Chihiro Onitsuka (鬼束 ちひろ, Onitsuka Chihiro?) (born October 30, 1980) is a Japanese singer-songwriter.
In 2000, Onitsuka released her debut single "Shine" and gained a recognition with its follow-up "Gekkou" which became a smash hit. Insomnia, her first studio album released in following year topped the Japanese Oricon chart and sold more than a million copies."Memai", one of the singles from her debut album provided her with honor of winning the prize for lyrics of the 43rd Japan Record Awards in 2001.
During her career, Onitsuka has repeatedly brought about troubles that are mostly owing to her physical problem and mental instability. She had put recording career on hold until March 2007, after some confrontations with record labels and management offices during the mid 2000s.
Onitsuka has enjoyed a successful career as one of the most popular Japanese female solo artists during the early 2000s. As of 2009, Onitsuka has released 5 studio albums, 17 singles, 2 compilations and several DVDs, which has sold at least 4.1 million.
Early lifeHer parents encouraged Onitsuka to listen to Western music and by the time she was ten, she wrote her first poems, receiving praise from her parents, friends and teachers, who called them 'earnest efforts'. Secretly, however, she knew that just writing 'earnestly' wasn’t enough. From that time onward, she tried to write every day, and by the time she was in junior high school, she began to gain more confidence.
Having been influenced by Alanis Morissette in junior high school days, it was the encounter with Jewel’s music and presence during the high school years that strongly compelled Onitsuka to become a singer-songwriter. With some 70 original compositions and several other auditions under her belt, Onitsuka entered the 1998 Virgin Tokyo Artists Audition, going on to winning Grand Prize. Then only 17, Onitsuka started her career as a professional and moved to Tokyo in spring 1999 after graduating from high school.