The best-selling music artists in Japan include Japanese artists with claims of 15 million or more record sales. 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.
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 provides accumulated physical sales of all entries on its singles and albums charts (started in 1968 and 1970, respectively). 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,Yujiro Ishihara, Hibari Misora, and Hachiro Kasuga who had garnered most of commercial success before Oricon was established in the late 1960s.
The best-selling artists by number of singles sold are AKB48 (36.1 million) in first place, B'z (35.8 million) in second place,Mr. Children (28.45 million) in third place, and Southern All Stars (25.179 million) in fourth place.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.
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.