Japan/China Singers

Ayumi Hamasaki

Ayumi Hamasaki

Ayumi Hamasaki

Time magazine has noted that Hamasaki lacked talents such as the dance moves of Namie Amuro, the “supermodel allure” of Hitomi, and the “vocal pyrotechnics” of Hikaru Utada. Her own fans even considered her high-pitched voice screechy.[38][103] However, her music is sometimes considered one of the major forces in shaping Japan’s current music trends; this has been attributed to her constantly changing image as well as her self-penned lyrics,[38] though critics credit clever marketing strategies.[14][38][103] Hamasaki is also noted for the visual aspects of her artistry: she is considered a fashion trendsetter, with her influence extending beyond Japan.[104][105][106] The Guardian says that Hamasaki has “married accessible, mainstream hits with over-the-top costumes and high-concept videos”.[107] The widespread influence of her music and her constantly changing image has meant that Hamasaki has often been compared to Madonna.

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