List of best-selling music artists in Japan

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Japan is the second largest music market in the world behind the United States, and the biggest in Asia, according to International Federation of the Phonographic Industry.[1]

Best-selling artists based on the Oricon Charts[edit]

This is a list of best-selling artists in Japan, based upon the accumulated physical sales of all entries on the Oricon singles and albums charts (started in 1968 and 1970, respectively) provided by the Oricon Inc.[2] Note that Oricon does not count sales of the records that did not enter or fell out 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, this list excludes recording artists like Michiya Mihashi,[3] Yujiro Ishihara, Hibari Misora,[4] and Hachiro Kasuga[5] who had garnered most of commercial success before the Oricon was established in the late 1960s.

The best-selling artists by number of singles sold are B'z (35.443 million) in first place, AKB48 (31.111 million) in second place,[6] Mr. Children (28.45 million) in third place,[7] and Southern All Stars (25.179 million) in fourth place.[8] 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.[9]

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.

50 million or more records[edit]

Artist Sales Genres Years active First entry on the chart
B'z 81.46 million+
[10][11]
Hard rock / Pop rock / Blues rock 1988–present 1988
Mr. Children 58.42 million
[10][11]
Pop rock / Power pop / Progressive rock 1988–present 1992
Ayumi Hamasaki 50.38 million[12] Pop / Dance / Electronica / Rock 1998–present 1998

30 million to 50 million records[edit]

Artist Sales Genres Years active First entry on the chart
Southern All Stars 48.08 million Pop rock / Soft rock / Folk rock / Blues rock 1975–present 1978
Dreams Come True 43.33 million Pop / new wave / R&B 1988–present 1989
Yumi Matsutoya * 39.30 million Pop / Rock / Jazz / Folk / Kayōkyoku 1968–present 1975
Glay 38.20 million Pop rock / Power pop / Progressive rock 1988–present 1994
Zard 37.45 million Pop rock 1991–2007 1991
Hikaru Utada 35 million
[13]
Pop / R&B / Rock / Alternative / Dance 1996–present 1999
SMAP 34.48 million Bubblegum / R&B / Dance-pop / Electropop 1991–present 1991
Namie Amuro 33.91 million R&B / Hip hop / Pop 1992–present 1995
AKB48 33.7 million
[14]
Pop / Electropop / Dance-pop / Bubblegum 2005–present 2006
Chage and Aska 31.40 million Folk rock / Pop rock 1979-2009 1979
  • * Including releases under maiden name Yumi Arai

20 million to 30 million records[edit]

Artist Sales Years active First entry on the chart
Spitz 29.88 million Alternative rock / Power pop 1987–present 1993
Seiko Matsuda 29.64 million Pop / Kayōkyoku 1980–present 1980
L'Arc-en-Ciel 29.20 million Pop rock / Alternative rock / Progressive rock 1991–present 1993
Globe 28.93 million Electropop / Eurobeat / Trance / Experimental 1995–present 1995
Arashi 27.75 million Pop / R&B / Rock / Hip hop 1999–present 1999
KinKi Kids 25.68 million Pop 1993–present 1997
Akina Nakamori 25.37 million Pop / Kayōkyoku 1982–2010 1982
Tube 24.55 million Pop rock / Power pop / Surf rock / Blues rock 1985–present 1985
Exile 22.84 million Pop / Dance / R&B / House 2001–present 2001
Every Little Thing 22.76 million Pop rock / Power pop / Soft rock 1996–present 1996
Maki Ohguro 22.67 million Pop / new wave 1989–present 1992
Masaharu Fukuyama 22.23 million Rock / Pop 1990–present 1990
Miyuki Nakajima 21.96 million Folk / Rock / Kayōkyoku / Enka 1975–present 1975
TRF 21.71 million Dance-pop / Eurobeat / R&B 1993–present 1993
Morning Musume 21.59 million+ Dance-pop / Electropop / Teen pop / Bubblegum 1998–present 1998
Tsuyoshi Nagabuchi 21.37 million Rock / Folk 1977–present 1978
Noriyuki Makihara 20.83 million Pop 1990–present 1990

15 million to 20 million records[edit]

Artist Sales Genres Years active First entry on the chart
Speed 19.55 million Pop / Dance / R&B / Hip hop 1996–present 1996
Kome Kome Club 18.66 million+ Pop / Soul / Funk 1982–present 1985
Misia 17.99 million+ Pop / Soul / R&B / Dance / Hip hop 1998–present 1999
Kyosuke Himuro 16.25 million+ Rock / Pop 1988–present 1988
Momoe Yamaguchi 16.22 million+ Pop 1973–1980 1973
Yōsui Inoue 15.809 million Rock / Folk 1969–present 1972
Hiromi Gō 15.805 million Pop / Kayōkyoku / R&B 1972–present 1972
Kenji Sawada 15.71 million Pop / Rock 1971–present 1971
Mai Kuraki 15.5 million+ Pop / R&B 1999–present 1999
The Checkers 15.38 million Rock 'n' roll / Pop rock / Rockabilly / Doo-wop 1981–1993 1983
Miki Imai 15.31 million+ Pop 1986–present 1987

Further reading[edit]

  • Okamoto, Satoshi (2011). Single Chart Book: Complete Edition 1968-2010 (in Japanese). Roppongi, Tokyo: Oricon Entertainment. ISBN 4-87131-088-4. 
  • 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. 

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

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

References[edit]

  1. ^ Smirke, Richard (2011-03-30). "IFPI 2011 Report: Global Recorded Music Sales Fall 8.4%; Eminem, Lady Gaga Top Int'l Sellers". billboard.biz. Retrieved 2012-02-05. 
  2. ^ Yamamoto, Takao (producer) (2012-01-13). "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" (in Japanese). Music Station. All-Nippon News Network. TV Asahi. http://www.tv-asahi.co.jp/music/.
  3. ^ 三橋美智也(みはしみちや). goo (in Japanese). 
  4. ^ "Hibari Misora, Japanese Singer, 52". The New York Times (Associated Press). 1989-06-25. 
  5. ^ Yomiuri Shimbun (Otemachi, Chiyoda, Tokyo, Japan). 1991-10-23. 
  6. ^ "オリコン】AKB48、“女性初&史上最速”シングル3000万枚 通算20作目ミリオン". Oricon Style (in Japanese). Oricon. 2 December 2014. Retrieved 2 December 2014. 
  7. ^ "【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. 27 May 2014. Retrieved 27 May 2014. 
  8. ^ "【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. 17 December 2013. Retrieved 28 January 2014. 
  9. ^ http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/music/features/why-has-japans-cd-market-suddenly-gone-into-decline-9213133.html
  10. ^ a b 【オリコン】B'z、前人未到のシングル・アルバム通算8000万枚突破. Oricon. 2011-08-02. Retrieved 2012-02-02. 
  11. ^ a b CDアルバム 年間ランキング-ORICON STYLE ランキング [Oricon Year-end Albums - 2011]. Oricon. Disabling JavaScript may be required to view the archive due to a script pulling in new data from teh site and redirecting you. Archived from the original on January 12, 2012. Retrieved 2012-02-02. 
  12. ^ http://headlines.yahoo.co.jp/hl?a=20120814-00000318-oric-musi
  13. ^ http://seattletimes.com/html/musicnightlife/2010786374_utada17.html
  14. ^ "【オリコン】AKB大島卒業曲で総売上3000万枚突破 女性グループ初の快挙" (in Japanese). 2014-03-04. Retrieved 2014-03-10.