Happy Friday! Today’s Famous Friday features the songwriter, singer, actress and radio host Crystal Kay.
Kay was born in 1986 in Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan to a Korean-Japanese mother who was a professional singer and an African-American father who was stationed in Japan for the US Navy. Through attending various shows with her parents, she was able to meet singers such as Diana Ross and Bobby Brown.
After singing in TV commercials at age 4 and making her first professional debut, at 12 years old, she created “Eternal Memories”, a single that is her eighth best-selling single today after signing with Epic Records for the original jingle at age 11. Some singles that followed include “Teenage Universe (Chewing Gum Baby)” and “Komichi no Hana”, the first being in the top 50 songs in Japan and the other residing in the top 100. The following year, her first studio album was made and reached the top 60 on the Oricon list which provides musical data on Japanese and western music. Subsequently, she released several more albums and a single that featured Verbal from M-Flo, and she made a particularly popular album, 637: Always and Forever, which made it into the top 20 of the Oricon chart. These singles and albums launched her career at a young age that allowed her to progress in the music industry in the future.
Her career advanced increasingly after releasing several hits that made it in the top ten of the Oricon chart such as the album Almost Seventeen and a top ten single with M-Flo named “I Like It”. After releasing additional popular albums, she made her first number 1 album All Yours in 2007. A year later, she was selected to sing the theme song of a Pokémon theme song for a film in which she also had a voice part named Giratina to Sora no Hanataba: Sheimi. Also, after collaboration with well-known Japanese singers such as Verbal, BoA, and Jin Akanishi, her 24th single was put into the 2009 film He’s Just Not That Into You.
Further in her career, she decided to transfer from Sony Music Japan to the Universal Music Group. Subsequent to this change, she sang a cover of “Eyes on Me” adding to the “FINAL FANTASY Orchestra Album”, released a music video in the US, and starred in a musical that was the Japanese version Broadway’s Pippin, and received a “best actress” title from the 27th Yomiuri Theater Awards. All of her accomplishments as an artist, especially in Japan, influenced other Multiracial artists by encouraging them to pursue their musical dreams because of the example she set for others that illustrated that a Multiracial individual can do well in that career. This mindset to overcome racial obstacles in order to achieve success continues to inspire Multiracial people around the world today!
Ella Garrison, Project RACE Teen Vice-President
Photo Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crystal_Kay