Singer and songwriter Hikaru Utada, 26, broke a record for Japanese artists this week when her second album in English – “This is The One” – entered the charts on Apple’s iTunes Music Store at No. 19, the first time an album by a Japanese artist has entered the online store’s rankings in the top 100.
Her album went on sale at the iTunes store last Wednesday, where it finished the day at No. 20 in the general rankings and at No.2 in the pop category, and as of March 27, was ranked No. 19 and No. 3 respectively. The album’s U.S. CD release is scheduled for May, but will be listed on the Billboard 200 chart on April 9, which takes into account CD sales as well as download purchases.
Utada has been promoting the new album heavily in the U.S. over the last month, and it is her second attempt to penetrate the market after her English-language debut album “Exodus” sold just over 50,000 copies in 2004. Her new album has been on sale in Japan since March 14, but PR staff said they will be focusing their efforts in the U.S.