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Akina Nakamori (中森明菜, Nakamori Akina, born July 13, 1965) is a Japanese singer and actress. She is one of the most popular and top selling artists in Japan.[1] Akina achieved national recognition when she won the 1981 season of the talent show Star Tanjō!. Her debut single "Slow Motion" was released to moderate success, peaking at number thirty on the Oricon Weekly Singles Chart. However, Akina's popularity was pushed up by the follow-up single, "Shojo A", which peaked at number five on the Oricon chart and has sold over 390,000 copies. Her second album Variation became her first number-one on the Oricon Weekly Albums Chart, staying three weeks atop. As an actress, she made her debut in 1985 with the appearance on the Japanese romance movie Ai, Tabidachi. After her extended hiatus from 2010 to 2014, Akina released two compilation album, All Time Best: Original and All Time Best: Utahime Cover, both of which were commercially successful. As of 2011, Akina has sold over 25.3 million records and was named as the third best-selling female Japanese idol singer of all-time.[2]

Akina Nakamori
中森 明菜
Nakamori Akina in 1985.jpg
Background information
Born (1965-07-13) July 13, 1965 (age 54)
OriginKiyose, Tokyo, Japan
Genres
Occupation(s)
Years activefrom 1982 to present
Labels
WebsiteOfficial Website

Within two years of her debut, she set herself apart from all the singers of her generation with her mature song selection and the ability to change her image with the release of each new single, much like Madonna and Lady Gaga. This provocative and rebellious image was to be the direct opposite of the other pop rival, Seiko Matsuda, who projected more of a girl next door, sweet-natured charm.

CareerEdit

1982–1984Edit

After Akina Nakamori passed the test of Star Tanjō! on her 3rd attempt, she made her debut in 1982 with the single "Slow Motion."[3] Her first single "Slow Motion", was recorded in Los Angeles. This was released on 1 May 1982 and sold 174,000 copies, reaching number 30 in the Oricon charts. The 2nd single, "Shōjo A" was nearly banned for its risque lyrics. This single fared better, most likely due to the controversy, and peaked at #5, selling 396,000 copies. Her next single, a ballad titled "Second Love" proved to be her best-selling single. This sentimental piece debuted at #2 but reached No. 1 the following week, staying at the number one spot for 9 weeks. It sold 766,000 copies back then (to date, almost one million). In addition to the single releases, Nakamori also released two albums titled Prologue and Variation that year, which sold 453,000 and 743,000 copies respectively.

The following year Nakamori released three singles, two studio albums and her first best-of album. The singles were "Nibunnoichi no Shinwa", which sold 573,000 copies and debuted at #1, making it her best-selling single of that year. "Twilight (Yūguretayori)", released in May, sold 430,000 copies and debuted at #2. But "Kinku", her last single of that year, fared better, debuting at #1 and selling 511,000 copies. All three albums, Fantasy, New Akina Etranger and Best Akina Memoir hit No. 1. Nakamori made the first appearance of her 7 official performance at the ever-popular annual show, the 34th edition of the NKH Red and White Song Festival on 31 December 1983. She made a special guest appearance of the 65th (2014) edition performing live from the U.S recording studio while recording for her upcoming new album.

In 1984, Nakamori released "Kita Wing", which sold 614,000 copies, a bit better than her singles from the previous year, but surprisingly it did not become a number 1 hit. It instead debuted at number 2 and remained at that position for 6 weeks. "Kita Wing" is also rumored to be Momoe Yamaguchi's favorite Nakamori Song (Yamaguchi being Nakamori's idol). Her next single "Southern Wind" brought her back to the number 1 spot, though it sold less than its predecessor at 544,000 copies. "Jūkai (1984)" proved to be another number 1 for her, selling 611,000 copies. The 9th single, "Kazari jya naino yo namida wa" proved to be a turning point in Akina Nakamori's career; as the song is considered difficult to sing with super fast lyrics. It debuted at number 1 and sold 625,000 copies. Many in Japan cite this song and her 1986 single, "Desire (Jōnetsu)", as Nakamori's signature songs. Her two album releases of that year, Anniversary and Possibility both fared well and hit No. 1.

1985–1986Edit

Nakamori kicked off 1985 with "Meu Amore," another great success for her, debuting #1 with 631,000 copies sold ultimately and also winning Nakamori the Grand Prix award at the 27th Japan Record Awards. She became the youngest person at the time (20) to be awarded such an honor. Originally, the single was to be titled "Akaitori Nigeta" (The red bird flies away), but the producers felt that the lyrics were not Samba-ish enough. "Meu Amore" was the result of the newly penned lyrics. "Akaitori Nigeta" was released as a 12-inch single instead, making the No.1 spot as well. Despite the superb b-side song of Babylon which was remixed, it sold a dismal 354,000 overall. She then released "Sand Beige – Sabaku e" which sold 461,000 copies and debuted at number 1. Her next single, "Solitude" also debuted at number 1, but sold merely 336,000 copies.

She also released two albums in 1985. Firstly, Bitter and Sweet, which contained the album version of the earlier hit of "Kazari Janai No Yo Namida Wa" and "BABYLON." It sold 556,000 copies and debuted at number 1 again. Her next album, D404ME, only had a remix version of the hit single "Meu Amore" included. Yet this album sold an impressive 651,000 copies and debuted at number 1.

In 1986, at 21, Nakamori matured in her singing style and choice of songs. The first single of that year, "Desire (Jōnetsu)" proved to be one of the highlights in Nakamori's career. This was also the theme song of the Pioneer Private commercial and was awarded the Grand Prix at the 28th Japan Record Awards in 1986. She became the youngest winner for two consecutive years. It sold 516,000 copies and debuted at number 1. Her next single "Gypsy Queen" was a calmer song than "Desire (Jōnetsu)" and sold a mere 358,000 copies, but still debuted at number 1. The single "Fin" followed, and sold less than its predecessor, at 318,000 copies. Again, it debuted at number 1.

To commemorate her first 4 years in the business, Nakamori released her first "BEST" album. It sold impressively, 766,000 copies and a comfortable number 1 debut spot. Then Nakamori released Fushigi, a concept album with echoing singing and obscure musical arrangement. It caused quite a stir amongst the mainly conservative Japanese public and thus sold 464,000 copies, nearly 200,000 less than Crimson, an entire album composed by only women, which sold 601,000 copies. But both managed to debut at number 1, Fushigi stayed number 1 for only 3 weeks, while Crimson stayed number 1 for 4.

1987–1989Edit

In 1987, she released "Tango Noir," which sold 348,000 copies and debuted at number 1. (Even though sales of singles were declining, Tango Noir still made it to be the 2nd best selling single in 1987). Her next single was a cover of an American song, but she called her version "Blonde." It sold 301,000 copies and added to her No.1 singles. Her most critically acclaimed single of that year was a heartfelt ballad called "Nanpasen," an emotionally draining song which many people attributed to her rocky relationship with then-boyfriend, Masahiko Kondō and the death of her mother. It sold 431,000 copies and debuted at number 1.

She released only one album in 1987, an unsuccessful English debut album called "Cross My Palm." It mainly faltered in the United States music industry because of Nakamori's heavily accented English and lack of promotion in the US. Nonetheless, it was a hit in Japan, selling 343,000 copies and debuting at number 1.

On March 3, 1988, Nakamori released album Stock. Three singles were released in 1988, "Al Mauj", "Tattoo" and "I missed the shock." The first two debuted at No. 1.

In 1989, a year fans will remember as very dark for Nakamori, only one single was released due to what was almost a tragedy. "Liar" became her 19th No. 1 single. The single was rumored to reflect her feelings about her then-boyfriend Masahiko Kondō. It came as a shock when news of her attempted suicide in Kondō's apartment broke in July 1989, after he called off their engagement. Luckily, she was found and hospitalized. However, she retreated from the public eye for a while.

1990–1999Edit

Her return to the music scene in 1990 was met with skepticism and curiosity, propelling the single "Dear Friend" to No. 1. Nakamori once claimed that "Dear Friend' is perhaps her only happy song. Nevertheless, she reverted to melancholic, jilted love songs that ultimately did not go well with the public's taste. Her next single "Mizu ni Sashita Hana" became her 21st Oricon #1 single, but she could not reach the top position again after that. The whole decade proved to be a hit or miss musical era for Nakamori, who somewhat lost her definitive direction in her style of music.

Nakamori ventured into acting in the 1990s, with varying success. Kome Kome Club's 1992 single "Kimi ga Iru Dake de," which sold over 2.89 million copies, was the theme song of Japanese television drama Sugao no Mamade in which she played a role.

In 1993, she has transferred to recording company MCA Records and signed under recording label MCA Victor.[4] On 21 May 1993, she's released 27th single Everlasting Love, written and produced by Ryuichi Sakamoto. Two years passed since the release of a previous single Futari Shizuka. According to recording producer, Nakamori's distanced from her casual style and along with new music production staff aimed more into contemporary style.[5] The single debuted at number 10 on Oricon Weekly Single charts and charted for 5 weeks.

On 24 March 1994, were released double released: first cover single, general 28th single Kataomoi, originally performed by Mie Nakao and first cover album Utahime. B-side track Aibu, has been written by Komuro Tetsuya. B-side track is widely popular among fans, she's performed it very often on her live tours.[6] Aibu has been planned release as a single, however, it was decided that start-up single would be Everlasting Love. The single debuted at number 17 on Oricon Weekly Single charts and charted for 8 weeks. The main producer of cover album Utahime is Nakamori herself and the main arranger is Akira Senju. The album debuted at number 5 on Oricon Weekly Album Charts and chart 9 weeks. On 2002, through Universal Music label a re-mastered version of the album was released.

On 13 April 1994, she played a role as the first suspect of the TV Series Furuhata Ninzaburō in the episode of "The Shoujo Manga Murderer".

On 2 September 1994, she's released 29th single Yoru no Dokokade: Night Shift, written by Tsugutoshi Gotō. The single has been promoted as an ending theme for Nippon Television Network System news program NNN Kyou Dekigoto and B-side track Rose Bud has been promoted as an ending theme for Fuji TV talking program Shingo to Shinsuke no Abunai Hanashi. The single debuted at number 14 on Oricon Weekly Single Charts and charted 7 weeks.

On 22 September 1994, she released her 15th studio album Unbalance+Balance. Four years passed since the release of previous studio album Cruise. The production of the album started in spring 1992 in the United States, before she moved to new recording company. The album consists of two previously released singles' B-side tracks, Not Crazy To Me and Aibu. Not Crazy To Me has received renewed arrangement. Two album tracks have been written by Nakamori herself. The album tracks Eien no Tobira and Kagerou are melodically same, however, they have completely different lyrics and story within them. The idea was realized by Nakamori's proposal to change the arrangement and record.[7] The album debuted at number 4 on Oricon Weekly Album Charts and charted 9 weeks. In 2002, through Universal Music label was released re-mastered album with the renewed title Unbalance+Balance +6. This version of album includes six more additional tracks, singles and their b-side tracks released between 1993 and 1994.

On 5 October 1994, she's released 30th single Gekka, written by Shuugou Kajiwara. The single has been promoted as a commercial song for Miki Corporation's Butique Joy. She's returned to the traditional melody, which was previously recorded in similar style during the release of single Futari Shizuka with more dramatical melody and difficult vibrato. The single debuted at number 8 on Oricon Weekly Single Charts and charted 7 weeks.

Between 1 and 5 December 1994, she held special live Utahime Parco Threatre Live in Parco Theatre. It is her first live for the first time in two years. The live set-list consists of songs which are from two previously released albums, Utahime and Unbalance+Balance with a small number of previously released hits. DVD footage of live performance was released on 24 March 1995.

On 21 June 1995, she's released 31st single Genshi, Taiyou wa Onna datta, written by Osamu Masaki. Akina stated she wanted record song with summer and uptempo feeling due to fact that previous singles were balladic and more quiet.[8] The single debuted at number 15 on Oricon Weekly Single Charts and charted 5 weeks.

On 21 July 1995, was released 16th studio album La Alteracion which includes previously released single with new album rearrangement. In the Spanish, alteracion means change. As in the previous studio album, Nakamori is in the charge of the main production of the album. Album jacket has been shot in Morocco. The album debuted at number 7 on Oricon Weekly Album Charts and charted for 8 weeks. In 2002, through Universal Music label was released re-mastered album with the renewed title La Alteracion +4. This version of album includes four more additional tracks, two singles and their b-side tracks released during 1995.

On 1 November 1995, she's released 32nd single Tokyo Rose, produced by Brian Setzer who also involved in the recording in the charge of guitar. It is her first single to be performed in the Rockabilly genre. The single debuted at number 32 on Oricon Weekly Single Charts and charted for 4 weeks.

On 6 December 1995 was released compilation album True Album Akina 95 Best. It is her first compilation album released under MCA Victor label. The compilation album is divided into 3 CD set: World Disc, Wild Disc and Whisper Disc with 7 tracks including in each CD. Nakamori is in the charge of main producer of the album. Album consists of re-arranged hits released in the '80s and various singles and album tracks released during the first half of the '90s. In the Wild Disc is included new unreleased song Shangrilla exclusively recorded for this album. The album debuted at number 16 on Oricon Weekly Album Charts and charted 7 weeks.

Between 12 and 16 December 1995, she held special live Nakamori Akina True Live in Hyogo's Kobe International House and Kanagawa's Pacifico Yokohama. In the stage, she performed songs from albums La Alteracion and True Album Akina 95 Best. The live footage was never released as a regular DVD, however, it was included in the limited edition of compilation album Utahime Densetsu: 90's Best.

In 1996, she had the 15th anniversary of her debut.

On April 1996, she made television appearance in the first broadcast of japanese variety program SMAP×SMAP, performing with members of Smap Kazarijanai yo Namida wa, Tattoo, Ganbarimashou and Desire.

Between 12 and 20 May 1996, she held her first Dinner Show Tour 1996 Dinner Show.[9]

On 7 August 1996, she's released 33rd single Moonlight Shadow. Tsuki ni Moero, written and produced by Tetsuya Komuro. It's their second collaboration since single Aibu. Komuro finished composition around May and recording in June.[10] B-side tracks doesn't include new song, instead it has remixed version of lead track. The single debuted at number 14 on Oricon Weekly Single Charts and charted 7 weeks.

On 18 December 1996, she released mini album Vamp, for the first time since the release of mini-album Wonder in 1988. Nakamori's is in the charge of album producer. The mini-album consists of four songs which were aren't included in any studio album and appeared only once, in first press edition of compilation album Utahime Densetsu: 90's Best. Before the album release, she performed all four songs in her second dinner tour show 1996 Xmas Dinner Show (held between 5 and 26 December). The album debuted at number 30 on Oricon Weekly Album Charts and charted for 5 weeks.

On 21 February 1997, she's released 34th single Appetite, written by Uki. It was released as a leading single to the upcoming studio album. For Nakamori it was one of the most difficult melodies for her to practice.[11] The single debuted at number 46 on Oricon Weekly Single Charts and charted 4 weeks.

On 21 March 1997, she's released 17th studio album Shaker. Nakamori is in the charge of album producer. The album consists of two previously released leading singles with additional new arrangement. For the Asahi Shinbun, she explains that album melody crosses from digital into acoustic sounds, and carefully choose songs which she can sing with her own voice key.[12] The album debuted on number 14 at Oricon Weekly Album Charts and charted for 5 weeks. It is her final release in the MCA Victor label. In 2002, through Universal Music label was released re-mastered album with renewed title Shaker +3. This version of album includes three more additional tracks, singles with original arrangement and one b-side track. Between 3 May and 21 June 1997, she held live tour Felicidad for the first time in almost 9 years. The DVD footage was released on 22 September 1997 through Universal Music label. After live, she officially left MCA Records.

In 1998, she moved to the Gauss Entertainment recording label. In January, she led a main role to the Japanese television drama Tsumetai Tsuki.[13] It was her first main role since Sugao no Mama de. She also performed theme song Kisei: Never Forget written by Yasuhiro Suzu. The single was released on 11 February. Nakamori states that the balance between low and high pitches were difficult for her to sing. The single debuted on rank 19 at Oricon Weekly Single Charts and sold 94k copies. B-side track is remastered version of album track Tsuki ga Aoku, which was previously released in studio album Shaker. [14]

On 21 May 1998, she released her thirty-sixth single Konya Nagare Hoshi written by Keiko Utsumi. The single debuted at number 66 in Oricon Single Weekly Charts. The B-side track Arashi no Nakade has been written by Russian singer Origa. It is one of her worst-selling singles during two decades of her career.

On 17 June 1998, she released her eighteenth studio album Spoon. The album includes previously released two promotional singles. Five out of eleven songs were arranged by Ikurou Fujiwara. In the album booklet, she's credited as a main producer of the album.[15] The album debuted at number 17 on Oricon Weekly Album Charts and charted for three weeks. Between 21 June and 17 July, Akina held national live tour Spoon Tour.[16][17] The video footage was never released in DVD as of 2019.

On 23 September 1998, she released her 37th single Tomadoi written by Juni. Tomadoi was promoted as a theme song for Japanese television drama 39Sai no Aki. B-side track Good-bye tears was also promoted as a theme song for Japanese television drama Nananin no OL Sommelier in which Akina starred a minor role. The single debuted on number forty at Oricon Weekly Single Charts.

On 3 and 4 November 1998, she held special live Symphonic Concert '98 with Symphonic A Orchestra.

In January 1999, she led a main role to the television drama Border—Hanzai Shinri Sōsa File. She also performed theme song Ofelia written by Shimano Satoshi, which was released as a single on 21 January 1999. Title Ofelia comes from Shakespeares's famous literature work Hamlet. In this single, she tries to interpret the Ofelia's sadness into words, however, she's also singing to all people who suffer with pain and sadness.[18] B-Side tracks is alternative version of Ofelia under title To be, which is performed in English. The single debuted as number 29 on Oricon Weekly Single Charts and had charted for 8 weeks.

On 21 December 1999, were released at the same day final single Trust me written by Kazuhiro Hara and 19th studio album Will under Gauss Entertainment recording label. Trust me debuted on number 57 at the Oricon Weekly Single Charts. It is Akina's worst-selling single as of 2019. The B-side track Yuki no Hana with subtitle White X'mas is rearranged version from previously released studio album track. It's her final single to be released as the 8cm single. Some fans call the studio album Will as the best album from Gauss label. It includes two previously released singles and remixes from previously released album tracks and Gauss singles. Album track Tsuki no Hohoemi was promoted as a theme song for sole-playing video game series Wizardry. The original soundtrack of Wizardry Digmuil includes the acoustic and orchestral version of this song both written by Ikurou Fujiwara, in the Will is included acoustic version. The album has only three new songs recorded for the album. On her official website it is not even listed in the list of original studio albums during her whole career. The album was produced by Gauss's director, Kazuhiro Chiba. The album debuted at number 52 at Oricon Weekly Album charts and charted for one week. After release, her contract with Gauss has ended.

2000-2010Edit

In 2000, she made a temporal contract with the music production Koubouraku and established private office Faith (nowadays known as a fanclub Faithway).[19] Between 18 May and 27 June 2000, she held a national acoustic tour Akina Nakamori 2000: 21 Seiki he. It's her first national tour after two years. The video footage was released and included in the limited edition of compilation album All Time Best: Original released in 2014.

On 31 May 2001, she released the single It's brand new day written by Aya. It was her first time after two years and first R&B song she has ever performed.[20] The single was released under indies recording label @ease. The single was released at first as a digital single in music stream website Music@nifty, three months later it was released as a standard CD.[21]

Between 6 June and 13 July, she held national tour All About Akina 20th Anniversary It's Brand New Day. It's her national tour after the year. On 27 September, the whole live was released on the DVD from recording label Tokuma Japan Communications. The included live footage was recorded on 22 June in Tokyo International Forum.

In 2002, she enter to the 20th debut anniversary. Nakamori moved the management work from the music production Koubouroku that had been contracted to the current private office Faith and transfer to the current record company Universal Music.[22] As to celebrate her first release under recording company for the first time after three years, she's released cover album Zero Album Utahime 2 on 20 March 2002. In the album booklet, she's credited as a main producer of the album.[23] The album debuted at number 10 at Oricon Weekly Album Charts. It's her first album which debuted in Top 10 Charts since 1995 studio album La Alteracion.[24][25]

On 2 May 2002, she's released forty-first single The Heat: Musica Fiesta written by Adya. It's also her first released under Universal Music recording company. The B-side tracks will be included in upcoming studio album only instrumental recording. In the media it was promoted as an ending theme on May for TBS Television program Wonderful. The single debuted on number 20 at Oricon Weekly Single Charts.

Three weeks later on 22 May 2002, she's released 20th studio album Resonancia. It's her first album released in Universe Music and first album after three years. In the Spanish, the Resonancia means Sound.[26] The main instrumental concept of album consists of R&B and Latin rhythm feeling.[27] In the album booklet, Uru is credited as a main producer of the album. The album includes the re-arranged version of singles It's brand new day and The Heat: Musica Fiesta. The main writer of the album is Adya. Japanese singer Ken Hirai provided back-vocals in one of the album tracks. The album debuted at number 15 on Oricon Weekly Album Charts and charted for four weeks. Between 27 May and 13 July she held live tour Musica Fiesta Tour 2002.[28]

On 4 December 2002, were two released on the same day: DVD footage of Musica Fiesta Live Tour under label UniversalJ and self-cover compilation album Akina Nakamori: Utahime Double Decade. The album includes self-cover with renewed arrangements and lowered key to fit her current voice shape. The album debuted at number 8 on Oricon Weekly Album Charts. With the re-arranged version of Kazarajanai no yo Namida wa she performed at NHK's 53rd Kōhaku Uta Gassen.[29] It was Akina's first appearance in Kōhaku Uta Gassen after 14 years.[30]

On 30 April 2003, she's released forty-second single Days written by Tetsuro Oda. The song was promoted as an ending theme for TV Tokyo's television drama Onnna to Ai to Mystery. B-side tracks Ruriiro no Chikyuu was promoted as a commercial song for Au and Hana was promoted as a theme song for NHK-BS1 television program Chikyuu Walker. The single debuted at number 30 on Oricon Weekly Single Charts and charted for four weeks.

On 14 May 2003, she released 21st studio album I hope so. Sometimes it's called a ballad album. The title of album I hope so comes as a reply from a conversation, which she had from her home-stay family regarding her English skills, when she was abroad in United States for one month in the past.[31] In the album booklet, Satoshi Takebe is credited as a main producer and arranger of the album. Four album tracks were written by Nakamori herself. The album consist of one previously released single. The album track I hope so was promoted as a commercial song for Japan Railways Group. This track later appears as b-side track of special single Diva. The album was released in regular and limited edition: the limited edition includes music video clip of Days. The album debuted at number 15 in Oricon Weekly Album Charts.

One day after the album release, between 15 May and 13 July 2003, she held live tour Akina Nakamori Live Tour 2003 - I hope so -.[32][33] On 17 December 2003, the live footage of live tour has been released as a DVD. The footage includes live from 11 July held at Tokyo International Forum.

On 12 May and 7 July 2004, she collaborated with Korean music producer Kim Hyung Seok in singles Akai Hana and Hajimete Deatta Hi no You ni.[34] Hajimete Deatta Hi no You ni is a cover of a Korean's singer Park Yong-ha performed in Japanese. As a single with the same melody line but different lyrics was released for first time after 19 years (Mi Amore/Akai Tori ga Nigeta). Akai Hana debuted at number 40 and Hajimete Deatta Hi no You ni debuted at number 50 on Oricon Weekly Single Charts.

Between 15 May and 13 July, she held live tour Akina Nakamori A-1 tour 2004 across 17 cities. As of 2019, there isn't video footage to be released.

On 3 December 2004, she has released third cover album Utahime 3: Finale.[35] All album tracks has been arranged by Akira Senju. The producer of the album is Nakamori herself. Album debuted at number 25 on Oricon Weekly Album Charts.

Between 7 and 17 July 2005, she held special live tour Akina Nakamori Special Live 2005 Empress at Club Ex. The live tour is divided into half of cover songs previously released in Utahime cover albums and mix of original tracks. The DVD footage of live tour was released on 11 January 2006 under avex trax label.

On 7 December 2005, she released forty-fifth single Rakka Ryuusei written by Kenji Hayashida. B-side includes rock version of Desire. In the media the single was promoted was promoted as a theme song for Japanese television drama Tenka Souran. The single debuted at number 43 on Oricon Weekly Single Charts and charted for four weeks.

On 2006, she's entered to 25th debut anniversary.

On January 2006, was released second self-cover compilation album Best Finger 25th Anniversary Selection. The album includes re-recorded songs and with singles released between 2004 and 2005. On April 2006, she led minor role of television drama Primadame. It was her first acting role for the first time after 7 years.[36][37] She also performed drama theme song Hana yo Odore, which was released on 17 May, written by Hitoshi Haba. The single cover jacket illustrates Nakamori herself when she attended to ballet lessons during early childhood.[38] The single charted at number 23 on Oricon Weekly Single Charts and charted for six weeks.

On 21 June 2006, she has released twenty-second studio album Destination. It was her first studio album released for the first time after three years. In this album, she returns to the R&B music style for the first time since Renesancia album released in 2002. During fan meets, Nakamori herself stated that she doesn't dislike any of the songs in the album and recommends for everyone to listen it.[39] The album Destination consist of two previously released singles with new album arrangement. Eight out of eleven songs were arranged by Yousuke Suzuki. Two track were written by Nakamori herself under pen-name Miran:Miran. Album cover jacket is originally from the pamphlet of Femme Fatale live tour in 1988.[40] The album debuted at number 20 on Oricon Weekly Album Charts and charted for four weeks. Between 24 June and 8 August, she held live tour Akina Nakamori Live Tour 2006: The Last destination. As of 2019, it is her currently last live tour.

On 17 January 2007, were multiple releases: The live footage of live tour The Last Destination and first cover compilation album Utahime Best: 25th Anniversary. This compilation album consists of cover songs which were released in the compilation album series Utahime and three new cover songs which were previously unreleased.[41] The producer of the album is Nakamori herself. Fourteen of sixteen songs were re-arranged by Akira Senju. In album jacket, she wore a light dandelion fluff wig.[42] The album was released in regular and limited edition: limited edition includes DVD of two video footage Akisakura recording from cover album ZeroAlbum Utahime 2 and Utahime 3 Interview. The album debuted at number 10 on Oricon Weekly Album Charts. It's her first album after four years to debut into Top 10 of Oricon Weekly Album Charts.[43]

On 28 March 2007, she has released ballad compilation album Ballad Best: 25th Anniversary Selection. The album was released as the part of the celebration of 25th debut anniversary. Album tracks consist of previously released tracks in compilation albums along with new song Ano Natsu no Hi, however the tracks Solitude, Nanpasen and Kisei: Never Forget received completely new arrangement. The producer of the album is Nakamori herself The album was released in regular and limited edition: the limited edition includes DVD digest footage of her first live tour Akina Milkyway '83 Haru no Kaze wo Kanjite.[44] The album debuted at number 13 on Oricon Weekly Album Charts and charted for seven weeks.

On 27 June 2007, she has released first enka cover album Enka.[45] The album track selection is based on fan inquiry held between 12 April and 15 May, in total more than 23k fans participated in inquiry.[46][47] The results were later announced in her page at Universal Music site. Nine out of thirteen tracks were arranged by Akira Senju, which he's credited along with Nakamori as main producers of the album.[48] The album was released in regular edition, cassette tape and two limited editions: the first limited edition includes two DVD footages with music videoclips from years 2002-2007 and recording footage of Enka album; the second limited edition includes bonus track in the first CD and second CD consist of instrumental versions of Enka cover. There are two types of album jackets: first and second limited edition has a bust-up photo of Nakamori having a special makeup with a Japanese umbrella placed on upper part of jacket, the regular edition and the cassette edition have identically similar makeup, however more decoration ornaments were put on her hair.[49] The album turned out to be a big success: it debuted at number 10 on Oricon Weekly Album chart and charted for twelve weeks. Later it was rewarded with RIAJ Gold Disc[50] and Japan Record Awards.[51]

On 27 February 2008, she has released her first compilation album from her 90's Utahime Densetsu: 90's Best. The album consists of her song released between 1991 and 1999. The album was released in regular and limited edition: while the regular edition has one disc with total 13 tracks mixed of singles and its b-side, the limited edition includes four set discs which consist of three CD with various album tracks and DVD footage of special live Akina Nakamori True Live, filmed in 1995. Third disc includes previously unrecorded duet Second Love with the writer of the song, Takao Kisugi.[52] The album debuted at number 33 on Oricon Weekly Album Charts and charted for three weeks.

On 19 November 2008, Akina performed duet Dramatic Airport with Junichi Inagaki. The song was included in Inagaki's cover album Otoko to Onna: Two hearts Two voices.[53]

On 24 December 2008, she has released new series of cover albums Folk Song: Utahime Jojouka. The album consists of folk songs released during '70s.[54] Among of 200 songs which Nakamori had opportunity to listen, she chose eleven for real recording.[55] The producer of the album is Yuuji Toriyama. The album was released in regular edition and five limited edition with a different colour jacket of Marilyn Monroe by Andy Warhol. The limited-edition "A" includes DVD footage of recording Folk Song album. The album debuted at number 30 on Oricon Weekly Album Charts and charted for seven weeks.

On 24 June 2009, she has released Mood Kayōkyoku cover album Mood Kayou: Utahime Shouwa Meikyokushuu. The album consists of Mood Kayōkyoku songs released between 1960s–1970s.[56] Youichi Murata reprise his roles as a sound arranger for the first time since self-cover compilation album Utahime Double Decade. The album was released in regular and limited edition: the limited edition includes DVD of recording footage of three album tracks. The album debuted at number 30 on Oricon Weekly Album Charts and charted for three weeks.

On 29 July 2009, were two releases at the same time: music video clip DVD Clip 2002-2007 & more and second album of Folk Song cover album series Folk Song 2: Utahime Aishouka. Toriyama has reprised the role of sound producer and main arranger. The album cover jacket is caricature from Japanese caricaturist Kage.[57] The album was released in regular and limited edition: the limited edition includes DVD footage of recording Folk Song album. The album debuted at number 33 on Oricon Weekly Album Charts.

Between 18 and 28 August 2009, she held special live tour Akina Nakamori Special Live 2009 “Empress at Yokohama”. As of 2019, it's her last live tour to be done. The live tour consist of cover tracks which she released through various cover albums over the years of her career. The DVD footage of live tour was released on 18 August 2010.

On 26 August 2009, she has released her twenty-third studio album Diva. It's her first studio album after three years since Destination. The album consists of ten new recorded songs. In this album, she collaborated with various producers from the oversea as Rodney Alejandro, Matt Tishler and Jeniffer Karr. One of the album tracks were written by herself under pseudonym Miran:Miran. The album was released in regular and limited edition: limited edition includes bonus disc of remixed tracks Diva and Heartache. The album debuted at number 29 on Oricon Weekly Album Charts and charted for three weeks.

On 23 September 2009, she released special single Diva: Single version with new intro arrangement with two B-side tracks, the original version of Heartache, which was previously released only as a singer and re-recorded album track I hope so from album I hope so. The single debuted at number 50 on Oricon Weekly Single Charts.

On 13 July 2010, she has released digital single Crazy Love written by Nakamori herself. The single was released in streaming services Chaku-Uta and Recochoku. It was used as background music for pachinko slot game. For the full combination of points was screened short music video clip of Crazy Love.[58]

On 28 October 2010, Nakamori staff has announced Nakamori's indefinite hiatus from music activities due to health condition.[59][60] It wasn't announced which disease she had.

On 22 December 2010, 6-DVD set box Nakamori Akina in Hit Studio[61] and in 15 December 2011, 5-DVD set box The Best Ten Nakamori Akina Premium Box has been released.[62]

2014-presentEdit

On 4 August 2014, Universal Music released two best albums on the same day: All Time Best: Original and All Time Best: Utahime (Cover).[63][64][65] All Time Best: Original consist the biggest hits between 1982 and 2009, previously released digital single and new song Sweet Rain. The All Time Best: Original album was released in regular and limited edition: limited edition includes live footage of Akina Nakamori 2000: 21 Seiki he. The album debuted at number 3 on Oricon Weekly Album Charts. It was rewarded with Golden Disc by RIAJ. All Time Best: Utahime (Cover) consist from cover songs which she released between 1994 and 2009. All Time Best: Utahime (Cover) album was released in regular and limited edition: limited edition includes live footage of Songs: Nakamori Akina Utahime Special. The album debuted at number 7 on Oricon Weekly Album Charts.

On 31 December 2014, she made stage appearance on Utagassen Kouhaku for the first time after several years, broadcast from her recording studio in New York. In the broadcast she performed her new song Rojo: Tierra. With this comeback she also announced complete comeback to the music industry.[66][67][68]

On 20 January 2015, she has released cover album Utahime4: My Eggs Benedict. It's her cover album released for the first time after 6 years and new Utahime series album for the first time after 11 years. Unlike the previous cover album, this album consists of J-pop songs released during the '90s–'00s.[69][70]

On 21 January 2015, she has released her 49th single Rojo-Tierra, written by Nakamori herself.[71][72] It's her single for the first time after five years. The single was released in regular and limited edition: limited edition includes making video clip of Rojo-Tierra. The single debuted at number 8 on Oricon Weekly Single Charts and charted for eight weeks. The single was rewarded with Japan Gold Disc Award as the Best Enka/Kayokuyoku Artist.[73]

On 30 September 2015, she released her 51st single Unfixable, written by Hilde Wahl, Anita Lipsky, Tommy Berre and Marietta Constantinou.[74][75][76][77] For the first time after 28 years, she performed original song in the English. The single was released in regular and limited edition: limited edition includes image footage of unfixable. The single debuted at number 20 on Oricon Single Weekly Charts and debuted at number 3 on Recochoku Single Weekly Charts.

On 30 December 2015, she has released her twenty-fourth studio album Fixer. It's her first studio album for the first time after 6 years.[78][79] The album consists of two previously released singles in 2015, its original and album arranged version which are listed as a bonus tracks. The album version of Fixer: While the Woman are Sleeping has been promoted as a movie theme song in the theatrical movie Onna ga Nemuru Toki. It's her first movie theme song for the first time after 24 years.[80] The album was released in the regular and limited edition: limited edition includes DVD music video clip of Fixer: While the Woman are Sleeping. The album debuted at number 7 on Oricon Weekly Album Charts and debuted at number 8 on Recochoku Weekly Album Charts.

On 2016, she's entered to 35th debut anniversary.

On 24 February 2016, she released her forty-fifth single Fixer: While the Women are Sleeping, written by Nakamori herself. It was her first single cut for the first time since Diva in 2009. The beginning of single doesn't start with leading title, but instead B-side track, Hirari: Sakura, written by Kouhei Munemoto and member of band Porno Graffitti, Haruichi Shindō. It's her first original song with title and theme of Sakura.[81][82] The single debuted at number 32 on Oricon Weekly Single Charts.

On 30 November 2016, she has released jazz cover album Belie. The album consists of songs from various periods with jazz arrangements and rhythm feeling.[83][84] The album was released in regular and limited edition: limited edition includes DVD of music videoclips of all cover songs. The album debuted at number 8 on Oricon Weekly Album Charts and debuted at number 5 on Recochoku Weekly Album Charts. On 21 December 2016, renewed version of cover album Belie+Vampire has been released. Vampire consists of 6 cover tracks as part of the upcoming celebration of 35th debut anniversary.

On 8 November 2017, was double released: Eurobeat cover album Cage and twenty-fifth original studio album Akina.[85][86] Cage consist of Eurobeat and disco songs, which were recorded in the '80s. Expect of one track, the rest of album tracks are performed in English. The main album arranger is Kengo Sasaki. The album was released in regular and limited edition: limited edition consists of 6-minute footage of 35th debut anniversary celebration. The album debuted at number 8 on Oricon Weekly Album Charts. Akina The album was released in the regular and limited edition: limited edition includes and 2018 calendar in the size of album booklet. Hirari: Sakura has received new remix and was taken from previous single's b-side. The album debuted at number 9 on Oricon Weekly Album Charts and debuted at number 10 on Recochoku Weekly Album Charts.

Regardless of her lack of prolific songs in recent years, Nakamori was honored by the Japanese Music critics as the 5th best voice in the country's recording history, even ahead of her rival, Seiko Matsuda, at 7th place.[citation needed] According to the Oricon Charts, she is one of a handful of singers who manage to have albums in the Top 10 in the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s; proving her resilience to the taste changing music industry.

DiscographyEdit

Studio albums

ToursEdit

  • Akina Milkyway '83: Haru no Kaze wo Kanjite (1983)
  • Rainbow Shower (1983)
  • Aitai Na Aeruka Na: Akina Nakamori Ongaku Kanshō Kai (1984)
  • Bitter and Sweet (1985)
  • Light and Shade (1986)
  • A Hundred Days (1987)
  • Femme Fatale (1988)
  • Felicidad (1997)
  • Spoon (1998)
  • Akina Nakamori 2000: 21 Seiki he no Tabidachi (2000)
  • All About Akina 20th Anniversary: It's Brand New Day (2001)
  • Musica Fiesta Tour 2002 (2002)
  • Akina Nakamori Live Tour 2003: I Hope So (2003)
  • Akina Nakamori A-1 Tour 2004 (2004)
  • Akina Nakamori Live Tour 2006: The Last Destination (2006)

FilmographyEdit

MovieEdit

Year Title Role Notes
1985 Ai Tabidachi Yuki Koizumi
1992 Hashire Melos! Raisa Voice role

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

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External linksEdit