Pop star Utada divorces video director husband

The Associated Press

Hikaru Utada, the U.S.-born pop star whose debut album “First Love” set a sales record in Japan and sold millions more across Asia, said Saturday she has ended a 4 1/2-year marriage to the director of her music videos.

Utada, 24, and Kazuaki Kiriya, 34, filed divorce papers Friday, the two said in a joint statement posted on the pop star’s Web site.

“We both lead dynamic lives, and our ideals of married life steadily diverged,” Utada said in the posting. “Our international lifestyles meant we lost touch in our daily lives, and failed to communicate.”

“First Love,” released in 1999, sold more than 9.5 million copies, making it Japan’s best-selling album ever. Her subsequent six albums also became smash hits.

She won fans across Asia for her style of music — strictly American pop, but with an eclectic mix of English and Japanese lyrics. She released her North American English-language debut album, “Exodus,” in 2004.

Utada was born in New York and attended Columbia University.