Legal name: Yumi Arai, Yumi Matsutoya, 松任谷 由実, 松任谷由実, 荒井 由実, 荒井由実
Yumi Matsutoya (松任谷 由実, Matsutōya Yumi, born January 19, 1954), nicknamed Yuming (ユーミン, Yūmin), is a Japanese singer, composer, lyricist and pianist. She is renowned for her idiosyncratic voice, and live performances, and is an important figure in Japanese popular music.
Her recording career has been commercially successful with more than 42 million records sold. In 1990, her album The Gates of Heaven became the first album to be certified "2x million" by the RIAJ, and she has had twenty-one #1 albums listed on the Oricon charts. She is the only artist to have at least one number-one album every year on the Oricon charts for 18 consecutive years.
After gaining several years of experience as a session musician, she debuted as a singer-songwriter in 1972. During her early career, she worked under her birth name Yumi Arai (荒井 由実, Arai Yumi). In 1975, Arai became known as a composer for "Ichigo Hakusho wo Mou Ichido", a commercially successful song recorded by the folk duo BanBan. She also gained popularity as a vocalist in the same year, through the success of "Ano Hi ni Kaeritai" that became her first number-one spot on the Japan's Oricon Charts.
After marrying her musical collaborator Masataka Matsutoya in 1976, Arai began recording under her married name and has continued to do so. Throughout the 1980s, Matsutoya's music was prominently featured in advertisements for Mitsubishi Motors in her native Japan and her image was used to promote their vehicles. In addition to multiple hit singles, she has obtained enormous commercial success on the Japanese Albums Chart, particularly during the late 1980s and the first half of the 1990s.