I presume Minako Honda was one of Japan's most famous singers? She seemed quite young. How and when did she pass away?
You can find everything you ever wanted to know (and more!) about this in the Amazing Grace Duet thread, or in a link I posted in the thread to the biography of the late Minako Honda. See reply no. 12.
Minako Honda (本田 美奈子., Honda Minako?), born Minako Kudo (工藤 美奈子 Kudō Minako, July 31, 1967 - November 6, 2005) was a Japanese "idol" pop-star and musical singer. She became famous and popular as "Japan's Madonna" because of her sexy fashion and live performances in the mid to late 1980s.
As with most teenaged "idol" singers, her J-POP career was spectacular but short. In 1989, at the advanced age of 22, she made a last-ditch attempt to revive her flagging career and attain "street cred" by forming the edgy all-girl band "Minako with Wild Cats". This effort was unsuccessful, and it seemed that she would fade into obscurity. A further personal tragedy occurred as her parents divorced.
In 1992, however, she had reinvented herself. She took formal acting and singing lessons, and became a notable theatrical singer and actress. In the auditions for the Tokyo production of Miss Saigon, she won out over 12,000 other candidate for the part of Kim, to the point that she became "Tokyo's Miss Saigon". She also appeared in numerous other theatrical performances.
Towards the end of her life, she released several classical albums demonstrating her soprano singing voice, including religious works such as Amazing Grace and Ave Maria. She also sang the theme songs for several anime programs.
She did not abandon pop music in her adult career, although she enhanced her adult pop music with the skills she acquired in maturity. Her song "Tsubasa" (Wings) is famous for the "long note" that she holds for 30 seconds.
Her career was cut short by leukemia. After she became ill, she served a celebrity spokesperson for the Live for Life Project, a campaign for the treatment of leukemia.
Since her death, numerous posthumous albums and videos have been released, including some previously-unreleased songs.
Minako has many fans in Japan and some fans are in abroad due to her recordings on anime programs.
Hayley is known in Japan some extent but still most of Japanese can not recognize her. Minako is widely recognized almost by every one here. Now many Minako's fans are paying attentions on Hayley after the release of Amazing Grace singing together. And this helps Hayley to have more fans here in Japan.
As I read blogs of Minako's fan, I often find the name Hayley mentioned on their blogs. Below link is the compilation of Japanese blogs related Minako and you can also find the name ヘイリー or Hayley as well as photos of her there. keyword.blogmura.com/key00021726.html
I dare say, Minako has 10 times or more fans compared with Hayley here. It may be natural that Minako had been acting as a singer for almost 20 years. Hayley is still very young and she will be gaining fans in Japan more in the future, I am sure.
I like Jidai(Time Goes Around) very much. Every time I hear it, I can't resist crying. I downloaded the track and the original piece by Miyuki Nakajima(singer-songwriter). Hayley sings it great! The end part is sung in beautiful Japanese.
I couldn't resist purchasing a second copy of this album off Ebay, when I noticed a Hong Kong seller offering the album for £5.99 with free P&P.
The photo on the auction page didn't show the Japanese OBI strip, just the basic cover picture - I hoped it might be a promo.
I was quite surprised when it arrived this morning, sealed, and with the Japanese OBI strip, but with detail differences.
It is in a standard jewel case which has a black rather than clear CD carrier so the photo beneath the CD is obscured. Also missing is the glossy fold out sheet of lyrics and the colour photo booklet (which is no doubt why it fits into a standard case). The CD finish is different too as the original has all the lettering in gold whereas on this one the Title/Artist is in orange and the script round the edge is black.
I've purchased from the same seller, and the cd arrived last saturday.As i bought it with the intention to give it away for a present, i wanted to look at the things Grant discribes, and opened the cd. I had a look, at the differences, and than something came into my mind about......maybe ....a Piracy product.....but a very GOOD one. The extra booklet is missing, i had the same black inlay in the jewel case, and the title and Decca label , in different colors.....even the OBI strip looks like a copy, with not that quality as the original has. That's Why i think about a piracy product....When i look at the cd, i had from Cd japan, the artwork and everything looks so beautiful, this one not...... Even the Taiwanese version , was produced in japan, but had a note, "Not for distribution in Japan"on it, have some diffenrences, but looks better!! Maybe i'm wrong, and were more cd's produced in another factory, which explains the quality of this cd. Greetz JOYCE
I still haven't got it. £5.99 sounds like a beautiful price, but it seems it must be a too good to be true price. I have fallen for them a few times to eBay only to find a fake produt in my hands a week later. I never use eBay anymore. I like my amazon! cdjapan is good too. They hold Sweetbox albums!
After going through this thread again, I thought it high time to put this album on order, before it becomes unavailable altogether, and people are already charging over £80 on amazon. I got mine for under £20, which I think is the best I am going to get.