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Girls vs Boys- J-pop

Today it's between Japanese singers Ayumi Hamasaki and GACKT.

Ayumi Hamasaki is one of Japan's most popular singers and has been named the "Empress of Pop". She launched her career in 1998 with the single Poker Face and went on to release her first album on record company Avex, A Song for xx in 1999. (In 1995  she brought out a mini-album Nothing from Nothing on the record company Nippon Columbia, which failed to chart). Since then Ayumi (Ayu to her fans) has released 50 singles and 14 studio albums, 8 of which have topped the Oricon charts.She is ranked by Oricon as the 3rd best selling Japanese artist of all time, behind rock duo B'z and pop rock band Mr. Children. She is also popular throughout Asia.

As well as being a singer, Ayumi has her own fashion brand MLTRG (Material Girl), a cartoon version of herself called Ayupan, has  hosted a talk show Ayuready? (from 2002-2004) and also opened a restaurant called Rainbow House. She is considered a fashion icon in Japan.

In 2008 Ayumi revealed that she has an inoperable condition (thought to be tinnitus or Ménière's disease) which has caused her to go completely deaf in her left ear. However she continues to sing and have a successful career. :) Her latest album is Love Again (2013) and she just finished  her 15th anniversary tour A. BEST LIVE.

This is the video for GREEN, a single from the album Next Level (2009).

Ayumi Hamasaki- GREEN

For more on Ayumi visi these links:

Official site (Japanese language)

Official Facebook (Japanese)

Fan site (English)

Sorry the video isn't full length, Avex don't always put full length videos up. :( Maybe they want you to buy the music video DVDs. I couldn't find any other videos on YouTube.

GACKT real name Gackt Camui) is also a very successful singer. He started out as the lead singer of band Cains:Feel, went on to be the singer/songwriter and pianist of visual kei rock band MALICE MIZER and launched his solo career in 1999. He released his first debut EP Mizerable in May that year, followed by the single of the same name. To date he has released 42 singles and 9 studio albums and holds the record for the most Top 10 singles by a male soloist in Japan. His single Returner (Yami no Shuen), which according to Wikipedia means Returner (Demise of Darkness), was his first No1. While he's had no other No 1s, all of his songs up to 2010 had reached the Top 10 (38 singles in 2010). He was also the first Japanese artist to release music on iTunes. Like Ayumi he started off on a different record label (Nippon Crown) but is now signed to Avex.

GACKT is also an actor. He starred in and co-wrote the script the film MOON CHILD (2003). He and his co-star musician and actor HYDE did the theme song Orange no Taiyō (The Orange Sun) together. GACKT has  acted in several other film and TV series, including NHK historical drama series Fuurinkazan and American martial arts film Bunraku and has been a voice actor as well. Returner (Yami no Shuen) was the theme song for Fuurinkazan.

GACKT's last studio album Re:Born came out in 2009. He released two greatest hits album this year, BEST OF THE BEST vol.1- MILD and BEST OF THE BEST vol 1. WILD.

This is Vanilla, GACKT's second best selling single, which was originally released in 1999 and then re-released in 2002.

For more on GACKT visit these links:

Official site

Offiicial community site (Japanese)

Official Facebook (Japanese)

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