Hat tip to Bill Benzon for sending me to the Japan Times for this piece by Daniel Robson on the coming J-pop assault on America's top 40 charts. Here's hoping the 1st artist he features, Hikaru Utada, does as well in the English-speaking world in 2009 as Jero did in the Japanese-speaking world in 2008.
Here's the video for one of her older songs, "Travelling," which gets a lot of play on our Saturday rides to onechan's yochien:
Here's "Can U Keep a Secret," which stars not one but two robots:
Here's her debut single, "Automatic," which was released in late 1998, just before she turned 16:
By that point, she had been performing for 5 years already, mostly with her mom, Keiko Fuji, an enka singer in the '70s. Here's Utada covering the Carpenters, back when she started her solo career in Cubic U (a reference to her being a 3rd-generation female performer--her grandmother was a blind shamisen player):
Happy birthday, Hikki, and good luck! (Going by her first single, she won't need it....)