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Minako Honda on the cover of her album Cancel (1988).
|Birth name||Minako Kudō (工藤美奈子)|
|Born||July 31, 1967|
|Died||November 6, 2005 (aged 38)|
Minato, Tokyo, Japan
|Genres||Pop, operatic pop, classical crossover|
|Labels||Toshiba-EMI, Columbia Music Entertainment|
|Associated acts||Sarah Brightman, Madonna|
Minako Honda (本田美奈子 Honda Minako, born Minako Kudō (工藤美奈子 Kudō Minako), July 31, 1967 – November 6, 2005) was a Japanese "idol" pop-star and musical singer. She became famous and popular because of her sexy fashion and live performances in the mid to late 1980s.
She was diagnosed with acute myelogenous leukemia on January 5, 2005. At 4:38 A.M. on November 6, 2005, Honda died at the Juntendo University Hospital in Bunkyō, Tokyo, officially from acute myelogenous leukemia.
In 1989, at the age of 22, she made an attempt to revive her flagging career by forming an edgy girl group called "Minako with Wild Cats".
By 1992, however, she reinvented herself. She took formal acting and singing lessons, and became a notable theatrical singer and actress. In auditions for the Tokyo production of Miss Saigon, she won out over 12,000 other candidates for the part of Kim, earning the nickname "Tokyo's Miss Saigon".
Towards the end of her life, she released several classical albums demonstrating her soprano singing voice, including religious works such as Amazing Grace and Ave Maria. She also sang theme songs for several anime programs.
She did not abandon pop music in her adult career; indeed, she became recognized for her vocal improvement in the adult pop genre. Her song "Tsubasa" (Wings) is famous for the "long note" that she holds for 30 seconds.
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Honda became ill in late 2004, but still performed in December in spite of a fever and fatigue. When her cold-like symptoms failed to improve, she sought medical treatment and was diagnosed with acute myelogenous leukemia on January 5, 2005. Honda recovered after treatment and came home to Asaka.
Honda was able to celebrate her 38th birthday at home feeling relatively well, but had a relapse shortly afterwards. Chromosome aberration was discovered and she received a dose of anticancer medicine from the United States to treat it. She recovered again briefly, but then suffered another relapse.
Honda developed lung complications on October 21, and she lapsed into a coma on November 3. At 4:38 a.m. on November 6, 2005, Honda died at the Juntendo University Hospital in Bunkyō, Tokyo, officially from acute myelogenous leukemia. She was 38 and unmarried at the time of her death.
- Satsui No Vacance (殺意のバカンス Satsui No Bakansu, Vacation of the Urge To Kill) (April 21, 1985)
- Suki To Iinasai (好きと言いなさい, Tell Me "I Love You") (July 20, 1985)
- Aoi Shumatsu (青い週末, Blue Weekend) (August 31, 1985)
- Temptation (September 28, 1985)
- 1986 Nen No Marilyn (1986年のマリリン Senkyuhyakuhachijūnen No Maririn, Marilyn in 1986) (February 5, 1986)
- Sosotte (Seduce Me) (May 1, 1986)
- Help (July 23, 1986)
- The Cross -Ai No Jyujika- (愛の十字架, The Cross Of Love) (September 3, 1986)
- Oneway Generation (February 4, 1987)
- Crazy Nights (April 22, 1987)
- Golden Days (May 11, 1987) released only in UK
- Heartbreak (1987年6月22日)
- Kodoku Na Hurricane (孤独なハリケーン Kodoku Na Harikēn, Lonely Hurricane) (September 9, 1987)
- Kanashimi Swing (悲しみSWING ) (November 25, 1987)
- Anata To Nettai (あなたと、熱帯, With You, Tropical) (July 6, 1988) as "Minako With Wildcats"
- Stand Up～Full Metal Armor (November 30, 1988) as "Minako With Wildcats"
- Katte Ni Sasete (勝手にさせて, Let Me Have My Own Way) (May 31, 1989) as "Minako With Wildcats"
- 7th Bird "Ai Ni Koi" (愛に恋 Love And Love) (October 11, 1989)
- Shangri-La (July 4, 1990)
- Tsubasa (つばさ, Wings) (May 25, 1994)
- Rarabai~Yasashiku Dakasete~ (ら・ら・ば・い～優しく抱かせて, Lullaby~Let Me Hold You Kindly) (May 10, 1995) (2nd ending theme of Magic Knight Rayearth)
- Boku No Heya De Kurasou (僕の部屋で暮らそう, Let's Live in My Room) (July 26, 1995)
- Fall in Love With You -Koi Ni Ochite- (恋に落ちて, Fall in Love) (November 6, 1995)
- Shining Eyes (July 21, 1996)
- Kaze No Uta (風のうた, Wind Song) (November 21, 1999) (ending theme song of Hunter × Hunter)
- Honey (October 21, 2000)
- Hoshizora (星空, Starlit Sky) (January 24, 2001)
- Nadja!! (ナージャ!! Nādja!!) (February 21, 2003) (theme song of Ashita no Nadja)
- Shinsekai (新世界, New World) (May 14, 2004)
- M'Syndrome (M'シンドロームEmu'Shindorōmu) (November 21, 1985)
- Lips (June 4, 1986)
- Oversea (June 22, 1987)
- Cancel (September 28, 1988)
- Midnight Swing (December 15, 1988)
- Hyōteki (豹的, Target) (July 5, 1989) as "Minako With Wildcats"
- Wild Cats (August 4, 1989) as "Minako With Wildcats"
- Junction (September 24, 1994)
- Hare Tokidoki Kumori (晴れ ときどき くもり, Fine, Sometimes Cloudy) (June 25, 1995)
- Ave Maria (May 21, 2003)
- Toki (時, Time) (November 25, 2004)
- Amazing Grace (アメイジング・グレイス Ameijingu Gureisu) (October 19, 2005)
- Kokoro Wo Komete... (心を込めて... Heartily) (April 20, 2006)
- Yasashii Sekai (優しい世界 Gentle World) (December 6, 2006)
- Eternal Harmony (November 6, 2008)
- Last Concert (ラスト・コンサート) (December 10, 2008)
- The Virgin Concert (ザ・ヴァージン・コンサート Za Vājin Consāto) (February 20, 1986)
- DISPA 1987 (January 24, 1989)
- The Minako Collection (December 20, 1986)
- Golden Best- New Best Now (June 4, 1988)
- Look Over My Shoulder (October 26, 1988)
- Stand Up- Best Beat Collection (December 12, 1988)
- Life -Minako Honda: Premium Best- (May 21, 2005)
- I Love You (March 29, 2006)
- Angel Voice ~Minako Honda. Memorial Best~ (April 18, 2007)
- Classical Best ~Ten Ni Hibiku Uta~ (April 20, 2007)
- Passenger (October 25, 1988)
- The Virgin Live in Budokan
- Dangerous Bond Street
- Dramatic Flash
- DISPA 1987
- Minako in L.A.
- Katte Ni Sasete (勝手にさせて, Let Me Have My Own Way)
- Tropical Holiday
- Tropical Holiday in Hawaii
- Miss Saigon (1992-1993) - Kim
- The King and I (1996-2002) - Tuptim
- Les Misérables (1997-2001) - Eponine
- Fiddler on the Roof (2001) - Hodel
- Claudia (2004) - Claudia
Note: Minako Honda was originally cast as Fantine in Les Misérables for the Japanese tour in 2005, but due to her death, another actor was given the part.
- Minako Honda's official page (in Japanese)
- Web page by Columbia record (in Japanese)
- Live for Life web page (in Japanese)
- Minako Honda discography (in French)
- Nippop – Minako Honda Profile (in English)
- Japan will miss its Miss Saigon[permanent dead link] MSN-Mainichi Daily News (in English)
| FNS Music Festival for Best New Artist
Kōji Kikkawa, Yukiko Okada
| Shinjuku Music Festival for Gold Prize
1985 (with : Shigeyuki Nakamura)