Misia (ミーシャ, Mīsha), born on July 7, 1978, in Fukuoka, Japan) is a female Japanese R&B singer. Her real name is Misaki Itō (伊藤美咲, Misaki Itō) (not to mistake with the actress, (伊東美咲) Misaki Ito) and her blood type is O. Her current record label is Rhythmedia Tribe (part of music conglomerate Avex Trax) and she belongs to Rhythmedia management company.
She debuted on February 21, 1998, with the song "Tsutsumikomu Youni…".
Misia (not to be confused with European singer Mísia) was born Misaki Ito on July 7, 1978, in Fukuoka, Kyūshū, to parents who were both singers. She is the youngest of three children, with an older brother and sister. She discovered her five-octave singing voice while at her older sister’s private music lessons. From then on she dreamed of becoming a singer and later won a contest in Fukuoka. She moved in with her sister before middle school to work toward her goal. During middle and high school, she sang and played the trumpet in a brass band club. She began training with two African-American trainers in gospel and R&B, but failed all her auditions in high school. She was accepted into Seinan Gakuin University in commercial science but decided to pursue a music career instead.
She finally passed a BMG Japan audition in May 1997 and styled her hair in dreadlocks that November. Her name Misia is a combination of "Misaki" and "Asia."(other saying goes "Messiah" and/or "Asia") She debuted on February 21, 1998, with "Tsutsumikomu Youni..." which peaked at #11 on the Oricon single charts and became a long seller. Her second single, "Hi no Ataru Basho" reached #9 and was used in the soundtrack of the movie 'hood. Her first album "Mother Father Brother Sister" was released on June 24, 1998, entered the charts at #3 and reached #1 after 4 weeks. In March 1999, she won Best New Artist of the Year and Best Pop Album of the Year at the Nihon Gold Disc Awards.
In 2000, one of Misia's dreams came true with the release of "I miss you ~Toki wo Koete~" with Dreams Come True, her favorite band. Masato Nakamura, the leader of DCT, created the song while Misia wrote the lyrics. The single was released on January 1, 2001. Her album "Love Is The Message" includes a live version of the famous song, Lovin' You. Her single "Kokoro Hitotsu" released on August 27, 2003 and was used as the theme song to the hit movie Dragon Head.
The single "Namae no Nai Sora wo Miagete", released on July 7, 2004, was used as the theme song for the drama Tenka. "Tobikata wo Wasureta Chiisana Tori" is used as the theme song of the PlayStation 2 role-playing game Star Ocean: Till the End of Time and also appears within the game as an orchestral arrangement. Also, "Sea of Dreams" was used as the Tokyo DisneySea 5th Anniversary theme song.
She is one of the few artists in Japan to have never performed on any TV music shows and even fewer to be so popular. Her live performance is acclaimed by many. She became the first female solo act that toured five major domed stadiums of Japan in 2004.