Crystal KayView In iTunes
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Born to a U.S. serviceman and an ethnic Korean, both residing in Yokohama, Crystal Kay made a name for herself in the J-pop scene with a mix of song styles, some in a standard J-pop format and others based more on American '90s R&B (SWV, Tony! Toni! Tone!). With her first album coming early, in 2000 (when Crystal was only 14), she began building a sound on a basis of R&B, infusing otherwise standard idol material with more of her own musical influence and breaking away from the norm a bit in the process. By her third album, Kay was selling in huge numbers, solidifying herself as an R&B singer before the J-urban movement had begun to develop. Positioning herself as a cultural cross-product of sorts, she continued a rise through five additional albums and slight hints of future overseas forays, with 2008's Color Change! (contemporary with her college graduation) hitting the number one slot on the Oricon charts upon its debut. ~ Adam Greenberg