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Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Artist Check: Utada Hikaru

Utada Hikaru (宇多田ヒカル) is one of Japan's most successful artists of all time, and has sold over an estimated 40,000,000 records. She is completely bilingual as she was raised in both New York and Tokyo. Utada Hikaru is also known in the west under her English language project name 'Utada'. Utada also sang the Kingdom Hearts themes, Hikari / Simple and Clean and the theme songs for Kingdom Hearts II, Passion and Sanctuary. Originally, Utada's music had a heavy R&B style to it, but now her music has progressed to a more pop / experimental tone. Her R&B sound was what brought her so much attention with her first release in Japan, Automatic / time will tell, as there were no other artists with her distinct style. Utada was originally married to director Kiriya Kazuaki, who directed the movie CASSHERN, however in March 2007 the couple split. Currently in Japan she has album sales totalling 24 million copies, singles sales of 23.2 million copies and VHS/DVD sales estimated 3 million copies sold. (source: wiki TPPN)