Mika Nakashima

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One of the few female Japanese celebrities who many claim can truly pull off the “triple-threat” combination of model, singer, and actress, Miki Nakashima is definitely considered among her fans and critics alike as a rising star in Japanese show business, and her career could still blossom and mature yet for years to come.

Nakashima was born on February 19, 1983 in Kagoshima Prefecture, situated on the island of Kyushu in Japan.

Choosing to forgo not only college but also high school in favor of pursuing a career in music and show business may not seem like a smart choice to some, but it worked for Mika—she ended up being singled out from a crowd of 3,000 female hopefuls to star in the T.V. drama Kizudarake no Love Song (Tainted Love Song) in 2001, after which she made her musical debut in collaboration with Song Music Associated Records, releasing the hit song “Stars.”

Nakashima continued to release a number of hit singles that were all instant successes, including “Crescent Moon,” “One Survive,” “Helpless Rain,” and “Will.” She released her debut, full-length album in August 2002, entitled True, which hit the number-one position in the Oricon charts, and sold a million copies within three weeks of its release. That year, Nakashima was also honored with the Japan Gold Disc Award’s New Artist of the Year, All Japan Request Awards’ Best New Artist of the Year, and the 44th Japan Record Awards’ New Artist of the Year.

A few of Nakashima’s other popular songs include “Find the Way,” “Sakurairo Maukoro,” and “Yuki no Hana,” the latter of which was covered by Hyo-Shin Park (a famous male singer from South Korea), whose version made its way into the Korean drama I’m Sorry, I Love You. “Yuki no Hana” was covered by many other artists (including Joi Chua and Vincy Chan) and was a popular Japanese karaoke number.

Although Nakashima’s music career was going so obviously well, she decided to pursue acting in greater depth and scored much success there, as well. Although she had appeared in 2003’s Guuzen nimo saiaku na shounen, her breakthrough role came later when she co-starred with noted actress Aoi Miyazaki in the hit movie Nana in 2005, in which she also sang a theme song, “Glamorous Sky.” This single was her own song and hit the number-one spot on Oricon charts, sold thousands of copies, became one of her most popular and successful hits, and garnered her several awards.

Nana, the movie, was a big success, and a sequel (Nana 2) was released in late 2006, in which Nakashima reprised her role as Nana Osaki, and released another song, “Hitoiro,” which means “One Color.” Nakashima’s co-star, however, was not Aoi Miyazaki, but instead Yui Ichikawa, who played Nana Komatsu, the role Miyazaki had taken in the first Nana film.

As of 2007, Nakashima has released eight albums: True (2002), Resistance (2003, EP), Love (2003), Oborodzukiyo ~Inori (2004, EP), Music (2005), Best (2005), The End (2006), and Yes (2007).

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