Toshinobu Kubota

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About Toshinobu Kubota

When Japanese pop star Toshi Kubota released his first American album in the mid-'90s, he had already attained star status in his native country, where each of his first four albums sold over one million copies. The vocalist -- who interprets American soul, funk and hip-hop rhythms to his mostly Eastern audience -- began entering and winning Japanese talent competitions by the time he was in pre-school. He entered the music business in the early '80s as a songwriter, but his debut album as a solo act, Shake It Paradise, went platinum soon after its release; three later follow-ups did likewise. By 1990, Kubota began to immerse himself in American culture, making frequent trips to the U.S. to work with musicians, including Natalie Cole on a duet of "Greening of the World" for a John Lennon tribute album. In 1995, Sony released Toshi Kubota's first English-language album, Sunshine, Moonlight. The singer continued to be popular in Japan, though; his 1996 LP La La Love Thang reached platinum status. His second stateside release was Nothing But Your Love, which arrived in summer 2000. ~ John Bush

July 24, 1962

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