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List of best-selling music artists in Japan

The best-selling music artists in Japan include Japanese artists with claims of 15 million or more record sales. Japan is the largest physical music market in the world and the second largest overall behind the United States, and the biggest in Asia, according to International Federation of the Phonographic Industry.[1][2]

Sources that provide the sales an artist or record company claim via press release, rather than certified or reported by reliable third parties such as Oricon, are denoted by a "†".

Oricon ChartsEdit

Oricon provides accumulated physical sales of all entries on its singles and albums charts (started in 1968 and 1970, respectively).[3] Note that Oricon does not count sales of the records that did not enter or fell off of the charts, unlike Nielsen SoundScan. Therefore, it generally shows fewer numbers than reported sales via record labels, and may not reflect the real sales obtained by these artists. In addition, it excludes recording artists like Michiya Mihashi,[4] Hibari Misora, Yujiro Ishihara, and Hachiro Kasuga who had garnered most of commercial success before Oricon was established in the late 1960s. The reported numbers like Mihashi's 100 million and Misora's 68 million records,[5][6] are highly doubtful and cannot be confirmed by Oricon and RIAJ.

The best-selling artist according to Oricon are B'z (more than 82 million), who is also the best-selling artist by a number of albums sold (46.5 million).[7] The best-selling artists by number of singles sold are AKB48 (50.8 million),[8] B'z (35.8 million) in second place,[9] Mr. Children (28.45 million) in third place,[10] and Southern All Stars (25.179 million) in fourth place.[11] Ayumi Hamasaki holds the record for being the best selling solo artist and being the only solo artist to sell more than 50 million in total.[12]

The list excludes sales of albums or singles recorded by artists in collaboration with others as part of a singular artist or group's total.

Artists by salesEdit

50 million or more recordsEdit

Artist Years active Genre Sales
B'z 1988–present Hard rock / Pop rock / Blues rock 82.62 million[13]
AKB48 2005–present J-pop / Electropop / Dance-pop 60.05 million[13]
Mr. Children 1989–1997, 1998–present Pop rock / Power pop / Progressive pop 60.01 million[13]
Ayumi Hamasaki 1998–present Pop / Dance / Electronic / Rock 50.71 million[13]

30 million to 49 million recordsEdit

Artist Years active Genre Sales
Southern All Stars 1975–present Soft rock / Pop rock / Folk rock / Blues rock 48.97 million[14]
Dreams Come True 1988–present New wave / R&B 44.94 million[13]
Tomoyasu Hotei 1988–present Rock 40 million†[15]
Yumi Matsutoya[note 1] 1968–present Pop rock / Jazz fusion / Folk rock / Kayōkyoku 39.39 million[14]
Glay 1988–present Pop rock / Power pop / Progressive rock 38.80 million[13]
Arashi 1999–present Pop / Pop rock / R&B / Hip hop 38.44 million[13]
Zard 1991–2007 Pop rock 37.63 million[13]
Utada Hikaru 1998–2010, 2016–present J-pop / R&B / Dance / Electronica 37.34 million[13]
SMAP 1991–2016 J-pop / R&B 37.20 million[14]
Namie Amuro 1992–2018 Pop / R&B / Hip hop / EDM / Eurobeat 36.18 million[16]
Chage and Aska 1979–1996, 1999–2009 Folk rock / Soft rock 31 million[17]
X Japan 1982–1997, 2007–present Heavy metal 30 million†[18]
Seiko Matsuda 1980–present Pop / Kayōkyoku 30 million†[19]

20 million to 29 million recordsEdit

Artist Years active Genre Sales
L'Arc-en-Ciel 1991–present Alternative rock / Pop rock / Post-punk 29.27 million[20]
Globe 1995–present Synthpop / Eurobeat / Trance 28.94 million[20]
KinKi Kids 1993–present Pop 26.06 million[20]
Akina Nakamori 1982–present Pop / Kayōkyoku 25.34 million[21]
Tube 1985–present Power pop / Surf rock / Blues rock 24.55 million
Masaharu Fukuyama 1990–present Pop / Rock 24.10 million[22]
Exile 2001–present J-pop / R&B / Dance / House 23.44 million[20]
Every Little Thing 1996–present Pop rock / Soft rock / Synthpop 22.72 million[20]
Maki Ohguro 1989–present Pop / Dance-pop / New Wave 22.67 million[20]
Morning Musume 1997–present J-pop / Electropop / Dance-pop 22.47 million
Miyuki Nakajima 1975–present Kayōkyoku / Folk / Rock / Enka 21.96 million
TRF 1993–present J-pop / Hi-NRG / Rave / Techno 21.71 million[23]
Tsuyoshi Nagabuchi 1977–present Rock / Folk 21.64 million[22]
Noriyuki Makihara 1990–present Pop 21 million[22]
Spitz 1987–present Alternative rock / Pop rock 20.68 million[24]
Speed 1996–2000, 2008–2012 Pop / Dance / R&B / Hip hop 20 million†[25]
Misia 1998–present R&B / Pop / Soul / Dance 20 million†[26]

10 million to 19 million recordsEdit

Artist Years active Genre Sales
Hiroshi Itsuki 1965–present Enka / Pop 19.24 million[27]
Kome Kome Club 1982–1997, 2006–present Pop rock / Psychedelic soul / Funk rock / Rakugo 18.66 million
Pink Lady 1976–1981,
1996–1997,
2003–2005,
2010–2017
Pop / Kayōkyoku / Disco 17 million[28]
Kanjani8 2004–present Pop / Rock / Enka / Kayōkyoku 17.00 million[29]
Toshinobu Kubota 1981–present R&B / Pop / Soul / Neo soul 16.33 million
Kyosuke Himuro 1978–present Rock / Pop 16.25 million
Momoe Yamaguchi 1973–1980 Pop / Kayōkyoku 16.22 million[21]
Dragon Ash 1996–Present Alternative Rock / Hip hop / Nu metal / Punk rock 16 million
Mariya Takeuchi 1978–Present Pop / Funk / Soul / Disco 16 million
Yōsui Inoue 1969–present Rock / Folk 15.809 million
Hiromi Gō 1972–present Pop / Kayōkyoku / R&B 15.78 million[21]
Kenji Sawada 1969–present Pop / Rock 15.71 million[20]
Mai Kuraki 1999–present Pop / R&B 15.5 million
The Checkers 1981–1992 Rock 'n' roll / Rockabilly / Pop rock / Doo-wop 15.38 million[20]
Miki Imai 1986–present Pop 15.31 million
Mariah Carey 1988–present Pop / Soul / R&B / Dance 15 million[29]
Judy and Mary 1992–2001 Pop rock / Art punk / Alternative rock 15 million
Puffy AmiYumi 1995–present Dance rock / Pop rock / Pop punk / Power pop 15 million
Shizuka Kudo 1987–Present Pop / Kayōkyoku 15 million[30]
Koda Kumi 2000–present Pop / Soul / R&B / Dance 15 million†[31]
Miho Nakayama 1985–present Pop / Kayōkyoku 14.97 million[21]
Nogizaka46 2011–present Pop 14.60 million[29]
Kyōko Koizumi 1982–present Pop 14.26 million[21]
Hideki Saijo 1972–2018 Pop 13.30 million[32]
Toshihiko Tahara 1980–present Pop 12.70 million[21]
Masahiko Kondo 1980–present Pop / Kayōkyoku 12.67 million[21]
Hikaru Genji 1987–1996 Pop 12.22 million[21]
Tomomi Kahara 1995–2006, 2013–present Pop / Adult contemporary / Pop rock / Dance-pop 12.19 million[21]
V6 1995–present Pop / Rock 12.12 million[21]
Orange Range 2001–present Rap rock / Alternative rock / Pop rock / Power pop 11 million
Luna Sea 1989–2000, 2010–present Progressive rock / Alternative rock / Hard rock / Punk rock 10+ million†
Chemistry 2001–present J-pop / R&B 10 million
MAX 1995–present J-pop 10 million
Shiina Ringo 1998–present J-pop / J-rock 10 million

Best-selling artist sales by yearEdit

Year Artist Album Sales Single Sales Total Sales
1999 Hikaru Utada 7,365,830 5,383,770 12,749,600
2000 Ayumi Hamasaki 5,267,350 3,914,920 9,182,270
2001 Ayumi Hamasaki 5,311,950 5,067,910 10,379,860
2002 Hikaru Utada 3,526,780 2,410,990 5,667,770
2003 Ayumi Hamasaki 2,774,474 1,056,148 3,830,622
2004 Hikaru Utada 3,537,845 365,206 3,903,051
2005 Orange Range 3,479,539 2,242,257 5,721,796
2006 Koda Kumi 2,411,470 1,281,022 3,692,492
2007 Koda Kumi 1,318,072 534,035 1,852,107
2008 Exile 4,363,967 678,458 5,042,425
2009 Arashi 1,432,781 2,213,423 3,646,204
2010 Arashi 1,395,807 3,778,313 5,174,120
2011 AKB48 829,645 6,871,281 7,700,926
2012 AKB48 1,029,954 6,954,599 7,984,553
2013 AKB48 - 5,961,213 5,961,213
2014 AKB48 1,041,355 6,241,987 7,283,342
2015 AKB48 1,468,279 5,062,100 6,530,379
2016 AKB48 - 5,413,328 5,413,328
2017 AKB48 632,615 4,715,415 5,348,030

NotesEdit

  1. ^ Includes releases under her maiden name, Yumi Arai.

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Smirke, Richard (March 20, 2011). "IFPI 2011 Report: Global Recorded Music Sales Fall 8.4%; Eminem, Lady Gaga Top Int'l Sellers". billboard.biz. Retrieved February 5, 2012.
  2. ^ "The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry Releases Its 2014 Data on the World Music Market". aramajapan.com. 2015-04-22. Retrieved April 22, 2015.
  3. ^ Yamamoto, Takao (producer) (January 13, 2012). "ミュージックステーション2時間スペシャル アーティスト総売上ランキング". Music Station (in Japanese). All-Nippon News Network. TV Asahi.
  4. ^ 三橋美智也(みはしみちや). goo (in Japanese). Archived from the original on July 10, 2009.
  5. ^ "Mihashi Michiya" (in Japanese). goo. Archived from the original on 2009-07-10. Retrieved 2009-02-12.
  6. ^ https://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=950DE7DA1E3EF936A15755C0A96F948260 New York Times obituary June 25, 1989
  7. ^ "B'z、通算28作目のアルバム首位 歴代1位記録を更新" (in Japanese). Oricon. 2017-12-05. Retrieved 2018-11-20.
  8. ^ AKB48、総選挙シングルで通算&連続40作目首位 総売上枚数が5000万枚突破. Oricon News (in Japanese). Oricon. September 25, 2018. Retrieved September 25, 2018.
  9. ^ "【オリコン】AKB48、シングル総売上日本一3615.8万枚 秋元氏総売上は1億枚突破". Oricon Style (in Japanese). Oricon. December 9, 2015. Retrieved December 25, 2015.
  10. ^ "【オリコン】AKB48、女性初の20作目ミリオン シングル総売上枚数は歴代2位". Oricon Style (in Japanese). Oricon. May 27, 2014. Retrieved May 27, 2014.
  11. ^ "【オリコン】AKB48、史上初の通算16作目ミリオン B'zの記録を13年ぶり更新". Oricon Style (in Japanese). Oricon. December 17, 2013. Retrieved January 28, 2014.
  12. ^ Orr, Gillian (March 25, 2014). "Why has Japan's CD market suddenly gone into decline?". The Independent. Retrieved September 25, 2014.
  13. ^ a b c d e f g h i 【オリコン“平成セールス”ランキング】シングルはSMAP、アルバムは宇多田ヒカルが1位 “平成No.1”アーティスト別セールスのB’zからはコメント到着. Oricon News (in Japanese). Oricon. April 11, 2019. Retrieved April 11, 2019.
  14. ^ a b c Miyasako, Hiroyuki (host); Hotohara, Tōru (host) (March 22, 2018). アメトーーク!『B’z芸人』 [Ame Talk! "B'z Geinin"]. Ame Talk. TV Asahi. |access-date= requires |url= (help)
  15. ^ "Tomoyasu Hotei's Debut International Album Release 'Strangers' out October 16 Through Spinefarm Records". Anime News Network. August 5, 2015. Retrieved August 5, 2015.
  16. ^ 引退目前の安室奈美恵、歴代1位記録を振り返る. Oricon News (in Japanese). Oricon. September 13, 2018. Retrieved September 25, 2018.
  17. ^ Schley, Matt (May 19, 2014). "J-pop star arrested on drug charges". Otaku USA. Retrieved May 6, 2018.
  18. ^ "Aaron, Charles (October 10, 2014). "X Japan's Incredible Ride: Meet Rock's Most Flamboyant Survivors". Rolling Stone. Retrieved February 12, 2018.
  19. ^ Hindes, Andrew (August 20, 1997). "'Armageddon' suits singer". Variety. Retrieved May 6, 2018.
  20. ^ a b c d e f g h "Music Station Pits the Top 25 Showa Acts Against the Top 25 Heisei Acts". aramajapan.com. September 2, 2015. Retrieved February 11, 2018.
  21. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Yamamoto, Takao (producer) (2011). MUSIC STATION(Mステ)史上最強アイドルBEST50 [Music Station "Strongest Idols in History Best 50"]. Music Station (in Japanese). TV Asahi. |access-date= requires |url= (help)
  22. ^ a b c 【オリコン】福山雅治、シングル18作目首位 歴代1位記録3部門を自ら更新. Oricon News (in Japanese). Oricon. September 19, 2017. Retrieved February 12, 2018.
  23. ^ “寄せ集め集団”がCD売上2170万枚!リーダーDJ KOOが心がけている「たったひとつのこと」. dime.jp (in Japanese). Shogakukan. February 24, 2016. Retrieved September 27, 2018.
  24. ^ Yamamoto, Takao (producer) (March 29, 2013). ミュージックステーション2時間スペシャル アーティスト総売上ランキング [Music Station 2-Hour Special "Artist Total Sales Ranking"]. Music Station (in Japanese). TV Asahi. |access-date= requires |url= (help)
  25. ^ Herskovitz, Jon (October 11, 1999). "Top Japanese girl group Speed coming to a halt". Variety. Retrieved September 26, 2018.
  26. ^ "CD総売り上げ2000万枚以上!MISIAデビュー15周年を記念したベスト盤の収録曲が明らかに". Tokyo Pop Line. January 1, 2013. Retrieved December 18, 2017.
  27. ^ "【オリコン】福山雅治、初の結婚ソング首位 22年目で男性ソロ歴代1位の総売上2127万枚. Oricon News (in Japanese). Oricon. September 6, 2011. Retrieved February 12, 2018.
  28. ^ Billboard Magazine September 1980. 1980-09-20. Retrieved September 26, 2018.
  29. ^ a b c "RIAJ: Gold Disc Certifications" (in Japanese). Recording Industry Association of Japan. Retrieved February 11, 2018.
  30. ^ "ミュージックステーション 2013/08/16(金)20:00放送 テレビ朝日 TVでた蔵". TV Data Zoo. Retrieved December 26, 2017.
  31. ^ "デビュー15周年目に向け、歩き歌い続けるアーティスト倖田來未 待望のニューアルバムが遂にリリース!. Rhythm Zone (in Japanese). Avex. Retrieved February 12, 2018.
  32. ^ 西城秀樹さん、「YOUNG MAN」などヒット曲多数 男性ソロ歴代6位のシングル総売上1159万枚. Oricon News (in Japanese). Oricon. May 17, 2018. Retrieved September 27, 2018.

Further readingEdit

  • Okamoto, Satoshi (2011). Single Chart Book: Complete Edition 1968-2010 (in Japanese). Roppongi, Tokyo: Oricon Entertainment. ISBN 978-4-87131-088-8.
  • Okamoto, Satoshi (2006). オリコン・アルバム・チャートブック(完全版): 1970~2005 [Album Chart Book: Complete Edition 1970-2005] (in Japanese). Roppongi, Tokyo: Oricon Entertainment. ISBN 978-4-87131-077-2.

External linksEdit

  • Yamachan Land (Japanese) — Japanese chart archives of selected best-selling artists (last updated December 2007)