Name: 柴田あゆみ (Shibata Ayumi)
Stage Name: shibata ayumi
Date of birth: February 22nd, 1984
Place of birth: Kanagawa, Japan
Date of debut: August 10th, 1999 (Member #27)
Graduated: March 31st, 2009
Ayumi Shibata is a Japanese singer and actress.
She started her career as a member of the group Melon Kinenbi in 2000, and was a member until their disbandenment in 2010, where she also left UFA (her agency). She then continued on as a solo singer.
Ayumi Shibata sent in an application for the 2nd Morning Musume & Heike Michiyo Protegee Audition in the spring of 1999. The purpose of the audition was to find aspiring girls wanting to become singers as part of Hello! Project.
Everything was shown on the tv show ASAYAN, and out of 4.000 people, 4 girls were chosen; Ayumi Shibata being one of them.
In the summer of 2001, Tsunku shuffled all the artists he managed under Hello! Project. He split all the artist into three groups, and Shibata ended up in the 7nin group 7nin Matsuri. The whole purpose of the shuffling and three groups was to see which group would sell the most singles. 7nin Matsuri ended up in second place with total sales of 226,190 copies.
In 2002, Tsunku did a major reformation of the two sub groups Tanpopo and Pucchimoni, where he graduated almost all the members of the groups and added new girls. Ayumi Shibata was put in Tanpopo with Asami Konno, Risa Niigaki and remaining member Rika Ishikawa. Shibata was a part of the group until it went on hiatus in 2003.
This year Shibata also released her first photobook. it is called あゆみ («Ayumi») and features pictures of her, idol-style. Her second photobook was released the following year and contains images in the same style as her first one. It is called «ayumi2″ (Oh the creativety of UFA is overwhelming).
UFA started releasing a bunch of children’s songs albums in 2002, entitled doyou pops. The albums were themed according to the season, and Shibata participated on five of these albums. At the end of the year, a dvd entitled «Hello!Project Douyou Eizou shuu Ponkikies 21″ was released. It is a dvd, accompaning all the doyou pops albums released this year, with promotional videos for some of the songs.
For the shuffles in 2003, she was put in the group 11WATER with ten of the other girls in H!P. This year Tsunku made a big change (a trend that continued for the rest of the years there were shuffles), as there would be no competition to see who sold the most singles. The three songs from the three groups were on the same single, with everyone singing on the b-side «Oh! Be My Friend». 11WATER’s song is called «BE ALL RIGHT!», in which Shibata sung a few of the lines.
In 2004 there were no shuffles in the summer, instead, in December, Tsunku made an all-star group of all the members in Hello! Project, which at this time was over 50 girls. Shibata was a part of this group, which was given the name H!P All Stars. Their single, «ALL FOR ONE AND ONE FOR ALL», sold 61.440 copies.
The single also had two b-sides, «Sankaku Kankei» («Love Triangle») and «Suki ni Naccha Ikenai Hito» («The Person I Shouldn’t Fall in Love With»). Shibata sings on «Sankaku Kankei» with Atsuko Inaba, Masae Ohtani and Aya Matsuura.
For the shuffles in 2005, only 11 of the 54 girls were in the three shuffle groups this year. Shibata was part of Elegies with Mai Satoda, Reina Tanaka and Ai Takahashi. Their song is called «Inshouha Renoir no you ni» («Like the Impressionist Renoir»), and the single for this year sold 34.587 copies.
Over the years, Shibata participated in movies and tv series produced by UFA, but this was as a part of Melon Kinenbi. More of her acting career can be read in their thread.
Shibata continued as a member of Melon Kinenbi all the way up to their disbandenment in May 2010. A few months later, she left UFA and joined another agency called Trick Function. Here she opened a blog and a twitter account with plans to release solo material. She also hosted a radio show called «NACK5.»
A few months later Shibata released a photobook sold exclusively at her agency’s site. When purchasing the photobook you’d also get a copy of her first solo single, «YOU & I.»
In the spring of 2011, Shibata’s solo debut mini-album (both a regular and limited edition w/ DVD) were scheduled for release in July. Some CD stores announced the title as «ALL», others as «Natural.» The track list was announced to contain the songs «Believe», «Genki», «Love Me More», «Himawari», «Omoide no Yukue» and «You & I» + more tracks.
In June, the same sites announced that the release would be postponed, and later in August that it was cancelled.
In September, HMV had news of a maxi CD release by Shibata. It was set to be released in November. Rumors turned out to be true, and a maxi single entitled «believe» was released on November 2nd. It was released as both a CD only and a CD+DVD. The CDs had different track lists, giving fans a total of 4 new songs. At the same time as the announcement of the single, a song called «Genki» was released. It was supposed to be on the album set for release in July, but the song was released and dedicated to the victims of the earth quake earlier this year. (And a way to promote the upcoming single?)
Shibata announced in late February that she’d be releasing her second single (in both limited and regular editions). It is called セツナ («Setsuna»), and was released on March 28th. It was released as a CD+DVD version (limited) with two songs, and a CD only (regular edition) with three songs. The CD only version contains a track called ヒマワリ («Himawari»), which probably is the same song as the «Himawari» that was supposed to be on her cancelled debut mini-album.
She promoted the single heavily on facebook and had several in-store events for this release.
A few months later, in May, Shibata held her first solo concert at Tokyo Loft in Shinjuku. The concert is called «Shibata Ayumi 1st One Man Live ‘Back in Loft'». The track list for the concert was:
01. ヒマワリ (Setsuna)
03. 明日への扉 (Ashita e no Tobira)
04. ヒマワリ (Himawari)
05. 想い出の行方 (Omoide no Yukue)
06. YOU & I
08. Love Me More
11. 想い出の行方 (Omoide no Yukue)
Her 3rd single wasn’t released until February of 2013, entitled ひと欠片のキセキ («Hito Kakera no Kiseki»). It was released only as a regular edition, but was made available on iTunes.
In June, her official site was updated, telling that her contract had expired and that she was no longer part of the agency. Shibata wrote a thank you note, thanking her fans for supporting her.
In November, it was announced that she had joined another agency (SMC Entertainment), and changed her stage name to ayumi shibata. (Stylized in the Latin alphabet, as opposed to be written in kanji). They launched a new site, and announced the release of her debut album, kick start, (a cover album) which was released in February of 2014.
She promotes her music through live events and at small venues, and in the summer of 2015 she released her fourth single, "BABY ROCK". It is available in three different formats: two digital singles and as a physical CD; the CD is only available for purchase at her events.
In December 2016, Shibata announced she had given birth to her first child.