"Utada" is the name that Hikaru Utada credits her releases in the US under, to distinguish between US and Japanese releases.
Utada is the English language project name of 宇多田ヒカル (Utada Hikaru). She is a third culture singer, composer, arranger, and record producer in Japan and United States. Utada maintains this name in the west as she intends to keep her English style separate from her Japanese music. She has sold an estimated 52 million albums worldwide. Utada is fluent in both English and Japanese as she was raised in both New York and Tokyo.
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Hikaru Utada (宇多田 ヒカル Utada Hikaru, born January 19, 1983), known by her stage name Utada (/uːˈtɑːdə/) in America and Europe, 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. In the United States, the song Come Back to Me has peaked at number 5 on the Billboard Hot Dance Club Play in 2009.