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|Tomomi Kahara |
下河原 朋美 (Shimogawara Tomomi)|
August 17, 1974
Koto, Tokyo, Japan
|Website||Universal Music Japan Site|
Tomomi Kahara (華原 朋美 Kahara Tomomi) born Tomomi Shimogawara (下河原 朋美 Shimogawara Tomomi) on August 17, 1974 in Tokyo), is a Japanese pop singer. She is famous for working with Tetsuya Komuro who gave her much success in the 1990s, which led to her deep dip in popularity after 1999, the year in which she released her first non-TK produced album, One Fine Day. Tomomi Kahara and Tetsuya Komuro dated for a few years, but they suffered from personal problems which led to their breakup. After a period of sickness, Kahara's talent agency terminated her contract on June 29, 2007.
Before 1995: Early life and career
Kahara was born in Koto, Tokyo in 1974. She attended Showa Gakuin Elementary, Shoin Junior, and Senior High School. She started her horse-riding lesson when she was three, and later received the 4th place in the National Sports Festival of Japan in 1992. Before she started her career as a singer, she worked as a model, and appeared in fashion magazines such as CanCam and Vivi as well as TV shows.
1995–1997: Rise to fame
While working with Tetsuya Komuro, her first single "Keep Yourself Alive", was released in late 1995. It sold over 360,000 copies and went Top 10, peaking at #8. Her second single, "I Believe", was her first million-seller and added to her popularity. In March 1996, she released the single "I'm Proud" which peaked at #2 and was her best-selling single. It outsold Namie Amuro's singles released that year. In June 1996, she finally released her first album, Love Brace, a collection of songs about love and stated by Tetsuya Komuro to be his best work to date. It was a huge success selling over 2.5 million copies, half of them within the first week of release.
Already a big star, she and Tetsuya Komuro became an item and she continued to release singles, all peaking at 1. In December 1997, she finally released her second album, Storytelling. It went to the top of the charts and sold 1.37 million copies, much less than the 2.5 million copies that her previous album has sold.
Since the release of Storytelling, her popularity began to decline and her relationship with her mentor, Tetsuya Komuro, was in every tabloid. Gossip magazines rumored that both of them were abusing drugs and that their relationship was beginning to fall apart. Her next single tumblin dice went only to the number-two position. Her music did not reach the top position again. Her next album, nine cubes, sold a depressing 261,000 copies, much less than her first two albums.
Her breakup with Tetsuya Komuro, frequent scandals, and suicide attempts shed her in a negative light in the conservative Japanese media. She finally left her record company, who released a compilation which sold well, over 600,000 copies and debuted at #1. At that time, gossip magazines were labeling rising-star, Ami Suzuki, as Kahara's replacement.
After some time relaxing after the scandals, Tomomi Kahara resumed her career at Warner writing her own lyrics.
1999–2006: Post-Tetsuya Komuro
After Komuro, Kahara worked with a variety of producers at Warner Music Japan, including American Andy Marvel (Diana King, Jessica Simpson) and recorded songs by Gary Carolla (N Sync) and Vincent Degiorgio (N Sync, Atomic Kitten, Love, Inc., Mink, Nakano Mori Band) which appeared on her albums One Fine Day and Love Again, released in 1999 and 2001, respectively.
In 2004, Kahara signed with Universal Music Japan. Her most recent recordings for Universal Music Japan have shown her in a dazzling and sultry light with some of her best vocal performances to date. She covered some of her biggest hits and also recorded new songs from Korean and Japanese composers as well as pop standards such as "Ben", a cover version of the song by Michael Jackson. Her best-selling album at Universal sold a little over 50,000 copies and her latest album, Naked, sold only 12,000 copies, but she was still be seen in the media.
In 2006, after years of average fame, Tomomi Kahara returned briefly to the spotlight. She starred in a musical and her latest photobook, Crystallize II, which came with two strawberry condoms, sold unexpectedely well.  She was one of the voice actors for the 'Sound of Music' Japanese DVD and she sang the theme song for a NHK Taiga drama.
2007–Present: hiatus and comeback announced
On June 29, 2007, Kahara was fired by her talent agency after repeated personal problems affected her professional appearances. After this, she went on a hiatus, and it was unsure if she would return.
On November 4, 2008, Tetsuya Komuro was arrested, and Japanese weekly magazine Josei Jishin reported that Kahara was shocked by his arrest and suffered from insomnia.
On January 17, 2009, she was taken to a hospital reportedly because she took excessive amounts of tranquilizers.
On October 30, 2011, she announced that will make a return to the entertainment industry. She has taken vocal lessons and acting classes.
End of 2012, she made her return by live FNS TV program.
On April 17, 2013, she released new single. Dreamed a Dream
On June 26, 2013, she released new album. Dream - self cover Best
In August 2013, following the suicide of Hikaru Utada's mother, Kahara generated controversy when she stated that she wished to make a song about the event. Her comment was criticized as being insensitive.
- "Keep yourself alive" September 8, 1995
- "I believe" October 11, 1995
- "I'm proud" March 6, 1996 #2 1,372,420 copies sold
- "Love Brace" July 22, 1996
- "Save your dream" October 2, 1996 808,570 copies sold
- "Hate tell a lie" April 23, 1997 1,058,610 copies sold
- "Love is all music" July 2, 1997 653,000 copies sold
- "Tanoshiku Tanoshiku" Yasashikune September 18, 1997
- "I wanna go" February 11, 1998
- "You Don't give up" April 8, 1998
- "tumblin' dice" June 17, 1998
- "here we are" July 29, 1998
- "Daily News" October 14, 1998
- "as A person" July 22, 1999
- "Be Honest" October 27, 1999
- "Believe In Future" February 23, 2000
- "Blue Sky" July 26, 2000
- "Never Say Never" April 18, 2001
- "Precious" August 8, 2001
- "Anata no Kakera" October 24, 2001
- "Akiramemashou" April 24, 2002
- "Pleasure" February 26, 2003
- "Anata Ga Ireba" September 28, 2004
- "Namida No Tsuzuki" May 24, 2005
- "Hana/Keep on Running" February 22, 2006
- "Ano sayonara ni sayonara wo" July 5, 2006
- "Yume Yaburete -I Dreamed a Dream-" April 17, 2013
- Love Brace June 3, 1996
- Storytelling December 24, 1997 1,365,860 copies sold
- Nine cubes November 26, 1998
- Kahara Compilation February 10, 1999 695,730 copies sold
- One Fine Day November 25, 1999
- Best Selection September 27, 2001
- Love Again November 21, 2001
- Natural Breeze - Kahala Best 1998-2002- July 17, 2002
- Naked July 17, 2005
- Super Best Singles~10th Anniversary December 14, 2005
- Dream: Self Cover Best June 26, 2013
- Tomomi Kahara First Live December 12, 2001
- very best of Music ClipsMarch 27, 2002
- 10th Anniversary Celebration Concert 2005 December 7, 2005
- Mirai wo Shinjite January 27, 2000
- Ku ari Raku ari: Mirai wo Shinjite Part 2 July 25, 2001
- ShowbizDecember 12, 2001
- Crystallize December 20, 2005
- Crystallize II March 27, 2006
- "Ogipro cancels contract with Tomomi Kahara". Japan News Review. 2007-06-29. Archived from the original on 2008-09-19. Retrieved 2009-01-24.
- "Japan Entertainment News - July 2007". Japan-Zone. July 2007. Retrieved 2009-01-24.
- "Tumblin' Dice" (in Japanese). Oricon. Retrieved 2009-01-24.
- "華原朋美、やっぱりあの人が忘れられない？ (Tomomi Kahala can't forget about that man?)" (in Japanese). Sports Nippon. 2009-01-19. Archived from the original on March 9, 2009. Retrieved 2009-01-24.
- "華原朋美の元自宅はひっそり (Tomomi Kahara's former house is in silence)" (in Japanese). Daily Sports. 2009-01-20. Archived from the original on 2009-01-23. Retrieved 2009-01-24.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-09-01. Retrieved 2013-09-01.
- Connell, Ryann (July 6, 2007). "Fallen star hits rock bottom after meteoric demise". Mainichi Shimbun. Archived from the original on 2007-12-17. Retrieved 2007-07-11.
- Connell, Ryann (July 8, 2005). "Prima donna pop star busting to buff up career ... in the buff!". Mainichi Shimbun. Retrieved 2007-04-29.[permanent dead link]
- "Fallen starlet starts digging for gold while trying to soar again". Mainichi Shimbun. November 12, 2004. Retrieved 2007-04-29.[permanent dead link]