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Weekly Music Video

Today it's Easy Breezy by Japanese American singer Utada Hikaru (Hikaru Utada in Western terms). She's been nicknamed "Hikki" by her fans and has also released music  under her surname UTADA (outside of Japan). Along with Koda Kumi, Namie Amuro and Ayumi Hamasaki, Utada is one of the most popular  female singers in Japan. She has had 12 No 1s in the Oricon singles chart and 3 of her Japanese albums made the Top 10 best selling ever albums in Japan list.

Hikaru is the daughter of Japanese record producer Teruzane Utada and enka singer Junko Utada (stage name Keiko Fuji) and was born in New York. She originally recorded songs under the name Cubic U, releasing her debut English album Precious in 1998. She had moved to Japan the previous year and got signed to Toshiba-EMI. In 1998 Utada  achieved success with her debut Japanese album First Love, which included the best selling singles Automatic/Time Will Tell and Movin' On Without You. The title single reached No 2 on the Oricon charts. Her follow up album was Distance (2001) and altogether she has released 5 Japanese studio albums, the latest being Heart Station (2008).

In 2004 Utada brought out her first English album under the Island Def Jam record label. She had 3 American singles off the album, Easy Breezy, Devil Inside and Exodus 04 and also released You Make Me Want to Be A Man in the UK.

Hikaru stopped releasing music under the name UTADA in 2010 but since that's what she was called when I first heard her Western music, I still think of her by that name, lol. She has been on hiatus since 2011 but released a single called Sakura Nagashi (Flowing Cherry Blossoms) in late 2012, which was the theme song for the Japanese animation Evangelion 3.0 You Can (Not) Redo. Her last albums were the Japanese compilation album Utada Hikaru Singles Collection Vol 2  and the English compilation Utada the Best (both 2010). The English album was released against Utada's wishes. She's currently presenting a radio show called KUMA POWER HOUR. ("Kuma" is "bear" in Japanese).

Easy Breezy was the first single off Exodus. It's not an easy album to categorise, it has different styles of music from pop and dance to R'n'B and rockier songs. I would say Easy Breezy is more on the pop side. It's my favourite English album of hers. I have This Is The One too and, I really like that as well. This Is The One is more R'n'B.

For more on Hikki/Utada, visit these links:

Official site (Japanese/English)

Fan site (English)


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