Name: 柳原尋美 (Yanagihara Hiromi)
Stage name: ひろみ (Hiromi)
Place of birth: Chiba, Japan
Date of birth: October 19th, 1979
Date of debut: April 27th, 1999 (Member #15)
Date of death: July 16th, 1999
Hiromi Yanagihara was a Japanese singer. She had also worked as a model, as well as acting in several doramas and a movie tied up to the Hello! Project brand.
Before signing up for the Country Musume audition, Yanagihara had a small role in the movie Morning Cop (featuring Morning Musume) in 1998. She also starred in three doramas the same year: Taiyou Musume to Umi, Wine Musume Koimonogatari and Kaze no Musume-tachi. According to the producer of Kaze no Musume-tachi, Yanagihara had said she felt lucky being able to act in several dramas, but that it was a singer she wanted to be.
She signed up for an audition held by Tsunku and Yoshitake Tanaka (Country Musume’s original producer) in 1999. They wanted to create a sister group to Morning Musume, but instead of being the next door girls, they would be country girls with rural values.
The audition process was aired on a television program called ASAYAN. Nine girls went through voice and dance lessons at a farm in Hokkaido, and three girls ended up being chosen, Yanagihara being one of them. The group would be named Country Musume, and was made up by Yanagihara, Rinne Toda and Azusa Kobayashi.
In the same time period, Country Musume was recording songs for their first single. A few days before the release of their debut single, Yanagihara was on her way from a restaurant owned by Country Musume’s producer, Yoshitake Tanaka, to a sight-seeing farm in order to attend a dance lesson. She lost control over the car she was driving, and didn’t survive the accident. She passed away on the 16th of July, 1999.