Today, May 1, 2012, marks the 30th anniversary celebration of Japan’s one and only “utahime” (“diva” in Japanese) – Akina Nakamori.
As mentioned in many of my previous posts, Akina was Japan’s top female singer in the 1980s. She was, and still is, the “Madonna” of Japan – in the sense of changing her image for each song she released. Akina’s legend has influenced many young female artists to this day including: Ayumi Hamasaki, Hitotoyo, Rimi Natsukawa, Kumi Koda and the list goes on.
Akina has a very special place in my heart as she was the first Japanese idol/artist that I listened to completely in real time back in the 1980s. She was one of the reasons why I became interested in Japan and the Japanese language.
Akina has been taking a rest from the entertainment industry due to health reasons as of October 2010. It’s been a year and a half since her fans have heard from her; however, Akina has managed to send a message through her fan club newsletter earlier in the year, and to commemorate her 30 year anniversary, Universal Music has released “THE BEST TEN AKINA NAKAMORI PREMIUM BOX”.
THE BEST TEN was a music television program which ran from 1978 to 1989 and counted down the singles rankings each week. This was prior to Japanese artists making promotional videos to promote their songs. The way J-pop fans could tune into see their favorite singers would be by watching this program.
Although Akina’s debut single “Slowmotion” did not chart on the program, her follow-up song “Shojo A” (translated in English as: Girl “A”) debuted at No. 9 on September 16, 1982. She hit the top of the Best Ten charts with her third single “Second Love” which took the top spot for a record 8 consecutive weeks.
This was only the beginning for Akina as she set record after record on the television program including: No. 1 artist with the most no. 1 songs in the history of the Best Ten (17 songs) and No. 1 artist with the most weeks at No. 1 in the history of the Best Ten (69 weeks).
The DVD box is the perfect way to celebrate the music of this living legend and watch her transformation from a young female idol to artist extraordinaire.
HAPPY 30TH ANNIVERSARY, AKINA NAKAMORI! YOU ARE THE LEGEND OF DIVA!