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The female vocalists/dancers of SPEED dominated the Japanese charts during the latter half of the ’90s and became one of the country’s most successful J-pop groups of all time. ∙ The four members of SPEED—students of the Okinawa Actors School, which also produced pop stars Namie Amuro and Max—officially came together in 1995 to perform on Japanese TV. ∙ “Body & Soul,” the group’s 1996 debut single, spent 31 weeks on the Japanese charts and was quickly followed by “Steady,” which hit No. 2 and sold more than 1 million copies. ∙ SPEED’s debut album, 1997’s Starting Over, reached No. 1 on the Japanese charts, as did their next two full-lengths, Rise (1998) and Carry On My Way (1999). ∙ In 1998, the band starred in their first film, the hit sci-fi thriller Andromedia. ∙ Touring in support of 1998’s Rise, they became the first female J-pop group to complete a “Dome Tour,” performing at the Tokyo Dome, Nagoya Dome, Osaka Dome, and Fukuoka Dome. ∙ Following their initial dissolution in 2000, SPEED briefly played together for charity in 2001 and again in 2003, but it wasn’t until 2008 that they fully reunited with new single “Ashitanosora.”


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