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Ayumi Hamasaki

Name: Ayumi Hamasaki
Birthdate: October 2, 1978
Birthplace: Fukuoka Perfecture, Japan
Hobbies: Playing the piano, flower arranging, and drawing

You can look at the Japanese Pop market any day and see one or more of Ayumi Hamasaki's songs and/or albums there. You will usually find her on the Top 20. Fans snatch up copies of her music as soon as it hits stores.

Ayumi Hamasaki achieved success at a young age, and although she is currently 24 she has released a total of 16 best selling singles and 7 hit albums. She also has released on the market posters, videos, and photo albums. Ayumi Hamasaki is achieving popularity not only throughout Asia, but all around the world.

She insists that she is a very shy and insecure girl, but she is enjoying the spotlight quite a lot these days. She has appeared frequently on music programs such as Hey! Hey! Hey! Music Champ to perform her hits and banter with hosts and other performers. Everytime she is seen with a new outfit or hair style the young girls and women of the audience scream "Kawaii" as they take notes on how to add to their wardrobes with Ayumi Hamasaki trademark items.

Ayumi Hamasaki is often compared with another famous Japanese Pop artist; Suzuki Ami. Both came to the forefront of Japanese Pop around the same time. Their style of music is very similar, and the media has cooked up a bunch of speculation on rivalry between them. Ayumi Hamasaki brushes this aside though and insists the two are actually friends.

She was just a toddler when her father walked out on her mother and her. She was raised by her single mother and grandmother, but by the age of 7 she began modeling. At this time she wasn't aware of her situation or what she was missing. At 14 she moved to Tokyo to begin a career in acting and modeling. She did bit parts in five low budget films and a handful of TV dramas. With her tiny frame she found herself without a modeling career and she was tired of acting.

She was canned by her talent agency and dropped out at 10th grade. She spent her time shopping in trendy boutiques and dancing at nightclubs. Which is how she was discovered by Masato Matsuura and Avex (her record label). At first she thought the offer of a career in music was fishy and wouldn't accept it, but eventually she gave in.

Ayumi has been to the U.S. several times. In fact she even took vocal training at the age of 17 in New York where she stayed in a midtown Manhatten hotel. She enjoyed the change from Japan because New York was not hierarchical and rulebound.

She doesn't like to set goals, but instead do what she loves at that moment. She likes to read and watch movies, however, she can't go to theatres much anymore because she is always recognized. Most of the movies she watches she sees on airplanes (the most recent is Fight Club). Some of the more Western music she listens to is Smashing Pumpkins, Michelle Branch, Joan Osborne, and Kid Rock. She has four dogs (2 Chihuahuas, 1 Yorkie, and 1 Daschund). At the 2002 MTV Asia music awards she took home the award for Most Influential Japanese Singer in Asia.

[ o ] (Japanese)