Hibari Misora (美空 ひばり, Misora Hibari, May 29, 1937 – June 24, 1989) was a Japanese singer, actress and cultural icon. She received a Medal of Honor for her contributions to music and for improving the welfare of the public, and was the first woman to receive the People's Honour Award which was conferred posthumously for giving the public hope and encouragement after World War II. Misora recorded a total of 1,200 songs, and sold 68 million records. After she died, consumer demand for her recordings grew significantly, and by 2001, she had sold more than 80 million records. Her male contemporary was Michiya Mihashi and although he was more popular as a singer, Misora's movie career made her more popular with the general public. Her swan-song "Kawa no Nagare no Yō ni" (川の流れのように) is often performed by numerous artists and orchestras as a tribute to her, including notable renditions by The Three Tenors (Spanish/Italian), Teresa Teng (Taiwanese), and Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlan (Mexican).
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