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Ayumi Hamasaki

No superlative seems too great in describing the success achieved by Ayumi Hamasaki in the decade since her debut in 1998. She sold more than 50 million CDs, she claimed a bevy of top-league chart records, and the scope and size of her presence in the show biz world would suffice for the entertainment industry of a whole country: she's a fashion icon with her own brand of clothes, her songs were used in movies, TV shows, and anime series, she had a cartoon about herself, she hosted TV and radio shows, and even opened a restaurant. Perhaps the crucial point of her successful career, modeled after her icon Madonna, was the degree to which she retained control over her own media persona, not relinquishing it to labels and agencies (although that took some fighting).

Her beginnings couldn't be more humble. Abandoned by father at three, Hamasaki had to work as a model from the age of seven just to make ends meet. A bright but rebellious kid, she dropped out of school to try her hand at modeling, but failed due to her short height. Her musical debut -- a hip-hop EP Nothing from Nothing (1995) -- went nowhere, and her stabs at acting never got her farther than TV shows and B-movies. Hamasaki began wasting her time shopping and singing in Tokyo karaoke bars, which was where she met Max Matsuura, the producer from Avex Trax with an eye for potential stars. Matsuura was impressed by Hamasaki's singing and offered to sign her to Avex. Hamasaki initially refused, expecting his motives to be less than chaste, but eventually believed he was serious. She dropped out of Japanese vocal school he enlisted her in, complaining the teaching was too rigid, but Matsuura sent her to study singing in New York, which went better. Reading Hamasaki's well-written letters, Matsuura also encouraged her to compose her own lyrics, which she has been doing ever since. Hamasaki debuted on Avex with the single Poker Face (1998), which scored number 22 and turned out to be the beginning of a swift upward trend that brought her debut studio LP, A Song for XX (1999), to number one and provided it with one million-plus sales. The follow-up Loveppears (1999) nearly doubled this figure and topped the charts as well, its success boosted by ad contracts that Hamasaki has raked in ever since as a spokesman, beginning with the Asian cosmetics juggernaut Kose (later she also worked for the likes of Honda and Panasonic).

Hamasaki peaked in the early 2000s: in 2000, she simultaneously topped the single, DVD, and album charts, the album being Duty, her best studio effort with 2.9 million total units sold. The first serious friction between her and the label dates to this period as well -- she was opposed to the release of her compilation A Best (2001), claiming insufficient material (the release still sold 6.7 million copies in Asia), -- and this led Hamasaki to take control of her own career, starting with writing her own music (credited under the name of Crea). The first Crea-penned tune was M (2000), and she also wrote most songs for I Am (2002), another two-million seller and chart-topper. The lyrical content of the album was influenced by 9/11, marking the beginning of Hamasaki's international advancement, which continued with her collaborating with the German label Drizzly until 2004 and appearing at an MTV event in Singapore in 2002.

The album Rainbow (2002) featured English lyrics, but it marked a relative decline (in Hamasaki's terms), failing to sell over two million copies. Although the 2003 EP Memorial Address sold more than one million copies, & (2003) became her last single to shift over 500,000 units. In 2004, Hamasaki became involved in a power struggle at Avex, but when the label's stocks plummeted at the rumor of her leaving, Matsuura, who enjoyed her backing, won the fight, which resulted in increased creative and career control for Hamasaki. However, her sixth album, My Story (2004), became her last to top the one million mark, and the sales of her maxi-single Bold & Delicious/Pride (2005) slumped, although it still peaked at number one, same as the albums (Miss)understood (2006) and Secret (2007), the latter of which topped the charts in Taiwan, Singapore, Hong Kong, and China to boot, prompting Hamasaki to tour these regions, with the tickets sold out within hours. Guilty (2008) broke her unprecedented streak of eight consecutive number one albums, charting at number two, although that didn't hinder Hamasaki's international expansion -- the digital version of the record was released in 26 countries, and the 2008 remix albums featured a bunch of Western DJs, including Armand Van Helden and Carl Craig. The digital single "Together When..." (2007) that preceded Guilty sold 3.3 million downloads. In January 2008 Hamasaki announced that she had an inoperable condition that led her to become deaf in one ear, but she vowed not to let it slow her down and supported Guilty with an Asian tour that included stops in Taipei, Hong Kong, and Shanghai. ~ Alexey Eremenko
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

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nwest5187
My
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Jesus ��
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Wait is that her singing in the background of we wish or is someone else
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One of the tracks she is a leopard or a cheetah
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❤️ her songs!
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Da da da da da da yete
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I like this song!! Hey my birthday is July 1st!!! XD
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Alrite
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U da bomb��
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U da best��
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The new version of iOS update popped up on notification s I'll be back sooon
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I like this album picture----> ! ! ! !
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I would give u 109'909'122' 8 4 0 likes If I had enough ipods and iPhones and iPads
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!!!!!!!!!!!! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !
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Best album picture EVER
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LOL ahahahahahah a h a h a h a h a h a h a h a h a h a h a a h a h a h a h a h a h a a h a h a h a h a h a h a h a h a h a h a h a h a h a h a h a h a a h a h a h a h a h a h a h a a h a h a h a h a h a h a a h a h a h a a h a h a h a h a a h a h a h a h a h h a a h a h a h h a a h a h h a h a h a a h a h a h a h a h h a h a h a h a h a h a a h a h a h a h a h a h a h a h a h a h a h a h a h a h a h a h a h a h a h a h a h a a h a h a h a h a h a h a h a h a h w h w w h w h a h h a a h a h a a h a h a h a h a h a h a h a h a a h a
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Hahahahahahh a funny album picture��
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Hi there I don't think you should know what you want to see my friends are saying you are so goss
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Like CuteNekoZoey or els...






























































































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DAng this song is LONG
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̅ ͝ ͞ ̵ ͝ ̓̀͐ͪ̐ͨ̌̎̈́̿ ͢ ̧ ̛ ͐̈͊ͣ̓ͯͭ̈̐̅ ̇ ̔ ͦ ͧ ͢ ́ ̨ ́ ̢ͪ̈̔ͥ͡ ̷̀̒ͥͫ̋ͩ̽͏ ̛̄̄ͧ̈́̅ͪ̀́͟ ̡̄̽̒ͨ̐ͩͥ͡ ̒̑̾̅̉̋ͮͨ̄̚ ̒ ̀ ҉ ̢ ̅̔̀ͫͦ̿͆̒͐̚ ̐ ̎ ̊ ͗ ̅ ͒ ̧ ͡ ̴ ̴ ͡ ͌ͮͧͥ̈̇́̒̀̌ ͥ ̀ ͡ ̵ ̴ ̓̔̀̌̿̉ͯ̎̚̚ ̚ ͧ ͡ ͜ ̀ ̵ ̡ G ͝ ̴ ̨ ̛ ̛ l ͞ ͟ ͡ ͡ i ̷ ҉ ͠ t ͢ ̶ ͘ c ͜ ͝ ́ ͠ h ̛ ҉ ͢ ̛ e ͠ ̀ ͞ ̴ s ̡ ̸ ́ ̸ ͏ ̏̓ͮ̈ͦ̾͆ͭ͌͆ ̚ ̑ ͮ ̈ ̑ ͆ ̚ ̄ ̃ ̵ ͏ ͡ ͧ̊̊ͨ̀̂͛̊ͯ̚ ̓ ̾ ̊ ̏ ̸ ̀ ̸̧͒̌̌̉̀̚̕͞ ̡̆̏̑̈ͣ̈̉ͥ̀ ̸ ́ ̽ͨͩͩͭ͂ͥ̅̌̌ ̚ ͩ ͥ ̾ ̄ ͠ ͞ ̨ ҉ ́ ̈̿ͬ̔͆̌̏̋̏̾ ̏ ͭ ̶ ̢ ̶͑͑ͧ̈́ͭ͗͂͗͋ ͠ ̕ ̵̆̇̉ͪ̚͘͡ ̵́̐ͪ̂ ̢͂̓ͬ͒ͩ ̡̢̀́͆͐̃ͫ̐͟ ́ ͫ͌̋͘͘ ͐̀͛
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You will be kissed on the nearest Friday. Tomorrow it will be the best day of your life. Now you started reading this so don't stop. If you don't post this on 5 songs you will die. Post this in the 5 songs in 143 minutes and your lover's name will appear on the screen in big letters.
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Hi
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How long is this song?? I'm not hating on her.... I was just wondering... . .
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Jizzed? what dose that mean
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I just jizzed in Japanese
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she could use somthing so people that are in school won't get in troble if they are cought
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Ayu has such a beautiful voice!!! All those kids complaining about her not having clothes pleas stop. She's not showing anything. She is amazing!! Definitely my favorite artist.
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Thank you!!
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Really I agree!!!!!!! ! ! ! ! ! !
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I agree
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She needs clothes.:-/
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Isn't that the beginning theme for clannad
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marisabel.be c k e r
Eww... like rcannon said... and ghost Zelda...
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Is it possible to have that thick hair?
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I'm with ya GhostZelda
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Big Ayu fan Pandora needs to be updated with more Ayu songs especially with Love Song and Brillante
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I mean seriously!! Why is she naked!?!?!?! ?
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Why is she naked?
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Love this!!! And the super mega mix!! @pbfulbright like her last. How many likes can she get?
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yaninaliving s t o n
He was not the best way for me and my friends are you going on a date with my boyfriend and my friends too
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She is worst ever
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(Grabs hoe) XD (dresses up in evil Mage costume and dances with hoe)
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And yes my name is miku !;)
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Hu why wold kaito killl somwon he is asome kapriece4100 * and sweet*
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her picture is a bit......... . . . well........ . . . . . revaling but i do like her music
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yaninaliving s t o n
What
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yaninaliving s t o n
Nooooooooooo o o o o
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uzukiunio
Bringing me back to amazing memories every time. XD I love Hamaski's music. XD
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