2004-06-07 - "Will she shine in Hollywood?" - THE NEW PAPER (Singapore)
"Will she shine in Hollywood?"
By: Miharu Chang
THE NEW PAPER (Singapore) / Monday, June 7, 2004
In more ways than one, Hikaru Utada has been a miracle in Japan's music scene.
To date, the 21-year-old singer and songerwriter still holds the record for Japan's all-time top-selling album - her 1999 debut, First Love, which has sold a phenomenal 10 million copies worldwide.
Not once has her popularity dipped since, despite her one-year hiatus to recuperate from an overian tumour operation, and her suprise marriage to director Kazaki Kiriya, in 2002.
While the stars of other celebrities usually dim after marriage, Hikki (as she is nicknamed) has never shone brighter.
She released all but one single, Colors, last year, yet she miraculously made it to No 4 on the top 10 top-earning singers chart, having paid over 170 million yen (Singapore$2.6m) in income tax.
Just two months ago, she made a smashing comeback with a new compilation album, Single Collection Vol.1.
It has sold over three million copies worldwide, including almost 10,000 copies in Singapore.
Even her hubby's indie film, Casshern, benefitted from her Midas touch - she sang the theme song, Dareka No Negai Ga Kanau Koro (When somebody's Wish Comes True).
Since its release several weeks ago, the movie has made a killiing at the box office, raking in 1.5 billion yen(S$22.9m).
Mind you, critics had earlier slammed it, calling it "a story with no ending" and "an extended Hikaru Utada music Video music video".
But thousands of fans still flocked to the cinema to see it, as well as to record stores to snap up their idol's new single, which is the movie's theme song.
Next stop for Hikki is Hollywood.
She said she has finished recording her English album, which is slated for release in the secord half of the year.
Hopes are high for Hikki, who was born and raised in New York, to churn out the next Billboard chart-topper after Kyu Sakamoto's Sukiyaki in 1963.
The past five years have been nothing short of "wonderful" for her, she said in a promotional video, which she recently released to the media.
"If I were to just go to school and not do this job, I don't think I'd be who I am, emotionally or intellectually," she said.
"It has been a very educational process for me, learning lots of different things. I think I'm getting closer to where I want to be."
If it's Hollywood she is aiming for, we hope she will create yet another miracle.
credit goes to Elfangor