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- Me, Myself, and I
- Namie Amuro (born September 20, 1977) is a Japanese pop singer and Japanese idol originally from Naha, Okinawa, born to a Japanese father and a half Japanese/half Italian mother. Debuting in 1992 in a girl group named Super Monkeys, she struggled to reach the top until the release of "TRY ME ~Watashi wo Shinijite~" in early 1995 which catapulted her into superstardom. Leaving the group the same year and joining forces with top producer Tetsuya Komuro, Namie went on to become a cultural phenomenon. Now after performing for well over a decade, she continues to be one of Japan's biggest pop acts.
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In 2002, Namie fully immersed herself into the Japanese R&B scene releasing music in the musical project, SUITE CHIC. Under the SUITE CHIC project she collaborated with several of Japan's popular hip hop and R&B artists. They released two singles, an original album and one remix album before ending the project in 2003.
Namie returned to solo activities on her own in 2003 with the single shine more. The subsequent singles Put 'Em Up and SO CRAZY were produced by American R&B producers Dallas Austin and Full Force respectively. At the end of the year, she released her first original album in three years, STYLE.
From November 29, 2003 to May 15, 2004 she performed throughout Asia on the Namie Amuro SO CRAZY tour featuring BEST singles 2003-2004, where she wrapped it up with 3 concerts in Seoul, South Korea and Taipei, Taiwan. She was the first major Japanese artist to hold a concert in South Korea after the normalization of cultural relations. Shortly following the tour, she released the ballad "ALL FOR YOU." The song peaked at #6, but sold double the amount of her last single. In late August, she went on a private fan club tour focusing on the songs from her latest album which were not performed on her current public tour. She also unveiled two new songs on the tour, "GIRL TALK" and "the SPEED STAR", which would be released the next month as a double a-side single. When it was released the song charted at #1 on the Oricon daily chart for three days. It was the first time any of her singles had placed #1 in 5 years. The song ultimately placed #2 for the week and repeated the sales success of her previous single.
At the end of the year, Namie shocked fans by choosing to not appear on Kōhaku Uta Gassen. Her decision to decline the offer also surprised critics, who actually felt she had at least 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, Namie 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, Namie 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.
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In May, Namie had both professional and personal gains. Following a three year split from her former husband SAM, she took back full custody of their child, Haruto. They had previously agreed that SAM would be the child's sole guardian. At the end of the month, she performed at the MTV Japan Video Music Awards for the fourth consecutive year in a row and this year, clinched two awards. She took home the award for "Best R&B Video" as well as a special award for most impressive performance in Asia. Between these two events, she announced the release of her sixth original studio album, entitled Queen of Hip-Pop.
In collaboration with MGM Studios, Namie has licensed for the use of the Pink Panther character to be used in conjunction with the album. A female panther counterpart has been created in her image for the album as well. There seems to be no connection with the usage of the Pink Panther and the possible Japanese release of the American remake. Upon release, the album charted at #2. The album has since become her best selling album in 5 years, eclipsing the sales of her three previous albums. In September, Namie kicked off her 7th national public tour entitled Space of Hip-Pop.
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.
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In early 2006, she recorded vocals for the track, "Do What U Gotta Do" by ZEEBRA. The song also featured contributions from AI and MUMMY-D. In February, her music video for "WoWa" was nominated for "Best Female Video" at Space Shower TV music video awards, but lost to YUKI's video for Joy. In May, she released the double a-side single, "CAN'T SLEEP, CAN'T EAT, I'M SICK / Ningyo." She is currently planning for a nationwide tour set to start in August. Dubbed the "namie amuro BEST tour -Live Style 2006-," it will find Amuro returning to arena venues after a five year hiatus.
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