Puffy AmiYumi

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Puffy AmiYumi is a Japanese duo made up of two singers: Ami Onuki and Yumi Yoshimura. Ami became a singer for Sony when she was a sophomore and a band she was in that was named Hanoi Sex auditioned for them. The band was hired but years went by with neither Sony nor her band doing anything. Ami used the time to take voice lessons and also went to school to learn how to be the best performer she could be. Soon enough the band dissolved, but Ami was asked to stay on, even though she didn’t have a band and they were unsure what to do with her.

Yumi was discovered by Sony when she auditioned during one of their talent searches. She and Ami met at the Sony offices and then at a concert. They said that they felt united in that they were both alone in the huge organization, with no clear direction. They decided to get together and asked Sony if they could sing as a duo. Sony agreed when they heard their voices blend together. Andy Sturmer, a producer with Sony, named them Puffy. In Japan the duo is known as Puffy, but due to conflicts with Sean Combs, who has been known as Puffy in America, the duo go by Puffy AmiYumi outside of Japan.

Once the duo started singing together they launched what has been called “Puffy-mania”. They got their own television hosting show called Pa-Pa-Pa-Pa-Puffy and managed to get some amazing celebrity guests, including Sylvester Stallone, Harrison Ford, and Lenny Kravitz. Puffy AmiYumi went to America in 2000, which was when they were asked to change their names by Sean Comb’s lawyers. The girls stated that they were fine with changing their name to Puffy AmiYumi, and focused on singing in America. They sang the theme song for Teen Titans, a popular animated show in the United States, and even did a cover of Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, by Cyndi Lauper.

In 2004, Ami and Yumi became animated themselves. The Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi animated series was released on the Cartoon Network. The characters are voiced by actresses from America, but the stars are seen in the show in small segments and their music is also released there. The duo even had a chance to perform at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade in 2005. In 2006 they became goodwill ambassadors to the United States and began touring both Japan and the east coast of America.




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