Utada Hikaru Profile
Name: Utada Hikaru (Hikaru Utada)
Japanese name: 宇多田光, 宇多田ヒカル
Nickname: Hikki ヒッキー, Cubic U
Birth date: January 19th, 1983
Birthplace: New York, USA
Blood type: A
Husband: Kazuaki Kiriya
Language spoken: English and Japanese
Profession: Singer and song writer
Dreams: Become a writer, open a small bookshop and become a clerk there, work part-time at a cafe
Hobbies: Literature, spicy stuffs, photography and web-surfing
Specialties: Touch typing, Tetris, biting the bullet, reading minds, moving just the smallest toe of my left foot, full leg splits and other instances of flexibility
Favourite places: Mexico, Machu Picchu and the Sahara Desert
Favourite artists: Nine Inch Nails, Mozart, Jimi Hendrix, Bela Bartok, Lenny Kravitz, Prince, Edith Piaf, Cocteau Twins, Jeff Buckley, Chick Corea, The Blue Nile, Freddie Mercury, Bjork, Yutaka Ozaki, and Hibari Misora
Favourite movies: Amadeus, Crash, Munich, Brazil, Tasogare Seibei, Lost Highway, The Shawshank Redemption, The Godfather Part II, The Jerk, Orlando, and works by Hayao Miyazaki
Utada Hikaru Biography
Utada Hikaru was born in a family with both Japanese parents involved in music industry; Utada’s music talent was nurtured in an early age and she showed her potential by recording her first English album “Precious” at the age of 12.
Precious was not actually released in US, but later discovered by a Japanese producer and released it in Japan in 1998. The album received some good reviews and Utada Hikaru, at age of 15 back then, was gradually gaining fame.
Seeing Utada’s potential, the Japan recording company (Toshiba-EMI) convinced her to release her Japanese album instead.
Utada Hikaru released her first Japanese single “Automatic” in 1999 and was an instant hit. Shortly after that Utada released her first Japanese album, “First Love” that sold over 10 million copies across Asia. “First Love” is still until today the best selling music album in Japan.
In 2000 Utada went back to US for further study in Columbia University; her university life was interrupted when she released her 2nd and 3rd Japanese album “Distance” (2001) and “Deep River” (2002) which both sold for multi million copies.
Utada Hikaru didn’t finish her university studies due to health issues and a busy successful singing career.
Utada Hikaru then surprised many when she married Kazuaki Kiriya, a photographer she worked with numerous times, shortly after the released of Deep River in 2002.
In 2004 Utada Hikaru released her ambitious English album “Exodus” that was not very successful in US market. Her single “Devil Inside” however managed to become a disco club hit and claimed #1 spot at Billboard Hot Dance/Club Airplay charts.
Utada Hikaru has just released her 4th Japanese album, “Ultra Blue” in June 2006.
Utada’s musical success is often compared to another Japanese pop diva Ayumi Hamasaki, especially in the early 2000s. Their rivalry is not as fierce now with the rising of other Japanese pop stars.
Why I like Utada Hikaru
I like Utada Hikaru’s music. I first listened to Automatic and thought that it’s a good song; then with First Love, which is still one of my favorite Japanese songs.
I admire Hikki’s talent as a complete artist in singing, songwriting and album producing… which is not often in Asian music industry.
Utada Hikaru Websites and Contacts
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First Love, Utada Hikaru (music video)