Namie Amuro Biography (Wikipedia)
Namie Amuro (安室奈美恵 Amuro Namie, born September 20, 1977) is a Japanese recording artist, producer, songwriter, dancer, model, actress and entrepreneur. A leading figure of the Japanese entertainment industry since the early 90s, Amuro is known for breaking the youthful idol stereotype of J-Pop, her experimentation across music styles, and for her visual imagery in music videos and live performances. Due to her career longevity, resilience, professionalism, efforts behind-the-scenes in the Japanese music industry, and lifestyle, she is a pop culture icon in Japan. She has been referred to as "the diva of the Heisei era" and the "Queen of Japanese Pop", and has been recognized as having the influence and career impact domestically as artists such as Janet Jackson and Madonna in Western music and pop culture.
Born in Naha, Okinawa, Japan, Amuro debuted as the lead singer of the idol group Super Monkey's when she was 14 years old. Despite early sales disappointments, she ventured into modeling and acting, attracting domestic attention with the group's best-selling single "Try Me (Watashi o Shinjite)". She signed to Avex Trax in 1995 and debuted as a solo artist with "Body Feels Exit". After two albums, Sweet 19 Blues (1996) and Concentration 20 (1997), selling over a million copies each, Amuro released her hit single "Can You Celebrate?", which remains the best-selling single by a solo female artist in Japanese music history. From 1999, Amuro partnered with international musicians and producers on her records, beginning with Genius 2000 (2000).