Pop-rock band Orange Range was named domestic artist of the year at the Recording Industry Assn. of Japan's 19th annual Gold Disc Awards ceremony, held this evening (March 10) in Tokyo.

Pop-rock band Orange Range was named domestic artist of the year at the Recording Industry Assn. of Japan's 19th annual Gold Disc Awards ceremony, held this evening (March 10) in Tokyo.

The awards are based on net shipments during 2004. Sony act Orange Range -- which hails from Japan's southern-most prefecture of Okinawa -- won on the strength of shipments of 4.6 million units (albums and singles).

Queen won for international artist of the year, thanks to total Japanese shipments of 1.8 million units, mainly of the Japan-only hits compilation "Jewels" (Toshiba-EMI).

The 10 winners for best new domestic artist included female singers Beni Arashino and Tia, and male vocalist Takeshi Kitayama. Ashlee Simpson and Kevyn Little were among the winners for best new international artist.

The ceremony was broadcast live nationwide on NHK satellite TV.