Carrie Ann Inaba was born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii, USA. She is of Japanese, Chinese, and Irish ancestry, and is the youngest of two children. Carrie Ann grew up dancing the hula (native Hawaiian dance) and other dance forms. She also played the piano and violin and sang in the choir. She attended Hanahaouli School and then Punahou School. Carrie Ann played volleyball for a little while but found her true love in performing.
At the age of 16, she and her closest friend Tina Horii won the Hawaii statewide competition, "Search for Talent", dancing a piece that they had choreographed together. While still sixteen, Carrie Ann was scouted to go to Japan to become a "Teen Idol".
However, she waited until she finished high school and then left Hawaii to pursue her career as a musical artist in Japan. During her time in Japan, Carrie Ann released three singles with Pony Canyon Records while attending Sophia University, a Jesuit university in Tokyo. In the two-year period spent living i