• Kyodo


Pop singer Namie Amuro was honored Wednesday by her home prefecture of Okinawa for her achievements and for inspiring the local population.

“I am very happy to be honored is such a prestigious way,” the pop diva said after receiving a certificate from Gov. Takeshi Onaga at a ceremony in Naha.

Amuro surprised fans last year by suddenly announcing on her website that she will quit showbiz in September 2018.

Since her professional debut in 1992, her performances as both a singer and dancer have captivated fans in Japan and elsewhere in Asia. She became one of the country’s leading stars, with a string of hits including “Chase the Chance,” “Body Feels Exit,” “Sweet 19 Blues,” and “Can You Celebrate?”

Clad in a miniskirt, thick-soled boots and with her hair dyed brown, Amuro also became a fashion icon, creating a phenomenon known as Amuraa in the 1990s, with many young girls and women copying her fashion, hairstyle and makeup.

Amuro also sang “Never End” at a welcome reception for leaders of the Group of Eight advanced nations at their summit in Okinawa in 2000.

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