Only slightly older than many J-Pop singers, Yo Hitoto has largely kept to a slightly less manufactured, singer/songwriter aesthetic while simultaneously riding the same charts as those J-Pop singers.
Finishing a university degree before delving fully into music, Hitoto got her start, as many did, though voice acting. Her stint in voice acting was admittedly brief, but provided exposure to larger arenas. Her 2003 debut single, "Morai Naki," punched into the Oricon charts at number four, but then stayed on the charts for a full 68 weeks and paved the way for her first full-length album, Tsukitenshin. Tsukitenshin reached number four on the album charts as well, and additionally exposed a Taiwanese side (Hitoto being half Taiwanese) of her music, enabling a reach to an additional contingent of fans. A similar pattern was shown with her following albums, each peaking quickly in the Oricon Top Five, but holding staying power for full seasons. This mark was broken only by her 2006 greatest-hits album Bestyo (with only three previous albums in her discography), which found its way to an Oricon number two and sold 700,000 copies, a huge mark with Japan's limited population and J-Pop's short attention span. After a love scandal involving composer/keyboard player Kobayashi Takeshi, Hitoto returned with a new album, 2008's Key, which debuted at number three but quickly tailed off as time progressed. ~ Adam Greenberg, Rovi