Ayumi Hamasaki celebrates 14th anniversary

12 Apr – Japanese pop queen Ayumi Hamasaki celebrated her 14th anniversary as a recording artist together with fans during the first concert for her "Ayumi Hamasaki Arena Tour 2012 A-Hotel Love Songs" tour at the Saitama Super Arena.

According to Tokyo Hive, wearing a hotel receptionist uniform to match the theme of her tour, Hamasaki performed her first song "Poker Face" that made her debut exactly 14 years ago on 8 April 1998.

Hamasaki performed a total of 21 songs in front of 17,000 fans that turned up, including her previous hits "Boys & Girls" and "Evolution" and "Party Queen" and "How Beautiful You Are" which were from her latest album.

During the encore, she was presented with a surprise cake to celebrate her anniversary when she took a photo with her dancers and bandmates.

"It sure is surprising, isn't it? It went by so fast," said the 33-year-old who admitted that she had forgotten about her anniversary even though she was reminded by her chief manager before the concert.

"I'm going to continue running toward my 15th year without change, so please look after me!" she said to her fans.

Hamasaki would be performing in 12 cities nationwide in Japan for her 10th arena tour, for a total of 28 performances. She would have performed for 300,000 people when the tour concludes on 12 August at the Marine Messe in Fukuoka.

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