Meet Crystal Kay Williams, a Japanese pop/r&b singer and songwriter, who gained notable success after the release of her debut single “Eternal Memories” in 1999 at the age of 13. She has released a total of 30 singles, 9 studio albums, 2 EPs and 2 compilations.
Crystal Kay was born in Yokohama, Japan to an African-American father and South Korean mother. Being from a musical family, Crystal started singing from a young age. She signed a recording contract with Epic Records when she was 12 years old, and a year later, Crystal released her debut single “Eternal Memories“. Kay released two more singles later on in 1999, until releasing her debut album “C.L.L Crystal Lover Light” in March 2000 at the age of 14. In 2001, she released her sophomore album “637: Always and Forever“, and her fifth single titled “Girl’s Night“. The second album had a more urban influence throughout, however Crystal’s new concept failed to impress. She finished off the album’s promotion with the release of two more singles, “Ex-boyfriend” featuring Verbal of M-Flo, and the Christmas themed “Think of U“.
Crystal returned to music in summer 2002 with her eight single “Hard to Say“, followed by “Girl You Love“, and the release of her third studio album “Almost Seventeen“. The third album debuted at number 2 on the oricon charts, becoming Kay’s most successful since her debut. “Almost Seventeen” sold 400,00 copies to date and was certified platinum by RIAJ. In 2003, she released two more singles from the third album, “Boyfriend: Part II“, and “I Like It” featuring M-Flo. “I Like It” peaked at number 8 on the oricon charts, making it Crystal’s first top ten single.
In 2003, Kay released her fourth studio album titled “4 Real“, which debuted at number 8 on the charts. She later released her first English-language album “Natural: World Premiere Album“, which consisted of english versions of some of Crystal’s previous releases, along with covers of popular hits by artists like Cyndi Lauper, and Gladys Knight. In 2004, she released two singles, “Motherland” and “Bye My Darling!“. “Motherland” was used as the third ending theme for popular anime series “Fullmetal Alchemist“. The single debuted at number 9 on the oricon charts, and was also included on her first compilation album “CK5“, released in June 2004. The compilation, which celebrated Kay’s fifth anniversary in the industry, peaked at number 2 on the charts and became certified platinum later on. Crystal started 2005 with the release of the single “Kiss“, followed by her fifth studio album “Crystal Style“, which debuted at number 2 and sold over 296,000 copies. Her seventeenth single “Koi ni Ochitara” was used as the theme song for the drama of the same title. Her next single “Two As One“, a collaboration with CHEMISTRY, peaked at number 2 on the charts. In 2006, Crystal worked with Janet Jackson’s famous producers Jam & Lewis for her nineteenth single “Together“. She later released her sixth album “Call on Mis” which also did well on the charts and was certified platinum.
Kay would later release 3 more albums including her ninth “Spin the Music“, as well as star in her first television drama “Hidarime Tantei Eye“. Crystal had plans on touring from early January through to March 2011 however she had cancelled her schedule due to acute nephritis. While she continues to recover from her illness, she plans on making a full return to music in continuation of “Spin the Music’s” promotion as well as plans on releasing new music later on in 2011. Check out my favorite Crystal Kay song below: