Utada HikaruHikaru Utada (宇多田 ヒカル Utada Hikaru, born January 19, 1983), known by her stage name Utada (/uːˈtɑːdə/) in America and Europe, and sometimes referred to as Hikki (ヒッキー, Hikkī?) in Japan, is a Japanese-American singer, song writer, and producer.
Since the release of her debut album First Love, which went on to become the best-selling album in Oricon history, Utada has had three of her Japanese studio albums in the list of Top 10 best-selling albums ever in Japan (#1, #4, #8) and six of her albums (including two English-language and one compilation) charting within the 275 Best-Selling Japanese albums list. Utada has had fourteen number-one singles on the Oricon Singles chart, with two notable record achievements for a female solo or group artist: five million-sellers and four in the Top 100 All-Time Best-selling Singles. Utada Hikaru has an estimated 50 million albums sold worldwide.
She was described by Time Magazine as a "Diva On Campus," a reference to her having attended Columbia University for a brief, career-break semester in 2000. In 2009, she was considered “the most influential artist of the decade,” in the Japanese landscape, by The Japan Times. In 2003, Utada was ranked #24 in the survey of Top 100 Japanese Pop Artists of All Time by HMV, #10 in HMV's Top 30 Best Japanese Singers of All Time in 2006.
Additionally, Utada made two theme song contributions to Square Enix and Disney's collaborative video game series Kingdom Hearts: "Simple and Clean" for Kingdom Hearts and "Passion" for Kingdom Hearts II (later re-recorded with new English lyrics as "Sanctuary" for the North American and European releases of the game). In 2007, her single "Flavor of Life" reached #2 in worldwide digital download yearly single chart with over 7.2 million downloads, and contributes to 12 million digital sales for her over the same year.