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Friday, March 16, 2007




Superstars don't come much bigger than Beyonce Knowles. With 10 Grammys under her tiny belt, she has been pelted with adulation throughout her career, be it as part of 50-million-selling R&B trio Destiny's Child or as a solo artist.

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The 25-year-old bling-dripping starlet has amassed impressive personal wealth and her boyfriend Jay-Z, rapper and head of the Def Jam label, is one of the music industry's key players. She could pack it all in tomorrow, but Beyonce is driven, and her forthcoming Japan tour, hot on the heels of her latest acting turn in "Dreamgirls," will lay testament to that.

Reportedly backed by a 10-piece all-girl band chosen in U.S.-wide auditions, Beyonce's live show is set to feature 20 dancers, with the Japan leg kicking off an 18-country (so far) world tour. In other words, it's going to be BIG, and fans in Japan will catch the Texas-born diva while she's still fresh and excited. Expect, therefore, a string of hits and an electric atmosphere.

While the solo Beyonce was arguably at her critical peak with her 2003 debut album "Dangerously In Love," her 2006 followup "B-Day" went to No. 1 on release in September '06 in the U.S., going on to sell a tidy 4 million copies worldwide. The album was released on her birthday, to which the title refers, and not, as many have suggested, a bathroom item. As a gently humiliated Beyonce told the BBC, "When I came up with the title, I wasn't thinking about a bidet . . ."

Beyonce plays April 10 (7 p.m.) at Tokyo Dome; April 11 (sold-out), 12 (7 p.m.) at Osaka-jo Hall; April 14 (5 p.m.), Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium, Nagoya. Tickets are 8,000 yen and 9,000 yen. For more information, visit udo.co.jp or call (03) 3402-5999.

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