Legal name: 濱崎歩
Ayumi Hamasaki (浜崎 あゆみ, Hamasaki Ayumi, born October 2, 1978) is a Japanese recording artist, record producer, actress, model, spokesperson and entrepreneur. Through her entire career, she has written all her lyrical content, produced her own music and has sometimes composed her music.
Born and raised in Fukuoka, Hamasaki moved to Tokyo at fourteen in 1993 to pursue a career in singing and acting. In 1998, under the tutelage of Avex CEO Max Matsuura, Hamasaki released her debut single "Poker Face" and debut major-label album A Song for XX. The album debuted at the top of the Oricon charts and remained there for five weeks, selling over a million copies. Her next ten albums shipped over a million copies in Japan, with her third, Duty, selling nearly three million. A Best, her first compilation album, is her best-selling album, with more than four million copies sold in Japan. Since 2006, after her album Secret was released, album and single sales have declined.
Hamasaki has sold over 50 million records, making her the best-selling Japanese solo artist of all time. Hamasaki has several domestic record achievements for her singles, such as the most number-one hits by a female artist (38); the most consecutive number-one hits by a solo artist (twenty-five), and the most million-sellers. From 1999 to 2010, Hamasaki had at least two singles each year topping the charts. Hamasaki is the first female recording artist to have ten studio albums since her debut to top the Oricon and the first artist to have a number-one album for 13 consecutive years since her debut. Hamasaki's second remix album, Super Eurobeat Presents Ayu-ro Mix, is recognized as one of the best selling remix albums of all time and remains her only album to be recognized in a worldwide accreditation.
During the heights of her career, Hamasaki has been dubbed as the "Empress of J-pop" because of her popularity in Japan and throughout Asia. Following an ear infection in 2000, she has suffered worsening hearing loss and is completely deaf in one ear.