at the Japan Record Awards again for "Can You Celebrate?" and made her final appearance on Kouhaku Uta Gassen before beginning her one-year hiatus from the music industry.
1998–2001: Personal struggles
On May 19, 1998, Amuro gave birth to her son, Haruto. She returned to the music industry with the release of "I Have Never Seen" (December 1998). She made her first televised appearance on Kouhaku Uta Gassen days later, performing a tearful rendition of her hit "Can You Celebrate?" On the Oricon Weekly Chart, the new single debuted at the top position. However, at that time new singer-songwriter Hikaru Utada and Ayumi Hamasaki were revolutionizing the Japanese music industry, and Amuro began to re-focus her career. Amuro's following single, "Respect the Power of Love", was released on March 17, 1999; on the same day, news broke out that her mother had been murdered in Okinawa. Upon hearing the news, Amuro canceled her promotional schedule and flew back to Okinawa in order to identify her mother's body. A week later, the single debuted at the number-two position, being beaten out by "Dango 3 Kyodai". A third comeback single, "Toi et Moi", was used for the Japanese animation movie Pokémon: The Movie 2000.
The following single "Something 'bout the Kiss" featured production by American Hip-hop/R&B producer Dallas Austin. Austin, along with longtime producer Tetsuya Komuro, produced her first album since her hiatus, Genius 2000, released in January 2000. The album still debuted at the number-one position on the Oricon weekly chart. She spent the first half of 2000 touring in support of the Genius 2000 album. After the tour, she released a single, "Never End", in July. The single was used as part of the G8 summit taking place in Okinawa, Japan that year. It was commissioned by late Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi, who asked Tetsuya Komuro to write a song conveying "a vision of harmony and interaction in the world in the 21st century". Obuchi later asked Amuro to perform the single at the summit.
After separating from Masaharu in January 2000, Amuro filed for divorce, citing irreconcilable differences alongside difficulty with Masaharu's relatives, and the two were officially divorced by July 2002.
Amuro's next studio album Break the Rules, released on December 20, 2000, was not able to top the Oricon weekly charts, peaking at the number-two position. Starting in March, 2001, Amuro toured Japan in support of Break the Rules; the tour ended in May. In August, Amuro released the single "Say the Word". For the first time, she wrote the lyrics herself. The single also unofficially marked an end to the working relationship between her and longtime producer Tetsuya Komuro. However, in December she worked with Komuro for the last time on "Lovin' It", a single released as part of Avex's Song+Nation charity project. The single featured hip-hop artist Verbal of the group M-Flo.
2002–2006: Decline in sales and popularity
On March 13, 2002, she released her new greatest hits album Love Enhanced Single Collection, but the songs were re-arranged from those original versions. In July 2002, Amuro was divorced from Maruyama. On September 11, 2002, "Wishing on the Same Star", written by Diane Warren, was released, peaking at the number-two position on the oricon weekly chart. The song was originally sung by Keedy in 1991.
From December 2002, fully immersed into the Japanese R&B scene releasing music in the musical project Suite Chic, she collaborated with several of Japan's popular hip hop and R&B artists such as Verbal, Zeebra, Dabo and DJ Muro. They released two singles, an original album and one remix album before ending the project in 2003. She later said that after the project she had begun to do what she had wanted to do.
Amuro returned to solo activities on her own with the single "Shine More", released on March 6, 2003. The subsequent single "Put 'Em Up", released on July 16, 2003, was produced by Dallas Austin. On October 16, 2003, the double a-side single "So Crazy / Come" was released. "So Crazy" was written by American R&B producers Full Force. "Come", used for the Japanese anime InuYasha, was a re-arranged song from Sophie Monk. At the end of the year, she released her first original studio album in three years, Style. From November 29, 2003 to April 11, 2004, she performed on the Namie Amuro So Crazy Tour Featuring Best Singles 2003-2004. In May, she also toured Taipei, Taiwan and Seoul, South Korea. Shortly after the tour, she released the ballad "All for You"; this was followed by the double A-side single "Girl Talk / The Speed Star", released on October 14, 2004. The single debuted at the top position on the Oricon daily chart and reached the number-two position for the week, making it her first Top 3 single in two years. Amuro chose not to appear on Kōhaku Uta Gassen though she had been invited to perform at the event. She had previously attended the coveted event nine years in a row. Amuro explained that while she wished to regain popularity, she did not want to "force" herself on the public anymore.
Following the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake disaster in Southeast Asia, Amuro participated as the only Japanese representative at MTV Asia Aid in February 2005. She donated ¥10 million (approximately USD $90,000) to UNICEF for children who were affected by the disaster.
On April 6, 2005, she released the single "Want Me, Want Me". The song was a well-received hit at home debuting at the number-two position. In May 2005, following a three year split from her former husband Sam, it was reported that she would take back full custody of their child, Haruto. In August, it was reported that she officially did that. On May 29, she performed at the MTV Video Music Awards Japan for the fourth consecutive year in a row. She received two awards, "Best R&B Video" and "Most Impressive Performing Asian Artist", making the first artist to receive awards four years in a row at the MTV Video Music Awards Japan. She took home the "Inspiration Award Japan" in 2002, "Best Collaboration" in 2003, "Best R&B Video" for 2004, and 2005 as well as "Most Impressive Performing Asian Artist" in 2005.
On July 13, 2005, she released her sixth original studio album, Queen of Hip-Pop. In collaboration with MGM Studios, Amuro used the Pink Panther character in the album; a female panther counterpart was created for the album as well. When the album was completed, Amuro said that she had not been able to sing the songs very well yet.
In September 2005, Amuro held her seventh national tour, Space of Hip-Pop. Shortly after the start of her tour, she announced that she would contribute to the Japanese theaterical release of Sin City. After viewing the movie, Amuro made an offer to the Japanese distribution company to sing its theme song; the company, feeling that her image fit the movie, accepted her offer. Director Robert Rodriguez was impressed by the song and asked to be a part of it; he can be heard saying "Welcome to Sin City" towards the end of the song. The theme song, "Violet Sauce", was later released as part of a double A-side single, "White Light / Violet Sauce", on November 16, 2005. Shortly after the single, she released Filmography 2001-2005 a compilation of twelve of her music videos from 2001 to 2005.
Amuro collaborated with Zeebra, AI, and Mummy-D on Zeebra's album The New Beginning, released on February 15, 2006, in a song called "Do What U Gotta Do". On May 17, she released the double A-side single "Can't Sleep, Can't Eat, I'm Sick/Ningyo", which debuted at the number-two position on the oricon weekly chart. In August 2006, she began her tour Namie Amuro Best Tour "Live Style 2006". On September 17, she performed to an audience of 12,000 at Yoyogi National Stadium in Tokyo, Japan. She stated that she would do the performance greater than ever before in 2007.
2007–2009: Revived popularity, Best Fiction & Past < Future
Amuro's next single, "Baby Don't Cry", released on January 24, 2007, was used as the theme song of a Japanese Drama Himitsu no Hanazono. On the oricon weekly chart, "Baby Don't Cry" debuted at the number-three position and she achieved a Top 10 single each year for 13 consecutive years, breaking the solo female artist's record in Japan by Kyōko Koizumi and Shizuka Kudō. It sold over a million ringtone digital downloads and was ranked at number seven on the RIAJ 2007 yearly ringtone sales charts. Amuro's 32nd single, "Funky Town", was released on April 4, 2007. She was also featured on M-Flo's album, Cosmicolor, in a song titled "Luvotomy".
Her seventh studio album, Play, was released on June 27, 2007. The album includes 12 songs, four of which are single tracks. The album was said to reflect Amuro's new style, and featured a rock number, and a chic slow song. One of her new songs, "Top Secret" was used as the theme song of the drama series Prison Break Season 2 in Japan. Play took the number-one spot on the Oricon Weekly Chart Rankings, becoming her first number-one album in more than 7 years, with her last number-one occurring in 2000 with her album, Genius 2000. It is also her fourth studio album to reach the number-one position. Play spent two consecutive weeks at the number-one position. From August 18, 2007, to February 27, 2008, she performed her concert tour in Japan Namie Amuro Play Tour 2007-2008 which consisted initially of 53 performances but was increased by 12 performances to 65 performances, making this her biggest tour in terms of number of performances by far.
Amuro's first single of 2008, released on March 12, was an image song for the new Vidal Sassoon marketing campaign Fashion x Music x VS. The title of her new single was confirmed to be "60s 70s 80s", and contained three songs - "New Look", "Rock Steady", and "What A Feeling". These songs have a modern twist from the '60s, '70s, and '80s. The single debuted at the number-two position on the oricon weekly charts with over 114,000 copies sold. In the second week the single gained the number-one spot for that week, making it her first number-one single after 9 years and 3 months since "I Have Never Seen". According to Oricon, "60s 70s 80s" sold nearly 300,000 copies.
On March 25, 2008, Amuro has won the prize for "Best Female Video" for "Hide and Seek" at Space Shower Music Video Awards 08. "Hide & Seek" also won the prize for "Best R&B Video" at the MTV Video Music Awards Japan 2008 which was conducted at the Saitama Super Arena on May 31. In May 2008, Amuro also recorded a collaboration with Double in a song called "Black Diamond". On the ringtone download sales chart, it earned double-platinum certification by the Recording Industry Association of Japan. On July 26, about 25,000 people attended the a-nation '08 and saw her performance. This was the first time she was invited to perform on it in seven years. On July 31, she took part in Double's concert.
Amuro released her third greatest hits album Best Fiction on July 30, 2008. It featured all her singles from 2002's "Wishing on the Same Star" to the recently released "60s 70s 80s". It also featured two new songs, "Sexy Girl" and "Do Me More". "Sexy Girl" was the theme song for NHK drama Otome no Punch that aired on June 19, and the other called "Do Me More" was the campaign song for Vidal Sassoon. Best Fiction sold 681,000 copies in the first week and debuted at the number-one position on the oricon weekly charts. Within its third week, Best Fiction outsold a million copies, and Amuro became the only artist who produced million-selling albums in the oricon chart for three decades of her teens, 20s, and 30s. Best Fiction eventually spent six consecutive weeks at the number-one position, becoming the first album to do so in more than 14 years since the Dreams Come True's 1993 album Magic. Best Fiction became the second best-selling album behind Exile's Exile Love on the Oricon 2008 yearly album charts. In addition, it became the second best selling digital-format album by Japanese artists behind Hikaru Utada's Heart Station on the iTunes yearly album charts in Japan. Best Fiction won the award for "the best album of the year" at the 50th Japan Record Awards.
On October 25, 2008, Amuro also started a tour called Namie Amuro Best Fiction tour 2008-2009 at the Makuhari Messe. NHK invited her to the 59th NHK Kōhaku Uta Gassen, but Amuro declined.
On January 20, 2009, Sanspo officially announced a new Vidal Sassoon CM featuring Amuro, featuring a song from her entitled, "Dr." Her 33rd solo single, "Wild/Dr.," was announced on January 21, which was a double A-side single released March 18, 2009. Wild was used in a commercial starring Amuro for Coke Zero entitled "Wild Health". On release, it became her 11th #1 single and second consecutive after 60s 70s 80s. She also broke her own record of having all of her singles debut in the Top 10 (on the daily charts) for the last 15 years. Amuro collaborated with ravex on a song for their album trax. The song is called [ROCK U feat. 安室奈美恵] and was released as a radio single. As of June 2009, rumor has begun about the releasing of a summer single with ties to McDonald's. A commercial has been shot for the Quarter Pounder with the tag line being "Big Mouth". On October 1, 2009, hairstyling company Vidal Sassoon released new commercials featuring Amuro and two tracks from her expected album, "My Love" and "Copy That."
Namie released her ninth studio album, Past < Future, on December 16, 2009. Released in CD and CD+DVD format, it contained her latest single "Wild/Dr.", and was supported by airplay and video clips of several of the new songs on the album. The album became her sixth number-one original studio album and in terms of sales, surpassed her last studio album, Play. In April, Amuro launched a large-scale, 9-month-long nationwide tour in support of her album, touring 26 cities.
2010–2011: Checkmate! and Live Style 2011
On May 18, 2010, Amuro attended the World Music Awards on Monaco, receiving an award for "Best Artist From Asia", making her the First Asian Female Artist and second Japanese artist after Chage and Aska to do so, and performed her hit song from her PLAY album "Hide and Seek" .
Afterwards, it was announced that a new single was going to be released soon, and on July 28 her 34th single "Break It/Get Myself Back" was released (during her Past < Future tour summer hiatus). "Break It" was used in a Coca-Cola Zero commercial and the song reached number "3" on Oricon's weekly chart. The single has been certified Gold for shipment of 100,000 copies, as well as "Get Myself Back" being certified as a gold download to cellphones according to RIAJ.
The live DVD "Namie Amuro: Past < Future Tour 2010″ was released on December 15th and sold 95,000 copies within the first week, ranking first in the Music DVD category of the DVD Oricon rankings for the week of December 27. It became her second consecutive number one DVD, after "Namie Amuro:_ Best Fiction Tour 2008-2009″. The Blu-ray version sold 18,000 more copies. The year 2010 ended on yet another success with "Past < Future" charting at 6th in the Oricon yearly album rankings, her highest position with a studio album since 1996's Sweet 19 Blues (2nd best selling album of that same year).
Namie Amuro released her second collaboration album (the first under her own name) on April 27, 2011. Titled Checkmate!, the album features nine collaboration songs released from 2003 to 2011, including Do What U Gotta Do, Luvotomy, BLACK DIAMOND, ROCK U, and her 2010 collaboration single with AI, FAKE, along with four new songs: "Wonder Woman" featuring AI and Anna Tsuchiya, "Make It Happen" with Afterschool, "Unusual" with ex-NEWS member Yamashita Tomohisa and "#1" featuring CHEMISTRY's Kawabata Kaname. The original release date was scheduled for March 23, 2011, but was delayed due to the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami and its related nuclear accidents.
Meanwhile, Namie recorded the new theme song for "One Piece", titled "Fight Together". A 2:30 minutes edit of the song started airing on April 10 as the opening theme of the long running Japanese anime. "Fight Together" was released as a download to cellular phones and got the number 1 position for one week. The first six months of 2011 were indeed another achievement for Namie, as according to Oricon her album Checkmate! was the third best selling album in Oricon's 2011 Half Year Ranking Charts for Album, while her DVD Past<Future Tour 2010 was also the 3rd Best selling DVD in Oricon's 2011 Half Year Ranking in Music DVD. she was also Japan's Best Selling Solo Artist (Male or Female) for 2011 according to Oricon's 2011 Half Year Sales of Artist (which includes all of Albums, Singles and DVDs) with an estimate sales of 2.7 Billion Yen. according to "Amazon.co.jp", her Album Checkmate! top their Half Year Ranking in Music. And at the end of July, she is going to start her arena tour entitled "Live Style 2011" to commemorate her 20th anniversary in the Japanese Music Industry.
In early July, her official website announced her 35th single entitled "Naked / Fight Together / Tempest". Naked was used in her commercial campaign for KOSE ESPRIQUE, while "Tempest" is going to be used in a NHK drama series with the same title. The single landed on the Top 2 of Oricon Weekly Charts, extending her record as the only female Japanese artist to have a top 10 single each year for 17 consecutive years. Since the release of the single, it has sold more than 100,000 copies.
During her "Live Style 2011" tour, two new songs were added to the set list. The songs were "Higher" and "arigatou <thank the world for LOVE... gift song for 2011>". "Higher" was going to be used as song for her new commercial for Coke Zero, but never aired on TV and "arigatou" was used as the song for her new Kose Esprique Campaign in an a capella version. Namie released her 2nd single and last for 2011 after "Naked / Fight Together / Tempest" on July 27. Her 36th single entitled "Sit! Stay! Wait! Down!/Love Story" went sale on December 7, 2011. Her official website announced her new live DVD / Blu-ray entitled "Namie Amuro: Live Style 2011" and its release date is on December 21, 2011. On November 30 the covers for her DVD / Blu-ray were revealed. Also they announced on November 16, the official Namie Amuro YouTube Channel and since then, the site has gained a lot of attention from her fans all over the world.
Namie Amuro’s single "Sit! Stay! Wait! Down / Love Story", which both are the theme song for the drama series Watashi ga Renai Dekinai Riyuu, became the first Double A-Side single to occupy the 1st and 2nd position in the Weekly Ranking of Recochoku since the day of release. Besides that, "Love story" got the first position and "Sit! Stay! Wait! Down!" got the 5th position for its monthly chart. On November 27, Namie filmed her TV version of "Love Story" for the drama series "Watashi ga Renai Dekinai Riyuu". On December 7, along with the release of her single, Namie launched her official Facebook page. The page includes a free download of the song "Arigatou: Thank the World for Love... Gift Song for 2011" which was originally featured on the single "Sit! Stay! Wait! Down!/Love Story". On December 12, MTV Japan and Space Shower TV aired the Live performances of "Make It Happen" and "Unusual" which will be included in her "Namie Amuro: Live Style 2011" DVD.
2012: Uncontrolled and 20th Anniversary
On January 21 she recorded a new song Go Round. the song was included in her 37th single Go Round / YEAH-OH!, which was released on March 21. Her song "Love Story" received many forms of recognition: LISMO, an online music player provided by the cell phone company au, selected "Love Story" as the winner of LISMO Award; the karaoke company Daiichi Kosho announced that the song is the most popular Valentine's Day song for a female artist, along with EXILE's "Lovers Again", while Recochoku announced that "Love Story" became the best selling digital song for the year 2012 in 4 different categories. the song also won at the 27th Japan Gold Disc Awards as "Song of the Year by Download".
In April 2012, it was announced that Namie Amuro would release a new album, Uncontrolled, on the 27th of June, 2012. The album includes A-sides of released singles during 2010 up to 2012 as well as four new songs. Along with the album, 2012 coincides with her 20th year of her career. The new album Uncontrolled features four new songs, all with MVs included in the CD/DVD version of her album. On 27 May the covers for the album were revealed and her Facebook also showed a painting, collaborated with “Annular Eclipse”, of her cover image located on Alta Shinjuku, Tokyo. It was up for viewing until 1 June. On 29 May, her official YouTube page released a commercial preview of MV for "In The Spotlight(TOKYO)", the lead track for her upcoming album.
On 27 June 2012, Namie released her album "Uncontrolled". The album sold 292,000 copies on its first week of release, making the highest 1st week sales for a Japanese solo artist, until it was beaten by Kuwata Keisuke's compilation album, the album stayed on the top of the chart for 3 consecutive weeks, making her 1st studio album in her career as a solo artist, the album also became her 10th overall #1 album, while it became the 11th best selling album in Japan for 2012, with 517,000 copies sold.
On 16 September 2012, a concert in Namie's hometown Okinawa was planned to coincide with her 20th Anniversary as a singer, with it being her 1st concert to feature guests with whom she collaborated over the past 20 years. The expected attendance for the concert was 27,000. However, due to a typhoon warning in Okinawa the concert was cancelled. It was not rescheduled because the date was supposed to be a special day.
On 24 November, Namie started her "Namie Amuro 5 Major Domes Tour 2012 ~20th Anniversary Best~" this being her first dome tour in 15 years. The tour became the most attended dome tour for a female solo artist, with an attendance of 340,000.
2013-Present: Dimension Point, Feel and Ballada
On 6 March 2013, Amuro released her 38th single, Big Boys Cry/Beautiful, songs that were previously featured in her KOSE CM. This is her first single since White Light/Violet Sauce that does not come in a CD+DVD version and at the same time it is currently listed at Oricon as being Amuro's most worst-selling single.
Amuro released her eleventh studio album entitled "Feel" on July 10, 2013, through Dimension Point, a new label under Avex Trax. This is the first full-length studio album Amuro has released since "Uncontrolled" almost a year before. The album included "Big Boys Cry" from her thirty-eighth single "Big Boys Cry/Beautiful", however, the B-side of the single, "Beautiful" was not included in this album. "Contrail" was released as Amuro's sixth digital single on May 19, 2013 through Recochoku, "Contrail" is also included in the album, "Feel". The album has 7 songs which were sung entirely in English and have a total of 6 music videos. "Feel" has successfully become her 6th consecutive number one album on the Oricon's weekly albums charts, with 247,000 copies. In the first day of release, the album sold 111,458 copies, surpassing "Uncontrolled" in terms of first day sales, and also became the highest first day sales for solo female artists in 2013. In support of the album, on August 16, 2013, Amuro started her "namie amuro FEEL tour 2013" which ended in December 23, 2013.
On June 4, 2014, Amuro released "Ballada," her first greatest hits album to feature only ballad tracks. The album includes 15 of Amuro's popular ballads, which were elected by fans through a vote held on Amuro's official website. It also features a ballad version of "Contrail" as a bonus track. To commemorate the release of "Ballada", Amuro re-recorded two of her biggest hits from the 90s, "SWEET 19 BLUES" and "CAN YOU CELEBRATE?." She also created new music videos for "CAN YOU CELEBRATE?", "SWEET 19 BLUES", "HimAWArI" and "Four Seasons". A total of 17 music videos are included in the DVD and Blu-ray editions. In support of the album, Amuro will hold a nationwide tour titled "namie amuro LIVE STYLE 2014". The tour is set to begin on August 22, 2014, and conclude on December 18, 2014, with a total of 36 shows.
Amuro will release a new single titled "Brighter Day" on November 12. The single will include "SWEET KISSES" the theme song for the KOSE COSMEPORT "OLSE D' OR" TV commercial and "Still Lovin' You", the theme song for the KOSE ESPRIQUE TV commercial.
Early in her career, Amuro's music consisted of mostly dance/pop songs, typical of her then-producer Tetsuya Komuro. In later years, however, Amuro began incorporating elements of R&B and hip-hop; producer Dallas Austin as well as Amuro's involvement in Avex's Suite Chic project were pivotal in her musical evolution. By her albums Style and Queen of Hip-Pop, Amuro had moved away from dance music and focused mainly on hip-hop and R&B tunes.
At the height of her popularity, Amuro was known as a fashion leader in Japan; her style, which included mini-skirts and platform boots started the "Amuraa" craze in Japan, in which girls across Japan copied aspects of Amuro's look, including her clothes, tanned skin, hair, and "pencil thin eyebrows". Also among the fads that Amuro popularized were body wire (nylon accessories that resemble tattoos), baggy socks, and skin-baring clothes. Additionally, Amuro is often credited with starting the Ganguro trend, as it has its roots in "Amuraa". Amuro's "idol" status contributed to her prominence in the media in the mid-nineties; at one point, Amuro hosted her own television show in addition to promoting various products through commercials as well as appearing on a television show "almost every night".
- 1996: Original Tracks Vol.1 (Super Monkey's)
- 1998: 181920
- 2002: Love Enhanced Single Collection
- 2008: Best Fiction
- 2011: Checkmate
- 2014: Ballada
Concerts and tours
- August 31, 1996 - September 1, 1996: Summer Presents '96 Amuro Namie with Super Monkey's (sic)
- March 23, 1997 - May 18, 1997: Namie Amuro tour 1997 a walk in the park
- July 26, 1997 - August 13, 1997: Mistio presents Namie Amuro Summer Stage '97 Concentration 20
- March 20, 2000 - May 7, 2000: Namie Amuro Tour "Genius 2000"
- March 18, 2001 - May 27, 2001: Namie Amuro tour 2001 Break the Rules
- October 17, 2001 - November 10, 2001: Namie Amuro tour "AmR" '01
- November 29, 2003 - April 11, 2004: Namie Amuro So Crazy Tour Featuring Best Singles 2003-2004
- August 27, 2004 - September 20, 2004: Namie Amuro tour "fan space '04"
- September 1, 2005 - December 24, 2005: Space of Hip-Pop: Namie Amuro Tour 2005
- August 13, 2006 - November 23, 2006: Namie Amuro Best Tour "Live Style 2006"
- August 18, 2007 - April 13, 2008: Namie Amuro "Play" Tour 2007-2008
- October 25, 2008 - May 31, 2009: Namie Amuro Best Fiction tour 2008-2009
- April 3, 2010 - December 15, 2010: Namie Amuro Past<Future tour 2010
- July 30, 2011 - December 27, 2011: Namie Amuro Live Style 2011
- November 24, 2012 - December 21, 2012: Namie Amuro Five Major Dome Tour 2012 ~20th Anniversary Best~
- February 23–24, March 16 & April 26, 2013 : Namie Amuro ASIA Tour 2013
- August 16, 2013 - December 23, 2013: Feel Tour 2013
- Ichigo Hakushou (TV Asahi, 1993)
- Toki wo Kakeru Shoujo (Fuji TV, 1994)
- Watashi, Mikata Desu (TBS, 1995)
- Station (NTV, 1995)
- Shounan Liverpool Gakuin (Fuji TV, 1995)
- Yonigeya Honpo (NTV, 2000)
- Watashi ga Ren'ai Dekinai Riyū (Fuji TV, 2011) (Cameo)
- Fuji TV drama "First Class" (Fuji TV, 2014)
- That's Cunning! Shijou Saidai no Sakusen? (1996)
- Gakko II: The Learning Circle (aka: A Class To Remember II) (1996)(cameo)
Anime theme songs
- "Toi et Moi" - ending theme for Pokémon: The Movie 2000 (1999)
- "Come" - 7th ending theme song for InuYasha (2003)
- "Four Seasons" - theme song for InuYasha 3rd movie (2003)
- "Fight Together" - 14th opening for One Piece (2011)
Drama theme songs
- "Chase The Chance" — theme song for The Chef (NTV, 1995)
- "Can You Celebrate?" — theme song for Virgin Road (Fuji TV, 1997)
- "I Have Never Seen" — theme song for Yonigeya Honpo (NTV, 1999)
- "All for You" — theme song for Kimi ga omoi de ni Naru Mae ni (Fuji TV, 2004)
- "Baby Don't Cry" — theme song for Himitsu no Hanazono (KTV, 2007)
- "Sexy Girl" — theme song for Otome no Punch (NHK, 2008)
- "The Meaning of us" — theme song for "Onnatachi wa Nido Asobu" (BeeTV, 2010)
- "Tempest" — theme song for "Tempest" (NHK, 2011)
- "Sit! Stay! Wait! Down!" & "Love Story" - theme song for "The reason I can't find love" (Fuji TV, 2011)
- "Contrail" - theme song for "Soratobu Kouhou Shitsu" (TBS, 2013)
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- "The Best of Inuyasha, Vol. 2". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2008-10-29.
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- "Simple Plan Travel to Thailand to Help Tsunami Victims and Families". WMC News. 2005-01-24. Retrieved 2008-08-09.
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Namie Amuro.|
- Namie Amuro Official Site
- Namie Amuro Official Site(2)
- Namie Amuro's channel on YouTube
- Namie Amuro at the Internet Movie Database
- J-pop.com profile