1998–1999: Rising popularity

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1998–1999: Rising popularity

Post by taixyz1992 on Fri Oct 01, 2010 6:39 am

Hamasaki made her debut under Avex on April 8, 1998 with the single "Poker Face". It—and the following four singles—were not major hits. Hamasaki's debut album, A Song for ×× (1999), was likewise "unassuming":[17] the tracks, composed by Yasuhiko Hoshino, Akio Togashi (of Da Pump), and Mitsuru Igarashi (of Every Little Thing), were "cautious" pop-rock songs.[11][17] However, Hamasaki's lyrics, introspective observations about her feelings and experiences that focused on loneliness and individualism, resonated with the Japanese public.[18] The songs gained Hamasaki a growing following, and the release of the album was a success: it topped the Oricon charts for five weeks and sold over a million copies.[12][19][20] For her achievements, she earned a Japan Gold Disc Award for "Best New Artist of the Year".[21]
With Ayu-mi-x (March 1999), the first of a series of remix albums, Hamasaki began moving beyond the pop-rock of A Song for ×× and began to incorporate different styles including trance, dance, and orchestra.[17] Hamasaki began to experiment with different musical styles in her singles as well, releasing dance tunes and ballads as well as remixes on the singles which spanned reggae and house. The singles were milestones: Hamasaki earned her first number-one single ("Love: Destiny") and first million-selling single ("A").[7][22] Her second studio album, Loveppears (November 1999), not only topped the Oricon charts, it sold nearly 3 million copies.[19] The album also showcased a change in Hamasaki's lyrics. Though the lyrics of Loveppears still dealt with loneliness, many of them were written from a third-person perspective.[18] In support of Loveppears, she held her first tour, Ayumi Hamasaki Concert Tour 2000 A.




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