Kumiko Kōda (神田 來未子 Kōda Kumiko, born November 13, 1982), better known by her stage name Kumi Koda (倖田 來未 Kōda Kumi), is a Japanese singer from Kyoto. She made her debut through avex trax’s sub-label rhythm zone in late 2000 with the single TAKE BACK. Koda gained fame for her seventh single, Real Emotion/１０００の言葉, which features the songs used as themes for the Playstation 2 videogame, Final Fantasy X-2. The single was the #24 highest-selling single of 2003. Her popularity grew with the release of her fourth studio album secret (2005), her sixteenth single Butterfly (2005), and her first greatest hits album BEST ~ first things ~ (2005), reaching the number-three, number-two and number-one spot respectively.
Though her early releases presented a conservative, quiet image, since as early as 2003 Koda has adopted a sexier and more provocative style. Because of this image, she has become a fashion leader among young women, setting trends such as the ero-kakkoii style. She has also won many fashion awards such as, the Best Jeanist Award and the title of Nail Queen yearly since 2006. Since the rise in her popularity, Koda has lent her face and songs to many advertisements. In 2006 and 2007, Oricon named Koda as the top selling artist of the year. Koda has sold more than 15,000,000 physical records in Japan alone, making her the 18th best selling solo Japanese female artist of all-time. She is also the best selling solo artist of all time in digital platforms according to Recochoku and according to RIAJ’s database, she has over 27 million tracks sold digitally.