How many of you are Utada Hikaru fans? I’ve been in love with her since high school lol – she was my ‘first love‘. My favorite song though has to be Automatic, which you can check out below – have been playing this quite a few times today:
Utada Hikaru was born in Manhattan, NY in 1983, where she grew up – her parents are Japanese record producer Utada Teruzane (father), and the famous enka singer Fuji Keiko (also known as Utada Junko). In 1997, Hikaru (also known as ‘Hikki’ by her fans) moved to Tokyo.
Utada Hikaru’s mother, Fuji Keiko performing ‘Enka‘ style Japanese music.
Initially Utada-san sang with her mother before deciding to finally release her first solo project – ‘I’ll Be Stronger‘ and ‘Cooking with Moses‘ (source: Wiki). Her first album, Precious was released in 1998, which was released under her stage name ‘Cubic U‘. The album had modest success , however her next album – ‘First Love’ – released in March 1999, went on to sell over 7 Million copies instantly launching her career into super-star status.
First Love was followed up by the album ‘Distance‘, which contained the songs ‘Wait & See‘, ‘Can You Keep A Secret‘ & ‘Addicted to You‘; and went on to sell over 4 million copies – continuing the super-star’s success.
Around 2004, Utada-san moved back to New York, where she began working on an English album, Exodus – in collaboration with Island Def Jam records, to try to gain popularity in the US. However, the album was not up to American taste – and only sold about 55,000 copies.
‘From the album – Exodus‘
Still, Utada maintained a successful career in Japan despite of the American indifference. Moving back to Tokyo, her next few singles, including ‘Heart Station‘ & ‘Flavor of Life‘ went on to be million sellers, with ‘Flavor of Life‘ exceeding over 7 million digital downloads.
‘Another favorite song of mine – Prisoner of Love – from the J-Drama, Last Friends‘
It’s been over 13 years since Utada Hikaru made her debut in Japan. While she took a bit of a hiatus last year to focus on her personal life and dating, Utada still remains active on Twitter and tweets occasionally with her fans. The break is well deserved, and as a fan I’m hoping to see more of Utada again soon – I was at her last concert in Las Vegas, Nevada in 2010 – “In the Flesh” for the promotion of a new American single release – ‘Come Back to Me‘.
Hikaru-san is also incredibly good at Tetris (26 wins, 4 losses in 30 rounds) – she’s so fast!
Being a crazy fan, I kept jumping for joy hoping she’d notice me amongst the crowd and wave back as we sang all her songs with her. Needless to say, I think she waved back (or so I’d like to think) – I definitely saw a smile my way! ’Come back to us’ Utada-san!