Utada Hikaru, who has also gone by Hikaru Utada and the mononym Utada, is a Japanese-American singer-songwriter and producer. Born in the United States to Japanese parents, record producer Utada Teruzane and enka singer Keiko Fuji, Utada began to write music and lyrics at an early age and often traveled to Tokyo, as a result of her father's job. Eventually, a recording contract with Toshiba-EMI was signed and, under the stage name "Cubic U", Utada released her English-language début album Precious in early 1998, but was a commercial failure. In the following year, heavily influenced by R&B and dance-pop, her Japanese-language début First Love was released and became an instant success. Backed by the massive success of singles "Automatic", "Time Will Tell" and "Movin' On Without You", the album sold two million copies in its first week in Japan, topped the Oricon charts for six non-consecutive weeks and went on to sell six million more throughout the rest of 1999. First Love eventually became the country's best-selling album of all time.
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