[[quoteright:200:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/utadahikaru_820.bmp]]
[floatboxright:Influences: Music/{{Aaliyah}}, Béla Bartók, Music/{{Bjork}}, Music/MaryJBlige, Music/TheBlueNile, Music/JeffBuckley, Chick Corea, Music/CocteauTwins, Music/JimiHendrix, Music/LennyKravitz, Hibari Misora, Music/NineInchNails, Yutaka Ozaki, Music/EdithPiaf, Music/{{Prince}}, Music/{{Queen}}
]
Utada Hikaru (宇多田ヒカル, or Hikaru Utada, if you're using the Western name order), born January 19 1983, is one of Japan's most prominent and successful music artists. Her debut album, ''First Love'' (1999), recorded when she was only 15 years old, is the best-selling album in Japan's history, selling at least 7.7 million copies in total (10.1 million copies worldwide), including over 2 million copies in its first week alone. Most of her following singles and albums went on to occupy the top ten spots on the same list.

She writes and produces almost all of her music, differentiating her from the numerous [[IdolSinger Idol Singers]] who don't hold much creative power over their work. Born and raised in New York, she is fluent in Japanese and English, and has released two English-language albums for the American market under the mononym, ''Utada''.

In the west, she is perhaps most well-known for the theme songs of the first two ''Franchise/KingdomHearts'' games -- both Japanese and the English versions. Her songs "Beautiful World" and "Sakura Nagashi" are featured in the ''Anime/RebuildOfEvangelion'' series.

In 2010, she held her "goodbye" concert before going on hiatus that same year. [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome The concert was streamed live on the web]] [[CrowningMomentOfHeartwarming for the benefit of her foreign fans and others who wouldn't be able to see it in person.]]

Around early 2014, she announced her engagement on her official website and asked that fans respect the privacy of her fiance. In May that same year, they held their wedding in Italy, her fiance's home country.

Six years after her her hiatus, she released her 6th Japanese album (and ninth overall), ''Fantôme'' (2016).

!!Japanese discography
* ''Music/FirstLove'' (1999)
* ''{{Music/Distance}}'' (2001)
* ''Music/DeepRiver'' (2002)
* ''Utada Hikaru Single Collection Vol. 1'' (2004) (compilation album)
* ''Ultra Blue'' (2006)
* ''Heart Station'' (2008)
* ''Utada Hikaru Single Collection Vol. 2'' (2010) (compilation album)
* ''Fantôme'' (2016)

!!English discography
* ''Precious'' (1998) (under the pseudonym "Cubic U")
* ''[[Music/ExodusUtadaHikaruAlbum Exodus]]'' (2004) (Utada)
* ''This is the One'' (2009)(Utada)
* ''Utada the Best'' (2010)(compilation album) (Utada)

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!!Provides examples of:
* [[AccentOnTheWrongSyllable AcCENT Upon the Wrong SylLABle]]: In "About Me":
-->Although we have known eacho'''ther''' for quite a while...
-->[...]
-->Who knows it if '''could''' be good '''for''' you af'''ter''' all
* AdamAndEvePlot: In the video for [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZvviETUQsIs You Make Me Want to be a Man]] has a modern, robotic twist, where Utada plays a feminine robot constructed around a masculine robot's rib. Also, there is a reference to the snake.
* AdvertisedExtra: MasashiYamada's feature on "One Night Magic". He and Utada sing the pre- and post-chorus and bridge together, but his vocals aren't very prominent, and he doesn't have any solo parts.
* AlbumTitleDrop:
** "This One (Crying Like a Child)" from ''This is the One'':
--->You got me crying like a child
--->And the crowd is going wild
--->This one, '''this is the one'''
--->Come on and give it up
* AmbiguouslyBi: There's some [[HoYay awfully intimate embracing]] between Utada and ShiinaRingo in the music video for "Nijikan Dake no Vacance", and Utada has stated that the song "Tomodachi" is written from the perspective of a gay person with [[IncompatibleOrientation one-way feelings]] for their straight friend. When a fan questioned her for the allegedly stereotypical depiction of gay people, [[https://twitter.com/utadahikaru/status/778993141688958976?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw&ref_url=http%3A%2F%2Fpopcrush.com%2Futada-hikaru-friends-tomodachi-nhk-songs-live-performance%2F this was her response.]]
* BareYourMidriff: Downplayed in the music videos for "Can You Keep a Secret?" and "Wait and See (Risk)"
* BilingualBonus: She makes frequent use of English in her lyrics, and [[GratuitousEnglish unlike in a lot of J-pop]] they are both [[SurprisinglyGoodEnglish grammatically correct]] and relevant and meaningful to the songs they appear on; in some cases integral to understanding them fully. [[CaptainObvious Knowing Japanese helps too.]]
** Her [[MeaningfulName given name]] provides one too: She's a pop '''star''' named '''Hikaru''' (the verb "to shine" in Japanese).
* BoastfulRap: Somehow manages a rare sung variant in "Animato".
-->Somebody out there better get this
-->Not many people can do it like this
-->How about some speakers to amplify me?
-->How about a rhyme to fortify me?
-->Life's messy so I clarify it
-->Simplifying things for everybody
* BreakupSong: "Taking My Money Back", oh so very much. Also "Come Back to Me" and "This One (Crying Like a Child)" (all three from ''This Is The One'').
* BrokenBird: The character described in "Hotel Lobby" seems to be one:
-->She doesn't want to be respected
-->Reality's her best friend
-->She needs the extra money
-->In the city, the town, and the household
-->So many things go unreported
-->[[DarkAndTroubledPast So many things her eyes have seen]]
* ChildPopStar: Became a superstar at the age of 15, started her solo career when she was 13, and prior to that performed with her parents in the group U3 from when she was only 10.
* ContinuityNod: This is present in two of her music videos from different eras in her career. The first is [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K0p4V5DLxKU "Keep Tryin"]] which has references to her past MV's that were all directed by her then husband, Kazuaki Kiriya. Naturally, avid fans had fun pointing these out. The second, [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cfpX8lkaSdk "Goodbye Happiness"]] also has references to some of her past videos.
* CoverVersion: Covered "Close to You" by the Music/{{Carpenters}} in her Cubic U days. She's also done covers of Music/{{Aha}}, Music/FrankSinatra, and Music/{{Placebo}} in various live concerts.
* DarkerAndEdgier: ''Fantôme'' is noticeably darker than any of her previous albums. Understandably, as it [[CreatorBreakdown is inspired by her mother's death.]]
* DoubleEntendre: From "Easy Breezy":
-->I should have never ever [[IntercourseWithYou let you inside]]
* EchoingAcoustics: For ''Beautiful World'''s Planitb remix.
* EmbarrassingNickname: Her classmates in New York nicknamed her Hikki. She was a bit flustered when she found out what a hickey was a few years later.
* EpicFail: Toshiba-EMI (her record label) employed a company called Media Interactive Inc. to go through Youtube and delete all infringing videos. Seemingly, this included all the music videos (including the video debuted exclusively on Youtube "Goodbye Happiness") from Utada's Official YouTube Channel leaving many fans, her staff and the artist bewildered. [[http://img193.imageshack.us/img193/6322/utadayoutube.png]]
* EpicInstrumentalOpener: The first minute and a half of "Boukyaku" is a very ambient-sounding one.
* FaceOnTheCover: All of her studio albums except ''Precious''. Other than ''Exodus'', all are close-ups.
* GenreSavvy: Has invoked {{Retcon}} ("Come Back to Me").
* GenreShift: Her early albums were mainly R&B; starting with ''Deep River'' she's moved towards pop music with a more electronic, experimental sound, often with orchestral elements.
* GirlsLoveStuffedAnimals: She has a massive teddy bear named Kuma Chang who features heavily in her career ranging from promotional photos, tweets/blog entries involving conversations with him and to top it all, she's written a single song from his point of his view called "Boku wa Kuma".
* GratuitousFrench: In "Ore no Kanojo". It wouldn't be nearly so egregious if the pronunciation weren't so terrible, as what is sung makes grammatical sense.
* GriefSong: "Manatsu no Tooriame" and "Ningyo", about the death of Utada's mother.
* HotterAndSexier: ''Exodus'' and ''This is the One'' have much more sexual content than her Japanese albums.
* ImprobableAge: Wrote and recorded the best-selling Japanese album ''of all time'' when she was only 15 years old, and released two more of the top-ten best sellers while she was still a teenager.
* IntercourseWithYou: "The Workout", "Let Me Give You My Love", "Dirty Desire"... There's a fair bit of this on her English-language albums. A Japanese song, "Traveling", might also count.
** The chorus of "Ore no Kanojo" is the most direct example out of her Japanese albums.
--->Karada yori zutto oku ni manekitai, manekitai [[note]]I want to invite you inside, deeper than my body[[/note]]
--->Karada yori motto oku ni sawaritai, sawaritai [[note]]I want to touch you, deeper than your body[[/note]]
* LocationSong: "Tokyo Nights" from ''Deep River'' is one, [[CaptainObvious for Tokyo]]. The lyrics deal with loneliness and seeking fulfillment, which she finds in the city lights.
* LoveIsADrug: "Addicted to You", [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin as the name suggests]].
* LyricalColdOpen:
** "Kettobase!" from ''Distance''.
** "Ore no Kanojo", "Hanataba wo Kimi ni", "Manatsu to Tooriame", "Jinsei Saikou no Hi", all from ''Fantôme''.
* LyricalDissonance: "Me Muero" is a breezy, relaxing R&B song with a tropical atmosphere... and lyrics that reference a lost love and isolation, depression, suicide, drug/alcohol abuse, [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking and staying in your pyjamas all day]]. Of course the song's title is a little bit of a giveaway [[BilingualBonus for listeners who know Spanish]].[[note]]"Me muero" means "I die / I'm dying"[[/note]]
* MelismaticVocals: Had a fair bit of this on her R&B albums, and generally downplayed or averted since.
* MeLoveYouLongTime: From "Dirty Desire":
-->When I'm alone at night, I sit and fantasize
-->And in my fantasies I love you long time
* MoodWhiplash:
** The whiplash from the lamentation of a neighbor's death to IntercourseWithYou in "Let Me Give You My Love".
** On ''Heart Station'', "Take 5", a rather haunting song about dying and being separated from one's body, cuts abruptly into "Boku wa Kuma" which is a cute, children's song about, uh, a bear.
** ''Fantôme'' follows "Michi", an upbeat dance-pop track dedicated to her mother's memory, with "Ore no Kanojo", a downbeat, jazzy/orchestral song about a troubled AllTakeAndNoGive relationship with some of the most overt IntercourseWithYou lyrics of her career.
** Also from ''Fantôme'', "Boukyaku", with ambient instrumentation and despondent lyrics contemplating suicide, is followed directly by "Jinsei Saikou no Hi", which is an upbeat song about anticipation and new love.
* NoEnding: The aforementioned "Take 5" ends abruptly, which highlights the morbid lyrics.
* NotStayingForBreakfast: "Easy Breezy" is about Utada's lover doing this to her.
-->You came and went and left my house like a breeze just passing by
-->Hello, goodbye, you left a note saying "It was nice stopping by"
* ObsessionSong: "Addicted to You". The chorus' lyrics are an example of the Passive type:
-->Dakedo sore ja kurushikute[[note]]But it's so painful that way [not being with you][[/note]]
-->Mainichi aitakute[[note]]I want to see you everyday[[/note]]
-->Kono kimochi dou sureba ii no?[[note]]What should I do about this feeling?[[/note]]
-->[...]
-->Aenai hi no koishisa mo soba ni iru itoshisa mo[[note]]The longing for you when you're gone, and the love I feel when I'm with you[[/note]]
-->Onaji kurai kuse ni narunda[[note]]They're becoming the same thing[[/note]]
-->Kisu yori dakishimete, ikinari yamenaide[[note]]Hold me instead of kissing me, don't just stop right away[[/note]]
* TheOldestProfession: "Hotel Lobby" is a fairly dark portrayal of this:
-->She rises with the sunset
-->She wonders "when will this end?"
-->The world is full of money
-->She goes out unprotected
-->She doesn't listen to her best friend
-->It's only for the money
* OneNameOnly: For her English-language music she went by just Utada, though as of her new global deal with EMI, she will release all her music under the name Utada Hikaru regardless of language.
* OutOfGenreExperience: Almost all her music is pop, R&B or electronic, but she's also recorded a handful of rock songs.
** ''Music/DeepRiver'' has "Uso Mitai na I Love You".
** ''Exodus'' has "Kremlin Dusk".
** ''Utada Hikaru Single Collection Vol. 2'' has "Show Me Love (Not a Dream)".
** ''{{Music/Distance}}'' actually does this twice, with "Drama" and "Kettobase!".
* TheOner:
** The aforementioned "Goodbye Happiness" music video, with a still faux-web cam in a bedroom.
** Her "Hikari" music video is a continuous shot of her washing the dishes and at one point she even goes out of frame. The video could be considered as having {{minimalism}} in its execution.
* PerformanceVideo: "Dareka no Negai ga Kanau Koro" features a performance more heavily than her other videos, but also features an implied plot about a broken-up family.
* PopStarComposer: Most famously, the theme songs to the ''Franchise/KingdomHearts'' games, as mentioned above.
* PunnyName: "Utada" sounds like "''uta da''", Japanese for "''It's a song''".
* {{Robosexual}}: Subverted in the music video of "Can You Keep A Secret", where Utada is having a romantic relationship with a robot [[spoiler:but by the last scene is revealed to be a RobotGirl herself]].
* RhetoricalQuestionBlunder: Inverted in the spoken section of "Poppin'", where Utada actually wants to know if you want her to share the stars in the sky with you.
-->But I can share if you like...[{{beat}}] Would you like that?
* TheRival: Media outlets tried to invoke this between her and AyumiHamasaki when ''Distance'' was scheduled for release on the same day as Hamasaki's ''A Best'', though both singers denied this.
* {{Sampling}}: "Give Me a Reason" samples the famous drum break from Music/JamesBrown's "Funky Drummer". Hearing it in a slow ballad is... weird.
** "Never Let Go" interpolates the melody from Music/{{Sting}}'s "Shape of My Heart".
** The violin-sounding instrument from "Exodus '04", produced by Timbaland, is lifted from the song "Meshkeltek" by an Arabian artist named Aitha al-Menhali.
* SceneryPorn: Her video for [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kWoJLdXJt0E Passion]] is just breath-takingly beautiful.
* SelfBackingVocalist: She's done this on all her albums. In fact, "Goodbye Happiness" is the first song to feature female background vocals other than her own.
* SequelSong: "Automatic", her 1998 debut single, and "Automatic Pt.2" from 2009's ''This Is The One''. Interesting in that part one is in Japanese and part two is in English.
* ShoutOut:
** To EdgarAllanPoe in "Kremlin Dusk". Utada even uses his full name in the lyrics.
** To ElvisPresley, LedZeppelin, and FreddieMercury in "Animato". Again, Utada mentions them directly in the lyrics.
** To SimonAndGarfunkel in "This One (Crying Like a Child)". [[OverlyLongGag Again]], they are mentioned by name.
* SillyLoveSongs: "Automatic" is her most upbeat and straightforward.
* SingerNamedrop:
** Did this as Cubic U in "Ticket 4 Two".
** "Automatic Pt. 2" is another example:
---> Hello, my name is Utada, like [[{{Scatting}} la-di-da-di-da-di-da]]
* SlutShaming: The first verse of "Easy Breezy" deals with being on the receiving end of this:
-->You look stupid, telling all your friends that you got the best of me
-->I intended to share the pleasure only
-->Now I look stupid, we're living in a world with a lot of pressure
-->It's quite unneeded to put more pressure on me
* SofterAndSlowerCover: "Final Distance" (''Deep River'') is one of "Distance" (''Distance'').
* SoloDuet: "Ore no Kanojo" has Utada singing from the male and female perspectives of a couple.
* SpokenWordInMusic: A few examples. Notably, all are in English, even on her Japanese albums.
** "Can You Keep a Secret?":
--->Hey, can I take a time out to... tell you something? And say, [[WaxingLyrical can you keep it a secret?]] 'Cause this guitar is... making me warm... come on!
** "Heart Station":
--->Baby, can you hear me? Just tell me one thing...if you can hear me, say something.
** "Poppin'":
--->Yeah, you heard me right. They're all mine, the stars in the sky. But I can share if you like... Would you like that?
* SurprisinglyGoodEnglish: Japanese name, Japanese career, Japanese-language albums. To the casual observer, she looks about as J-poppy as you can get, but her first album was entirely in English. ([[NoExportForYou The US never got it]] [[ExecutiveMeddling because Capitol Records was restructuring.]]) As noted above, she's actually Japanese-American, and speaks both Japanese and English fluently.
* TeenPregnancy: "Kettobase!", written when she was 16 or 17, has the repeated line "I want your baby".
* TitleTrack: Most of her Japanese albums. ''Ultra Blue'' has a partial one in "Blue" while ''Fantôme'' doesn't have one.
** All three of her English albums have partial examples: "Precious Love" from ''Precious'', "Exodus '04" from ''Exodus'', and "This One (Crying like a Child)" from ''This is the One''.
* TranslatedCoverVersion:
** Most famously, she recorded English versions of her songs "Hikari" and "Passion" ("Simple & Clean" and "Sanctuary", respectively) for the international releases of the first and second VideoGame/KingdomHearts games.
** The [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Q7Pt58Mbig dub mix]] of "Time Will Tell" is a partial version of this. Not all of the lyrics are included (dub mixes tend to take out at least some of the lyrics or vocals of the original song), but the ones that are translated into English.
** There's also an [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=eBPrzxz3TNQ English cover of "First Love"]] by Aiza Seguerra.
* TroublingUnchildlikeBehaviour: "First Love" mentions a kiss having the flavor of cigarettes, which attracted some controversy as Utada was only 15 when she wrote the song, though she's stated the line wasn't meant literally.
* TheUnpronouncable: Allegedly the reason that she went by [[OneNameOnly just Utada]] for her English releases was that "Hikaru" is difficult to pronounce for English-speakers.
* VaporWear: Implied for {{fanservice}} in "Poppin'":
-->[[PaintedOnPants Tight jeans]], [[GoingCommando no panties on]]
* VocalEvolution: Her singing voice has gotten deeper and more restrained (less [[MelismaticVocals melisma]] and belting) in her newer work, especially ''Fantôme''. She's also lost the American accent she had on her first two albums.
* WaxingLyrical: "Come Back To Me".
* YourCheatingHeart: "Tippy Toe", which is sung from the point of view of the mistress.
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