Japanese Pop Sensation Utada Hikaru Calls It Quits

Utada Hikaru is without a doubt one of my favorite Japanese pop artists, and it was with a heavy heart that myself and millions of her fans around the world swallowed the news of her decision to take a self-imposed hiatus from her music career. Utada has been dedicated to her music career since she was 15, and now, at 27, she wishes to shift her priorities to focus on self-improvement. “I want to study new things, and see and experience things in the big world that I don’t know about,” she wrote in her blog.

Well-known for her music that ranges over the genres of American pop, R&B and hip-hop, Utada’s most popular songs include the tender ballad “First Love” from her debut album of the same name that sold over 10 million copies worldwide, “Simple and Clean,” the theme song from the video game Kingdom Hearts, and 2007’s “Flavor of Life.”

The singer-songwriter will be giving two farewell performances to her fans this week in concert in Yokohama, Japan, which will also be broadcasted in 64 movie theaters across the country and streamed online to viewers worldwide.

With all that she has accomplished, I wish Utada the very best in her post-career plans. Since she hasn’t indicated whether or not her hiatus will be permanent or temporary, if she does decide to return to music, she will undoubtedly be welcomed back with open arms. [via Washington Post]

Photo courtesy of Listal.com