98 Facts About Ayumi Hamasaki


Ayumi Hamasaki is a Japanese singer, songwriter, record producer, actress, model, spokesperson, and entrepreneur.


Later albums would range from electronic dream-pop to rock genres, with Ayumi Hamasaki herself saying she does not feel tied to follow music trends, instead focusing on what she enjoys and wants to create "whether it is trendy or not".


Ayumi Hamasaki has sold over 50.70 million units in Japan, making her the best-selling Japanese solo artist in history.


Ayumi Hamasaki has several domestic record achievements for her singles, such as the most number-one hits by a female artist ; the most consecutive number-one hits by a solo artist, and the most million-sellers.


From 1999 to 2010, Ayumi Hamasaki had at least two singles each year topping the charts.


Ayumi 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.


Ayumi Hamasaki's father had left the family when she was three and never again came into contact with her.


Ayumi Hamasaki's mother worked to support the family, so Ayumi Hamasaki was primarily taken care of by her grandmother.


At age seven, Ayumi Hamasaki began modeling for local institutions, such as banks, to supplement the family's income.


Ayumi Hamasaki continued this career path by leaving her family at fourteen and moving to Tokyo as a model under SOS, a talent agency.


Under the name of "Ayumi", Hamasaki released a rap EP, Nothing from Nothing, on the Nippon Columbia label in 1995.


Ayumi Hamasaki was dismissed from the label when the album failed to chart on the Oricon.


From August 1995 to March 1996, Ayumi Hamasaki co-hosted the SoundLink "magazine" Hokago no Osama for the Nintendo Satellaview once a week with Shigeru Izumiya.


Ayumi Hamasaki's grades worsened as she refused to put her mind to her studies.


Ayumi Hamasaki did not attend school or have a job, so she spent much of her time shopping at Shibuya boutiques and dancing at Velfarre, an Avex-owned disco club.


Ayumi Hamasaki persisted and succeeded in recruiting her for the Avex label in the following year.


Ayumi Hamasaki started vocal training but skipped most of her classes after finding her instructors too rigid and the classes dull.


Ayumi Hamasaki made her debut under Avex at 19 on April 8,1998, with the single "Poker Face".


The songs gained Ayumi Hamasaki a growing following, and the release of the album was a success: it topped the Oricon charts for five weeks and sold over a million copies.


Ayumi Hamasaki began to experiment with different musical styles in her singles as well, releasing dance tunes and ballads as well as remixes on the singles which spanned reggae and house.


The singles were milestones: Ayumi Hamasaki earned her first number-one single and first million-selling single.


Ayumi Hamasaki described her feelings after the writing as "unnatural" and "nervous".


Duty resonated with fans: the "Trilogy" were "hit singles", and the album became Ayumi Hamasaki's best-selling studio album.


In support of Duty and A Best, Ayumi Hamasaki held a tour of Japan's domes, making her one of few "top-drawer" Japanese artists to hold a concert at the Tokyo Dome.


Ayumi Hamasaki increased her control over her music by composing all of the songs on the album under the pseudonym "Crea", of which the 2000 single "M" was the first.


Ayumi Hamasaki dropped the planned cover and opted instead to be portrayed as a "peace muse", explaining,.


Ayumi Hamasaki held her first concert outside Japan, at the MTV Asia music awards ceremony in Singapore, a move interpreted as the beginning of a campaign prompted by a sluggish Japanese market.


Ayumi Hamasaki continued to release singles in Germany on Drizzly until 2005.


Ayumi Hamasaki released her last single of 2002, "Voyage", on September 26.


In lieu of a regular-length music video, the short film Tsuki ni Shizumu, starring Ayumi Hamasaki, was created for "Voyage" and was released at a select theater in Shibuya.


Ayumi Hamasaki approached the composition of the music with the same freedom as the lyrics, with the album's notable rock overtones expressing her liking for rock music.


Ayumi Hamasaki was so pleased with the result that she declared My Story the first album she felt satisfied with.


From January to April 2005, Ayumi Hamasaki held the nationwide My Story arena tour, her first album-based tour.


The orchestra created a classical version of "A Song Is Born", which was included on My Story Classical and which Ayumi Hamasaki performed at the opening of the Expo 2005.


Ayumi Hamasaki edited the songs to fit her personal vision, rewriting the lyrics and rearranging some of the songs.


In support of the album, Ayumi Hamasaki held the understood arena tour, which spanned three months with thirty concerts, from Saitama on March 11,2006, to Yoyogi on June 11,2006.


The album consisted mostly of rock songs and ballads; to complement these, Ayumi Hamasaki experimented with new vocal techniques.


In 2007, Ayumi Hamasaki released A Best 2, a pair of compilation albums containing songs from I Am.


Ayumi Hamasaki held her second tour of Asia, Asia Tour 2008: 10th Anniversary, to celebrate her tenth anniversary.


On September 10,2008, Ayumi Hamasaki released A Complete: All Singles, a compilation album that includes the A-sides of all her singles along with previously unreleased footage from her A-nation concerts, which became the 8th best selling album of 2008.


However, the album was only certified double platinum, making it Ayumi Hamasaki's lowest-selling studio album to that date.


Ayumi Hamasaki began expanding her online presence, setting up accounts on MySpace, Ustream, and Twitter.


The song, which featured Ayumi Hamasaki, was written and produced by her, marking the first record she produced for another singer.


Deeply affected by the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami devastation, Ayumi Hamasaki decided to collaborate with fashion magazine, Vivi, with the sale of charity shirts and the profits going to help the victims in the devastation.


On that same day, Ayumi Hamasaki released 2010 Rock 'n' Roll Circus Tour and A 50 Singles: Live Selection which topped the weekly chart at No 1 and No 2 respectively.


Ayumi Hamasaki described the song as a mid-tempo ballad, containing "feelings of gratitude towards another person".


From May 30 to July 6,2014, Ayumi Hamasaki held her Premium Showcase: Feel the Love tour, on which she offered 11 concerts at 3 locations: Nagoya, Osaka and Tokyo.


On this tour, Ayumi Hamasaki abandoned for the first time the traditional format of her previous concerts and presented an uninterrupted, shorter show, on which she debuted as an aerial acrobat.


In September 2014, Ayumi Hamasaki released two recut singles from Colours: "Terminal" and "XOXO" on the PlugAir platform.


On October 18,2014, Ayumi Hamasaki performed as the closing act in the A-Nation premium concert held at the Marina Bay Sands' MasterCard Theatres in Singapore.


On November 2,2014, Ayumi Hamasaki announced through her official Facebook page that she had started recording new material composed by Tetsuya Komuro, Kunio Tago and Tetsuya Yukumi for a "winter ballad trilogy" single.


In December 2014 Ayumi Hamasaki announced that she would be not attending the New Year show Kohaku Uta Gassen for the first time in 15 years.


Ayumi Hamasaki explained her decision stating that she wanted to lower her responsibilities and things she felt pressured to do, in order to focus on the projects she had for her career, mainly regarding her plans to expand her influence throughout Asia.


On February 15,2015, Ayumi Hamasaki made a surprise guest appearance during Singaporean singer JJ Lin's concert in Taipei, Taiwan.


Between April and July 2015, Ayumi Hamasaki embarked on her Arena Tour 2015 A: Cirque de Minuit tour throughout Japan, which was planned as an expanded version of her previous Countdown Live concerts held in late 2014.


Later in this same year, Ayumi Hamasaki recorded a cover of Globe's "Many Classic Moments", which was included in the group's tribute album released on December 16,2015.


Ayumi Hamasaki promoted the album by starting an Instagram account, that originally was stated to only be open until the end of January 2016.


In December 2015, Ayumi Hamasaki contributed with the lyrics of "Diary", using her past composer name of Crea, to the debut single of Micchie.


Ayumi Hamasaki confirmed that she had been working on her seventeenth studio album for 2016 through a post published on Instagram.


On September 30,2016, Ayumi Hamasaki released the digital single "We Are the Queens", which was used as a theme song of smartphone game Clash of Queens developed by Elex Wireless.


On September 6,2017, Ayumi Hamasaki released a new song entitled "Words" as a free download for attenders to her Just the Beginning: Sacrifice tour, available until November 30 through the mu-mo website.


Ayumi Hamasaki embarked on the Power of Music 20th Anniversary arena tour from April 7 to July 22,2018.


Ayumi Hamasaki wrote a foreword to the novel, which was set in present time as she prepared for her 20th anniversary, and of her thoughts working with Matsuura again after the two grew apart professionally earlier in the 2010s.


Later that same month, Ayumi Hamasaki planned to hold an in-person Christmas concert titled Special Showcase Xmas Eve 2020, but it was later adapted to be a streaming exclusive via YouTube on December 24.


Ayumi Hamasaki later confirmed she was following isolation instructions and had not tested positive herself.


Ayumi Hamasaki released the compilation album A Ballads 2 on April 8,2021, which included remastered versions of 29 previously released songs, as well as the single "Ohia no Ki" and a new cover of Yumi Matsutoya's "Haru yo, Koi".


On June 26,2021, Ayumi Hamasaki held an online concert titled Music for Life: Return, hosted on Mu-mo Live as well as having an in-person audience, which reused the concept and parts of the setlist she had planned for the cancelled Countdown Live 2020 - 2021 A: Music For Life.


Ayumi Hamasaki's lyrics have resonated among her fans throughout her career, who praise them as being honest and heartfelt and "expressing determination"; in two surveys conducted by Oricon, respondents voted Ayumi Hamasaki's lyrics as their favorite aspect of her artistry.


Steve McClure of The Japan Times noted that Ayumi Hamasaki has "developed a reputation as a thoughtful, introspective lyricist"; Barry Walters of The Village Voice comments that Ayumi Hamasaki's lyrics "pack unlikely insights".


Ayumi Hamasaki began to take on a more global outlook with her following albums I Am.


Misaki believed Ayumi Hamasaki had begun thinking about her influence on society more, and began writing songs with important messages she wanted to express to her listeners.


Ayumi Hamasaki was even less involved in the composition of subsequent albums, composing two tracks on Memorial Address, three on My Story, and one on understood; since Secret, none of the songs on her studio albums have listed her as a composer.


Ayumi Hamasaki cites Madonna, soul musicians Babyface and En Vogue, and rock bands Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple as her influences and states that she admires Michelle Branch, Kid Rock, Joan Osborne, Seiko Matsuda, Rie Miyazawa, and Keiko Yamada; these diverse influences have led to the variety of her own music.


Ayumi Hamasaki began commissioning remixes of her songs early in her career, and this practice influenced the diversity of her music.


Ayumi Hamasaki uses different instruments and techniques including piano, orchestra, gospel choirs, guitars, traditional Japanese strings, music boxes, and effects such as yells, claps, and scratching.


Ayumi Hamasaki is often involved in the artistic direction of her music videos.


The video of "Voyage" depicts Ayumi Hamasaki as a woman in a mental hospital whose previous incarnation was a woman in feudal Japan who was sacrificed to the moon; the video of "Endless Sorrow" features a young boy living in a society where speaking is forbidden by law.


Ayumi Hamasaki is involved in the production and artistic direction of her live performances; they, like her videos, are often lavish productions and use a variety of props, extravagant costumes, and choreographed dances.


Ayumi Hamasaki has used large video screens, fireworks, simulated rain drops, trick stage floors, and suspended devices.


Ayumi Hamasaki began moving towards the wider Asian market in 2002, performing at the 2002 MTV Asia awards in Singapore, and later taking her 2007 Tour of Secret concerts to Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Shanghai.


Ayumi Hamasaki is noted for the visual aspects of her artistry; she was considered a significant fashion trendsetter in both the 2000s and 2010s, with her influence extending beyond across Asia.


Ayumi Hamasaki's constantly changing image was apparent not only in her fashion photo shoots and commercial endorsements but in her record covers, an element she considered essential in conveying her message.


However, she has begun to receive attention in the 2020s as a heralded icon of Y2K fashion, with Ayumi Hamasaki seen as the face of returning gyaru-kei inspired trends.


In 2002, Ayumi Hamasaki created Ayupan, a cartoon version of herself that appeared in a line of merchandise, and in a 2003 animation.


In March 2011, Ayumi Hamasaki donated 30 million yen to relief efforts for the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami.


In 2021, Ayumi Hamasaki donated 10 million yen to the Japanese National Center for Global Health and Medicine, receiving the Medal of Honor.


Ayumi Hamasaki has since avoided allowing her image to be used for widespread endorsements.


In 2023, Ayumi Hamasaki became a beauty brand ambassador for Rhythm Co.


Ayumi Hamasaki had a seven-year relationship with actor Tomoya Nagase, from 2000 to 2007.


On January 1,2011, Ayumi Hamasaki announced her engagement to Austrian actor and model Manuel Schwarz, whom Ayumi Hamasaki met in August 2010 on the set of her music video for "Virgin Road".


However, on January 16,2012, Ayumi Hamasaki announced her divorce through her fanclub website.


Ayumi Hamasaki would go on to say that she initially planned to move to the United States, where Schwarz primarily resided; however, her experiences watching the March 2011 Tohoku disaster footage while being outside of Japan at the time impacted her so greatly, that she felt unable to go through with a permanent relocation.


On December 13,2013, it was announced on her official TeamAyu site that Ayumi Hamasaki had become engaged to an American medical student, whom she had been with since the spring of that year.


Two years later on September 11,2016, Ayumi Hamasaki announced that she and her husband had separated, with their divorce finalized by the end of that month.


On January 1,2020, Ayumi Hamasaki announced on her official TeamAyu site that she had given birth to "a beautiful angel last year", having chosen to keep the pregnancy a secret until that point.


On October 2,2020, Ayumi Hamasaki announced her second pregnancy through her official TeamAyu site, and in May 2021 confirmed she had given birth to her second child "sometime in spring".


In January 2008, Ayumi Hamasaki announced on her blog that an inoperable condition, possibly tinnitus or Meniere's disease, had caused complete deafness in her left ear.


Ayumi Hamasaki had been diagnosed with the condition in 2006 and that the problem dated to 2000, when she developed an ear infection but continued to perform against the advice of doctors.