Ayumi Hamasaki is extremely famous in her homeland, where is considered by many an idol, and is among the most famous Japanese artists in the world. After the release of her album LOVEppears, the name of the singer, on official products, appears written all in lower case, that is, ayumi hamasaki.
Since her debut in 1998 with the first single, Poker Face, she has sold over 55 million copies, releasing 16 albums, five mini-albums, 6 compilations and 53 singles. Throughout the history of Japan, Hamasaki (often called by fans with the nickname “Ayu”) is the third “best-selling” music.
With the recording of her thirty-ninth single, Startin ‘/ Born To Be…, in 2006, Hamasaki reached a record, becoming the first female singer to have 26 singles in the first place of the charts and 37 singles in the top ten of Oricon. She is also the first Japanese singer whose albums (published by the record company Avex) entered the charts at first place. Her single pre-Avex, Nothing from Nothing, is not in fact entered the top ten of Oricon.
She won the Taisho Prize (the most important Japanese music prize) three times: in 2001, in 2002 and 2003, after which she asked not to be named.
On 1 January 2011, Ayumi Hamasaki announced to her fans her marriage to the actor and Austrian model Manuel Schwarz. Despite the marriage, Ayumi has promised her fans that she would not retreat, and has in fact continued to compose music. The marriage between the Japanese singer and the Austrian husband ended after little more than a year with the divorce in January 2012. The December 13, 2013 officially announced her engagement to a twenty-five student in Los Angeles.