b. 18 July 1962, Tokyo, Japan. The top-grossing female rock artist in her home country of Japan (where she regularly outsells Madonna), Hamada was brought up on the exported sounds of Pat Benatar, Linda Ronstadt and Heart. She was impressed enough to follow the trail back to America in the hope of consulting their writers and producers, and found a sympathetic hearing at MCA Records, who signed her to her first international deal. However, by this time she already had an established career, which began when she formed a rock band which she sang with in school. She joined Misty Cats as vocalist in her first year at college. Her debut recording came in the early 80s after signing to Victor Musical Industries as a solo artist. It was the beginning of a long collaboration which spawned two gold and three platinum albums. 1990 found her working with members of Toto in Los Angeles, California, where she would henceforth base her career. She introduced her rock dynamic, mainly composed of power ballads bigger on delivery than substance, on a UK tour in 1994 as support to Kim Wilde. Further supports with Trisha Yearwood followed, before her debut European recording, Introducing Mari Hamada, was released early in the year. It featured the promotional single, ‘Hold On’, and was recorded with former Cheap Trick and Nelson producer Marc Tanner. He also co-wrote many of the songs, which were all delivered in English.
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