Misaki Itō, commonly known as Misia (ミーシャ, Mīsha, born July 7, 1978) and stylized as MISIA, is a Japanese singer and songwriter. Born in Nagasaki, Misia moved to Fukuoka at the age of 14 to pursue a recording career. There, she continued her secondary education and briefly attended Seinan Gakuin University before withdrawing to focus on her musical career. She was signed to BMG Japan in 1997, after auditioning for record producer Haruo Yoda.
Misia came to prominence following the release of her debut album, Mother Father Brother Sister (1998), which became the seventh best-selling Japanese debut album of all time, earning her two Japan Gold Disc Awards and one Japan Record Award. In 2000, Misia released her sophomore album, Love Is the Message, which earned her another Japan Gold Disc Award and Japan Record Award. Her third studio album, Marvelous (2001), spawned her first number-one single on the Oricon singles chart, "Everything". The song became one of the best-selling singles of all time in Japan, and is the third best-selling physical single by a Japanese solo female artist of all time.
In 2001, Misia and her management, Rhythmedia, signed a recording contract with Avex and formed their own label, Rhythmedia Tribe. Her first album under Rhythmedia Tribe, Kiss in the Sky, became Misia's fourth consecutive number-one album on the Oricon albums chart. In doing so, Misia became the fourth solo female artist with the longest streak of number-one albums since their debut. Following a series of successful records, including Mars & Roses, Singer for Singer and Ascension, Misia returned to her former record label, BMG Japan. After Sony Music Entertainment Japan's acquisition of BMG Japan, Misia relocated to the Sony subsidiary, Ariola Japan.
Misia has released thirteen studio albums and is among the all-time best-selling Japanese music artists, having sold more than 20 million records. She is one of the top-touring artists in Japan, becoming the first female artist to play all five of Japan's largest stadiums in 2004. Misia is famed for her five-octave vocal range and is widely recognized as the first Japanese R&B superstar. Besides her musical career, Misia is also a committed philanthropist and involves herself in humanitarian causes and biodiversity conservation activities.