A Keio University student with a penchant for singing, Mariya Takeuchi took it upon herself to jump-start her career, releasing a single in 1978 without a label. The single garnered moderate success, ultimately launching Takeuchi into wide recognition. She released a total of five albums between 1978 and 1982, with a series of singles scratching the Top 100 or Top 40 of the Oricon charts, but never gaining a number one hit (though “Mysterious Peach Pie” did become a strong player, peaking at a number three position). The albums fared similarly, each hitting the weekly Top 20, but only 1980’s Love Songs hit number one on the charts and became a strong seller. After marrying fellow musician and sometimes collaborator Tatsuro Yamashita in 1981, Takeuchi took a leave from the industry to raise their young child. Upon her return in 1984, fame was awaiting in a grander fashion. Since 1984, Takeuchi has released seven studio albums, each holding the Oricon number one slot, and a 1994 compilation (Impressions) became one of the higher-selling Japanese albums with three million copies sold. Along with her success as a solo artist, however, Takeuchi has become something of a go-to songwriter for Japan’s pop industry, penning songs for a series of top artists. After a brief hiatus following 2004’s Longtime Favorites album, Takeuchi returned to the scene in 2007 with the number one album Denim, and repeated the number one feat with 2008’s Expressions.
Official Website: http://www.mariyat.co.jp/