Miho Fukuhara (福原 美穂 Fukuhara Miho) is a Japanese pop star who made an independent label debut in 2006, releasing a single titled "The Roots" and mini-album titled Step Out. In early 2008, she made her major-label debut under Sony Music Entertainment Japan . Her single, "Change", was the number ninety-two song on the Billboard Japan Hot 100 Singles year-end charts for 2008. With her single, "Let It Out", she had her first major anime tie-in with Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood.
|Birth name||福原 美穂|
|Born||June 19, 1987|
|Occupation(s)||Singer, songwriter, actress, model, spokesperson|
|Labels||Sony Music Japan|
|Associated acts||Leona Lewis, Daichi Miura, Sweetbox, LogiQ Pryce|
In early 2013, Fukuhara signed on to be the frontwoman of the worldwide music project Sweetbox, along with rapper/singer LogiQ Pryce.
In 2015, Fukuhara set up her own record "Happy Field Records".
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Fukuhara is one-quarter American. She was initially signed to the independent, local Sapporo-based Yumechika Records label and released her debut single and mini-album, titled "The Roots" and Step Out respectively. She performed in-store live performances to promote her records during 2006, which prompted Sony Music Japan to pick her up as a performing artist. Her first major-released appearance was on a Celine Dion tribute album singing "Because You Loved Me".
She released her first single in early 2008 to varied success. Penning her own lyrics and co-producing the song, "Change" was a hit in terms of radio airplay, reaching as high as the top 3, but only managing the 14th position in terms of sales. The single came in only one format, which is unusual for Japanese maxi singles. She released her second single, "Himawari", to even more lackluster success than "Change". It failed to impact top 10 in terms of airplay and also only narrowly made the top 25 in the sales category. It was not until her third single, Yasashii Aka, that she had real major success. It was, first and foremost, her first single to be released in multiple formats. Although it was neither as strong on airplay or as a seller as "Change" was, it sold well digitally, and become her first single to become certified by the RIAJ. It was the number 17 song of December 2008 and quickly become certified gold. Her follow-up song, "Love (Winter Song)" would match the success of "Yasashii Aka" similarly and ultimately surpass it, also going gold and becoming the number 10 song of January 2009.
She released the album Rainbow, which was mainly penned and co-produced by Fukuhara herself, in January 2009, with "Yuki no Hikari" as the digital/radio single helping to promote the album. "Yuki no Hikari" peaked at #50 on the Japan Hot 100, becoming her lowest charting single. With strong label backing, however, the album peaked at #2 and was beat only by the successful 7th album by legendary pop-star Kumi Koda. Rainbow went on to sell nearly 100,000 copies and become certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of Japan. Fukuhara later embarked on the successful Rainbow Tour 2009, which spanned six shows in multiple cities. She performed a mix of covers, original songs from Rainbow, and b-sides. Following her album, she released her next single "Hanabi Sky" in June 2009. It was another major airplay hit, peaking at number 3. Overall, the single peaked at number 5, but only received number 26 for sales. She quickly announced her next single, "Let It Out", second ending theme to popular anime Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood in early July. "Let It Out" is both Fukuhara's first major anime tie-in and her first single to be released in 3 separate formats, and was released on September 9, 2009. While it was a much bigger hit than "Hanabi Sky", it still fared relatively poorly in terms of both physical and digital sales in comparison to her previous singles "Love (Winter Song)", "Change" and "Yasashii Aka". Leading up to the release of her second studio album Music Is My Life (2010), Fukuhara released the singles "Nande Nakitaku Nacchau n Darō" (2009), "Mirai" (2010) and "Moshikashite" (2010).
In 2010, Fukuhara began releasing conceptual extended plays. The first, Regrets of Love, featured ballads, while the second two in 2011, The Soul Extreme EP and The Soul Extreme EP II, featured soul and R&B music. The leading track of The Soul Extreme EP, "O2", featured R&B singer Ai, and became a commercial success, with her record label tracking 300,000 legal downloads of the song.
In 2012, Fukuhara debuted as an actress, on the musical comedy Kaeru no Ojōsama as Minami Haneda, a member of a singing group called Chansons. As a member of the cast, Fukuhara performed music throughout the series. Fukuhara's third album The Best of Soul Extreme was released in June 2012, led by the single "Dream On" featuring Daichi Miura. The album featured a second duet with Ai, as well as a song performed with Leona Lewis.
Parting with SonyEdit
In early 2013, it was announced that Fukuhara signed on to be the newest frontwoman of the worldwide pop music project Sweetbox along with male singer/rapper LogiQ Pryce. The two recorded their first album Z21 in the first part of 2013 and released their first single "#Z21 (#Zeitgeist21)" in June 2013, shortly after Miho released her singles "Rising Heart", a song used in a campaign for Coca-Cola, and "Beyond", a song used for the anime Space Brothers.
In 2014, Fukuhara parted ways with Sony Music Japan, and became an independent musician. In a music industry wide poll taken from the popular TV program "Downtown no Sui Yobi", Fukuhara was chosen as one of the top 10 voices in Japan. . In 2015, Fukuhara set up her own record label Happy Field Records, and released an extended play entitled Something New on December 23.
Fukuhara's voice was classified as Spinto lirico soprano that verges to Lyric Soprano with three octave vocal range (from a low C3 up to soprano high D6). Her voice has a striking resemblance to American singer-songwriter and The Voice US mentor Christina Aguilera.
- Rainbow (2008)
- Music Is My Life (2010)
- The Best of Soul Extreme (2012)
- Rainbow Tour (2009)
- 2009-nen Gakuensai Tour (2009)
- Sing a Song Tour (2010)
- Live in Music Vol. 1 (2010)
- Live in Music Vol. 3 (2011)
- "The Best of Soul Extreme" Tour (2012)
- Live in Music Vol. 4 (2012)
- Miho Fukuhara 5th Anniversary Party "Rising Heart!!" (2013)
- Live in Music Vol. 5 (2013)
- Miho Fukuhara & the Mardi Gras Combo Tour (2014)
- Miho Fukuhara at Rate Your Music
- "福原美穂、AIとのコラボ曲第2弾アルバム収録決定！ 着うた（R）先行配信スタート" (in Japanese). Modelpress. March 23, 2012. Archived from the original on February 13, 2015. Retrieved February 13, 2015.
- シャンソンズ(ドラマ『カエルの王女さま』より)劇中歌唱曲ダウンロード配信中!! (in Japanese). Pony Canyon. Retrieved February 13, 2015.
- 充電期間中の福原美穂、レーベル＆事務所から独立 (in Japanese). Natalie. April 2, 2014. Retrieved February 13, 2015.
- 福原美穂 待望の新譜決定 (in Japanese). HMV. November 20, 2015. Retrieved November 21, 2015.