Mika Nakashima (born February 19, 1983 in Hioki, Kagoshima Prefecture) is a Japanese singer, model, and actress.
Early life and debut From >
Born on the island of Kyūshū, Nakashima was the youngest of three children. She dreamed of pursuing a singing career from a young age. She decided not to attend high school or college in order to pursue a music career.
At age 17, she was chosen from among 3,000 girls to be the heroine of the Fall 2001 Fuji TV drama, Kizudarake no Love Song (Tainted Love Song). In November, she made her debut with Sony Music Associated Records with the single "Stars," which was also the theme song of the drama. Her second single "Crescent Moon", an 80's themed song, was limited to 100,000 copies. It sold out the first day of its release. In March of 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 over or near the key 100k mark, proving Nakashima's rising star appeal.
Rise to fame
Nakashima's first album, TRUE, released in August 2002, was a #1 hit on the Oricon charts. In 3 weeks, TRUE sold a million copies. Then, as a commemoration of one year since her debut, Nakashima released a Premium EP: RESISTANCE, which hit the charts' #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.
Mika's second album, LOVE, which was released in November 2003, sold over 1.41 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 BEST (her first Greatest Hits album) in December of that year. BEST is the third album by Nakashima to have sold a million copies or more.
Her most popular songs include "Stars," Gundam Seed's ending song "Find the Way", "Sakurairo Maukoro" "Yuki no Hana" which was covered by South Korean male singer Hyo-Shin Park and this covered song was inserted in the popular Korean drama I'm Sorry, I Love You. Another Korean version was sung by female singer Seo Young Eun. It was also one of the most popular karaoke songs in Japan in 2004. The song was first covered by Singapore singer Joi Chua in 2005 by the same title "Sorry I Love You". It was also covered by Mainland Chinese singer Han Xue on August 2004 in Mandarin; and by Hong Kong singer Vincy Chan in 2006, in Cantonese. Another covered version was released on June 2006, sung by Japanese male singer Hideaki Tokunaga. In 2004 she sang the ending theme of the anime series based on the manga Hi no Tori as aired on NHK.