Koda Kumi made her debut in late 2000, but it wasn't until 2002 that her debut album, affection, made its way onto the scene. She started to gain some more wide-spread popularity starting in 2003 with her appearance on the Japanese soundtrack of Final Fantasy X-2, her fresh Urban music style, her revealing photo-shoots as well as her "12 Days of Christmas" single project, where she released one single every week for 12 weeks starting in December 2005. She has also been named by Oricon as the top seller of Japan in 2006 and 2007. She is misono's older sister.


  • Stage name: Koda Kumi (倖田來未)
  • Birth name: Kouda Kumiko (神田來未子 - こうだ くみこ)
  • Nickname: Kuu-chan, Kuu-tan
  • Birthplace: Kyoto, Japan
  • Birthday: November 13, 1982
  • Blood Type: A
  • Height: 154 cm / 5'0"
  • Favorite singers: Christina Aguilera & Ja Rule
  • Favorite music genre: Rock, R&B
  • Favorite food: Panini, bundt cake
  • People she respects: Her parents
  • Sibling(s): misono (younger sister; ex-vocalist of day after tomorrow)


Koda Kumi was the first girl born into her family in a number of generations. She dreamed of becoming a singer ever since she was in elementary school. She auditioned alongside Goto Maki for the 3rd generation of Morning Musume when she was seventeen, but didn't make it. Coincidentally, Goto would join Avex Trax years later. She was noticed by avex trax, however, and was signed to sub-label Rhythm Zone and began releasing pop music with an urban feel.


Koda officially debuted with the single TAKE BACK in December 2000 and went on to relesae her second single in May 2001, Trust Your Love, charting at #59 and #18 respectively. They were also released in the United States with TAKE BACK charting at #18 on the Billboard Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales while Trust Your Love took #19 position on the Billboard Hot 100 Sales Chart and #1 on Billboard's Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales Chart. After two more singles, COLOR OF SOUL and So Into You, her first studio album affection was released in 2002, which peaked on the Oricon charts at #12.

grow into one

Koda's fifth single post-affection, love across the ocean, was released in mid 2002 and debuted at #19, while the following single, m.a.z.e, charted at #25. She was asked to sing the theme songs of Final Fantasy X-2, real Emotion and 1000 no Kotoba, while also providing the voice for the character Lenne in the Japanese version of the game and providing the motion capture for Yuna's dance during the opening. This single proved to be a success, debuting at #3 and gaining her some recognition. Releasing her second studio album, grow into one, ensured Koda her first album to chart and continue the trend in the top ten, debuting at #8.

feel my mind

COME WITH ME, Gentle Words and Crazy 4 U, charting at #14, #15 and #12 respectively, were soon released. These singles lead to the release of her third studio album, feel my mind. While charting at #7, it sold less than her previous album.


Koda's popularity rose with the release of her 11th single LOVE & HONEY, debuting at #4, with the title track being the theme song for the anime Cutie Honey. This single also marks the start of Koda's new style: ero-kakoii (or ero-kawaii) which can be translated to "sexy-cool" or "sexy-cute". This new style was continued on to the following releases, Chase, Kiseki, hands and the re-cut single Hot Stuff, debuting at #18, #7, #7 & #10. Koda released her fourth album secret in February 2005, charting at #3, with 505,600 copies being sold, making it the #22 album of 2005.

BEST ~first things~

On the 11th of June 2005, Kumi held secret ~FIRST CLASS LIMITED LIVE~ Concert, its respective DVD has become one of the top 10 selling DVDs of Japan, and released her sixteenth single, Butterfly two weeks later. Debuting at #2, it became her highest charting single at that point and was very well received by the Japanese public and gained Kumi a number of awards. She then released flower and Promise / Star, both charting at #4 and alongside Butterfly, they were included on her first Best-of compilation, titled BEST ~first things~. This is the album said to have skyrocketed her career, reaching #1 on the weekly charts and selling 1,207,793 copies in 2005, making it the #6 album of the year and the highest selling female album of 2005.

BEST ~second session~

In December 2005, Koda began her ~12 Weeks of Christmas~ project in which she released one single each week for twelve consecutive weeks.

The first single of the project, you, became Koda's first ever #1 single, and was followed by Birthday Eve and D.D.D charting at #6 and #5 respectively. The fourth and fifth singles Shake It Up and Lies debuted at #6 and #7 while you was still charting at #9, making Koda Kumi the first female artist to have three singles in the top ten of the Oricon Weekly Singles chart.

These were followed by her second #1 single, feel,Candy, No Regret, Ima Sugu Hoshii, KAMEN, WIND, Someday / Boys♡Girls, all charting in the top five of the weekly singles chart.

This successful project was celebrated with Koda's second best-of compilation album BEST ~second session~ which included all of the 12 singles plus a new song, and was released in 3 formats: CD Only, CD+DVD and CD+2DVD, the 2DVD being limited and including her LIVE TOUR 2005 ~first things~ at Zepp Osaka, and was sold out within days. The album sold over a million copies just after one week of release.

Black Cherry

Koi no Tsubomi was her first single released after the 12 singles project, in May 2006, and debuted at #2 with sales of 140,000 copies sold. This made it the highest debut week sales for female artists in 2006 until ayumi hamasaki surpassed it with her single BLUE BIRD in June. This title was reclaimed by Koda after her release of 4 hot wave which debuted at #2 behind the KinKi Kids, nearly breaking their streak of consecutive #1 singles.

Alongside 4 hot wave, Koda's first photobook, MAROC, was also released on the same day, photographed by Leslie Kee in Morocco.

In October, Kumi released her 33rd single Yume no Uta / Futari de..., described as a "two story ballad single," both songs sharing the same melody, only having different lyrics and arrangements, as Kumi felt that the melody contained both sad and happy elements.

After Won't Be Long, a duet with EXILE, she released Cherry Girl / Unmei a week prior to her fifth studio album Black Cherry which would go on to include all the a-sides from her 2006 releases excluding Futari de... in December 2006. This album went on to become the first female studio album to stay at the #1 position for four weeks since ayumi hamasaki's album third album Duty in 2000.


Her third best-of compilation, BEST ~BOUNCE & LOVERS~, a limited release with only 300,000 copies, was released alongside her first single of 2007, BUT / Aishou, both charting at #2.

Following the trend of 4 hot wave, Kumi released another four-track summer single FREAKY, with two of the songs having PVs. FREAKY became Kumi's fourth #1 single.

She then released ballad single Ai no Uta in September, charting at #2, and LAST ANGEL, featuring Korean Boy-band Tohoshinki, theme song to the Japanese release of Resident Evil 3, better known in Japan as "Biohazard 3."

On the 1st of December 2007, she became the seventh female Japanese artist to hold a solo concert at Tokyo Dome, marking her 7th year anniversary since her debut with TAKE BACK by making the ticket prices 7,777yen.

Her sixth studio album was released on the 30th of January 2008, one week after her first single for 2008, anytime which debuted at #4. The album reached #1 and held the #1 position for two weeks, selling more than 500,000 copies. The CD+2DVD included her PREMIUM LIMITED LIVE IN HALL IN YOKOHAMA ARENA concert and all the tracks on the album had their own PV.


On the 1st of February, 2008, Koda Kumi was retelling how her manager recently got married and asked "whether or not they would have children". However her manager said not for the time being and Koda commented on how they should have children early as "when women are around 35 years old their amniotic fluid goes bad".

The answer was so offensive that many radio shows and newspapers had a lot complaints from women around the country. avex trax decided that all promotion of Kingdom was to be cancelled, her official website being shut down, and so was all of the websites of her endorsements, such as Kirin and Kose Vise. A week later, Koda Kumi appeared in an exclusive interview on Fuji TV's "FNN Super News" to apologize for the remark she made. Even though she tearfully apologized for the harm she caused, reactions to Koda's apology were mostly negative. An informal poll taken after the broadcast through Sankei Sports' website indicated that 81% of the viewers felt the apology was insufficient, while only 9% said it was enough.

Post Controversy

As of April 2008, her endorsements with Kosé and Gillette have reopened post this controversy. However, she is no longer the spokesperson for Honda, Kirin, and GemCerey.

On March 31, 2008 her KODA KUMI LIVE TOUR 2007 ~Black Cherry~ SPECIAL FINAL in TOKYO DOME DVD was released and went to #1 on the Oricon DVD Charts. Her LIVE TOUR 2008 ~Kingdom~ still went ahead as planned, and commenced on April 12, 2008, where she again apologized for her controversial remark. The shows on the 15th and 17th of May, 2008 at Yoyogi National First Gymnasium, Tokyo, were filmed for a WOWOW TV broadcast of the tour on the 26th of July.LIVE TOUR 2008 ~Kingdom~ was released on DVD on September 24, 2008, becoming her fifth consecutive #1 DVD.


On April 17, 2008, Avex Entertainment announced her 40th single, a "four elements single," featuring four tracks, much like FREAKY and 4 hot wave, called MOON. It was released on June 11, 2008 and went to debut at #2 on the Oricon Single Charts. Kumi followed MOON with her 41st single, TABOO released on October 8, 2008. TABOO went on to debut at #1 on the Oricon Single Charts, making it her 5th #1 single.

Her 42nd single, stay with me was released on December 10th, 2008 and described as a "winter love ballad" and is featured in the au LISMO CM. Stay With Me debuted at #1, making it Koda's first ever consecutive #1 single.

On January 28th 2009, Koda released her 7th studio album TRICK in CD and CD+2DVD editions. The second DVD contains the concert footage of her Dirty Ballroom: One Night Show. TRICK debuted atop the Oricon daily charts at #1, remaining at #1 for two weeks and also taking the #1 spot for monthly album chart.


Earlier on in the year it was announced that Koda would be releasing a triple A-side single on 4th of March which would include faraway, a song used as a major tie-in with the new movie SUBARU. No further news was released for a while till it was then announced that Kumi would be collaborating with her younger sister misono. The triple A-side was confirmed to be titled It's all Love! featuring the title track as the collaboration, faraway by Kumi and the third A-side a solo by misono. The date has been pushed back to 31st March 2009. It went on to debut at both #1 daily and weekly.

On March 25th 2009, Koda released her fourth compilation album entitled OUT WORKS & COLLABORATION BEST which includes songs that she has collaborated with artists throughout her career along with Get It On. On the same day, Koda's first physical remix album was also released, entitled DRIVING HIT'S, a non-stop remix album that includes some old remixes along with new remixes of hit songs. They charted #7 and #6 respectively on the weekly charts.

On April 11th 2009, Koda started her 20-dates LIVE TOUR 2009 ~TRICK~ which ends on the 14th of June. Koda will also be performing at the a-nation '09 summer event along with several other avex artists as she has done for the past few years. It was also announced that she will be holding another Sankyo FEVER LIVE IN HALL later this year.

For 2009, Koda releases her usual summer single on July 8th. The single 3 SPLASH will differ from her previous summer singles as it will be a triple A-side and like FREAKY will come in three editions. One of the tracks, Lick Me ♥, will be used as the theme song for Koda's FEVER LIVE IN HALL II.


Studio Albums

Compilation Albums



Download Exclusive

US releases (as Koda)


Collaborations / Compilations




Concert Series

  • [2005.06.11] secret -FIRST CLASS LIMITED LIVE- *one date only
  • [2007.06.20] PREMIUM LIMITED LIVE IN HALL in YOKOHAMA ARENA *one date only
  • [2008.10.23] KODA KUMI SPECIAL LIVE "Dirty Ballroom" ~one night show~


Music Related Awards

  • [2005] 47th Nihon Record Taishō for Butterfly
  • [2006] Artist of the Year (Japan Gold Record Grand Prix)
  • [2006] Pop Album of the Year (Japan Gold Record Grand Prix)
  • [2006] Music Video of the Year (Japan Gold Record Grand Prix)
  • [2006] Triple Crown (Japan Gold Record Grand Prix)
  • [2006] Best Collaboration Video for D.D.D. feat. SOULHEAD (Space Shower Music Video Awards 2006)
  • [2006] Best Female Video for Butterfly (MTV VMAJ 2006)
  • [2006] Best Video of the year for Butterfly (MTV VMAJ 2006)
  • [2006] buzzASIA from Japan for Trust you (MTV VMAJ 2006)
  • [2006] Grand Prize for Yume no Uta (Best Hit Kayousai 2006)
  • [2006] Grand Prize for Yume no Uta (39th Japan Usen Grand Prize)
  • [2006] Best Vocal (48th Nihon Record Taishō)
  • [2007] Best Female Video for Yume no Uta (MTV VMAJ 2007)
  • [2007] Best Video of the year for Yume no Uta (MTV VMAJ 2007)
  • [2007] Grand Prize for Ai no Uta (Best Hit Kayousai 2007)
  • [2007] Golden awards for Ai no Uta (49th Nihon Record Taishō)
  • [2008] Best Collaboration Video for LAST ANGEL (MTV VMAJ 2008)

Non-Music Related Awards

  • [2006] Best Jeanist (Woman)
  • [2006] Nail Queen
  • [2006] Women of 2006 by Vogue Nippon
  • [2007] Best Stylish Artist Award (MTV VMAJ 2007)
  • [2007] Best Jeanist (Woman)
  • [2007] Nail Queen
  • [2008] Best Jeanist (Woman)
  • [2008] Nail Queen

External Links


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