Mika Nakashima

 

 中島美嘉

Japanese Singer

 

Born in Hioki (Japan) in 1983

Mika Nakashima is a Japanese singer, model, and actress.

Born on the island of Kyūshū, Nakashima was the youngest of three children.

At age 17, she was chosen from among 3,000 girls to be the heroine of the Fall 2001 Fuji TV drama, Kizudarake no Love Song (Tainted Love Song). In November, she made her debut with Sony Music Associated Records with the single "Stars," which was also the theme song of the drama. Her second single "Crescent Moon", an 80's themed song, was limited to 100,000 copies. It sold out the first day of its release. In March of 2002 she released her third single, "One Survive," and her first video collection, "Film Lotus". This was followed in May by her 4th single, "Helpless Rain", and in August, by her 5th single "Will", which went on to rack up sales of over 140,000. Both were top ten hits and sold over or near the key 100k mark, proving Nakashima's rising star appeal.

Nakashima's first album, TRUE, released in August 2002, was a #1 hit on the Oricon charts. In 3 weeks, TRUE sold a million copies. Then, as a commemoration of one year since her debut, Nakashima released a Premium EP: RESISTANCE, which hit the charts' #1 spot for two weeks in a row. On December 18, a documentary video, Kiseki: the document of a star, was released. In 2002, the singer received the "New Artist of the Year" award at the Japan Gold Disc Awards and "Best New Artist of the Year" at the All Japan Request Awards 2002. She also won the "New Artist of the Year" award from the 44th Japan Record Awards.

Mika's second album, LOVE, which was released in November 2003, sold over 1.41 million copies, surpassing that of her debut. The Japan Composers Association awarded LOVE the Best Album Award. After releasing a second mini-album, in September 2004, Nakashima topped the Oricon Album Chart again with MUSIC in March 2005, as well as with BEST (her first Greatest Hits album) in December of that year. BEST is the third album by Nakashima to have sold a million copies or more.

Her most popular songs include "Stars," Gundam Seed's ending song "Find the Way", "Sakurairo Maukoro"(桜色舞うころ), and "Yuki no Hana"(雪の華) which was covered by South Korean male singer Hyo-Shin Park and this covered song was inserted in the popular Korean drama I'm Sorry, I Love You. Another Korean version was sung by female singer Seo Young Eun. It was also one of the most popular karaoke songs in Japan in 2004. The song was first covered by Singapore singer Joi Chua in 2005 by the same title "Sorry I Love You". It was also covered by Mainland Chinese singer Han Xue on August 2004 in Mandarin; and by Hong Kong singer Vincy Chan in 2006, in Cantonese. Another covered version was released on June 2006, sung by Japanese male singer Hideaki Tokunaga. In 2004 she sang the ending theme of the anime series based on the manga Hi no Tori as aired on NHK.

In 2005, Nakashima co-starred alongside Aoi Miyazaki in the live-action movie Nana, based on the manga of the same name, which was released September 10, 2005. She also sang one of the theme songs for the movie, which was released as a single under the name "Nana starring Mika Nakashima". The single, titled "Glamorous Sky," was written by the manga's author, Ai Yazawa, and composed by L'Arc en Ciel vocalist Hyde. It was Mika's first #1 single on the Oricon Singles Charts. This single sold over 423,000 copies in 2005, making it the best-selling female single of the year and the tenth highest selling in the world. The single continued selling well into the next year and sold 442,000 copies, which was about 25,000 copies less than her Nana co-star, Yuna Ito's "Endless Story". The single is featured in Konami's guitar/drum simulation game GuitarFreaks and Drummania V3, as well as Nintendo's Moero! Nekketsu Rhythm Damashii Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan 2.

Nakashima was nominated at the MTV Video Music Awards Japan as "Best BuzzAsia from Japan" for "Amazing Grace '05", and the "Glamorous Sky" video was nominated as "Best Female Video" and "Best Video from a Film". She won the "Best Video from a Film" award.

Due to the success of Nana, a sequel was released in December, 2006, as well as new songs by Nakashima, again under the name Nana starring Mika Nakashima. The theme song to Nana 2 movie is "Hitoiro" (One Color), which is also written by Yazawa, while the music is composed by Glay's leader Takuro, who is also the author of the coupling song, "Eyes for the Moon." Besides the single, Mika released the album The End, featuring all her songs under the name Nana starring Mika Nakashima.

On December 18, 2006 Nakashima and Yui Ichikawa came to New York City for the International Premiere of 'Nana 2' at the IFC Center.

Following the release of the 'Nana' movie, Nakashima visited Memphis, Tennessee, and started another project beginning with the heavily gospel-influenced "Cry No More", the ending theme of the anime BLOOD+. She also contributed to the New Orleans charity tribute when she teamed up with American musicians such as Cyril Neville of the Neville Brothers and famed jazz pianist/musician Alan Toussaint, and released the single All Hands Together. A month after "All Hands Together," Mika released another single "My Sugar Cat" following the same theme of "Cry No More" and "All Hands Together", her earlier 2006 singles. Unfortunately, "My Sugar Cat" dropped out of the Top 50 a week after its release.

On February 21, 2007 Nakashima's 21st single "Mienai Hoshi" (見えない星) was released. The single is the theme song for the Japanese drama 「ハケンの品格, which aired starting Jan 10th 2007. The b-side track "I LOVE YOU" is a cover of the Ozaki Yutaka ballad. Promotional videos were made for both songs. On March 14, 2007, Mika's 5th studio album, "Yes," was released in Japan. The title "Yes" continues Mika's trend of having one-word album titles, such as "Love" and "True," excluding the Nana album "The End." Her 22nd single, Sunao na Mama, was released on the same day.

Following the release of YES, Mika embarked on her first tour since 2005, "Mika Nakashima Concert Tour 2007 YES MY JOY," which ended in late July and was subsequently released on DVD on November 7, 2007. Mika's 23rd single "LIFE" as well as "Film Lotus VI," her sixth compilation of music videos, were released in August 2007. "LIFE" was the theme song for the drama adaptation of the shoujo manga series of the same name by Keiko Suenobu.

Mika's 24th single, Eien no Uta, appeared in October 2007, and was the theme to the movie Southbound. Promotional videos were made for both Eien no Uta and its B-side, a cover of Cole Porter's "You'd Be So Nice to Come Home To."

Her 25th single, SAKURA ~Hanagasumi~, was released in March 2008. It has recently made it #12 on the ORICON.

Mika Nakashima's MySpace page: http://www.mikanakashima.com/

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