Ayumi Hamasaki was born on 2 October, 1978. Ayumi is a Japanese singer-songwriter and former actress. Also known as Ayu to her fans, Ayumi has been dubbed the “Empress of pop” and “the Empress of J-Pop” due to her popularity and widespread influence in Japan. Born and raised in Fukuoka, she moved to Tokyo at the age of 14 to pursue a career in entertainment. In 1998, under the tutelage of Avex CEO Max Matsuura, she released a string of modestly selling singles that concluded with her 1999 debut album A Song for XX, which debuted atop the Oricon charts and stayed there for 4 weeks in a row, establishing her popularity in Japan.
Because of her constantly changing image and tight control over her artistry, Ayumi has become a “trendsetter” and an “icon of fashion” in Asia; her popularity and influence in music and fashion extend to China, Singapore, Taiwan, and South Korea. Ayumi has appeared in or lent her songs to many advertisements and television commercials. Though she originally supported this, a 2001 event in which Avex forced her to put her greatest hits album in direct competition with Hikaru Utada’s Distance made Ayumi reconsider and eventually oppose her status as an Avex “product”.
Since her 1998 debut with the single “Poker Face”, Ayumi has sold around 50 million records, making her one of Japan’s best-selling singers. Ayumi’s singles have set records: she is the Japanese female artist with the highest singles sales, most number-one singles, and most million-seller singles. Ayumi is also the only Japanese artist to have a No. 1 single every year for 10 years straight and the 1st to have her 1st 8 studio albums top the Oricon.
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