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Music / Namie Amuro

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Namie Amuro (安室奈美恵, born September 20, 1977 in Naha, Okinawa), is one of the most prominent and successful singers in Japan.

Debuted on September 16th, 1992, Amuro got her start in the music industry as a member of the idol group, Super Monkey's. Her then producer, now Avex CEO, Max Matsuura found her becoming more popular than her group members, thus pulled her out and introduced her to celebrity producer, Tetsuya Komuro to nurture her solo career starting in year 1995. Her debut album Sweet 19 Blues (1996) was a massive hit, becoming the best-selling album by a female soloist at the timenote , while her 1997 single "Can You Celebrate" holds the record for best-selling (physical) single by a female artist. She also attracted major media coverage and controversy for her Shotgun Wedding to a member of the Komuro-produced group TRF at the age of 20. After a period of reduced success in the early 2000s, she reinvented herself as a "Hip-Pop" artist and saw renewed success throughout the late 2000s and The New '10s, and is still one of Japan's most popular female artists two decades into her career.

She is famous for her Western-influenced dance-pop style with copious amounts of English lyrics, highly choreographed live performances, and her distinctive fashion sense.

On her 40th birthday in September 20th, 2017, Amuro officially announced her plan to retire, and began her international farewell tour throughout her 25th anniversary celebration. Amuro gracefully retired from the entertainment industry effective September 16th, 2018—the exact day of the 26th anniversary of her professional debut.

Studio Albums:

  • DANCE TRACKS VOL.1 (1995)note 
  • SWEET 19 BLUES (1996)
  • Concentration 20 (1997)
  • GENIUS 2000 (2000)
  • break the rules (2000)
  • STYLE (2003)
  • Queen of Hip-Pop (2005)
  • PLAY (2007)
  • PAST < FUTURE (2009)
  • Uncontrolled (2012)
  • FEEL (2013)
  • _genic (2015)


  • ORIGINAL TRACKS VOL.1 (1996)note 
  • 181920 (1998)note 
  • LOVE ENHANCED ♥ single collection (2002)note 
  • BEST FICTION (2008)note 
  • Checkmate! (2011)note 
  • Ballada (2014)note 
  • Finally (2018) note 

Provides examples of:

  • Album Filler: The interludes on SWEET 19 BLUES, in which 8 out of the 19 tracks are interludes. Egregious examples are the two 4 second-long interludes note  and back-to-back interludes at the beginningnote .
  • all lowercase letters: break the rules and _genic. Many of her song titles also qualify.
  • Arc Words: "Style", since the release of her album of the same name. Said album contains the track "Namie's Style", and several of her tours have had "style" in their titlesnote . Justified in that she's also known for frequently changing her musical style, and for having an influential fashion style.
  • Auto-Tune:
    • Her vocals in the verses on "Hot Girls" from Uncontrolled.
    • "Poison" and "Supernatural Love" from FEEL.
    • Used very prominently on her parts in "B Who I Want 2 B" from _genic, to the point that she actually sounds more robotic than the song's featured performer, Hatsune Miku.
  • Award-Bait Song: A number of her big ballads count. "CAN YOU CELEBRATE?", "Wishing on the Same Star", "ALL FOR YOU" and "Love Story" are well-known examples. "CAN YOU CELEBRATE?" actually did win the Best Single Award at the 39th Japan Record Awards.
  • B-Side: Plenty of them, as is usual for Japanese pop music. Interestingly, a number of songs initially marketed as A-sides from the singles they were on ended up not being included on any studio albums, whereas several of her B-sides have been.
  • Blatant Lies:
    • SWEET 19 BLUES was released when Amuro was 18 years old; Concentration 20 was released when she was 19. Though they were at least released the same year that she turned those ages. Seemingly lampshaded by the interlude "Soon Nineteen" on the former album.
    • ORIGINAL TRACKS VOL. I is actually a compilation album of Super Monkey's tracks. None of the tracks are original.
      • In fairness, this may refer to the fact that the tracks on the compilation are their original versions, whereas the versions on DANCE TRACKS VOL. I were remixed. Ironically, the latter album actually does have original, unreleased tracks
  • Bilingual Bonus: Many of her songs mix Japanese and English together seamlessly meaning you need to know both languages to understand the lyrics.
  • Breakout Character: A real-life example; she is by far the most successful member out of the former Super Monkey's.
    • In a less extreme case, she was the also the most sucessful member of the former "TK Family"note  other than Komuro's own group Globe, and the only former member to still be making hits over a decade after parting ways with him.
  • CAPS LOCK: About half of her albums note  are spelled this way, as well as many of her song titles.
  • Child Popstar: She started her music career at the age of 14.
  • Concept Album: SWEET 19 BLUES, though loosely. The album revolves around the theme of youth and passing from childhood into adulthood.
  • Deliberately Monochrome: The covers of SWEET 19 BLUES, 181920 and FEEL.
  • Epic Rocking:
    • The Latin House Mix of "Body Feels Exit" on SWEET 19 BLUES is almost nine minutes long, and half of the non-interlude tracks on the album go past the five-minute mark.
    • "CAN YOU CELEBRATE?" from Concentration 20 is six and half minutes long.
    • "no more tears" from break the rules is nearly six minutes long, and the remix featured on the album is nine minutes. "NEVER END" is also over six minutes.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin:
    • DANCE TRACKS VOL.1 is a album of dancenote  tracks.
    • 181920 is a compilation of songs released when Namie was 18, 19 and 20 years old.
    • Ballada is a compilation of ballads.
  • Face on the Cover: All of her studio albums have this. Mostly of the frontal-shot variety, but since PAST < FUTURE they've been close-ups.
  • Foreign Language Title: Every albumnote  and nearly all her song titles have English names. All of her tours are titled in English as well.
  • Genre Shift: Has gone through a number of them in her career. While part of the Super Monkeys she made Eurobeat music before changing to dance-pop with varying influences when Tetsuya Komuro started producing for her. After parting ways with Komuro she transitioned to westernised R&B and hip hop-influenced pop. Starting in The New '10s her music is primarily electropop or EDM.
  • Gratuitous Spanish: "Mi Corazon (Te' Amour)" from GENIUS 2000. The title doubles as Gratuitous French even though there are no French lyrics in the song. Also seen in the chorus of "I Love You" from Queen of Hip-Pop, and briefly in "Step With It!" from PLAY.
  • Hidden Track: On Queen of Hip-Pop there is an untitled track that comes after "No"note  which is a Softer and Slower Cover of "No" with a rewritten chorus.
  • The Immodest Orgasm: In the bridge of "Hot Girls."
  • Idol Singer: Started out as one.
  • Important Haircut: Cut her normally-long hair short right around the time of her maternity leave announcement in 1997.
  • Informed Attractiveness: The premise of "Photogenic" from _genic:
    When you see cameras flashing, follow the action
    They call me photogenic, freakin' photogenic
    Put my picture on the wall, everyone knows I'm beautiful
  • In Da Club: The setting for many of her songs and music videos. Stated word-for-word in "WoWa" from Queen of Hip-Pop and "In The Spotlight" from Uncontrolled.
  • Insistent Terminology: She's the self-proclaimed "Queen of Hip-Pop", not hip-hop.
  • Intercourse with You: Many throughout her career.
    • "Want Me, Want Me" from Queen of Hip-Pop is one of her most blatant:
      Nobody can do you, do you, like me
      Nobody can do me, do me, like you
    • "Violet Sauce" from PLAY.
    • "Hot Girls" wouldn't be an example if not for the random heavy breathing and moaning in the bridge.
    • FEEL has three of these in a row: "Hands on Me", "Heaven", "Poison", and "La La La".
  • Japanese Pop Music: One of the most successful artists in the industry.
  • Letters 2 Numbers: "B Who I Want 2 B".
  • Long Runner: Has been in the music industry for since 1992. Notable for maintaining a high profile and commercial success for nearly all of that time; she's had at least one top-ten single om the Oricon charts every year for 23 consecutive years, a record in Japan.
  • Loudness War: _genic has an average DR 4, with some tracks even reaching an extreme of DR 2, and an RMS of −3.0.
  • May–December Romance: Her ex-husband SAM note  from the Komuro-produced group TRF was 15 years older than her.
  • New Sound Album: Several in her career.
    • Her debut, SWEET 19 BLUES is one compared to her work with the Super Monkeys. Compared to her early Eurobeat music, it has a much more slick, polished dance sound with acid house, jazz, funk and R&B influences.
    • Her followup, Concentration 20, is another one, with a dance-rock sound that's very similar to producer Komuro Tetsuya's work with his own group Globe, and very different from anything she's done before or since.
    • STYLE was her official transition to hip-hop and R&B music.
    • Uncontrolled was her first album to prominently feature electronic dance music, as well as feature multiple English-language tracks, which she's continued with her most recent albums.
  • Older Than They Look: Famous for this. She's 40 but looks at least 10-15 years younger. Combined with her small frame and certain hair / costuming she can look almost adolescent sometimes.
  • Pep-Talk Song: "Baby Don't Cry" from PLAY, "Anything" from _genic.
  • Perfectly Cromulent Word: From the first Gratuitous English post-chorus of the 2004 B-side "STROBE":
    Tell me whenever you want a passionating kiss, I'll give you
  • Phrase Salad Lyrics: Again, "STROBE". The English lyrics in the first post-chorus are basically a string of disconnected Intercourse with You-esque phrases:
    Would you mind... Open up my heart
    Ever feel so strong and sexy as you can try with your tongue
    For you... making me tasty
    Tell me whenever you want a passionating kiss, I'll give you
  • Rhyming with Itself:
    • The entire chorus of "WoWa":
      Oshiete, where's the wo-wa? note 
      Te wo agete, who's the wo-wa? note 
      Wo-wo-wa-wa, wo-wo-wa-wa
      Sonna fuu, motto wo-wa note 
      I wanna hear you say wo-wa
    • In "No":
      Karada wo yurashite like this note 
      Subete wo wasurete like this note 
    • The Hidden Track following it also does this:
      When I say to you no, no, no
      You know I really think it's yes, yes, yes
      I don't wanna say no, no, no
      Why don't you make me say yes, yes, yes?
  • Sampling: The premise of her single "60s 70s 80s", where each of the 3 songs featured samples a famous American hit from that decade. "NEW LOOK" samples "Baby Love" by The Supremes, while "ROCK STEADY" and "WHAT A FEELING" sample the songs of the same name by Aretha Franklin and Irene Cara respectively.
  • Scatting: The chorus of "WoWa", as well as in "FAST CAR" from PAST < FUTURE.
  • Self-Backing Vocalist: Most of her albums from STYLE onwards have this. Notably averted on her Komuro-produced albums, which have gospel choirs and (on Concentration 20) Komuro's own vocals featured prominently alongside hers.
  • Shotgun Wedding: Possibly the Trope Codifier among Japanese celebrities; certainly one of the most famous examples and often credited for popularizing them in Japan. She got married to SAM while she was three months pregnant.
  • Something Blues: SWEET 19 BLUES and its title track.
  • Stock Rhymes: From "FAST CAR": "Maru de fire mitai na desire" note 
  • Teen Idol: Had the peak of her success in her late teens. Her biggest group of fans at this time was teen girls as well.
  • Translated Cover Version: Several of her songs are Japanese covers of English-language songs. This was particularly true during her Super Monkey's days; more recently she tends to just sing them in the original English.
  • Unusual Euphemism: "Violet Sauce", though it's not hard to figure out what is meant:
    Dip it in the sauce (himitsu na recipe)note 
    Dip it in the sauce (taste it and feel it)
    Dip it in the sauce (sugu ni yamitsuki)note 
    Dip it in the violet sauce
  • Vocal Evolution: Her current singing voice is noticeably deeper, softer and smoother than when she made her debut, with a more controlled tone and less belting.
  • Xtreme Kool Letterz: Besides the above examples, there's "HimAWArI" from break the rules.