An astoundingly busy artist, Japanese R&B singer Miliyah Kato emerged on the scene in 2004, only 16 years old, hitting the Oricon Top 20 with her debut single, "Never Let Go." Releasing singles again after only two months, then three months, then six months (she had to slow down to launch a clothing line), Kato's first full album came in late 2005 and quickly climbed to a number two position in the Oricon charts, with a light pop-influenced sound that was consumed voraciously by the emerging Japanese R&B market. Returning immediately to the production of singles, Kato began showcasing a more developed sound, with more emotional content and the occasional touch of female empowerment. While the sales numbers for the various singles and the ensuing Diamond Princess album were flat, Kato gained some critical success along the way and remained high on the charts. Splitting the difference between her more mature sound and her pop-heavy sound, Kato developed a series of styles leading up to 2008's wildly successful Tokyo Star, including a failed cover of the Temptations and a pair of mega-hits in combination with King Giddra's Zeebra (both her "Futurechecka" and his "Parteechecka"). ~ Adam Greenberg
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