Nami Tamaki's energetic techno-pop, which infuses the sound of Madonna and Britney Spears with a dose of Japanese dramatics, proved a great fit for the anime/gaming industry, and so her success can be largely credited to such high-profile cartoon series as Gundam SEED and D.Gray-man. However, this is not to say Tamaki has no talents of her own: she adds a knack for dancing to her vocal abilities, with the combo of both skills helping the Wakayama-born schoolgirl to win a Sony Music Japan contest at a tender age of 15, when she beat 5,000 participants to the tune of Destiny's Child's "Survivor." After that she was invited to provide two songs for Gundam SEED, the first, Believe (2003), being her pro debut; it charted at number six, and the follow-up Realize (2003) reached number three. Tamaki continued her romance with the Gundam franchise in 2004, when her song Reason became the theme of Gundam SEED Destiny and scored number two, the best result achieved by one of her singles. The same year she released her debut album Greeting (number five on the Oricon), which also came out in Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and the U.S., and she appeared at the Pacific Media Expo in California, performing along with T.M. Revolution. That she carried home a Japanese Gold Disk Award for the New Artist of the Year in 2004 was hardly a surprise.
Tamaki's second album Make Progress (2005) topped the charts and spawned the single Fortune, used in the PS2 game Radiata Stories. Its follow-up, Specialty (2006), which was another number one, included "Sanctuary," used in the anime Kiba, "Castaway," featured in the video game Super Robot Wars J, and Reason, yet another Gundam single. In 2007 Tamaki graduated from high school, which she attended despite her musical involvements, and, marking this with the collection Graduation: Singles, launched into a big showbiz voyage. She expanded into musicals, starring in the Japanese adaptations of High School Musical, and Sweet Charity, where she landed the title role, and cinema, appearing in the movie Lovely Complex based on the manga series of the same name. Music wasn't forgotten, either: her fourth album Don't Stay came in 2008, but, despite "Brightdown"'s feature in D.Gray-man and "Cross Season"'s tie-in with a Japanese TV show, it only charted at a modest number 14, and was followed by Tamaki changing from Sony to Universal. She debuted on the new label with the single Give Me Up (2009), which was used in the remake of the anime Yatterman; another new 2009 tune, "Negai Hoshi," became featured in the Wii RPG Acrise Fantasia. A remix best-of collection was released on the same day as Give Me Up. ~ Alexey Eremenko
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