(♪ ♫ ♬)
I discovered Namie Amuro in the early 00s, around the end of high school and into college, since that was around the time I was being introduced to international music artists from all over (Jpop/Kpop/etc), and instantly I fell in love with her. The first song I listened that got me addicted with "The Speed Star", and immediately I knew I found a new favorite. I loved everything about her, from her singing voice to the way she looked in the music video, not to mention her dancing. I memorized the dance she does in the video, to the point where I still do whenever I hear the song today. It was from then on that I became a fan and started following her career. The first album I got of hers was Queen of Hip-Pop, which I also have the DVD of her live tour that she did for that album. And I've been gradually gathering the rest of her albums ever since then.
Here is a quick summary of her music throughout the years (up to 2013, at least), starting from when she first appeared in the girl group, Super Monkeys, in 1992 and when she made her solo debut in 1995:
Namie collaborated with many artists throughout the years, and in 2015 would end up collaborating with other artists she never sang with before such Taiwanese C-pop artist Jolin Tsai with "I'm Not Yours" and fellow J-pop artist Crystal Kay with "Revolution". She would release three more albums before her retirement, with Genic being the last studio recording ever and Finally being the last collaboration album that is a celebration of all her works, with only a few new songs.
Why I Love Namie Amuro
I've thought about this a lot, because I've listened to many J-pop and other international music artists throughout the years and while there are some that I've considered my favorite, there's been something about Namie that really stood out from anyone else and why I consider her my absolute favorite of favorites. I think her overall presence is really mesmerizing, from her stage performances to seeing her during interviews, she seems really personable and humble even during confident and powerful performances. You never hear anything negative about Namie because she always remains positive, professional, and poised. And after everything she's been through, she's endured and kept going due to the support of her fans, and she's grown and matured not just personally but also with her music, as well. And while I definitely have more of a preference to her R&B/hip-hop style that I was introduced to when I discovered her, she still released so many bops and remained an iconic figure, and it's definitely a reason why her career has lasted as long as it has. I've always been excited whenever there was a new song or album release of hers, I love seeing what concept she has for her music videos and seeing her performances. I love everything from her voice, her dancing, her personality, just everything about her.
Hearing the announcement of her retirement broke my heart as a fan, because in a way it still feels too soon, like even though it's been many, many years I feel like I just discovered her. But at the same time I respect her decision, which she says she's been planning for some time now. It's better than the abrupt disbanding I keep hearing of some of my favorite K-pop girl groups in recent years. Namie will be turning 41 this year (on September 20th) and while her retirement will mark the end of an era, it will spark the beginning of a new journey for her.
I think the young women from this video capture my feelings exactly. She may be retiring and it's heartbreaking, but I'll always love her and will always be a fan, always and forever. ❤ ❤ ❤
Namie Amuro has been phenomenal and such an inspiration in more ways than one, since there is a reason why she's considered Japan's most successful female artists. She's not only a wonderful singer, she's also a fashion icon (literally, many young women in the late 90s/early 00s coined the term Amuraas as part of the Gyaru/Gal culture that modeled themselves after Namie's fashion style that went against conventional Japanese social norms; with tanned skin and platforms/stiletto heel boots and mini-skirts), and overall an incredible businesswoman who has maintained her entire career and will go out on a high note, leaving behind a legacy she should absolutely be proud of.
In conclusion, I want to say thank you, Namie Amuro. You have brought me so much joy and happiness with your songs and your work. I'm sorry that I couldn't travel overseas to see you live in concert, something I thought I had time for. I'm just a mere fan in America who doesn't have that kind of money or the an opportunity, but I really wished I could have made the effort or that you could have traveled to America and to a performance, since you do have fans here. But regardless, I still have your CDs and DVDs, and I'll forever be playing them for years and years to come. Thank you for everything Namie, my Queen, and while I'll miss your music presence I hope that you'll enjoy the rest of your life in whatever you choose to do next. I'll always love and support you no matter what. (ﾉ◕ヮ◕)ﾉ*:･ﾟ✧
(Also, for those wanting to see more of Namie's content, AmuroNamiech is a YouTube channel that has uploaded a fair amount of things such as commercials and promotional material, this includes the emotional counting down to her retirement, which is tomorrow. Sadly, because there are tighter restrictions with Japan regarding full length music videos only a few of them of older songs are featured, while the rest are of the shorter versions. Also lovenhanced is a Tumblr that, while no longer updating, features a lot of things such as gifsets and photos of her.)