11 November 1935 (age 81)
Ikue Asazaki (朝崎郁恵 Asazaki Ikue) (born 11 November 1935) is a Japanese folk singer from Kagoshima. She was born in Kedomi, Amami Islands. She grew up on the Amami Islands (in Setouchi, Kagoshima) which are famous for spawning popular singers of the traditional Okinawan Folk or Ryukyuan Music. Her father influenced her early music strongly during her upbringing.
She is well known for her ethereal, earthy vocals. Slightly deep, a bit hoarse, obviously that of an old lady that conveys a wealth of emotion. One of her most famous albums is "Utabautayun" with traditional Ryukyuan songs and lyrics. And "Minya", with Akira Takahashi accompanying her on the piano. This album is notable for the song "Obokuri eeumi", which was used in a pivotal scene of the Anime "Samurai Champloo".
She lived for ten years in Yokohama and served from 1984 in the National Theatre of Japan. In 1990 she gave concerts in the Carnegie Hall, in New York, Los Angeles, and Cuba. Ikue Asazaki participates every year in the Hibiya and Ryukyu festivals. In 2007 she gave a concert in the Ikegami Honmonji temple. She currently lives in Tokyo and her first best of album was released under Universal in 2008.
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