How Beautiful You Are (Ayumi Hamasaki song)

"How Beautiful You Are" is a song by Japanese musician Ayumi Hamasaki. It was released on February 8, 2012, as the leading digital single from her thirteenth studio album, Party Queen. The song was used at the theme song for the Kyōko Koizumi-starring Fuji Television drama Saigo Kara Nibanme no Koi.[1]

"How Beautiful You Are"
A woman in a purple dress standing against a ladder.
Single by Ayumi Hamasaki
from the album Party Queen
ReleasedFebruary 8, 2012 (2012-02-08)
GenrePop ballad
LabelAvex Trax
Songwriter(s)Ayumi Hamasaki, Tim Wellard
Producer(s)Max Matsuura
Ayumi Hamasaki singles chronology
"Dream On"
"How Beautiful You Are"
"Feel the Love" / "Merry-Go-Round"
Music video
"How Beautiful You Are" on YouTube


The single was the second time Hamasaki had released an official single digitally after "Together When..." (2007), the leading song from her album Guilty. It had been three years since a song by Hamasaki had been used as a drama theme song, since "Sunrise (Love Is All)"'s use for Dandy Daddy?.

For the second series of Saigo Kara Nibanme no Koi in 2014, a new song by Hamasaki, "Hello New Me", served as the theme song.

Writing and productionEdit

The music of the song was written by her musical collaborator Tim Wellard, who first worked with Hamasaki on the song "Brillante" from her extended play Five (2011), and also wrote the songs "Party Queen", "The Next Love" and "Eyes, Smoke, Magic" for Party Queen. Fuji Television director Hiroki Wakamatsu commissioned Hamasaki for the drama's theme song, asking her to write a grown-up song. Hamasaki wrote the song's lyrics after reading the drama's script.[2]

Music videoEdit

A music video was produced for the song, directed by Masashi Muto.[3] It features Hamasaki singing in monochrome, and depicts couples of different races and sexual orientations. Japanese gay porn star Koh Masaki and his partner Tien Tien made cameos as one of the couples, a year before Masaki's death in June 2013.[4]

The dress she wore in the video was specially made for her by Indonesian fashion designer Tex Saverio.[5]

Critical receptionEdit

The song received mixed reviews. CDJournal called the song a "beautifully magnificent ballad" that displayed Hamasaki's presence, however felt that the song's arrangement was disappointing.[6] Music reviewer James Hadfield for Time Out Tokyo reacted strongly to the song, describing it as "wretched" and "generic".[7]

Track listingEdit

All tracks are written by Ayumi Hamasaki, Timothy Wellard.

1."How Beautiful You Are (Original Mix)"Yuta Nakano5:01
2."How Beautiful You Are (Original Mix -Instrumental-)"Yuta Nakano4:59
Total length:10:00

Chart rankingsEdit

Charts (2012) Peak
Japan Billboard Japan Hot 100[8] 52
Japan RIAJ Digital Track Chart[9] 3


Chart Amount
RIAJ digital download certification[10] Gold (100,000)


Personnel details were sourced from Party Queen's liner notes booklet.[11]

Musicians and personnel

  • Ian Burdge – strings
  • Ayumi Hamasaki – lyrics, vocals
  • Masamichi Imafuku – additional background vocals
  • Yumi Kawamura – background vocals
  • Yuta Nakano – arrangement, string arrangement, programming
  • David Reitzas – additional drum programming, mixing
  • Timothy Wellard – music, additional background vocals

Release historyEdit

Region Date Format Distributing Label
Japan February 8, 2012 (2012-02-08)[1] Ringtone, digital download Avex Trax


  1. ^ a b "【配信情報】フジテレビ系木曜よる10時ドラマ「最後から二番目の恋」主題歌「how beautiful you are」をデジタル・シングルとして2/8(水)にリリース!" [[Download news] Fuji TV Wednesday 10pm drama 'Saigo kara Nibanme no Koi' theme song "How Beautiful You Are" to be released as a digital single on February 8 (wed)!] (in Japanese). Avex Group. February 1, 2012. Archived from the original on August 19, 2014. Retrieved August 20, 2014.
  2. ^ "トピックス Vol. 1" (in Japanese). Fuji Television. 2011. Retrieved August 20, 2014.
  3. ^ "how beautiful you are" (in Japanese). Space Shower. Retrieved August 20, 2014.
  4. ^ Benji Douglas (June 12, 2013). "Remembering Masaki Koh: What Made The Late Gay Porn Star So Special?". Queerty. Retrieved August 20, 2014.
  5. ^ "Tex Saverio's Couture-Infused Fall/Winter Collection".{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  6. ^ "浜崎あゆみ / Party Queen [CD+2DVD]" (in Japanese). CDJournal. Retrieved August 21, 2014.
  7. ^ James Hadfield (March 22, 2012). "Ayumi Hamasaki: Party Queen". Time Out Tokyo. Archived from the original on April 8, 2012. Retrieved August 21, 2014.
  8. ^ "Japan Billboard Hot 100". Billboard (in Japanese). March 29, 2012. Retrieved August 20, 2014.
  9. ^ "レコード協会調べ 2012年02月08日~2012年02月14日 <略称:レコ協チャート(「着うたフル(R)」)>" (in Japanese). Recording Industry Association of Japan. February 17, 2012. Archived from the original on July 14, 2014. Retrieved August 20, 2014.
  10. ^ レコード協会調べ 1月度有料音楽配信認定 [Record Association Investigation: January Digital Music Download Certifications] (in Japanese). Recording Industry Association of Japan. February 28, 2014. Archived from the original on March 5, 2014. Retrieved March 4, 2014.
  11. ^ Party Queen (Media notes) (in Japanese). Ayumi Hamasaki. Tokyo, Japan: Avex trax. 2012.{{cite AV media notes}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)