Mariya Takeuchi (竹内 まりや, Takeuchi Mariya, born 20 March 1955) is a Japanese singer and songwriter. Regarded as an influential figure in the city pop genre, she is one of the best-selling music artists in Japan, having sold over 16 million records, and has received several accolades.
Takeuchi was born in Taisha, Hikawa district, now the city of Izumo, Shimane, and attended Keio University. She made her singing debut after signing with the RCA record label in 1978, with whom she released her debut album Beginning, which peaked at No. 17 on Oricon Charts. She then released four albums between 1979 and 1981, all of which obtained commercial success, including the 1980 album Love Songs, which became her first work to peak at No. 1 on Oricon Charts. Takeuchi then announced she would go on a temporary hiatus in 1981, terminating her contract with RCA records. Three years later, Takeuchi and her husband Tatsuro Yamashita signed with Moon Records, and she made her comeback with her sixth studio album Variety in 1984, which was released internationally and shot her to mainstream success, and peaked at No. 1 on Oricon Charts. The track “Plastic Love” was released in 1985 as a single, and became a surprise hit outside of Japan in 2017 after a YouTube upload of the song went viral. The song has since attained a cult following and is seen as the staple in a revival of interest in city pop in the late 2010s.
Following the success of her ventures throughout the late 1970s and 1980s, Takeuchi began releasing albums less frequently, her latest release being in 2014 as she shifted her focus to work and release standalone singles. Since 1981, every single she has released has charted on the Oricon Charts. She has stayed with the Moon record label, working with the different branches since signing in 1984 and since 1998 has been signed with Warner Music Japan, with whom she released the single “Inochi no Uta” (いのちの歌, Song of Life) in 2012, for which she re-recorded in 2020; the latter of which charted at No. 1 on Oricon Charts, making her the oldest Japanese singer to achieve a No. 1 single. (more)