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New York City, United States (1993 – present)

宇多田ヒカル (Utada Hikaru), born January 19, 1983 in New York City, United States, also known by her fan-nickname “ヒッキー” (Hikki), is a third culture singer, composer, arranger, and record producer in Japan and the United States.

Utada Hikaru was born to Japanese parents who both had roots in the Japanese music industry; her father, Teruzane Utada, was a producer, while her mother, Junko Utada, was an singer (she performed under the stage name 藤圭子(Keiko Fuji)). Utada Hikaru has been recording since 1993. She made her first professional recording at the age of twelve, and recorded her first album, Precious, in 1996 under the pseudonym Cubic U. This album led to her career overseas. In a recent MTV interview (MTV’s You Hear It First, October 2004), Utada said: “Someone in Japan heard it, at a Japanese record company, and he said, ‘Oh, can’t you write in Japanese? You speak Japanese.’ And I didn’t want to say no, so I had to try it.”

Utada Hikaru was married to Kazuaki Kiriya, a photographer and movie director. He directed several of her music videos, including “FINAL DISTANCE”, “Traveling”, “Hikari”/””, “Sakura Drops”, “Deep River”, “Dareka no Negai ga Kanau Koro”/”誰かの願いが叶うころ”, “You Make Me Want To Be A Man”, “Be My Last”, “Passion”, and “Keep Tryin’”. Also, “Dareka no Negai ga Kanau Koro”/”誰かの願いが叶うころ” was played during the credits of Kiriya’s directorial debut, Casshern. Their 4 1/2-year marriage was drawn to a close on March 2nd, 2007 as both Kazuaki Kiriya and Utada Hikaru filed divorce papers.


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  • mtnblur

    It's kinda funny to me how in music some people are still really attached to classical rules. In arts for example most people can enjoy classical works and still understand that you can create interesting stuff using different methods, different views etc. That's just my view, though.

    Yesterday 7:50pm Reply
  • Simo_Busa88

    oh my god .. I see here just a lot of unnecessary criticism .. are you searching only flaws ... but i instead Utada for the songs that like to do .. I love her songs and I did not start looking for the its flaws useless ... if you care so much to criticize because they do not listen to other artists?

    17 Aug 8:37am Reply
  • tyrique12

    I am Hikki's ENT surgeon and can confirm that she has many holes in her vocal chords, almost as many as Ayame Murasaki.

    16 Aug 6:08am Reply
  • tyrique12

    Vocal pedagogy [2] science [2]

    16 Aug 6:06am Reply
  • eplizo

    Yea, I knew that would hit a nerve LMAO. I acknowledge that it might've come off as pretentious, but my points still stand. I never claimed classical music to be superior btw, only that the field studies the scientific side of vocalization while singing. Vocal pedagogy regards science unlike the (visual) fine arts which are completely aesthetic-based and subjective, so I don't know why that was even brought into this... lol. I was actually just trying to refute what MusiQ3985 was trying to pass off as facts. "Not being prepared for live singing" and 'failing to warm-up properly' obviously aren't the only things hindering from hikki from getting better vocally lol.

    16 Aug 1:21am Reply
  • tyrique12

    I want Utada to collobrate with ayima by conducting an A CLASSICAL concert

    15 Aug 4:18am Reply
  • Yelyah-Williams

    Any time somebody mentions classical music when trying to make a point they should automatically be dismissed as pretentious and lacking intelligence.

    15 Aug 3:41am Reply
  • tyrique12

    i have a fine arts degree and Utada Hikari is a better painter than Picasso ! Her COLORS album cover is masterpiese

    14 Aug 2:38am Reply
  • MarkPrinceGohan

    But yeah the issues she's had with Disney may not make her do another song for KHIII, but knowing Noruma associates her with the series I think he will harass her until she does it.

    11 Aug 10:55am Reply
  • MarkPrinceGohan

    She was allergic to some of the metal that made up her stage during the Utada United Tour and it damaged her vocals I believe, or she damaged them herself during the tour. You can hear the difference between ULTRA BLUE and HEART STATION.

    11 Aug 10:53am Reply
  • Kuu-chan

    Hikki used to be a great live singer, but that was a long time ago... for example I'll never forget that one live perfomance of Deep River, which sounded just as good (or even better) than the studio version. or the MTV Unplugged concert during the DISTANCE era, I still listen to it today. I think it was during Utada United when her live vocals started to decrease for some reason, and they've never been like before since then.

    11 Aug 4:32am Reply
  • eplizo

    vv You're right. I was trying to infer that I studied classical music as well, but i just left that out since I felt the part about vocal production would imply that anyway lol. If you're asking why I'd mention classical music at all though, it's because most other fields of study outside of classical music don't teach vocal production, while actually singing, as in depth. Knowing about the technical aspects of music, and knowing about vocal production, makes it easier for you to accurately discern just how much dynamic prowess a vocalist possesses.

    6 Aug 5:29am Reply
  • lightningmonkey

    I find it kind of laughable that someone thinks a professional musician wouldn't "simply just practice & warm up" before a performance. That's a given for all performing artists who don't tear the shit out of their voices. People make up weird excuses when trying to account for their favs.

    4 Aug 4:54am Reply
  • donuthoes

    not that i disagree, but being a fan of classical music literally means nothing when giving your opinion on someone's vocals skills tho?

    2 Aug 11:21pm Reply
  • eplizo

    Now I love Utada to death, but as someone who's a fan of classical music and has studied human vocal production, I must admit that Utada, as much as I love her, isn't much of a vocalist lol. Some might find her tone and vocal style favorable (as I do), but she is not even close to a good technical vocalist, especially live. It's not a matter of failing to warm-up or anything either, because her live vocals have been a persistent issue for years lol. The culprit is just her vocal technique; plain and simple. She's obviously not complete shit, but her vocal technique really isn't marvelous either. A truly skilled vocalist can still deliver a solid vocal performance even when plagued with something like a stuffy nose. Utada doesn't have much of an excuse for her sub-par performances lmao. That said, I won't put my girl down too much, because she definitely has had her fair share of solid performances, and she is still better than lots of other top Japanese female artists, so there's that.

    2 Aug 5:00am Reply
  • jonnonaarch

    is it true utada's retiring???

    31 Jul 5:19pm Reply
  • Kamikamikami

    That man knows what he is writting about, read him (and his blog)

    21 Jul 9:11pm Reply
  • Simo_Busa88


    21 Jul 9:45am Reply
  • MusiQ3985

    I think what people are missing is that you can be a good singer, but not be prepared for live singing. I think Utada is an excellent vocalist, both in & out of a studio. Her main problem lies probably in her not preparing enough for live shows to build endurance (vocally) to maintain a certain level of quality over a period of long shows. This can be remedied if she continues to keep on a steady diet of singing different things & simply just practicing & warming up. Some of the best singers had to learn to sing live, because the environment is different than in a studio setting which lends itself to going back & doing it until you get it right. When you're on stage, you may forget certain notes, etc. So I think both parties are valid, but the real issue isn't being discussed. It isn't about being a powerhouse, it is about making what you have the best it can be & going from there. Utada just needs a little more oomph & she'll be fine.

    20 Jul 11:39pm Reply
  • Vialle

    oh come on, release something ;(

    18 Jul 8:57pm Reply
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