Namie Amuro Biography (Wikipedia)
Namie Amuro (安室奈美恵, Amuro Namie NAH-mee-AY, born September 20, 1977) is a former Japanese recording artist, producer, songwriter, dancer, model, actress and entrepreneur who was active between 1992 and 2018. A leading figure of the Japanese entertainment industry since the early 90s, Amuro is known for breaking the youthful idol stereotype of J-Pop, changing the fashion trends and lifestyle of women in Japan, 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 music industry, and her way of living, she is a pop culture icon in Japan and Asia. 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 equivalent to 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 the single "Body Feels Exit". Her 1996 studio album, Sweet 19 Blues, sold over 3 million copies, setting the record at the time for the biggest selling album by a female artist in Japan and the highest selling album debut in the world (currently ranked #15 in the world's largest first week album sales). One of the singles from her album Concentration 20 (1997), "Can You Celebrate?", is 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).