Hikaru Utada (宇多田光) is one of Japan's most popular singers and was born in New York City on January 19, 1983. A daughter of a producer (father) and musician (mother), she attended high school at the American School in Tokyo and later dropped out of Columbia University where she majored in singing in order to pursue her musical career. While she was in Tokyo, she recorded for Toshiba-EMI, releasing many singles, most notably First Love, which was also released in an album of the same title. In 2007, she released Beautiful World which was used in the Rebuild of Evangelion Evangelion 1.0: You Are (Not) Alone movie and many of its trailers. Her Fly Me to the Moon(in other words), which was released on the same single as Beautiful World, was also used in one of the trailers.
- Utada was married to Kazuaki Kiriya, a photographer and director who had directed many of her music videos. They were married in September 7, 2002 and divorced in March 2, 2007.
- Hikaru Utada also goes by Hikki and Cubic U, the latter a name she used for her U.S. debut album.
- Utada has won several Nihon Golden Disk awards for "Song of the Year" and "Pop/Rock Album of the Year".
- The debut of Beautiful World / Kiss & Cry on August 27, 2007 made its way to #3 on Japan’s Oricon Weekly Singles Charts. However, on September 1, 2007, the day the first Rebuild of Evangelion movie opened in theaters, it shot up to #1.
- Utada was #24 in an HMV Japan survey of the Top 100 J-pop artists of all time.