JAPAN: 21st Century Digital Girl Sings Herself to the Top

LEXIE TUCKER WRITES – Can you say a voice is auto-tuned if the singer isn’t even human?

Hatsune Miku has “written” more than 180,000 songs and has a whopping 1.95 million Facebook followers, more than any other Japanese pop star. So what sets her apart from the Lady Gagas and Britney Spearses of the world? Created by Crypton Future Media, a software development company based in Sapporo, Miku is a “fabricated digital voice sporting a virtual character body,” or in other words, a hologram.

Hatsune Miku
Hatsune Miku.

Rising to stardom in 2007, Miku was developed using the Yamaha Corporation’s “vocaloid” technology (a singing voice synthesizer), and then released as a computer software app to consumers. Making approximately ¥57.5 million after just a month, the product became the highest-grossing software at that time. Although she has been around for a considerable amount of time, she’s only recently made her mark on a global scale.

Now, Miku is an international superstar.  The 16 year old “girl” has racked up most of her Facebook hits from Mexico City, and over 5,000 fans came to see the blue haired pop princess at her 2011 Los Angeles performance at the annual Anime Expo. This doesn’t even include the other 160,000 online viewers watching from home.  She has sold out concerts around the world and has even represented huge brands like Louis Vuitton, Toyota and Google. More recently, it’s been announced that the blue-haired virtual diva will be opening for Lady Gaga during her ARTPOP Ball from May 6th to June 3rd.

Unlike the unpredictable troubles that come with managing the real-life teenage pop stars of America, Miku’s creators never have to worry about her going on drunk driving sprees or tweeting under-aged naked selfies for the world to see.

Curious to see what the fuss is about? Check out this video from one of her concerts, complete with holographic dancing and all.

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