I know there's already a thread about the new Japanese album containing talks about the "Amazing Grace" single but I created a new one specifically for this CD in order to have a clear separation between the two. Here's the cover of the single - it's a remixed duet with the late Minako Honda. She was a very successful J-pop artist who died of leukemia a few years ago. She did her own version of "Amazing Grace" so I guess they used some technological magic to do this CD.
I've just read a Japanese article about this duet here. It says that there's a video clip featuring images of Minako Honda's last appearance at Tokyo's Roppongi Hills on 24th October 2004. We will also be able to see a few images of Hayley during the recording of "Amazing Grace".
I agree, it's nice to listen to Hayley singing in Japanese. I also liked how her voice blended with Minako's. I wonder when this was recorded. Perhaps last year when she was in Japan for the "Treasure" tour?
Thanks very much Stephany, for starting this thread and for keeping us up to date with it. I always feel slightly uncomfortable when recordings are made in a 'duet' with singers who have died but I'm sure that the families are always consulted in such cases and I am sure this will have been done in this case and that their wishes will have been carried out.
It is indeed an unusual and beautiful recording and yes, it is a new recording by Hayley I think, for her part. It is another example of what i've said several times before, the imagination of the Japanese arm of Universal records who seem determined to do everything necessary to keep Hayley's profile high over there.
But this is not the first mention of Minako Honda in the HWI forum. In November 2005, I posted the following, in the main Charts Thread:
"Amazing Grace" has re-entered the Japanese singles chart at no. 175 (International chart no. 3 ), two years and two months after its release. Shop sales have now exceeded 110,000 in total.
But this is not a happy re-entry, as my UK Mix contact Mario tells me from Japan. He thinks Hayley's CD has started to sell again following the untimely death this month of Japanese pop, show and classical female singer, Minako Honda - at the age of 38. Minako's final album that is currently high in the Japanese charts, is called... "Amazing Grace" - as is its main track.
This is very sad news and it must be a strange thing for another artist to see their CD back in the charts, in this situation. But I thought it should be mentioned.