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Star-Bulletin Features

Friday, March 31, 2000

Big Wave Honolulu
Japan pop star Namie Amuro will perform
at the Waikiki Shell May 14.

Singing sensation
plans Hawaii concert

Japanese music superstar Namie Amuro makes her United States debut with a benefit concert at the Waikiki Shell at 7 p.m. May 14.

Amuro's "Big Wave Honolulu" concert is a benefit for Hawaii's Okinawan community. Amuro was born in Naha, Okinawa.

Tickets are $35 and $65 and go on sale at the Blaisdell box office and all Tickets Plus outlets.

A two-time winner of Japan's Best Artist Prize with CD sales topping 10-million copies a year, Amuro's hit single, "Can You Celebrate," won the 39th annual Japan Record Awards Grand Prize, equivalent to the Grammy's Best Song award.

Amuro, 22, is waiving her usual performance fee for the Hawaii concert, and donating $20,000 to the Hawaii United Okinawa Association.

She will be backed by a band led by musical director Kenji Sano of Kalapana, Hawaii saxophone great Michael Paulo, and percussion superstar Sheila E. Amuro's nine-member dance group also will perform here.

Amuro, with some of her classmates, formed the musical group "Super Monkeys" in 1992. The group was immediately signed by Toshiba EMI.

She released her first solo album in 1996, "Sweet 19 Blues," becoming the youngest artist to win the Japan Record Committee's Best Artist Prize. Amuro's latest album is "Genius 2000."

She's married to Masaharu Murayama, a dancer with the group, and has a son, Haruto.

Dalton Tanonaka, former Hawaii television reporter and anchor, is promoter for Amura's Hawaii concert. Kintetsu International Hawaii, which also is organizing tours from Japan, is a major sponsor of the event.

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