Prima donna pop star busting to buff up career ... in the buff!
Pop warbler Tomomi Kahala, whose many dubious claims to fame include a failed suicide attempt after being dumped by her rich and famous lover, and an album cover featuring her reading a copy of the Mainichi Daily News, is bursting at the seams to pose in the nude, according to Asahi Geino (7/14).
"She's absolutely dying to get her gear off and has gone on record saying that she'll do so as long as her talent agency gives her the OK," a sports newspaper's entertainment beat reporter tells Asahi Geino.
Almost a decade ago, Kahala was one of the country's hottest young prospects. She was being guided by then invincible producer Tetsuya Komuro -- who in the mid-'90s had a Midas touch when it came to crafting music careers for young female singers -- who also stole her heart. The couple lived together for a while until splitting acrimoniously in October 1997.
A subsequent nervous breakdown saw Kahala hospitalized and her career on the rails. A failed suicide attempt a couple of years later saw her back into the hospital again. But Kahala fought back hard, and the 30-year-old warbler was rewarded for her efforts last year when she won the Gold Prize at the Japan Record Awards for her single "Anata ga Ireba (If You're Here)."
Many dismissed Kahala's supposed desire to buff up her image as nothing more than a gimmick, but those close to her insist her yearning to bare it all are true.
"She's been telling those around her for ages that she wants to do some nude shots. She said it in public last year. She said that she wants to do the nude shots while she's still beautiful and said if there were enough fans who wanted to see her, she wanted to show herself to them," an insider from Kahala's production company says.
Kahala has already gone a long way toward ditching her duds for the cameras. Kahala's latest album, "Naked," shows her in a saucy pose while covered only by a skimpy sheet - a far cry from her 1997 CD "Daily News," where she sat down reading the MDN.
"When she was doing the cover shots for 'Naked,' she was saying that she wanted to do the photos while she was all nude," a record industry insider tells Asahi Geino.
The sports newspaper reporter says Kahala's eagerness to strip comes from a new outlook on life.
"In the past, she only did whatever Komuro told her to," the hack says. "Now, she's her own woman and this is starting to reflect in her work. A nude photo collection would give her the chance to show everybody what's new about her and she's keen on producing the book herself."
As a former pin-up girl, Kahala certainly has the assets required of most nude models, according to a number of reporters. Nonetheless, she's polishing up to make sure she looks as good as possible.
"She's off to the beauty parlor almost every day. Everybody recognizes she has gorgeous skin, but staff have also noticed she has a fantastic neck and upper back," the production company insider says. "She's getting everybody heated up recently by showing everybody around her how raunchy she can be."
Kahala's current tour features her decked out in a racy, see-through outfit, which some say suggests that it won't be too long before she goes all the way.
Her production company, however, curtly dismisses the notion that Kahala is going to pose nude.
"There won't be anything like that," a spokesman says.
Nonetheless, Kahala-watchers say "never say never."
"Her agency has stopped her from posing nude at least once before, but Kahala really wants to do it, and I think the agency is giving up," the production company insider tells Asahi Geino. "Her CD is a hit and she's reached her peak as a singer. I think we'll see her go nude before the year is out." (By Ryann Connell)
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