I will be getting married soon.
There has been much talk of Italy, and Apulia especially, in the Japanese press lately. Utada Hikaru, one of Japan’s most famous and beloved pop stars is getting married to an Italian bartender, Francesco Calliano, a native of Fasano, a small town near Brindisi. The two have met in London at the hotel where Calliano works. They will get married in Polignano a Mare, hometown of singer Domenico Modugno (of the famous Volare song), on May 23. “It’s sudden and it makes me chuckle – I’m getting married –
I was thinking of announcing this quietly after the wedding ceremony, but it seems that there are already some rumors circulating so I thought of announcing it now.
I even find it funny how unexpected this is of me, but my partner is Italian. He’s a “regular person”, and I would like to sincerely ask everyone to please refrain from reporting his real name in order to protect his and his family’s safety and his rights to his privacy.
Thank you all for your warm support. And I would like to apologize for making everyone worry so much. He is an honest and sincere man who is loved by many friends. He comes from a large and happy family that seems like it jumped straight out of a manga. I myself am not getting any younger, so I would greatly appreciate it if you could silently look after us.
And… Since I’m still in mourning, I was thinking if I should postpone my marriage. But when I last talked to my mother, I remember her sounding really happy which made me think, “Wow, how many years has it been since I heard my mother sound this happy”. I believe that my mother also gives her support to this marriage, which will make us proceed with the plans according to schedule.
31-year-old singer-songwriter Hikaru Utada announced on Monday that she will “very soon” marry an Italian man. She acknowledged that even she laughed a little in surprise over this.
In her blog entry to both fans and the mass media, Utada said that her husband-to-be is a “fine young man sincerely loved by many friends.” He has a “large, cheerful, and bustling family, like one straight out of a manga.” Since her fiancé is not in the entertainment industry, she asked her fans and the media to view her personal life from a respectful distance for privacy’s sake.
Since Utada is still in a mourning period for her late mother Keiko Fuji, she said that she was uncertain whether to delay the upcoming marriage. However, she recalled that when she talked about her fiancé in her last conversation with her mother, her mother’s voice sounded happier than she can remember in years. With that in mind, she believes that she has her mother’s support and decided to go ahead with her marriage as scheduled.
Utada was previously married to Kazuaki Kiriya from 2002 to 2007. Kiriya directed several of her early music videos, as well as the live-action Casshern film which used a track by Utada as its theme song.
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. Bandai Visual used Utada’s “Kiss & Cry” and “This is Love” songs for the Freedom anime project. Besides the theme song for the live-action Casshern movie remake, Utada also contributed to the live-action Hana Yori Dango 2 television adaptation.
More recently, she 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 had 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 last April. (She did not host last month’s program on January 21 due to health reasons.) 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.
Singer-songwriter Hikaru Utada, 31, revealed on her blog Monday that she plans to marry her 23-year-old Italian fiance on May 23.
In a message to her fans and the media, Utada, whose 1999 multi-million-selling debut record, “First Love,” is one of Japan’s biggest-ever hits, said they are planning to have their wedding ceremony in a church by the sea near Fasano in south Italy.
She said: “I’m getting married soon… This is unexpected even for me and makes me chuckle a bit but my partner is an Italian man. My partner is a sincere, nice man loved by many friends.”
Sports Nippon reported that Utada’s fiance is a bartender working in a hotel in London and the two got to know each other when Utada was staying there. Last summer, he introduced her to his family who live in Fasano.
A local magazine in Fasano, reporting the news, said it was like a fairytale that a Japanese superstar and a normal boy will marry, and predicted that the town will become internationally famous, according to Sports Nippon.
Utada said she decided to go ahead with the wedding despite her mother Keiko Fuji’s death last year in a fall from her 13th-floor Tokyo apartment.
“When I talked about my fiance in my last conversation with my mother, she was so glad, that I thought ‘I’ve not seen my mother this cheerful in many years,’” Utada said.
It will be Utada’s second marriage. She was previously married to photographer Kazuaki Kiriya, 45, in 2002. They divorced in 2007, with the couple citing differences in future vision and communication problems.