Namie Amuro, the most popular idol singer in Japan today, has a very different personality than most kawaii idols--more sexual and, possibly, more mature. Her first appearance in the business was not as the vocalist for an idol group, Super Monkeys, which released two popular singles in 1992. Super Monkeys, however, began to founder, and record execs thought emphasizing Amuro might be the solution. The group was renamed Amuro Namie with the Super Monkeys, and in 1995 Amuro began a solo career, and a greater success than ever. (The Super Monkeys can be spotted dancing in the background of some of her concerts.)

Now 18, with her birthday coming up soon, Amuro has released an incredible hit with her latest CD, Sweet 19 Blues. The marketing and music skills of famed producer Tetsuya Komuro certainly didn't hurt the title. The CD sold three million copies in advance sales alone, and after its release became the bestselling album in the history of Japan.

Unlike most idols, Amuro is popular among girls as well as boys. The many girls who imitate her hairstyle (long and straight, with a strong part) and clothes are known as Amurer. Her music is heavily influenced by European and American dance music, and unlike many early idols, cemented to their microphones, Amuro is a good performer and dancer as well as singer. Her first movie (That's Cunning! Shijo Saidai No Sakusen?) is scheduled for release this year. Amuro's fantastic success proves that idols aren't dead by any means.

Toshiba EMI's Official Page(Japanese)
Data, release schedules, discography

Tetsuya Komuro's Satellites Page (Japanese)
Information about every group produced by Tetsuya Komoru, including hitomi and Namie Amuro

Wills Cheung's Page
Amuro Namie, with Japanese links

Levin Scoggins' Page
Links, pho •, and more

Kazuhiro Sanada's Page
Up-to-date information, straight from Japan. Beware: blinking text!

Haja's Page
Includes an Amuro Namie chatroom

Not only hot in Hong Kong, Noriko Sakai, or "Nori-P," has been claimed to be Asia's hottest singer. In Japan she was more successful in the '80s, with vocalist work on the anime Video Girl Ai and Gunbuster (whose heroine, also named Noriko, is said to be modelled after her). Her own PC Engine CD-ROM game was another sure sign of success.

Yahoo on Noriko Sakai
Several of the best links

Sun Music Official Noriko Sakai Page
Her publisher's official homepage

Cyrus Cheng's Noriko Sakai Page
Includes mailing list, album list and IRC discussion information

ImaGene Noriko Sakai Page
Fan club information, movie and TV clips

Nori-P Mailing List and Information Server (Japanese)
A Japanese mailing list and Encyclopedia



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