Although Namie is Japanese her releases are released under her romanized name and not Kanji, in a sense Namie Amuro is the name she performs under.
Namie Amuro (安室奈美恵, Amuro Namie, born September 20, 1977) is a Japanese singer, dancer, fashion model and actress. She was, at the height of her popularity, referred to as "Teen Queen", "Queen of J-Pop" or "Japanese Madonna" Born in Naha, Okinawa, Amuro debuted at the age of 14 as an idol in the girl group Super Monkey's. Though mostly unsuccessful, the group gained popularity during their final year together with the single "Try Me (Watashi wo Shinjite)" (1995).
Amuro left Toshiba-EMI after releasing two more solo singles; she continued her music career as a solo singer with the then-small independent label Avex Trax. Under the guidance of producer Tetsuya Komuro, Amuro quickly became a commercial success, producing several million-selling records and starting several fashion trends. Her single "Can You Celebrate?" (1997) became Japan's best selling single by a solo female artist. However, in late 1997, Amuro put her career on hold due to her pregnancy and marriage.
She returned to music in 1998 with the number-one single, "I Have Never Seen", but faced gradually declining sales. After unofficially severing ties with Tetsuya Komuro in 2001, Amuro joined the Suite Chic group, and then as a solo singer made forays into R&B and hip-hop. Since reinventing herself as a hip-pop singer with her sixth studio album Queen of Hip-Pop (2005), Amuro has achieved new-found fame and popularity. Her seventh album Play (2007) debuted at the top of the charts, and was followed by a number one single 60s 70s 80s (2008).
Over two decades after her debut, Amuro has remained one of the longest surviving popular female acts in Japan. She continues to successfully combat social stigma as a divorced, working, single mother. On July 30, 2008, Amuro released her first greatest hits album, Best Fiction, since transitioning to R&B music. It spent six consecutive weeks at the number-one position on Japan's Oricon weekly charts, and was elected as "the best album of the year" at the 50th Japan Record Awards. From 2008 to 2009, she toured Japan to promote the album. It was estimated that she played to an audience as large as 400,000 people, potentially the largest of her career. According to Music Station, Namie is the 12th best selling artist in Japan, with 31.21 million copies sold as of this date.
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