AYUMI HAMASAKI Biography - Theater, Opera and Movie personalities


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Ayumi Hamasaki was still an infant when her father left the family in  their home town of Fukuoka, and she was raised by her mother and  grandmother. At age seven she began modeling to earn money for her  family. At 14 the family moved to Tokyo so Ayumi could pursue an acting  and modeling career.


She got small roles in several minor films and a  little TV work, but she didn’t particularly like acting, and was  considered too small to have much of a future in modeling, so she left  both fields, and for good measure dropped out of high school. Her time  was spent mostly shopping and partying, until one night a friend took  her to a karaoke club, where she was persuaded to get up and sing.


The  club was owned by a major record label, and a producer for that label  happened to be in the club that night, heard her sing and offered her a  contract. At first she turned him down, but he persisted, and the next  year she agreed to at least take singing lessons. She didn’t like them  either, and wound up missing most of them. The label then sent her to  New York for lessons; this time she found that she enjoyed the  experience and stayed there for three months.


When she returned to  Japan, her producer - impressed by the contents of several letters she  had written to him from New York - suggested that she begin writing her  thoughts down as songs. She began recording in early 1998, but it  wasn’t until the middle of 1999 that her album “Love-Destiny” zoomed to  the #1 spot on the charts, and every one of her records has hit the top  since that time.


He fame as a singer has carried over into other  entertainment media, and she is also one of the top spokesmodels in  Japan, making commercials for Honda cars, among others. Her success at  both singing and commercials have combined to make her the highest-paid  entertainer in Japan.