Ayumi Hamasaki (?? ???, Hamasaki Ayumi, also ???) (born October 2, 1978, Fukuoka, Japan) is an award-winning Japanese singer, and one of the most popular and influential artists to come from Asia. Apart from being a singer, Ayumi is also a songwriter, a model, an actress, and a composer. Ayumi started her musical career in 1994 and released her first album "NOTHING FROM NOTHING" in 1995; the album was not successful, and she was subsequently dropped by her record label.