Daily Archives: January 30, 2007

Lucky 13 for Amuro Namie

Amuro Namie (29) is the first female artist to have a Top 10 hit on the Oricon singles chart every year for 13 consecutive years. With her latest single, “Baby Don’t Cry”, released January 24 and entering the chart this week at No.3, she has overtaken Koizumi Kyoko (40) and Kudo Shizuka (36). Two of the top idols of the 1980s and early 90s, they’re well past their prime as singers and ended their 12-year runs on the chart back in the mid to late 90s. Amuro had the limelight to herself back in the 90s, starting with her first Top 10 hit “Taiyo no Season” in 1995. Tribes of young female stars copied her dark-skinned look and called themselves “Amuraa”. She was the youngest ever winner of the Nihon Record Taisho award for 1997’s “Don’t Wanna Cry” and is still the female record holder for million-selling singles, with five. Her position as the Queen of J-Pop may have been usurped by the likes of Utada Hikaru, Hamasaki Ayumi and Koda Kumi, but even marriage, motherhood and divorce have failed to put an end to her career. She has developed a large fan base elsewhere in Asia, where she remains one of the most popular Japanese artists. (Among male artists, the record of 17 consecutive years of Top 10 hits is shared by B’z (1990-2006) and SMAP (1991-2007))