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|Birth name||Ataru Nakamura|
|Born||28 June 1985|
|Instruments||voice, piano, drums, guitar|
|Labels||P-PRO Music (2005)
Avex Trax (2006–2010)
Yamaha Music (2010–present)
Born in Tokyo on 28 June 1985, Nakamura began studying music at a young age. She taught herself to play the piano, guitar, and the drums at age ten, and began to write her own songs at the age of thirteen. In 1999, at the age of fourteen, she released an indie label album called Shouchikubai as her prize.
2006–early 2007: Switch to Avex Trax and Ten Made Todoke era
In 2006, she switched to a major label, the popular Avex Trax. Her first major label single, "Yogoreta Shitagi", was released on her birthday, and received minor attention. "Yogoreta Shitagi" was written about an ex-boyfriend who was cheating on her and is written from the former boyfriend's point of view. Nakamura called this individual on the telephone to explain that the song she had written about him was to be her debut single.
Her second single, "Tomodachi no Uta", received greater attention, and placed at number 150 on the Oricon charts. However, it was not until Nakamura revealed on the talk-radio program All Night Nippon that she was a transsexual and had undergone sex reassignment surgery that she received major attention. Her explanation garnered a lot of media attention, and her single rose to number 9 on the Oricon charts. "Tomodachi no Uta" became the theme song for the popular television drama Watashi ga Watashi de Aru Tame ni, a primetime television drama about a young transsexual woman. Nakamura even received a small cameo appearance on the program.
Nakamura wrote "Tomodachi no Uta" when she was fourteen years old; notably, it was the first song she ever wrote. She wrote the song to say goodbye to the friends in junior high she would never see again. "Tomodachi no Uta" was featured in an Avex Trax musical titled "Kokoro no Kakera". The soundtrack featured 21 songs chosen from the company's hits over the past two decades.
Her third single, "Watashi no Naka no Ii Onna", entered the Oricon charts at number 39. On the same day "Watashi no Naka no Ii Onna" was released, the song "Chewing Gum" written by Nakamura for the band AAA, debuted on the Oricon chart. Her two songs competed with one another for four weeks.
Her first album, Ten Made Todoke, was released on 1 January 2007. A month later, she released "Kaze ni Naru", her fourth single. "Kaze ni Naru" was the theme song for the film Sakebi.
Her song "Kakeashi no Ikizama" was used as the closing theme for the anime series Reideen.
Late 2007–2008: Watashi wo Daite Kudasai era
Nakamura's fifth single marked the promotion of her second album titled Watashi wo Daite Kudasai. The album was released on 5 December 2007. "Ringo Uri", the album's first single, premiered on 27 June 2007, and peaked at number 30 on the Oricon charts. The album's second single, "Hadaka Denkyū", premiered on 21 November. "Tori no Mure", the album's third single and her seventh overall, received minor airplay.
2009: Ashita wa Haremasu You Ni era
"Kaze Tachinu" debuted on 9 July 2008. The song was used as the theme song for the live-action film GeGeGe no Kitaro Sennen Noroi Uta. The single did well and was received much like "Tomodachi no Uta". Nakamura appeared at AP Bank Fes' 08, a musical festival, on 20 July 2008, to promote the single.
Ashita wa Haremasu You Ni was Nakamura's third studio album, released on 25 February 2009 in both standard and deluxe editions, the latter containing a DVD containing various performances and music videos.
2010: Shōnen Shōjo era
In 2010 "Ataru Nakamura" switched her management from Avex Trax to Yamaha Music Communications. She released the single "Iede Shoujo," which debuted at #90 on the Oricon charts and sold 796 copies the first week. On 9/22 her album came out titled Shōnen Shōjo it debuted at #65 on the Oricon and sold 2,103 copies the first week. The album was later awarded a Japan Record Award, despite its lack of commercial success.
Nakamura was born male but transitioned to female after struggling with issues of gender identity. This was mentioned in her official biography short during her appearance at the 2007 Kouhaku Uta Gassen.
Nakamura is notable for the two different styles in which she sings. Her first style is a modern rock/pop sound. Her second style is an enka-inspired sound; thus far her enka-styled ballads have been her largest successes. Her singles have thus far alternated between these two styles.
- Yogoreta Shitagi (汚れた下着 Dirty Underwear ) (2006) - Oricon Weekly Charts Peak - #155
- Tomodachi no Uta (友達の詩 Poem of Friends ) (2006) - Oricon Weekly Charts Peak - #9
- Watashi no Naka no "Ii Onna" (私の中の「いい女」 The Good Woman in Me ) (2006) - Oricon Weekly Charts Peak - #39
- Kaze ni Naru (風になる Become the Wind ) (2007) - Oricon Weekly Charts Peak: #103
- Ringo Uri (リンゴ売り Apple Seller ) (2007) - Oricon Weekly Charts Peak: #30
- Hadaka Denkyū (裸電球 Naked Light Bulb ) (2007) - Oricon Weekly Charts Peak: #87
- Kaze Tachinu (風立ちぬ Not Standing Up to the Wind ) (2008) - Oricon Weekly Charts Peak - #27
- Kotonakare Shugi (事勿れ主義 Peace at Any Price ) (2008) - Oricon Weekly Charts Peak - #65
- Iede Shoujo (家出少女 Runaway Girl ) (2010) - Oricon Weekly Charts Peak - #90
- Ten Made Todoke (天までとどけ Reach Heaven ) (2007) - Oricon Weekly Charts Peak: #29
- Watashi o Daite Kudasai (私を抱いて下さい Please Embrace Me ) (2007) - Oricon Weekly Charts Peak: #38
- Ashita wa Haremasu Yō Ni (あしたは晴れますように May Tomorrow Be a Clear Day ) (2009) - Oricon Weekly Charts Peak: #59
- Shounen Shoujo (少年少女に Boy-Girl ) (2010) - Oricon Weekly Charts Peak: #65
- Kikoeru (2012)
- Ataru Nakamura Discography Retrieved on 16 July 2009. (Japanese)
- Ataru Nakamura Discography compositions Retrieved on 16 July 2009. (Japanese)
- "「レコ大」大賞候補にいきもの、AKB48、植村花菜ら". Natalie. November 20, 2010. Retrieved November 21, 2010.
- Oricon News: 性同一性障害の役を演じる中村 中、実は自身も… (29 September 2006). Retrieved on 16 July 2009. (Japanese)
- Nikkan Sports: 性同一性障害の中村中に母から手紙／紅白 (31 December 2007). Retrieved on 16 July 2009. (Japanese)