In January 2001 the life and career of singer Ami Suzuki would forever be changed after her parents filed a lawsuit against her management AG Communication. This soon led to Ami being unfairly blacklisted from Japan’s entertainment industry.
Ami’s tale begins in 1998 after successfully beating out 13,500 contestants on the popular talent search variety show ASAYAN. She was awarded a contract with Sony Music Entertainment, and hit-maker Tetsuya Komuro was assigned to be her producer. Her debut single “love the island” was an instant success, and her next 3 single released that year were all hits.
However, this instant success began the start of her semi-complicated relationship with the media. While every popular artist is a tabloid target, Ami seemed to be the preferred choice for fueling “stan wars” before they were even officially a thing! She was quickly dubbed as the new it “TK girl”, with some publications out right naming her the replacement for Namie Amuro and Tomomi Kahala. Bold statements like that left poor Ami-go in the crossfire, but her career continued to soar.
The release of her 7th single “BE TOGETHER” saw Ami in two more media created feuds. Released on the same day as Ayumi Hamasaki’s “Boys & Girls”, tabloids declared both of them to be rivals. Morning Musume’s “Furusato” was also released that day, Morning Musume also got their start on ASAYAN. This led to an entire episode of ASAYAN dedicated to “BE TOGETHER” crushing “Furusato” on the charts, complete with interview reactions from Ami and the members of Morning Musume.
With 1999 being another great year for the rising star 2000 looked to be just as promising, but things took a turn for the worse in July. On July 12th, 2000 four high profile businessmen were arrested for tax evasion. One of them was Eiji Yamada, who just so happened to be the president of AG Communication.
This received considerable press and Ami’s name was continually dragged into it since she was the biggest star under AG Communication. Despite the arrest of her boss she finished off the rest of the year busy with activities.
In September 2000 she released “Reality / Dancin’ in Hip-hop”, which would turn out to be her final single under Sony. Beginning in October she was the star of an NHK drama series titled “Fukaku Mogure“, participated in new CM campaigns, and released two concert DVDs. She finished off the year with a performance at the 51st Kohaku Uta Gassen.
The following month in January 2001 Ami’s parents Tadao and Miyako filed a lawsuit against AG hoping to end Ami’s contract with them. They were able to file this lawsuit on Ami’s behalf as she was still a minor, just one month away from turning 19.