Promoting: Utada Hikaru
Utada Hikaru (宇多田ヒカル) is one of Japan’s most successful artists of all time. Her debut album, First Love, is the best-selling album ever in Japan with over 7.65 million copies sold in Japan alone. She has sold over 41 million records worldwide (with over 34 million in home nation Japan). Moreover, 3 of her albums are in the Top 10 best-selling album of all time in Japan (#1, #4, #8), making her one of the most indefinitely successful and popular singers in J-pop history. (Wikipedia.org)
This woman is the type of artist who inspires. With versatility as one of her biggest strengths, she has dabbled in almost every musical genre throughout the release of seven albums, two in English, five in Japanese; sounding comfortable and at home in each. The lyrical content of her songs is rather limited, mostly pertaining to the joys and dramas of love, but, more importantly, she writes them all herself, and they are always clever, honest, and moving.
While the majority of her songs are written in Japanese, they are so enjoyable that you may find yourself unaffected by the language barrier; but, if you are, translations, by her English-speaking fans, are readily available on the internet.
You may recognize Utada Hikaru as Cubic U, or, simply, Utada, as she used both names for her ventures into the American market. Her first English album, Precious, which was released under the name Cubic U, never saw a release due to restructuring issues with EMI USA, which was her label at the time.
Exodus, Utada’s second English album, was released in 2004, under Island Def Jam, and even featured some production by Timbaland. Unfortunately, this album peaked at, a disappointing, #160 on the Billboard 200 Albums Chart.
Utada Hikaru’s music is unique, creative, and a breath of fresh air and it was announced, on October 23, 2007, that she’s been hard at work on her second, but, technically third, English album. With hopes that her standings in America will finally reflect her massive success in Japan, check out some of her work, and be on the lookout for Utada’s new, currently untitled, second English album.
How do you feel about Utada Hikaru? Are you a fan now? Were you already one?