Amuro Namie Announces Retirement

After her recent 25th anniversary concert in her hometown of Okinawa, Amuro Namie has announced her decision to retire in a year’s time in September 2018.

The songstress has been around since her teenage years, debuting at a tender age of 14. Throughout her long career, she’s gone through several major events in her life including her divorce from former TRF dancer Sam, and having her mother murdered by her uncle who later committed suicide.

Amuro was the very first Japanese singer I learned about when she started appearing on TV in Singapore even though I never really got into listening to JPop until Speed. But when got hooked to JPop, I started listening to Amuro as well and also got a number of her albums and live performance videos back home. While I still think Hamasaki Ayumi is the queen of entertainment, Amuro’s concerts were a joy to watch as well, unlike Aikawa Nanase who is a great singer but a poor entertainer.

It’s hard to believe Amuro is 40 now despite looking no different than when I first saw her on TV when she was 21. The songstress is an athlete in her own right in the world of singing, giving herself very strict rules about herself and her performances. Her latest concert in Okinawa saw her belt out 27 songs in 2 hours without any talk-time. That would give her about 4 minutes 24 seconds per song. Taking into consideration the time for change of clothes, and the brief departure from the stage before the encore performance, she probably didn’t have time to read catch a breather.

I’ve always wondered how she manages to not twist her ankles dancing and turning in such high heels but that would be a silly question as she probably practiced enough to not injure herself. While I’ve never been to any of her concerts, I’m wondering if I should begin catching while I can.

So many concerts to catch now…

But with the announcement of her retirement, it’s probably going to be very difficult to get tickets.

One thing for sure is, artistes of our time have arrived at the point where they are heading toward retirement, and that is probably the sign that if I were to have children of my own, tuning to the radio station that plays those music would get me a, “Why are we listening to oldies?”

Or maybe even, “Who listens to radio anymore?”

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