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Namie Amuro

Real name: Amuro, Namie
Birthdate: N/A
Status: Single

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Namie Amuro (安室奈美恵, Amuro Namie?, born September 20, 1977) is a Japanese pop singer and occasional songwriter. In the Japanese press she was referred to as the "Queen of J-pop" before Ayumi Hamasaki eclipsed her popularity in the mainstream pop scene. She is still considered the Queen of J-pop, but with Hamasaki as the Empress of J-pop. She was noted in her early years for her Westernized dance music and popularized fashion whose followers came to be nicknamed Amurā (Amurer in English).

Namie Amuro was born in Naha City, Okinawa, Japan. She is the daughter of Emiko Taira who is Japanese-Italian. Emiko's father's ethnic identity is Japanese. Amuro's parents divorced when she was a toddler; Amuro is the last of three children her mother had with her biological father before their divorce.

Amuro was discovered at age 12 by Masayuki Makino, the president of Okinawa Actors' School, while visiting the school with a friend who was currently enrolled there. When she was 14, he placed her in a group called Super Monkeys along with Minako Ameku, Nanako Takushi, Hisako Arakaki and Anna Makino. They made their major label debut with the double a-side single, "Koi no Cute Beat / Mr. USA" on September 15, 1992 on Toshiba-EMI A year later, along with the other members of the Super Monkeys, Namie moved from her home in Okinawa to the busy city of Tokyo.

Amuro's official solo debut single released only days after her first and final album with the Super Monkey's.

At the end of the year, Amuro chose not to appear on Kōhaku Uta Gassen. Her decision to decline the offer surprised fans and critics, who felt she had earned her right to perform at the event that year. She had previously attended the coveted event nine years in a row. Following the tsunami disaster in Southeast Asia, Amuro participated as the only Japanese representative at MTV Asia Aid. She secretly donated approximately 90,000 USD to UNICEF for children who were affected by the disaster. In January, the singer surprised fans again when a new song popped up in a Suzuki Chevrolet commercial. The new song entitled "Queen of Hip-Pop" was assumed to be her next single until in April, she released the song "WANT ME, WANT ME." The song was a well-received hit at home debuting at #2 and charting with her highest debut sales peak in 3 years.

Shortly after the start of her tour it was announced that she would contribute to the Japanese theaterical release of the American motion picture adaptation of "Sin City." After viewing the movie, Namie made an offer to the Japanese distribution company to sing its theme song. The company felt that her image fit it and accepted her offer. When director Robert Rodriguez heard Namie's contribution to the film he asked to be a part of it. He can be heard speaking "Welcome to Sin City" in a distorted voice towards the end of the song. It was released as part of a double a-side single, "White Light / Violet Sauce" on November 16, 2005. The other a-side track, "White Light" is her first attempt at a Christmas ballad. Shortly after the single, she released "FILMOGRAPHY 2001-2005" a compilation of twelve of her music videos from 2001 to 2005. In March 2006, Oricon published an article stating that Namie had sold approximately 15,423,000 singles domestically, making her the second highest selling female artist in terms of singles, the first being Ayumi Hamasaki.


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