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Hikaru Utada Announces Birth of Baby Boy, Work on New Album

posted on by Kevin Pennyfeather
Album to be singer/songwriter's 1st studio release in 6 years

Singer Hikaru Utada announced on her official website on Friday that she gave birth to a boy.

In addition, she announced that she began work on a new album during her pregnancy. She is still working on the album and plans to release additional information when she can.

It has been six years since Utada's last studio album release. She has been on hiatus from the entertainment business since the beginning of 2011, although she returned to host a monthly radio program called Kuma Power Hour with Utada Hikaru on the InterFM station starting in April 2013. She did contribute the song "Sakura Nagashi" as the ending theme for 2012's Evangelion: 3.0 You Can (Not) Redo (Evangelion Shin Gekijō-ban: Q), but her management emphasized that the song did not represent a full-fledged return from her hiatus.

The first 2015 issue of Bungeishunjū's Weekly Bunshun reported last year that a record company source revealed that confidential talks were underway regarding Utada's return to the music industry. The source added that it has been decided that she will sing the theme song for the final new Evangelion film "slated to open between fall and winter" of 2015. The source explained that Utada has one more album left on her contract with Universal Music Japan, so the company wants the Evangelion song to be the focus of the final album.

Utada is an internationally known, bestselling pop artist born in New York City and raised in Japan and the United States. Her debut album, 1999's First Love, is still Japan's bestselling album ever with about 8 million copies sold.

Utada previously provided a 2007 remix of her 2000 cover of Frank Sinatra's "Fly Me to the Moon (In Other Words)" for the trailer to Evangelion: 1.0 You Are [Not] Alone (Evangelion Shin Gekijōban: Jo), as well as her "Beautiful World" song for the anime film itself. She also contributed the "Beautiful World -PLANiTb Acoustica Mix-" for the second film, Evangelion: 2.0 You Can [Not] Advance (Evangelion Shin Gekijōban: Ha). In addition to her singing career, she played the heroine Pinoko in the 2001-2002 Black Jack net anime series. She toured the United States and the United Kingdom in 2009.

Utada married Francesco Calliano, an Italian bartender, in May 2014.

[Via Arama! Japan]

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