Pop star Hikaru Utada, known for hit albums such as “First Love,” on Friday married her video director, Kazuaki Kiriya, by registering at a government office, her Japanese record label Toshiba-EMI Ltd. announced.
The 19-year-old met Kiriya, 34, two years ago. They have worked together on producing music videos and photographing covers for Utada’s CDs.
“Having a new force with me, I’ll keep working as diligently as before,” Utada said in a statement. “I thought this moment, when I resume my music career after a period of rest, is the best time to begin a new life.”
Utada was hospitalized in early April when surgeons removed a benign tumor from one of her ovaries.
She posted personal messages on her Web site as she recuperated.
“This is a marriage before I am blessed with a baby,” she added in the statement, apparently referring to the trend among celebrities such as Namie Amuro of tying the knot after becoming pregnant.
Kiriya, whose real name is Kazuhiro Iwashita, was born in Kumamoto Prefecture.
Kiriya directed recent Utada videos, including the singles “Final Distance,” “Traveling” and “Deep River.”
Utada made her debut in December 1998 with the instant hit “Automatic.” “First Love,” her first album, was released in 1999, and remains the best-selling album in Japan. Her latest, “Deep River,” was released in June.
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