Name: Namie Amuro
Real (married) name: Maruyama Namie
Date of birth: 20th September 1977 (Showa 52)
Birthplace: Naha City, Okinawa, Japan
Education: Joto Elementary School, Ishimine Junior Highschool, Okinawa Actors' School
Approximate measurements (not verified):
Height: 5 feet 2 inches (158cm)
Weight: was 7 stone (45kg) - later 6.5 stone (40kg)
Vital Statistics: 29.5-23-33 inches (75-58.5-84.5 cm)
Blood Type: O
Number of tatoos: lots on her left arm and one on inside right...!
Namie Amuro is the most famous pop singer in Japan. She is regarded by many as very pretty,
but being from Okinawa where heredity is Polynesian and being a quarter Italian,
her un-Japanese face gives rise to her sometimes being described as having a face like a monkey!
She is the best selling solo singer of all time in the Japanese album chart. Her second album
"Sweet 19 Blues" sold over 3 million copies. She started as a singer with teenage girl group
the Supermonkeys, but moved on to become a solo star. It became the fashion in Japan for girls
to dress up in Amuro style (short dresses, platform boots) and to copy her make up and hair styles.
Thus the term "Amura" or "Amurrer" came into being to describe such girls. Through television and
advertising she was often in the public's view and through the brilliant writing, producing and
playing of Tetsuya Komuro, most of her singles have sold over a million copies. She caused controversy
by becoming pregnant a few months before her marriage to SAM of group TRF; consequently she was away
from the scene for much of 1998, but came back with songs that were possibly even better than before.
Her music became more modern and more American in the 21st Century, yet she still turns out the hits.
In 2012 she celebrated 20 years as a pop star and is estimated to have earned the following of 50
After four years in actor's school she became part of teenage girl group the Super Monkey's at the young age of 15. Their first single was "Koi no Cute Beat" and "Mr. USA".
As the Super Monkey's 4, two singles were released feturing Namie solo balads as the second track.
The song "Paradise Train" was released as by Namie Amuro and the Super Monkey's giving another clue of the solo career to come.
The single "Try Me" (the last with the Super Monkey's) is a big hit, selling about 750000 copies. Namie starts appearing on children's television, as well as pop music shows, such as the annual NHK TV end of year show, and in adverts. She starts playing her first live concerts and during this year the Amuro fashion is copied by many high school girls, as Namie becomes an idol. She left record label Toshiba-EMI to join Avex Trax, so that her producer becomes Tetsuya Komuro instead of Jonny Taira and Masato Max Matsuura. The first Avex Trax single, "Body Feels Exit", becomes the first of five singles to clock a million sales.
Her live tour was a big success, and she played to 10000 fans in a single concert in Tokyo. She became the youngest singer to play at the Chiba Marine Stadium. She released her first album with Komuro production, "Sweet 19 Blues", which goes on to sell an all time record of more than 3 million copies. The single of the same name and Namie are featured in a movie "That's Cunning - Shijo Saidai no Sakusen". Namie continues advertising beauty products, hosting variety programmes on television and won music awards, at IMA and the year end (best solo artist). Her first video was released and the book of photographs "#19970920" was published, featuring the tattoo of the barcode on her forearm on the cover.
Her single release "Can You Celebrate?" hits the number one spot and sells 800000 copies in a day and totalling 2.3 million sales, a new record. It is featured on TV drama Virgin Road in which Namie appears and on the album "Concentration 20". Her total sales passed 20 million, and she won a Japanese Gold Disc award, the top sales for a second year. She played to 300000 fans at a four dome tour and launched the baseball league. On October 22nd she married SAM of group TRF, who is about ten years her elder, Namie being still only 20. They announced that she was already expecting a baby, and it was hoped the teenage girls would not follow this bit of the Amuro style! After a honeymoon in New York, she visited China playing in Shanghai and Beijing, featuring in a concert to celebrate 25 years of Sino-Japanese relations. In the NHK end of year poll "Can You Celebrate?" won best song with 59.1%; a special wedding mix version of it was issued.
The album "181920" was released covering her best singles to date and sold over 2 million copies. She rested for most of 1998 and on 19th May gave birth to a six pound boy (2.69 kg) named Haruto. Her first song release afterwards was the excellent "I Have Never Seen" at the end of December.
In January she started singing engagements again. A tragedy occurred on 17th March when her mother, Emiko Tairo (aged 48), was killed by the brother of her second husband of six years. Namie released "Something About the Kiss", the first song produced by American producer Dallas Austin of Atlanta Georgia.
To mark the millennium year her new album is called "Genius 2000" (the numbers in previous three albums had referred to her age) and the song "Love 2000" is released from it. The album contains her Komuro and Austin hits since her rest. She appeared on the cover of English language Nipponia magazine. She continued to release hit singles. The beautiful song "Never End" was the theme of the G8 Summit in Okinawa. "Please Smile Again" was issued with a very modern feel. The album "Break the Rules" was released at the end of the year on December 20th. Of course it immediately took number 1 position on the Oricon album chart.
Namie continued to release singles (with "Think of Me" / "No More Tears") and toured Japan in the spring. The single "Say the Word" saw a break from Komuro involvement with Namie writing the lyrics for the first time.
At the end of the year she was involved with the charity album "Mitei" (undecided) and the single "Lovin' It" featured rapper VERBAL.
"Love Enhanced Single Collection" was released featuring remixed and reworked recent records. In July it was reported she had divorced her husband Masuharu Maruyama, who is 15 years her elder. On 2nd August the Guardian newspaper quoted Namie as a Japanese slimmers' icon, now down to 6.5 stone (40kg). Two more singles were slow songs "I Will" and "Wishing on the Same Star" (her 21st solo single). She turned 25 in on 20th September. She is reported to have been under going voice training in New York.
She joined a special project called "Suite Chic", where over a period of about a year she teamed up with various Hip Hop and RnB artists such as FirstKlas and VERBAL (from m-flo), single "GOOD LIFE"/"Just Say So", and AI in 2003, single "Uh Uh...."/Baby Be Mine".
Her first solo release of 2003 ("Shine More") had a song, "Drive", with lyrics written by herself. In March the third compilation of singles was released called "Love Enhanced" and new material was included in the December album "Style". This included several rap tracks and some great upbeat dance tracks, the best of which ("As Good As") was not a single.
A new single ("Alarm") and a big tour of Japan and south-east Asia featured in the first half of 2004. Then in July another single ("All for You") almost 10 years to the day since release of the first song naming her as soloist ("Paradise Train").
The new album "Queen of Hip-Pop" was released in the summer and a concert tour was made in the autumn.
The DVD from the autumn 2005 concert tour was released and the video for "WoWa" earned the Female Best Video award at MVA 2006. She toured again in autumn 2006 but only released one single.
2007 was the year she turned 30. The "Play" album featured several dance tracks and a good ballad that were also singles. The autumn "Play" tour was again successful.
In 2008 she teamed up with hair products company Vidal Sassoon for an ad campaign "Fashion, Music" that featured her latest songs released together - reworks of a hit from each of the 60s, 70s and 80s. She performed a duet called "Black Diamond" with DOUBLE (Takako Hirasawa) on that artist's collaboration album released 27th May. A new compilation album "Best Fiction" was issued on 30th July and sold nearly 700000 copies in its first week and the same number since. It was number 1 for 6 weeks. "The Best Fiction Tour" was also taken to Taipei and Shanghai.
A new double-A single "WILD/Dr." was released on 18th March and reached number 1. The first song is electropop and the second the theme from an anime. The songs featured on the new album "Past<Future" released on 16th December, that also contained another 10 new tracks. This was uniquely number 1 in five countries: Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Korea and Singapore. Earlier in the year she featured on song "Rock U" on the various artists album "Ravex Trax" (issued 29th April).
With single releases becoming an annual event, the double-A single "Break It/Get Myself Back" was released on 28th July. She was awarded the Best Asian Artist Award 2010 at the World Music Awards and preformed "Hide and Seak" on the show, the first Japanese female singer so to do.
2011 saw the release of a best collaborations album called "Checkmate!", featuring artists such as Lil Wayne, ZEEBRA, m-flo, AI and Tsuchiya Anna. In July she issued a triple-song CD: "Naked / Fight Together / Tempest", mixing modern dance and pop with a balad.
7th December saw release of a single coupling "Sit! Stay! Wait! Down!" with "Love Story". A game featuring Namie's dogs Koto, Gatchan and Arale was released with the first song, which was the theme from a TV drama and reportedly got three million downloads; the second has a video filmed in London.
The same day saw the start of Namie's Official Facebook page and available as a free download from the Facebook page was the song "arigatou". This was described to "thank the world for LOVE .. gift song for 2011". On 21st December the dvd of the Live Style 2011 tour was released (photos were available on Facebook).
2012 saw a double A-side single released in March 2012 with "Go Round" from her Kose Esprique advert and dance song "YEAH-OH!". A new album called "Uncontrolled" was released on 27th June, featuring four new songs. One, "In the Spotlight (TOKYO)" is sung entirely in English, as is the album version of "YEAH-OH!" and three other songs.
In celebration of 20 years as a performer there is a documentary film, shown on 2nd June and available on Youtube. In June and July she visited Taiwan and Hong Kong where she is also popular. She continues to appear on the covers of many fashion magazines.
The main celebration was a special concert in Okinawa on 16th September. This was being held at Ginowan Beach Park, her first outside live concert since one in Hawaii in 2000. It featured many of the artists she has collaborated with such as AI, VERBAL (m-flo) and Zeebra.
To end the year she undertook a 5-dome tour (Fukuoka, Osaka, Sapporo, Nagaoya and Tokyo) performing to 300000 fans. The songs performed were based on an online vote by fans.
At the end of October new single "Damage" was released for download only, the theme from a new movie "Fly with the Gold".
On 27th February the DVD/Blue-ray+2CD recording of the "Namie Amuro 5 Major Domes Tour 2012 - 20th Anniversary Best" was released. A double A-side single "Big Boys Cry" / "Beautiful" was released 6th March. A new TV drama in April featured Namie singing the theme "Contrail". During the spring she played concerts in Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore. The new album "FEEL" was issued in July, with a tour of the same name in the autumn.
A new single "TSUKI" is issued in January and the DVD of the Feel Tour on 26th February. An album of her best ballads was released on 4th June, called "Ballada". On 15th November the latest album from Taiwan C-Pop star Jolin Tsai was released featuring a duet with Namie Amuro, called "I'm Not Yours".
A new album "_GENIC" was released on 10th June. ". A new version of David Guetta's song "What I Did for Love", which originally featured Emili Sandé, is on the album and was relased as a single on 1st July.
On 16th September she featured on the single "Revolution" released by Japanese-born Crystal Kay, who is is of American-Korean descent. The tour called "LIVEGENIC 2015-2016, started and continued into 2016.
A new single called "Red Carpet" was issued at the start of December.
The DVD/Bluray of the LIVEGENIC tour was issued in March. A new single "Mint", the theme to TV drama "Bakuno Yabai Tsuma", was issued on 18th May. The next single "Hero" was the theme for NHK's Olympic coverage and "Dear Diary"/"Fighter" was issued in October, alongside the Live Style 2016-2017 tour.
The Live Style 2016-2017 tour ended, with its DVD/Bluray issued on 10th March. The single "Just You and I" was issued on 31st May. Her 25th Anniversary concerts in Okinawa were held on 16th and 17th September. On 20th of the same month she turned 40! She announced her last album "Finally" (triple CD) would be released on 8th November, the song of that name to be the theme of TV programme "News Zero", and that she would retire on 16th September 2018.
The album broke a 13-year record and sold over a million copies in its first week and made Namie the first Jpanese artist to have a million-seller in her teens, twenties, thirties and forties. She has teamed up with Docomo who launched their first mobile phone in 1992 and with 7-Eleven who are giving away the video of "Christmas Wish" with every Christmas cake sold, among other things. A documentary about her appeared on NHK TV.
This is part of AJAx's Namie Amuro web pages, on site kisekigo.com