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Nakashima Mika

Name: Nakashima Mika
Native name: 中島 美嘉
Nationality: Japanese
Gender: Female
Born: February 19, 1983

Mika Nakashima (中島 美嘉, Nakashima Mika, born February 19, 1983 in Hioki, Kagoshima) is a Japanese singer, model, and actress. She has achieved five no.1 albums in Japan and also successfully embarked on an acting career, most notably in the live-action movie Nana, based on the manga of the same name.
Born and raised in Kyushu, Mika was the youngest of three children. She grew up in the small town of Hioki, Kagoshima, where she has said there was "nothing there, only enka." She began listening to enka singer Eiko Segawa and studied classical Japanese dance, but as she loved dressing-up and make-up, she hoped to work in fashion magazines since she was too short to become a model.[1]
Nakashima decided not to attend high school after completing junior high and began working. At the age of 15 she moved to the city of Fukuoka where she room-shared with two others.[1]
At the age of 17, she attended an audition not knowing what it was for. She was chosen from 3,000 girls to be the actress of the fall 2001 Fuji TV drama Kizudarake no Love Song (傷だらけのラブソング, Tainted Love Song?), in which she played the heroine Mirai Shimazaki[1], and also sang the theme song, "Stars."
In November 2001, "Stars" became her debut on Sony Music Associated Records, which would go on to become her best-selling single.
Her second single "Crescent Moon", an 80s themed song, was limited to 100,000 copies. It sold out the first day of its release. In March 2002 she released her third single, "One Survive," and her first video collection, "Film Lotus". This was followed in May by her 4th single, "Helpless Rain", and in August, by her 5th single "Will", which went on to rack up sales of over 140,000. Both were top ten hits and sold around 100,000 copies, proving Nakashima's rising star appeal.[2]
[edit] Rise to fame: True, Love, and MusicNakashima's first album, True, released in August 2002, was a number 1 hit on the Oricon charts. The album boasted a mature mixture of jazz and adult contemporary pop. In 3 weeks, True sold a million copies, and has sold nearly 1,174,000 copies to date. Then, as a commemoration of one year since her debut, Nakashima released a Premium EP: Resistance, which hit the charts' number 1 spot for two weeks in a row. On December 18, a documentary video, Kiseki: The Document of a Star, was released. In 2002, the singer received the "New Artist of the Year" award at the Japan Gold Disc Awards and "Best New Artist of the Year" at the All Japan Request Awards 2002. She also won the "New Artist of the Year" award from the 44th Japan Record Awards.
Nakashima's second album, Love, which was released in November 2003, sold nearly 1.45 million copies, surpassing that of her debut. The Japan Composers Association awarded Love the Best Album Award. After releasing a second mini-album, Oborozukiyo: Inori, in September 2004, Nakashima topped the Oricon Album Chart again with Music in March 2005, as well as with her first greatest hits album Best in December of that year. Best is the third album by Nakashima to have sold a million copies or more, but like her second album, Best also outsold True in sales - by nearly 30,000 copies.
[edit] Debut on the silver screen: Nana and The EndIn 2005, Nakashima co-starred alongside Aoi Miyazaki in the live-action movie Nana, based on the manga of the same name, which was released September 10, 2005. She also sang one of the theme songs for the movie, which was released as a single under the name "Nana starring Mika Nakashima". The single, titled "Glamorous Sky," was written by the manga's author, Ai Yazawa, and composed by L'Arc-en-Ciel vocalist Hyde. It was Nakashima's only number 1 single on the Oricon Singles Charts. It sold over 423,000 copies in 2005, making it the best-selling female single of the year and the tenth highest selling in the world. The single continued selling well into the next year and sold 444,067 copies, which was about 25,000 copies less than her Nana co-star, Yuna Ito's "Endless Story". The single would be featured in Konami's guitar/drum simulation game GuitarFreaks and Drummania V3, as well as Nintendo's Moero! Nekketsu Rhythm Damashii Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan 2.
Nakashima was nominated at the MTV Video Music Awards Japan as "Best BuzzAsia from Japan" for "Amazing Grace '05", and the "Glamorous Sky" video was nominated as "Best Female Video" and "Best Video from a Film". She won the "Best Video from a Film" award.
Due to the success of Nana, a sequel was released in December, 2006. It included two new songs by Nakashima, again under the name Nana starring Mika Nakashima. The theme song to Nana 2 movie was "Hitoiro" (One Color), which has also been written by Yazawa, while the music is composed by Glay's leader, Takuro, also the author of the coupling song, "Eyes for the Moon". Besides the single, Mika released the album The End, featuring all her songs under the name Nana starring Mika Nakashima.
On December 18, 2006 Nakashima and Yui Ichikawa came to New York City for the International Premiere of 'Nana 2' at the IFC Center. In 2010 she made her US film debut with a small role in the Sony Pictures film Resident Evil: Afterlife, based on the videogame series Resident Evil.
Nakashima has many tattoos, considered taboo in Japanese society, including one of a star on her wrist. She has said "I have resolved to live as a star. I have something linked with the stars because I have so many songs about them." She has also stated that she loves skin imperfections and decorations because "they are beautiful and I can imagine stories of people... hard feelings and pain... from them."
Nakashima is a frequent visitor to the US for voice-training classes, and rented an apartment near Wall Street, New York in 2009

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