An extremely popular female J-pop singer in Japan. She writes all her own lyrics, they aren't too brilliant, but very poignant(unlike what you would hear on mainstream american radio). She has a very high-pitched voice which to some people, may be pleasant and to some, annoying. She composes some of her own songs under the name CREA.
Her record company Avex uses her as a marketing tool, in which she realizes in her song 'everywhere nowhere'. She has one of the best-selling albums in Japan. She has 6 albums, 1 mini-album, 2 'BEST' albums, 19 remix albums, and 35 singles, and that's only to date. She is a powerhouse 'media-whore', she is the spokeswoman of Panasonic, and has been spokeswoman for many products since her debut in 1998.
Some may say she is the Japanese 'Britney Spears'. I disagree, for she is much more sane. She does dress like her, (not half as bad though) but when music is concerned there is no similarity. Ayumi puts solid emotion into her voice, her songs have good melodies and such, packed with simple, yet pleasant guitar solos. She is very versatile and re-invents herself from time-to-time. She has done trance, alternative, hard rock, R&B, etc. And yet still keeping her style. Unlike most J-pop stars, she rarely uses English in her songs (her song titles, however are almost all in English)
When some people think of J-pop, they might automatically think 'cutesy', 'bubble-gum', 'shiny-outfits'. It's not always true in Ayu's case. Her music can be enjoyed by both men and women of all ages, cultures, etc. So generally, although Ayu shares some characteristics of pop stars all around the world, she has a mind of her own. And unlike most pop stars, has control of her career. She is also very hot, considering her age. Plastic surgery or not, who cares?
I recommend this artist. Albums such as 'Duty', 'I am...', and 'LOVEppears' are highly recommended.
Ayumi Hamasaki is one of the most influential stars in Japan.