Utada Hikaru

  • I. Introduction

    File:Utada Hikaru - PINK BLOOD promo.jpg

    Utada Hikaru (宇多田 ヒカル), who is also known as Hikaru Utada and the mononym Utada, is a Japanese-American singer-songwriter and producer. Born in the United States to Japanese parents, record producer Utada Teruzane and enka singer Keiko Fuji, Utada began to write music and lyrics at an early age and often traveled to Tokyo as a result of her father's job. Eventually, a recording contract with Toshiba-EMI was signed and, under the stage name Cubic U, Utada released her English-language debut album Precious in early 1998, but it was a commercial failure. In the following year, heavily influenced by R&B and dance-pop, her Japanese-language debut First Love was released and became an instant success. Backed by the massive success of singles "Automatic", "Time Will Tell", and "Movin' On Without You", the album sold two million copies in its first week in Japan, topped the Oricon charts for six non-consecutive weeks and went on to sell six million more throughout the rest of 1999. First Love eventually became the country's best-selling album of all time.

    II. Career


    Her following album Distance was released in early 2001 and spawned Utada's biggest hit singles—"Addicted to You", "Wait & See (Risk)" and "Can You Keep a Secret?"—which became million-sellers. The album was commercially successful and broke several sales records after three million copies were sold in its first week of availability in Japan, instantly becoming the country's fastest-selling album. In 2002, backed by chart-topping singles such as "Traveling", "Hikari" and "Sakura Drops", Deep River, which incorporates elements of pop folk, was released and went on to become one of Japan's top-selling records of all-time. Subsequent full-length releases—Exodus, Ultra Blue and Heart Station—achieved million-selling status certified by the Recording Industry Association of Japan. After a prolonged hiatus, Utada released acoustic-driven Fantôme and Hatsukoi, which reached number-one on the Oricon album charts.

    Utada Hikaru : Traveling | The Rambling Otaku

    By the end of the 2000s, Utada was deemed "the most influential artist of the decade" in the Japanese music landscape by The Japan Times. Utada's commercial success has made her one of Japan's top-selling recording artists of all time with over 37 million records sold since launching her career in the late 1990s. Twelve of her singles have reached number-one on the Oricon Singles Chart, while ten of her albums have become chart-toppers. Six of her full-length releases are among the country's highest-selling albums of all time, including First Love, Distance and Deep River, which are among the top ten best-selling records of Japan's music history. Additionally, Utada is best known by international audiences for writing and producing four theme-song contributions to Square Enix and Disney's collaborative video game series Kingdom Hearts: "Simple and Clean", "Sanctuary", "Don't Think Twice" and "Face My Fears".

    Listen to Hikaru Utada & Skrillex's Kingdom Hearts III theme

    On November 1, 2019, it was released a Utada collaboration with singer-songwriter Sheena Ringo, called "Roman to Soroban LDN ver." ("The Sun and the Moon", in English). It was featured in Sheena's best of album Apple of Universal Gravity. An alternative version of the song, called "Roman to Soroban TYO ver.", was available on November 25. On November 27, 2019, Utada released her first single in over a year with "Shonen Jidai". It appears as track #5 on the Inoue Yosue Tribute album. Utada also did a live rendition of the song on her 2003 live DVD UH Live Streaming 20 Dai wa Ikeike!

    On 3 December 2020 was announced that Takeru Sato & Hikari Mitsushima will star a Netflix drama based on Hikaru Utada’s songs “First Love” & “Hatsukoi”, “First Love Hatsukoi” is scheduled to be released sometime in 2022.

    On August 22, 2013, Utada's mother, Keiko Fuji, died by apparent suicide by jumping from the thirteenth floor of a 28-floor condominium building in Shinjuku, Tokyo.

    Hikaru has been open about her mother's struggles with mental health and encourages the education on the topic, as well as for people to seek assistance for their illnesses. She has been most notably quoted as stating “She is finally freed from her agony,” She also said that she’s “beyond sad” because of her mother’s death. “I am suffering from a sense of remorse.” Despite her mother’s condition, Utada said that she’s only left with memories of her mother laughing. She also described her late mother as someone who is “impulsive like a child but with an innocent charm that attracted everyone’s attention.”

    III. Discography

    IIII. Japanese Discography

    IIIII. Studio Albums

    [1999.03.10] First Love

    [2001.03.28] Distance

    [2002.06.19] DEEP RIVER

    [2006.06.14] ULTRA BLUE

    [2008.03.09] HEART STATION

    [2016.09.28] Fantôme

    [2018.06.27] Hatsukoi (初恋; First Love)

    IIIIII. Best Albums

    [2004.03.31] Utada Hikaru SINGLE COLLECTION VOL.1

    [2010.11.24] Utada Hikaru SINGLE COLLECTION VOL.2

    [2014.12.09] Utada Hikaru SINGLE COLLECTION VOL.1+2 HD (USB)

    IIIIIII. Tribute Albums

    [2014.12.09] Utada Hikaru no Uta (宇多田ヒカルのうた; Songs of Utada Hikaru)

    IIIIIV. Mini-Albums

    [2021.03.10] One Last Kiss

    IIIIV. Singles

    [1998.12.09] Automatic / time will tell

    [1999.02.17] Movin' on without you

    [1999.04.28] First Love

    [1999.11.10] Addicted To You

    [2000.04.19] Wait & See ~Risk~ (Wait & See ~リスク~)

    [2000.06.30] For You / Time Limit (For You / タイム・リミット)

    [2001.02.16] Can You Keep A Secret?

    [2001.07.25] FINAL DISTANCE

    [2001.11.28] traveling

    [2002.03.20] Hikari (光; Light)

    [2002.05.09] SAKURA Drops / Letters (SAKURAドロップス / Letters)

    [2003.01.29] COLORS

    [2004.04.21] Dareka no Negai ga Kanau Koro (誰かの願いが叶うころ; When Someone's Wish Comes True)

    [2005.09.28] Be My Last

    [2005.12.14] Passion

    [2006.02.22] Keep Tryin'

    [2006.11.22] Boku wa Kuma (ぼくはくま; I'm a Bear)

    [2007.02.28] Flavor Of Life

    [2007.08.29] Beautiful World / Kiss & Cry

    [2008.02.20] HEART STATION / Stay Gold

    [2008.05.21] Prisoner Of Love

    [2019.01.18] Face My Fears

    IIIIVI. Digital Singles

    [2010.10.09] Hymne à l'amour ~Ai no Anthem~ (Hymne à l'amour ~愛のアンセム~)

    [2012.11.17] Sakura Nagashi (桜流し; Flowing Cherry Blossoms)

    [2016.04.15] Hanataba wo Kimi ni (花束を君に; A Bouquet for You)

    [2016.04.15] Manatsu no Tooriame (真夏の通り雨; Midsummer Rain Shower)

    [2017.01.11] Hikari (Ray Of Hope MIX) (光; Light)

    [2017.07.10] Oozora de Dakishimete (大空で抱きしめて; Embrace Me Under the Big Sky)

    [2017.07.28] Forevermore

    [2017.12.08] Anata (あなた; You)

    [2018.04.25] Play A Love Song

    [2018.05.23] Marunouchi Sadistic (丸ノ内サディスティック)

    [2018.05.30] Hatsukoi (初恋; First Love)

    [2018.11.06] Too Proud (L1 Remix) feat. XZT, Suboi, EK

    [2018.12.10] Chikai (誓い; Vow)

    [2019.11.02] Roman to Soroban LDN version (浪漫と算盤; Romance and Abacus) - Shiina Ringo and Utada Hikaru

    [2019.11.25] Roman to Soroban TYO version (浪漫と算盤) - Shiina Ringo and Utada Hikaru

    [2019.11.27] Shounen Jidai (少年時代; Boyhood)

    [2020.05.08] Time

    [2020.05.29] Dare ni mo Iwanai (誰にも言わない; Don't Tell Anyone)

    [2021.03.09] One Last Kiss

    IIIIVII. Download Exclusives

    [2007.06.27] Fly Me To The Moon (In Other Words) -2007 MIX-

    [2007.08.29] Kiss & Cry

    [2008.10.31] Eternally -Drama Mix-

    [2009.06.27] Beautiful World -PLANiTb Acoustica Mix-

    [2010.11.03] Goodbye Happiness

    [2016.08.03] Hanataba wo Kimi ni (Drama Opening Ver.) (花束を君に (ドラマオープニングVer.))

    IIIIVIII. Video Releases


    [2000.06.30] Wait & See ~Risk~ (Wait & See ~リスク~)

    [2000.12.09] BOHEMIAN SUMMER 2000


    [2001.11.28] Utada Hikaru Unplugged

    [2002.01.30] traveling


    [2003.03.12] COLORS

    [2003.08.29] UH Live Streaming 20 Dai wa Ikeike! (UH LIVE STREAMING 20代はイケイケ!)

    [2004.07.28] Utada Hikaru in Budokan 2004 Hikaru no 5 (Utada Hikaru in Budokan 2004 ヒカルの5)

    [2004.07.28] Dareka no Negai ga Kanau Koro (誰かの願いが叶うころ)

    [2004.10.06] Easy Breezy (Utada)


    [2006.12.20] UTADA UNITED 2006

    [2011.04.20] WILD LIFE

    [2012.12.26] Sakura Nagashi (桜流し; Flowing Cherry Blossoms)

    [2019.06.26] Hikaru Utada Laughter in the Dark Tour 2018

    IIIIIX. Vinyls

    [1999.02.17] Automatic / time will tell

    [1999.06.30] First Love

    [2000.05.10] Fly Me To The Moon

    [2001.07.25] Distance

    [2002.xx.xx] SAKURA Drops (Sonic Sprout Mix)

    [2002.09.30] DEEP RIVER

    IIIIX. [2003.xx.xx] Colors / Simple And Clean

    [2018.11.07] Hatsukoi

    [2019.03.06] Face My Fears

    [2021.03.10] One Last Kiss

    IIIIXI. Compilations / Other

    [1999.06.09] Majo no Jouken OST (Variations on "First Love")

    [2001.03.07] Hero Original Soundtrack (#8 Can You Keep A Secret? -Instrumental-)

    [2001.12.12] Ohguro Maki - O (#1 Promise I do featuring Utada Hikaru)

    [2002.03.11] Kingdom Hearts Soundtrack (Disc 1 #2 Hikari -KINGDOM Orchestra Instrumental Version-, Disc 1 #3 Hikari -PLANITb Remix- (Short Edit), Disc 2 # HIKARI -KINGDOM HEARTS Instrumental Version-, Disc 2 #30 Hikari)

    [2002.05.27] Shiina Ringo - Utaite Myouri ~Vol. I~ (#4 I Won't Last a Day Without You (duet with Utada Hikaru))

    [2003.03.26] Kuzu - Kuzu Album (# Kaze ga Fuiteru (Kuzu featuring Hikaru Utada))

    [2003.11.06] Various Artists - Beautiful Drivin' Classic - Wish (#1 COLORS -Orchestra Version-)

    [2004.04.24] Various Artists - BLUE ~ A Tribute to Yutaka Ozaki (#5 I Love You)

    [2016.11.06] AI - THE FEAT. BEST (#1 FINAL DISTANCE [13 years distance mix] / AI + Utada Hikaru (UH vox.2001 & AI vox.2014))

    [2018.01.17] Obukuro Nariaki - Lonely One feat. Utada Hikaru

    [2018.04.25] Obukuro Nariaki - Bunriha no Natsu (#9 Lonely One feat. Utada Hikaru)

    [2018.05.23] Various Artists - Adam to Eve no Ringo (#3 Marunouchi Sadistic - Utada Hikaru & Obukuro Nariaki)

    [2019.11.13] Shiina Ringo - Newton no Ringo ~Hajimete no Best Ban~ (Disc 1 #1 Roman to Soroban (Shiina Ringo & Utada Hikaru))

    [2019.11.27] Various Artists - Inoue Yosui Tribute (#5 Shounen Jidai )

    [2020.10.14] Various Artists - SING for ONE ~Minna to Tsunagaru. Ashita e Tsunagaru.~ (#1 Utada Hikaru / Anata)

    IIIII. US Discography

    IIIIII. Studio Albums

    [1998.01.28] Precious (As Cubic U)

    [2004.09.08] EXODUS

    [2009.03.14] This Is The One

    IIIIIII. Best Albums

    [2010.11.24] Utada The Best

    IIIIIIII. Singles

    [2004.09.14] Devil Inside

    [2005.06.21] Exodus '04

    [2005.10.17] You Make Me Want To Be A Man

    IIIIIIV. Digital Singles

    [2004.08.03] Easy Breezy

    [2004.08.30] Devil Inside

    [2009.02.10] Come Back To Me

    [2009.12.21] Dirty Desire

    [2018.12.10] Don't Think Twice

    [2019.01.18] Face My Fears

    IIIIIV. Vinyls

    [2004.09.13] Devil Inside

    [2005.05.17] Exodus '04

    [2005.09.05] You Make Me Want To Be A Man (Promo)

    [2005.09.17] You Make Me Want To Be A Man

    [2019.03.29] Face My Fears

    [2021.xx.xx] One Last Kiss

    IIIIIVI. Video Releases

    [2013.12.09] In The Flesh 2010 (iTunes only release)

    IIIIIVII. Compilations / Other

    [1999.12.18] Now Japan Best: Greatest Hits Of The Millennium (Automatic)

    [2000.02.01] 1999 Japanese TV Series Champion Theme Songs (First Love feat. David Sanborn)

    [2000.02.01] The 41th Japan Record Awards (Automatic, First Love)

    [2000.03.01] Japan Love Songs Collection 2 (First Love feat. David Sanborn)

    [2000.04.01] Japan R&B Pop Music II (Addicted To You, Automatic, First Love)

    [2000.12.06] NOW 11 (Fly Me To The Moon (In Other Words))

    [2000.12.20] Dancemania DIAMOND COMPLETE EDITION (Fly Me To The Moon (VC2's Club Mix))

    [2001.01.01] NOW J-POP 2001 (Movin' On Without You)

    [2001.01.17] Dancemania X8 (Fly Me To The Moon (VC2's Club Mix))

    [2001.02.09] Tokyo Love Scenes 2001 Endless Love (First Love)

    [2001.07.31] Rush Hour 2 Soundtrack (Utada Hikaru feat. Foxy Brown - Blow My Whistle)

    [2004.07.14] Unity (Timbaland, Kiley Dean, Utada - By Your Side)

    [2004.09.13] Ultimix 108 (Easy Breezy (Ultimix Remix))

    [2005.02.xx] DJ Fatal - Remixes Feburary 2005 (CD promo) (Utada feat. Nas, 2Pac and *Notorious B.I.G. - Exodus '04 (Remix))

    [2005.10.11] 1998-2005 All For You: UH Premium Single Box Set

    [2006.01.25] Kingdom Hearts II Original Soundtrack (Three Versions of Passion / Sanctuary)

    [2009.09.02] Ne-Yo - Ne-Yo: The Collection (Do You feat. Utada)

    [2001.10.17] Original Songs (Automatic)

    [2002.05.29] The Japan Gold Disc Award 2002 (Can You Keep a Secret?)

    [2002.07.03] EARTH BEAT (Distance (PLANITb Remix))

    [2003.03.05] Sweet -for emotional memories- (First Love)

    [2003.04.23] 31 Hits -The Japan Gold Disc Award 2003- (SAKURA Drops)

    [2004.04.23] Our Last Days -Casshern OST- (Dareka no Negai ga Kanau Koro)

    [2004.09.xx] Radioactive Rhythm and Top 40 - September 2004 (Devil Inside)

    [2004.10.xx] Radioactive Rhythm and Top 40 - October 2004 (Easy Breezy)

    [2005.03.09] The Japan Gold Disc Award 2005 (Dareka no Negai ga Kanau Koro, Easy Breezy)

    [2005.03.30] VENUS JAPAN (traveling)

    [2005.05.18] Superstar Jazz (Fly Me To The Moon (In Other Words))

    [2005.07.13] Prime Cuts - Issue #7 (Exodus '04 (Double J Radio Mix))

    [2006.03.01] The Japan Gold Disc Award 2006 (Be My Last)

    [2009.05.26] Just Dance (Come Back To Me(Tony Moran & Warren Rigg Club Mix))

    [2010.06.02] Beautiful Woman (Come Back To Me)

    [2010.06.08] Just Dance Volume 3 (Dirty Desire (Mike Rizzo's club Mix))