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BENI

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BENI promoting CINEMATIC (2018)

BENI is a Japanese pop and R&B singer, currently signed to the label Universal Music Japan. Her debut in the music business was as a member of the now defunct idol girl group Bishoujo Club 31, and was the first member to pursue a solo career while still being an active member. In 2004, she debuted under the label avex trax as Arashiro Beni. Her third single, "Here Alone", the theme song of the drama Kurokawa no Techou, became her most successful with the label peaking at #14 on the Oricon charts. In 2008 Arashiro moved from avex trax to Universal, changed her stage name to BENI, and has since seen a significant boost in popularity.

Profile

Biography

Arashiro Beni promoting Beni (2005)

Beginnings

Arashiro Beni comes from a multi-cultural background. Her father is an American, while her mother is an Okinawan Japanese who lived in Miyakojima. Her parents were music lovers, who let her take dance and piano lessons from an early age. While Arashiro was born in Okinawa Prefecture, she lived out her childhood in California. When she was 12 she moved from California to Yokohama, and attended the American School in Japan. While there, she was classmates with Sony Japan-signed artist Crystal Kay and became close friends with her. Because of this, Arashiro is fluent in both English and Japanese.

In 2002, Arashiro competed in the 8th National Japan Bishojo Contest (a beauty pagent) and became one of the finalists, despite not having any formal training for the beauty contest. Due to her high placing in this contest, she was chosen to be part of the musical/TV personality group Bishoujo Club 31, though at the time were called Bishoujo Club 21 as ten more members came in 2004. She became a regular on the TV-show GIRLS A GOGO! along side the rest of the members of the group.

Arashiro Beni promoting Girl 2 Lady (2006)

Starting Out at avex

In April of 2004 the group with debuted with their first single, "Da Di Da☆Go! Go!", which was used as the ending theme song in their TV show. The single broke into the top 40 at #34. Arashiro was then picked up by avex trax to become a solo artist away from the Pony Canyon-produced Bishoujo Club 31 and debuted in June with the single "Harmony", which was then used as the theme song for the drama Reikan Bus Guide Jikenbo. This made her the first of the girls to pursue a solo project. The single, however, would barely see more success than the group's effort, peaking at #26.

In August, Arashiro found her second TV opportunity by appearing on the MTV Japan show M size appearing in a segment titled "JANGLISH STYLE from Arashiro Beni ~Otona no Junky Life~". Two months later, her second single "Infinite..." was released. On the day after the single's release, a special one-off drama starring popular actress Yonekura Ryoko called Kurokawa no Techou was aired, which used a new song of Arashiro's, "Here alone", as its ending theme song. Interestingly, Yonekura Royoko had won the 1992 competition for the Bishoujo award that Arashiro had become a finalist in. This new song proved to be much more popular, peaking at #14 on the Oricon charts (this is her most successful single to date). At the same time, Arashiro was promoting her second Bishoujo Club single titled "Tokyo Gourmet Tour", which was released two weeks before.

The start of 2005 saw Arashiro become the spokesgirl and CM model for cosmetics company KOSÉ's VISEE range (a title that has gone to such people as Amuro Namie, Hamasaki Ayumi, Koda Kumi and Tsuchiya Anna). Following this in February was her debut self-titled album, Beni, as well as a single released on the same day called "Miracle" taken from the album. In March at the 19th Japan Gold Disc Award ceremony, Arashiro was one of the receivers for the Best New Artist of the Year award. Arashiro starred in her first musical as the heroine Mary Maguire in the Japanese run of Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Beautiful Game (it had two dates in March-April).

June saw Arashiro's first new single since her debut album, "Hikari no Kazu Dake Glamorous". It was used as a VISEE commerical theme song, which had starred Arashiro herself. On August 6th she performed both the Japanese national anthem and the American national anthem at the half time show for the American Football game between the Atlanta Falcons and the Indianapolis Colts at the Tokyo Dome. August also saw the final release from Bishoujo Club 31, a DVD mini-album.

Arashiro Beni promoting "Luna" (2007)

In late 2005 she would release a single, "Cherish", which was the lead-in to her second album Girl 2 Lady. While the album was significantly less successful commercially, it also saw Arashiro committing more to her music as she co-wrote several tracks on the album. After a period of inactivity she released a new single "How Are U?" (produced by YANAGIMAN) in September which did not chart on the Oricon chart's top 200, implying less than 350 copies sold that week. Nothing else was released in 2006. In 2007, Arashiro made a comeback with the theme song to the drama Warui Yatsura, "Luna", which peaked at #77 and her third album GEM, following in April. At the same time, Arashiro became the face of clothing label CECIL McBEE.

Following her third album, Arashiro was finally given the chance to have one-man lives. There were two in total, one which was held in Tokyo and the other in Osaka. Following these lives, Arashiro was relatively inactive in her music career but started to work as a host for NHK TV's Tokyo Kawaii TV. In late 2007 it was announced on her website that she would continue to sing the theme song for American Football in Japan. It was soon announced in 2008 that Arashiro would star in the movie Burabura Banban as the lead character. Shortly after this a best of album was announced which was titled Chapter One ~complete collection~. The best of was released in two versions, a CD+DVD edition and a CD only edition. The CD+DVD version included all of her music videos and performances from her first live.

BENI promoting "Mou Nido to..." (2008)

The Switch to Universal

Following the release of her best album, it was rumored that she possibly could have been dropped due to the title of her best-of album being "complete collection". Fan's fears were slightly settled when it was announced that Arashiro would be featured as "BENI" on Dohzi-T's single, "Mou Ichido...". Upon its release, it became the biggest hit to date for both Dohzi-T and Arashiro.

In late August of 2008, it was announced that Arashiro would be featured on DJ MAKAI's album STARS, with the song called "STAR IN MY SKY". In September of 2008, without a warning, Arashiro's official site at avex trax was shutdown. It was widely believed that what fans had feared most had actually happened, she was dropped by her label.

But in late October, it was officially announced that rather than being dropped Arashiro had switched record label companies as well as management from avex trax and Oscar Promotion to Universal Music Japan's sub-label NAYUTAWAVE RECORDS and Survive on Music Inc. respectively. It was also announced that Arashiro switched her name from Arashiro Beni to BENI and that she hoped to pursue solely on her music from that point on.

In order to be more committed to her music it was also announced that she would take part in the writing of her songs from that point on. A single was quickly announced, titled "Mou Nido to...", which was an answer song to the widely popular collaboration with Dohzi-T "Mou Ichido...". "Mou Nido to..." was released on December 10th, 2008 and was able to reach #20 on the weekly Oricon charts, her highest chart rank since her debut, and was extremely popular in downloads.

BENI promoting "Kiss Kiss Kiss" (2009)

Following "Mou Nido to...", it was announced that BENI would be collaborating once more with MAKAI for his new mini-album LEGEND, where BENI covered CeCe Peniston's hit song "Finally". BENI also took part in a The Carpenters tribute album and covered their cover of the song "Superstar". Another single was also announced, "Kiss Kiss Kiss", which was released on April 8th, 2009. "Kiss Kiss Kiss" was used as the commerical theme song for the Kao "Biore" new line of body soap, "Body Deli". Although it only managed to rank in at #40 on the Oricon weekly charts it saw significant success on the download charts, managing to rank in at #1 for its release week with Chaku-Uta Full.

After "Kiss Kiss Kiss" another single was quickly announced entitled "Koi Kogarete" which was released on June 10th, 2009. It was used as the popular TV show Ongaku Senshi MUSIC FIGHTER June POWER PLAY theme song. The single included the song "Forever 21" which was produced by YANAGIMAN, and was used as the image song for the popular clothing company FOREVER 21, which had recently crossed over into the Japanese market.

In her blog in May of 2009, BENI answered one of a commentator's questions, one which asked if an album was going to be released soon. BENI replied that she is currently working on recording songs for the album and that it should be ready soon. The album in question, Bitter & Sweet, was released four months later on September 2nd. The album ranked #5 on the Oricon weekly charts and sold 30,000 copies in it's first week. She then went on a tour to promote her album. In addition to promoting her album, Universal released a limited re-cut single called "KIRA☆KIRA☆" which was released on November 11th. According to a poll, this was the fans' favourite track on the album. At the end of the year it was announced that Bitter & Sweet sold over 200,000 copies.

Continuing Success

During her Bitter & Sweet Release Tour she released a new single titled "Sign" on January 20th. This single was promoted through the popular brand MURUA for who BENI had modeled for. Shortly after the announcement of "Sign" another single was announced, called "bye bye", which was released on March 10th. "bye bye" was the ending theme for the popular TV program HEY! HEY! HEY! MUSIC CHAMP. Along with this announcement came the DVD+CD release of Bitter & Sweet Release Tour FINAL on March 10th, which was a joint live DVD and album that was released on the same day as "bye bye".

BENI promoting Jewel (2010)

Shortly after the three releases another single was announced. It was her 16th single and first double A-side "Yura Yura / Gimme Gimme♥". The song "Gimme Gimme♥" would be the new commerical theme song for Kao "Biore Body Deli" products. This single got, next to her first Universal single "Mou Nido to...", her highest Oricon weekly ranking. After the release of the single, only nine months after Bitter & Sweet, a new album was announced titled Lovebox and was released on June 2nd, 2010. This album got the Oricon weekly ranking of #1 making it the first album for BENI to ever do that. So far the album had sold 50,000+ copies.

Another tour was announced to start in October, but first her official website announced a new single called "Heaven's Door" to be released on August 11th. The song was the commerical theme song for BENI's own wedding dress line named "Rouge de Beni"; the wedding dresses in the collection were designed by BENI herself.

She then started her Lovebox tour on October 8th. During her tour a limited release single was announced titled "2FACE", which was released on November 24th. The single is limited to 10,000 copies and comes with a special towel. This song should "showcase a new BENI", according to BENI herself. A week later a new studio album was speculated on various J-Pop forums and about two weeks later her official website announced her sixth album Jewel, which was then released on December 8th, 2010.

After her latest release, Beni planned start a tour in March to promote Jewel. However the tour got postponed to the end of June due the 2011 Touhoku earthquake and tsunami. On May 9th, BENI's official website announced a new single titled "Suki Dakara.", which is going to be released on June 8th, 2011. The single is described as a love song and will come with the B-side "One In A Million". On August 16th, 2011 BENI's official website announced a new double A-side single named "Koe wo Kikasete / crazy girl" to be released on September 14th. BENI had said in her blog that this new single would definitly show a new side of BENI. Following that, she released another single in two consecutive months titled "Darlin'" that shows off a "sparkly, autumn toon". Completing a three month consecutive release campaign, BENI released her seventh studio album, titled Fortune, in November.

On 25 January 2012, Beni released her third live album, Jewel Concert Tour, along with a single titled "Eien". The single title track was used as the theme song for the drama Honjitsu wa Taian Nari. In February, her official website announced a new album with English songs titled COVERS. On this album she took popular male Japanese songs and translated them to English. The album became a huge success: In it's 7th week of charting the album managed to get it's peak position on the weekly Oricon Charts at #2. The album sold more copies than Lovebox and has became her best selling album to date.

Discography

BENI promoting "Koe wo Kikasete / crazy girl" (2011)
BENI promoting COVERS (2012)
BENI promoting "Undress" (2015)
BENI promoting Shiki Uta summer (2016)

Studio Albums

Best Albums

Cover Albums

Concept Albums

Live Albums

Singles

Digital Downloads

Video Releases

Other Video Releases

Compilations / Other

Works

Movies

Radio

Publications

Photobooks

Beni Cover Girl.jpg

  • [2012.11.07] BENI COVER GIRL

External Links