Japanese music can cover a broad number of musical styles and artists. For some, music of Japan could signify the traditional music that’s associated with Japanese history. For others, it can allude to Japanese bands and Japanese pop singers.
While traditional Japanese music is obviously different than the Western influenced Japanese bands that emerged during the last century, Japanese music artists’ sound varies and thus, generations of Japanese people are attracted to the sounds that come from their native land. No issue what your definition is – either former or new – Japanese bands and singers are some of the most popular in the creation. Here, we have a compiled a list of some of the most popular Japanese musicians.
It is a Japanese rock duo, consisting of guitarist, composer and producer Takahira Matsumoto and vocalist and lyricist Koshi Inaba, known for their energetic hard-rock tracks and pop ballads. B’z is one of the best-selling music artists in the world and the best-selling in Japan, having released 46 consecutive No. 1 singles, 25 No. 1 albums and sold more than 100 million records worldwide. In 2007, B’z became the first band from Asia to have their handprints and signatures put up in the Hollywood’s RockWalk.
Ayumi Hamasaki is a Japanese recording artist, composer, actress, model, spokesperson and entrepreneur. Hamasaki has sold over 50 million records, earning 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. She has been dubbed the “Empress of J-pop” because of her popularity in Japan and throughout Asia.
A singer and songwriter, Hikara Utadu, rose into prominence in 1999 with the release of her second album, First Love, which sold over eight million copies in Japan and became the best-selling Japanese-language album of all time. It is estimated that Utada has sold more than 52 million records worldwide, making her one of the best-selling music artists in Japan. In 2009, she was considered “the most influential artist of the decade” in the Japanese landscape by The Japan Times.
Debuting at the age of 14, Amuro is known for breaking the youthful idol stereotype with her experimentation with different music styles in Japan and throughout the Western world, as well as visual imagery in music videos and on stage. Due to her longevity and resilience within the industry, she is referred to as the “Queen of Japanese Pop” and has constantly been recognised as the Japanese equivalent to leading Western artists such as Madonna and Janet Jackson. Having sold more than 35 million records in Japan alone, Amuro is recognised as one of the best-selling artists in Japan by Oricon.
The Japanese music industry is wide and diverse. That being said, you can pleasure yourself by singing to some of the iconic songs of above-mentioned musicians.