People rarely geek out over the 10-year anniversary of a specific instrument, but Hatsune Miku isn't your usual music store purchase.
The aqua-haired singer serves as the most famous avatar for Crypton Future Media's line of Vocaloid singing-synthesizer software, a program developed by Yamaha that generates human-like vocals via computer. She debuted on Aug. 31, 2007, transforming a piece of software that had sold few units since landing on shelves in 2003 to a phenomenon that can't be kept in stock. In the decade since, she has been one of Japan's most important musical influences, and one still shaping sounds on both sides of the Pacific.
However, Miku has generally gotten attention overseas as one of this century's cornerstones of the "weird Japan" narrative. News reports about concerts starring her — in hologram form — aired on U.S. news shows (thanks Mom, for forwarding those to me) and even her 2014 appearance on "The Tonight Show" found host David Letterman cracking about it "like being on Willie Nelson's bus."