April Fools’ Day: Ayumi Hamasaki to Retire
“I am a product that is no longer wanted”, began a blog post written by Ayumi Hamasaki. In light of her disastrous performance on yesterday’s episode of Music Station, she’s decided to call it quits on her career. It’s been reported that Avex begged Music Station’s producers to let her on yesterday’s three hour special, in an effort to boost her sagging career. That plan certainly backfired.
“I’d rather watch KPop than this!”, wrote one commenter on Girls Channel. “Why wasn’t Arashi on instead of this sad old lady?”, read one tweet. One 2ch user wrote, “I saw Ayumi perform 15 years ago, and it was the best concert I’ve ever been to! Last night’s performance was like a cheap Chinese knockoff of a luxury good!”
Ayu’s an avid user of social media, and she’s seen multiple comments like the ones above over the past day. It’s all taken a toll on her, too much of a toll. “These comments hurt more than the ones after I cried on NHK’s SONGS.”
Ayu wrote in her blog post that one of the reasons she sounded off last night was due to her deafness, something which has progressed over the years. “I was told to stop singing years ago, but singing is my life! I have to do this for my fans, because they are my heart”, she wrote.
Another reason for her off performance was the show’s performance order. She thought she would be closing the show, but she was second to last, preceding X JAPAN. Ayu said that it was right for AKB48 to precede her, referencing the 2011 incident where she skipped the show in protest due to her performing before AKB48, an incident which result in a temporary ban from Music Station. “Why should I not perform last? Have I not done enough to get this spot? I deserve it over the band (referring to X JAPAN), given how much of a legacy I have compared to theirs.”
What will Ayu do, now that she’s retired? Go back to Los Angeles, a place that she feels truly at home. “I am judged so much in my home country, but in America, I feel free. Free to be me, the real Ayumi Hamasaki, and not the product ‘Ayumi Hamasaki’.”
We may get a glimpse of Ayu during her retirement though. “My favorite restaurant in Los Angeles is Villa Blanca. I have become great friends with the owner, Lisa Vanderpump. She is on a television program in America called ‘The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.’ I have even secretly appeared on the program before, in the background at a large party at her home. She asked me before to join the show’s cast, but I said it was not a good fit for me. But I am now at a new stage in my life, so perhaps now it is a good fit for me.”
Ayu is also looking for love still, after many public failures in love and marriage. She has one requirement though: he must be white. In the only English section of the blog post, Ayu wrote, “If he’s white, he’s alright!”
Ayu’s music recording career is effectively over, seeing as how she doesn’t plan to release a new album. She does, however, plan on having one final tour, a dome tour, her first since 2001. She will tour Japan’s five major domes at the end of this year and the beginning of next year, with the tour ending at Tokyo Dome on February 30. She will then return to Los Angeles on March 1, to begin the rest of her life as the retired Empress of JPop.