Top Best-selling Music Artists in Japan

1. B'z, 2. AKB48, 3. Mr. Children, 4. Ayumi Hamasaki, 5. Southern All Stars. Japan is the second-largest music market in the world. Many best-selling music artists in Japan have achieved significant success both at home and abroad. Let's find out the Best-selling Music Artists in Japan below!

  1. B’z
  2. AKB48
  3. Mr. Children
  4. Ayumi Hamasaki
  5. Southern All Stars


B’z is a Japanese rock duo, consisting of guitarist, composer, and producer Takahiro “Tak” Matsumoto and vocalist and lyricist Koshi Inaba, known for their energetic hard rock tracks and pop rock ballads. B’z is one of the best-selling music acts in the world, as well as the best-selling in their home country of Japan, having released 49 straight No. 1 singles, 25 No. 1 albums, and three No. 1 EPs on the Oricon music charts and selling over 100 million records worldwide.

HMV Japan placed them 30th on their list of the 100 most important Japanese pop acts in 2003. B’z was the first Asian music artist to have their handprints and autographs displayed on Hollywood’s RockWalk in 2007. They were granted a Guinness World Record in 2008 for “Top selling record act in Japan”, as well as being the best selling act in Japan overall. According to AllMusic, they are the “largest rock act in Japan and the rest of Asia”.

top best-selling music artists in japan

via: Wikipedia

via: youtube


AKB48 is a Japanese idol girl group named after the Akihabara district of Tokyo, which houses the group’s theater. Yasushi Akimoto, AKB48’s producer, intended to develop a girl group with its own theater and daily performances so fans could always see them live (which is not the case with usual pop groups giving occasional concerts and seen on television). This “idols you can meet” concept comprises teams that can cycle performances and perform at multiple events at the same time, as well as “handshake” events where fans may meet members of the group. Akimoto has taken the AKB48 model and applied it to several girl groups in the Mainland, China, Japan, Indonesia, Thailand, Taiwan, the Philippines, and Vietnam.

AKB48 has been described as a cultural phenomenon. They are one of Japan’s highest-earning musical artists and the world’s fifth-best-selling female group. For example, their 2012 record and DVD/Blu-ray sales totaled $226 million, propelling them to the top of the artist ranking. The group has sold over 60 million records, including over 6 million albums, as of April 2019. AKB48’s singles have topped the Oricon Weekly Singles Chart at least 35 times, with at least 30 of them selling over a million copies apiece, making the group the biggest selling musical act in Japan in terms of singles sold. According to Billboard / Soundscan, their best-selling track, “Teacher Teacher”, sold over 3 million copies in 2018. Between 2010 and 2020, AKB48’s singles occupied at least the top two spots of the Oricon Yearly Singles Chart.

top best-selling music artists in japan

via: Báo Người Lao Động

Mr. Children

Mr. Children, well known by their contracted moniker “Misu-Chiru”, is a Japanese pop rock band that was established in 1989. They made their major label debut in 1992, with Kazutoshi Sakurai, Kenichi Tahara, Keisuke Nakagawa, and Hideya Suzuki.

They are one of Japan’s best-selling musicians and one of the most successful Japanese rock artists, having sold over 75 million records and launching the “Mis-chil Phenomenon” in the mid-1990s. They held the record for the highest first-week sales of a single in Japan for 15 years, with 1.2 million copies of their 10th single “Namonaki Uta”, have 30 consecutive number 1 singles, replaced Glay as the all-male band (with 3 or more members) to have the most number 1 albums on the Oricon charts, and won the Japan Record Award in 1994 for “Innocent World” and in 2004 for “Sign”. As of 2012, Mr. Children has published fifteen original studio albums and 34 physical singles, along with five compilations, a live album, and fifteen home video releases.

top best-selling music artists in japan

via: JaME World

Ayumi Hamasaki

Ayumi Hamasaki is a singer, songwriter, record producer, actor, model, spokesperson, and businesswoman from Japan. Throughout her career, she has authored all of her lyrical content and has occasionally composed her music. Under the mentorship of Avex CEO Max Matsuura, Hamasaki released her debut song “Poker Face” and major-label debut album A Song for XX in 1998. The album debuted at the top of the Oricon charts and held that position for five weeks, selling over a million copies. In Japan, her next eleven albums sold over a million copies, with her third, Duty, selling nearly three million. Her debut compilation album, A Best, is her best-selling album, selling over four million copies in Japan.

As of 2019, Hamasaki had sold over 60.94 million units, making her the best-selling Japanese solo artist in history. For her singles, Hamasaki holds various domestic records, including the most number-one hits by a female artist (38), the most consecutive number-one hits by a solo artist (25), and the most million-sellers. From 1999 to 2010, Hamasaki had at least two chart-topping songs per year. Hamasaki is the first female recording artist to have ten studio albums chart at number one in Japan since her debut, as well as the first artist to have a number one album for 13 consecutive years from her debut.

top best-selling music artists in japan

via: MyDramaList

Southern All Stars

Southern All Stars, often known as Sazan and SAS, is a Japanese rock band that was founded in 1974. In 1978, the band released their top-ten charting debut single “Katte ni Sindbad” after signing with Victor Entertainment. Since then, Southern has been one of Japan’s best-selling music groups, selling more than 47 million albums and singles in the country alone. As of 2008, they had over 40 top-ten hit singles and 16 number-one albums on Japan’s Oricon Charts.

Their 1998 collection Umi no Yeah!! sold over 3.3 million copies and became Japan’s best-selling double album. Their most financially successful single, “Tsunami”, released in 2000, sold over 2.9 million units in Japan alone, earning the band the 42nd Japan Record Awards. The band was also praised and ranked first on HMV Japan’s list of the “100 most influential Japanese musicians” in 2003. Ninkimono de Ik was named number 32 on Rolling Stone Japan’s list of the greatest Japanese rock albums of all time in 2007. They are also the only group to have 44 tracks simultaneously on the Oricon Top 100 weekly single chart.

top best-selling music artists in japan

via: YouTube


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