Trivia / Utada Hikaru

  • All-Star Cast: Her tribute album, Utada Hikaru no Uta featured several very high-profile artists, such as AI, Ayumi Hamasaki, Inoue Yosui, Shiina Ringo, Peabo Bryson.
  • Chart Displacement:
    • She's had plenty of #1 hits, but her debut single, "Automatic / time will tell", peaked at #2 on the charts despite being her best-selling (physical) single, with "Automatic" in particular being arguably her Signature Song.
    • In the USA, her best-charting song is the fairly obscure "Devil Inside", which reached #1 on the US Dance Clubs Songs chart; however, "Simple & Clean" and "Sanctuary" are by far her best-known songs among English-speaking audiences.
  • Cowboy BeBop at His Computer: A large number of Western publications have referred to Utada as "The Japanese Britney Spears". Though they are both female singers who had their peak of success in the late 90s - early 2000s, their musical styles and personas are completely different from each other, and virtually no Japanese publication describes her as such. Utada herself has stated that she disagrees with the comparison.
  • Creator Backlash: She publicly opposed the release of the compilation Utada the Best as there was no new material on the album, stating that she hoped fans wouldn't buy it.
  • Creator Breakdown: She lost her mother a few years before the release of Fantôme, and it shows, with multiple Grief Songs and a generally much Darker and Edgier atmosphere than her previous albums.
  • Flip-Flop of God: Her father (and manager) confirmed and retracted whether or not Utada will write a song for Kingdom Hearts 3 several times, before it was finally confirmed.
  • Hitless Hit Album: Precious didn't produce any charting singles, but still managed to go 3x Platinum in Japan, thanks to its being re-released in 1999 after the massive success of First Love.
  • Life Imitates Art: "Sakura Nagashi" is about life and death, with lyrics about a lost love who is implied to be dead, and a newborn child implied to be hers with her lover. The year after it was released, Utada's mother committed suicide; two years after that she gave birth to her first son. The song is included on Fantôme which is dedicated to her dead mother. Doubles as Harsher in Hindsight.
  • One of Us: She apparently really enjoys Tetris. And the video of Goodbye Happiness is an Affectionate Parody of all those YouTube videos of J-Pop FanGirls dancing in their bedrooms.
  • No Export for You: Her album as Cubic U, Precious, never saw a release outside Japan despite being entirely in English. This is because Capitol Records was restructuring at the time causing it to fall through the cracks.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: "Kotoba ni Naranai Kimochi" was supposed to be on First Love but wasn't finished in time for the album release. Instead the opening lines were put on the track "Interlude", making for a nice Continuity Nod. The demo version of the song is also included on the 15th anniversary version of First Love.
  • Reclusive Artist: During her hiatus it seemed like she disappeared off the face of the earth - the release of Sakura Nagashi, the news she got engaged, and eventually news of her child seemed like it came out of nowhere.
    • To a lesser extent this applies to her career in general. Though she puts out music regularly (other than during her hiatus) she's notorious for making very few television appearances and doing almost no promotion for her music. Early in her career this was due to her still being in high school and not having time to do promotions, and she's now a large enough star that it's not necessary for her.
  • She Also Did: Her first English-language release (that actually made it to English-speaking markets) was actually on the Rush Hour 2 Soundtrack, of all things. She and Foxy Brown duet on the track "Blow My Whistle".
  • Technology Marches On:
    • "Moving On Without You" (1999) dates itself with the line "I'm waiting for my PHS at my bedside to ring"note . The Personal Handy-phone System, or PHS, is a mobile network system invented in 1995 and almost completely replaced by mobile phones in the 2000s.
    • In "Automatic pt. 2" (2009) Utada tells listeners to find out more about her on MySpace. Facebook had already started to overtake MySpace in popularity by the time it was released, and most listeners today have either stopped using MySpace or are too young to have ever used it to begin with.
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