Hikaru Utada (宇多田 ヒカル Utada Hikaru, born January 19, 1983), who also goes by the mononym Utada , is a Japanese American singer and songwriter. After releasing the commercially unsuccessful English-language album Precious under the stage name "Cubic U" in 1998, she rose to prominence in 1999 with the release of her second album, First Love, which sold over seven million copies in Japan and became the best selling Japanese-language album of all time. With the release of First Love, Utada became a recognized pop icon in Japan, and experienced continued success with follow-ups Distance (2001) and Deep River (2002), the former of which sold over three million copies in one week, collecting the largest first-week sales of all time in Japan and in the world. Her first compilation, Utada Hikaru Single Collection Vol. 1 (2004), charted for 149 weeks in Japan and became her longest-charting project.