Japanese singer-songwriter Hikaru Utada will marry her Italian fiancé on May 23. The 31-year old singer met her Italian beau, eight years her junior, while vacationing in London. The two plan to tie the knot in a church ceremony by the sea near Fasano, in the southern part of Italy. The Japanese singer announced the wedding on her blog on Monday.
Utada, whose record First Love, became a multi-million hit in Japan in 1999, was formerly married to Japanese photographer Kazuaki Kiriya. The two divorced in 2007, citing differences in communication. The U.S.-born singer was said to have met her fiancé in a London hotel she stayed at, which is where he works as a barman. Refusing to reveal his name, Utada described him as “sincere, nice man loved by many friends.” She wrote on her blog post on her website saying, ‘I’m getting married soon… This is unexpected even for me and makes me chuckle a bit but my partner is an Italian man.”
The singer’s mother, who committed suicide in a fall from her 13th story apartment in Tokyo last August, knew of her relationship with the young man. “When I talked about him in my last conversation with my mother, she was so glad, that I thought ‘I’ve not seen my mother cheerful in many years.’” This last thought made her push through with the wedding, despite her mother’s death barely a year ago. Utada’s songs have grown popular in Asian countries like Thailand, Philippines and Taiwan. She has also become quite well-known in her husband-to-be’s home town, as local media in Fasano have described the event as a “fairytale wedding,” with a normal boy marrying a Japanese superstar.