Crystal Kay Williams, simply known as Crystal Kay, is a Japanese singer, songwriter and actress. She is signed to Universal Music Japan's sublabel Delicious Deli Records and, since 2014, managed by LDH JAPAN.
Born and raised in Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan to an African-American father and a Korean mother, Crystal Kay started her music career at the age of six. At 12 she got a record deal, and then teamed up with Kanno Yoko to produce her debut single "Eternal Memories", under EPIC Records, sub-label of Sony Music Entertainment Japan. Like a number of Japanese artists, Kay can speak both English and Japanese, the former making a regular appearance in her songs, exhibiting a distinctly western influenced R&B sound.
Crystal Kay began her career at just six years old, debuting as a jingle singer for several CMs. In 1999 at just 12 years old Kay got a record deal with EPIC Records, a sub-label of Sony Music Entertainment Japan. She then teamed up with the composer Kanno Yoko to produce her debut single, "Eternal Memories". The single peeked at #47 on the Oricon weekly charts. Before the end of 1999 Kay released two more singles, "TEENAGE UNIVERSE ~Chewing Gum Baby" and "Komichi no Hana", with the former charting the same position as her debut single and the latter charting significantly less, reaching #80.
On March 23rd, 2000 at the age of 14, Kay's debut album C.L.L. ~CRYSTAL LOVER LIGHT was released. It reflected a more R&B and acoustic side of her, as later albums would gear towards the pop and urban genres. This album reached #60 on the charts and manged to chart for four weeks, selling 19,930 copies. Kay also released her fourth single "Shadows of Desire" simultaneously with the album. "Shadows of Desire" was her first A-side single to be sung entirely in English and is Kay's only single to date not to chart.
Inactive for the rest of the year, Kay made her comeback in 2001 collaborating with Osawa Shinichi and Fujiwara Hiroshi to release the single "LOST CHILD", which was the theme song for the film Satorare. In that same year Kay underwent an image and genre change to an urban style and released her fifth single "Girl's Night" which would be her first single produced by T.Kura and michico. The titular track was used as the theme song for the TV TOKYO music program JAPAN COUNTDOWN and reached #100 on the Oricon weekly charts while only charting for one week.
Crystal's sixth single "Ex-Boyfriend" featured Hip-Hop artist VERBAL of the group m-flo. At the time of its release the single was a minor success for Kay peaking at number #44 on the charts and charting for five weeks. Kay's second album 637 -always and forever- was released August 22nd, 2001. The songs on the album featured her new venture into the urban and pop markets. The album reached a position three times higher than her debut album C.L.L. ~CRYSTAL LOVER LIGHT, reaching #19 on the Oricon weekly charts and charting for a total of eight weeks, selling 48,550 copies. Kay's seventh single "think of U" was a Christmas themed single and was her final release of 2001.
Establishing herself as an urban artist Kay released her eighth single "hard to say", which featured SORA3000 and SPHERE of INFLUENCE. For the single Kay enlisted ☆TAKU of m-flo to produce. The single debuted at #26 on the Oricon weekly charts and became Kay's first single to chart in the top thirty.
Crystal's next single "Girl U Love" would chart poorly, reaching only #156 with her third album almost seventeen subsequently following its release. However, the album reached #2 in Oricon weekly charts and charted for 58 weeks. It sold 51,360 in its first week and 213,023 total copies in 2003 to become the 62nd best selling album of that year.
Crystal began 2003 with the her tenth single "Boyfriend -part II-" which peeked at #23 on the charts. For Kay's eleventh single she teamed up with m-flo again to release "I LIKE IT" which was credited as "Crystal Kay loves m-flo". The single was meant to go hand-in-hand with m-flo's 14th single "REEEWIND!", which was credited to "m-flo loves Crystal Kay". The single was Kay's first release in the top ten, reaching #8 on the Oricon weekly charts, where it charted for thirteen weeks.
Crystal released two more singles in 2003: "Candy", a single written and produced by YOSHIKA, and "Can't be Stopped". They were followed by her fourth studio album 4 REAL. The album reached #5 on the Oricon weekly charts and charted for 25 weeks. It sold 246,306 copies in 2004 and become the 59th best selling album of that year. Towards the end of 2003 Kay released her first fully English album NATURAL -World Premiere Album-. The album featured English versions of previously released singles and several cover songs from artists like Amel Larrieux and Cindy Lauper. In Japan, the album reached #33 on the Oricon charts and charted for eight weeks. Although imported versions were made available of the album, it was never officially released internationally.
In 2004 Kay released her fourteenth single "Motherland". The titular track was used as the third ending theme song for the anime series FULLMETAL ALCHEMIST (episodes 26 to 41). Following the single, Kay released her first best album CK5. The title of the album was homage to the five years since her debut.
Crystal's fifteenth single "Bye My Darling!" reached #40 on the charts and would her final release of 2004. Though before the end of 2004, Kay graduated from Kinnick High School and enrolled in Sophia University, ironically the same college fellow singer Arashiro Beni was attending at the time. The two reportedly became good friends, though they have known each other since their time together at the American School in Yokohama as teens.
In 2005 Kay released her sixteenth single "Kiss". The single is her second best selling single. After "Kiss" Kay released her fifth studio album Crystal Style, which later reached #2 on the Oricon weekly charts and charted for 31 weeks. It ended up selling 296,756 copies in 2005 and became the #44 best selling album of that year. The single "Koi ni Ochitara" would be Kay's next release. It too reached #2 on the Oricon weekly charts but charted for 37 weeks. It is currently the best selling single of her career, selling 73,717 copies in it's first week and 295,456 copies to date. The titular track was used as the theme song for the Japanese drama Koi ni Ochitara. In October of 2005 Kay collaborated with the pop duo CHEMISTRY to produce her eighteenth single "Two As One". It was another single to reach the #2 position on the Oricon weekly charts. It charted for 14 weeks and the titular track was used for a theme song for the Toyota WISH CMs.
In 2006 Kay released her nineteenth single "Kirakuni / Together", her second A-side to be sung in English. It debuted at #27 on the Oricon weekly charts and charted for five weeks. "Together" was used as the theme song for the Japanese airing of the 2006 Winter Olympics. Kay's final release of 2006 was her sixth album Call Me Miss..., which reached #2 on the Oricon weekly charts and charted for five weeks. As the album sold 250,698 copies in 2006 it became the #50 best selling album of that year.
In January 2007 she made a comeback with the single "Kitto Eien ni", it peaked at #12 on the Oricon Charts with a total of 19,615 copies sold. Only a month later she released her 21st single "Konna ni Chikaku de...", the title track was used as ending theme for the anime Nodame Cantabile. "Anata no Soba de", her last single before dropping her 7th studio album, was released in May 2007. It sold less than 10,000 copies in total. Finally a month after the release of the single Crystal Kay released the album ALL YOURS, in it's first week it sold 51,211 copies and managed to grab the #1 spot in the Oricon charts. In end of 2007 it placed #87 in the year-end charts.
Almost a year after the release of her last album, in June 2008, she released her 23rd single titled "Namida no Saki ni", it peaked at #42. Her next single "ONE", used as the theme song for the 11th Pokémon movie, was released on 16th July, sold 6,522 copies and reached #32. After releasing these two singles Crystal Kay announced the release of her 8th studio album titled Color Change!, it sold in it's first week a total of 15,519 copies and peaked at #8.
In August 2009 Crystal Kay released her second double A-Side, "After Love -First Boyfriend- feat. KANAME (CHEMISTRY) / Girlfriend feat. BoA", both title tracks featured another artists. "After Love -First Boyfriend-" featured Kawabata Kaname from the duo CHEMISTRY and "Girlfriend" was sung together with her close friend BoA. It was her last single released before her second compilation album titled BEST of CRYSTAL KAY, which included over thirty tracks from her discography. The album included a new song, titled "Step by Step", which was produced by Nakata Yasutaka, known for working with Perfume and MEG.
In November 2010 she released her second mini-album FLASH. Later she announced the release of her 26th single "Journey ~Kimi to Futari de~" on November 24, 2010 followed by her 9th album Spin The Music on December 8.
Crystal Kay's Spin the Music tour was planned to have nine shows across Japan starting February 5 and ending March 29. Her tour was cancelled after she went to the hospital complaining of sickness and was diagnosed with Acute Nephritis. Crystal Kay was advised not to go on with the tour in order to rest and recover from her illness. Her record label offered refunds through the tour's website. Crystal Kay later performed at the August 2011 MTV Zushi Fes music festival.
On April 29, 2011, Crystal Kay held a Q&A on her blog and answered her fans' questions, with one question regarding a possible Korean debut. Considering her mother is of Korean ancestry, she has stated: "I can speak just a teeny bit of Korean (lol). My reading and writing are perfect, but learning vocabulary is sooo hard! It's no good that I don't do listening or speaking. I'll think about a Korean debut! I'd like to be able to sing in Korean."
On October 5, 2011, Universal Music Japan's subsidiary label Delicious Deli Records posted an announcement that after twelve years Crystal Kay had left Sony Music Japan and signed to them.
In 2012, Crystal Kay recorded a cover of "Eyes on Me" for the FINAL FANTASY Orchestra Album, becoming the latest in a series of notable artists to cover the song, including Angela Aki, MayBee and Kanon.
On February 14, 2014 she released officially via MTV Iggy her US debut video for the song "Busy Doing Nothing".
On July 1, 2014, she celebrated her 15th debut anniversary.
In November 2014, the singer announced that she's now being managed by LDH.
On June 3, 2015, she released her first single under LDH's management, "Kimi ga Ita Kara". This is also her first single after three years since the release of the single "Forever".
On April 21, she released her first cover album I SING, which celebrates her 20th anniversary since debut.
- Studio Albums
- [2000.03.23] C.L.L. ~CRYSTAL LOVER LIGHT
- [2001.08.22] 637 -always and forever-
- [2002.10.23] almost seventeen
- [2003.11.27] 4 REAL
- [2005.03.02] Crystal Style
- [2006.02.22] Call Me Miss...
- [2007.06.20] ALL YOURS
- [2008.08.06] Color Change!
- [2010.12.08] Spin The Music
- [2012.06.27] VIVID
- [2015.12.16] Shine
- [2018.06.13] For You
- Best Albums
- [2004.06.30] CK5
- [2009.09.02] BEST of CRYSTAL KAY
- [2011.12.14] LOVE SONG BEST
- [2007.11.28] Shining
- [2010.06.16] FLASH
- Cover Albums
- [2021.04.21] I SING
- Other Albums
- [2003.12.17] NATURAL -World Premiere Album- (English album)
- [2009.12.16] THE BEST REMIXES of CK (remix album)
- [1999.07.01] Eternal Memories
- [1999.09.08] TEENAGE UNIVERSE ~Chewing Gum Baby
- [1999.11.03] Komichi no Hana
- [2000.03.23] Shadows of Desire
- [2001.05.09] Girl's Night
- [2001.07.04] Ex-Boyfriend feat. VERBAL (m-flo)
- [2001.11.28] think of U
- [2002.08.07] hard to say
- [2002.10.23] Girl U Love
- [2003.01.22] Boyfriend -part II-
- [2003.06.18] I LIKE IT (Crystal Kay loves m-flo)
- [2003.10.22] Candy
- [2003.11.27] Can't be Stopped
- [2004.05.12] Motherland
- [2004.11.17] Bye My Darling!
- [2005.01.26] Kiss
- [2005.05.18] Koi ni Ochitara
- [2005.10.05] Two As One (Crystal Kay x CHEMISTRY)
- [2006.02.08] Kirakuni / Together
- [2007.01.17] Kitto Eien ni
- [2007.02.28] Konna ni Chikaku de...
- [2007.05.16] Anata no Soba de
- [2008.06.11] Namida no Saki ni
- [2008.07.16] ONE
- [2009.08.13] After Love -First Boyfriend- feat. KANAME (CHEMISTRY) / Girlfriend feat. BoA
- [2010.11.24] Journey ~Kimi to Futari de~
- [2011.12.14] Superman
- [2012.03.14] Delicious na Kinyoubi / Haru Arashi
- [2012.06.06] Forever
- [2015.06.03] Kimi ga Ita Kara
- [2015.09.16] REVOLUTION feat. Amuro Namie
- [2016.03.23] Sakura
- [2016.09.14] Lovin' You
- Digital Singles
- [2008.12.15] Deaeta Kiseki
- [2013.02.27] My Heart Beat
- [2015.04.10] THE LIGHT
- [2015.11.04] Nando Demo
- [2016.06.01] Waiting For You (CM Version)
- [2017.02.17] Faces
- [2018.04.19] Shiawase tte.
- [2019.11.06] Beautiful
- [2020.03.18] Sangatsu Kokonoka
- [2020.08.28] Utautai no Ballad
- [2020.12.11] I LOVE...
- [2014.02.23] Busy Doing Nothing
- [2014.05.06] Rule Your World
- [2014.08.13] Dum Ditty Dumb
- [2017.07.27] Come to Life
- Video Releases
- [2004.06.30] CK99-04 MUSIC CLIPS
- [2009.12.02] CK 04-09 MUSIC CLIPS2 -DECADE-
- [2010.06.16] Crystal Kay Live in NHK Hall: 10th Anniversary Tour CK10
- [2013.03.06] CK LIVE 2012 "VIVID"
- Compilations / Others
- [2001.02.15] Fujiwara Hiroshi + Osawa Shinichi- "LOST CHILD" feat. Crystal Kay
- [2001.06.20] GINZA Evening (#13 "Eternal Memories")
- [2001.12.19] Parappa The Rapper TV ANIMATION SOUNDTRACK volume.2 (#1 "Attitude")
- [2002.01.09] SMOOTH (#4 "Girl's Night")
- [2002.01.xx] DJ WATARAI - "EQUIS.EX.X PT2 (D.O.I. REMIX) / FEEL THE SAME ~OLD NICK VER.(SUPER HONEY DIP REMIX)~ REMIX BY DJ HASEBE" (#3 "FEEL THE SAME ~OLD NICK VER. (SUPER HONEY DIP REMIX)"~ REMIX BY DJ HASEBE feat. BIG-O & Crystal Kay)
- [2002.02.27] m-flo - Sotoshigoto ~m-flo turns it out!~ (CD2 #1 "Ex-Boyfriend" feat. VERBAL (m-flo))
- [2002.05.29] HARLEM ver.1.0 (#4 DJ WATARAI - "Feel The Same?" feat. BIG-O & Crystal Kay)
- [2002.12.18] HARLEM ver.1.7 (#2 DJ WATARAI - "Feel the Same? OLD NICK Ver. ~SUPER HONEY DIP Remix" feat. BIG-0 & Crystal Kay)
- [2003.01.29] image vocal (#1 "Eternal Memories")
- [2003.03.05] Tachytelic Night welcomes you to the FAR EAST (#7 "hard to say")
- [2003.03.21] Mellow Works of Hiroshi Fujiwara (#14 "LOST CHILD (Original Version)")
- [2003.03.26] PALM DRIVE - BLOCK HOLIDAY (#5 "Hello☆Goodbye" feat. Crystal Kay, CORN HEAD)
- [2003.06.18] m-flo loves Crystal Kay - "REEEWIND!"
- [2003.07.24] Smooth SUMMER (#4 "CURIOUS")
- [2003.07.25] m-flo loves Crystal Kay - "I LIKE IT / REEEWIND!"
- [2003.08.20] voyage relaxing best (#6 "OVER THE RAINBOW")
- [2004.02.25] SUZUKI MANIA Suzuki Masayuki Tribute Album (#2 "LIBERTY")
- [2004.03.17] m-flo - m-flo inside Astro Alliance (#2 "REEEPLAY! DJ HASEBE remix" loves Crystal Kay, #13 "hard to say")
- [2004.04.06] neo soul (#5 "Candy")
- [2004.05.26] m-flo - ASTROMANTIC (#7 "gET oN!", #15 "REEEWIND!" loves Crystal Kay)
- [2004.08.04] TEENAGE POP (#1 "Candy")
- [2004.09.14] m-flo - ASTROMANTIC CHARM SCHOOL (#2 "REEEWIND! -Tomita Lab. Remix-" loves Crystal Kay, #8 "gET oN! -ugly duckling remix-" loves Crystal Kay)
- [2005.02.23] FULLMETAL ALCHEMIST COMPLETE BEST (#6 "Motherland")
- [2005.05.18] TV ANIMATION FULLMETAL ALCHEMIST ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK 3 (#13 "Motherland")
- [2005.09.28] Diva (#4 "Candy")
- [2006.01.25] HIT STYLE (CD1 #4 "Kiss")
- [2006.08.09] CHEMISTRY - CHEMISTRY THE VIDEOS: 2003-2006 ~We Sing, Therefore We Are~ (#8 "Two As One")
- [2007.03.28] m-flo - COSMICOLOR (#2 "Love Don't Cry" loves Crystal Kay)
- [2007.09.26] m-flo - electriCOLOR -COMPLETE REMIX- (#9 "Love Don't Cry -KGN8 Remix-" loves Crystal Kay)
- [2008.02.20] Shuukatsu!! (#5 "Koi ni Ochitara")
- [2008.03.26] Girls Be Ambitious!! (CD1 #2 "Tears")
- [2008.03.26] 39 Anime×Music Collaboration '02-'07 (CD1 #13 "Motherland")
- [2008.09.24] Shiawase ni Nareru Uta (CD1 #8 "Namida ga Afurete mo")
- [2008.11.16] DJ KOMORI - WHAT'S R&B (#12 "We Gonna Boogie")
- [2009.02.18] BoA - "Eien / UNIVERSE / Believe in LOVE" (#2 "UNIVERSE" feat. Crystal Kay & VERBAL (m-flo))
- [2009.03.04] PIKACHU THE MOVIE SONG BEST 1998-2008 (#34 "ONE")
- [2008.03.18] m-flo - m-flo inside -WORKS BEST III- (#4 "I Know")
- [2009.03.18] BoA - BEST&USA (#1 "UNIVERSE" feat. Crystal Kay & VERBAL (m-flo))
- [2009.03.25] Maboroshi - Maboroshi no Shi (#6 "Music Is Mine feat. Crystal Kay)
- [2009.05.13] CORNELIUS - CM3 (#11 "ONE")
- [2009.11.04] .LOVE more (#5 "Kiss")
- [2009.11.25] DJ KAORI - DJ KAORI'S JMIX III (#21 "think of U")
- [2009.12.09] Minna de Dori Suru? DO YOU DREAMS COME TRUE? (#10 "Suki", #11 "Asa ga Mata Kuru")
- [2010.03.10] TOKYO SKA PARADISE ORCHESTRA - WORLD SKA SYMPHONY (#6 "Zutto")
- [2010.03.24] LOVE BEATS produced by Jeff Miyahara Vol.1 (#9 "Suki")
- [2010.03.31] Age Uta ~Koi wo Akiramenai Joshi no Uta~ (#14 "Kiss")
- [2010.04.07] m-flo - m-flo 10 Years Special Live "we are one" (#7 "Love Don't Cry" loves Crystal Kay)
- [2010.04.21] commmons: schola vol.5 Yukihiro Takahashi & Haruomi Hosono Selections: Drums & Bass (#15 "Thank You For Talking To Me Africa")
- [2010.04.28] HOLIDAY tunes ~Odekake Mode~ (CD2 #15 "Can't be Stopped")
- [2010.07.07] DJ KAYA - JAPANATION (#10 "Koi ni Ochitara (Genki Rockets Remix)")
- [2010.09.22] 10-nen Saki mo Kimi ni Koishite Original Soundtrack
- [2010.10.27] BEAT CONNECTION (Disc 2 #1 Shimizu Shota, Crystal Kay, Mummy-D, SEAMO, Dohzi-T - "Lovin' You")
- [2010.12.22] Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra - Tokyo Ska Paradise Kokugikan & Tokyo Ska Paradise Taiikukan LIVE DVD (CD2 #28 "Jungle Boogie" with Tamio Okuda, Crystal Kay and Kazuyoshi Saito)
- [2011.03.02] Keiichi Tomita WORKS BEST ~beautiful songs to remember~ (#6 "REEEWIND! (Tomita Lab.Remix)" loves Crystal Kay)
- [2011.04.13] m-flo loves Crystal Kay - "gET oN! (THE SUITBOYS Remix)"
- [2011.07.27] Jyonetsu Tairiku LIVE BEST (#11 "Koi ni Ochitara")
- [2012.04.11] TEE - "Answer" with Crystal Kay
- [2012.05.22] Far East Movement - Dirty Bass (#3 "Where the Wild Things Are" feat. Crystal Kay)
- [2012.07.27] BRADBERRY ORCHESTRA - "Physical" feat. Suga Shikao, Crystal Kay and Salyu
- [2012.06.27] Far East Movement - "Where The Wild Things Are (Remixes)" feat. Crystal Kay
- [2012.08.22] Climax Love Story Dai 1 Sho (CD2 #1 "Koi ni Ochitara")
- [2012.10.10] Lionel Richie - "Endless Love" feat. Crystal Kay
- [2012.11.07] Shimizu Shota, Crystal Kay, Mummy-D, SEAMO, Dohzi-T - "Lovin' You"
- [2012.11.14] DAISHI DANCE - Wonder Tourism (#2 "FANTASTIC JOURNEY" feat. Crystal Kay)
- [2012.12.05] TEE - much love (#3 "Answer" with Crystal Kay)
- [2012.12.26] FINAL FANTASY Orchestral Album (#13 "Eyes On Me" with Crystal Kay)
- [2013.02.20] Skoop On Somebody - S.O.S. Duets (#1 "T.Y.L." with Crystal Kay)
- [2014.02.26] DJ KAORI - DJ KAORI'S JMIX VI (#17 "Forever")
- [2014.08.06] DJ CATCHER - PARTY UP !! (#4 "Forever", #12 "Take It Outside")
- [2014.08.27] All Star Movie Hits (CD1 #13 "Kitto Eien ni")
- [2014.09.03] AKLO -The Arrival (#8 "I Don't Care" feat. Crystal Kay)
- [2014.09.23] Sly & Robbie & SPICY CHOCOLATE - The Reggae Power (#1 "Love On My Mind (feat. Crystal Kay & Beenie Man)")
- [2015.02.11] Che'Nelle - @chenelleworld (#8 "All My Ladies" feat. Crystal Kay & Aoyama Thelma)
- [2015.04.22] TEE - Tee time ~Collaboration Best~ (#4 "Answer" with Crystal Kay)
- [2015.05.27] J-PARTY (#14 "Superman")
- [2016.04.27] EXILE SHOKICHI - THE FUTURE (CD #2 "Rock City" feat. SWAY & Crystal Kay)
- [2017.04.28] PKCZ® - "PLAY THAT" feat. Tosaka Hiroomi, Crystal Kay, CRAZYBOY
- Background Vocals
- [2001.07.04] Hirai Ken - gaining through losing (#3 L'Amant)
-  Pokémon: Giratina and the Sky Warrior (as Chansey)
-  Yamagata Scream (as Cayce Chihiro Sebastian)
-  Happy Feet 2 (as Gloria)
-  Hidarime Tantei EYE (as Kokushou Akira)
- [2002 - 2003] SONY "MD WALKMAN"
-  Tokyo Mode Gakuen
- [2004 - 2005] NTT docomo "Music PORTER"
-  ITO EN "TULLY'S BARISTA'S SPECIAL"
-  PARCO "Chikyuu ga Ichiban Kagayaku Hi. PARCO X'MAS"
- Boys & Girls Night
- Kiite Milk!! (きいてミルク!!)
- [2006 - 2007] Hama LOVE (濱)
- [2007.06] ARTIST PRODUCE SUPER EDITION
- [2007 - 2008] THE UNIVERSE
- [2008 - 2009] STANDBY OH! MY RADIO
- [2008 - 2009] OH! MY RADIO
- [2007.03.28] Piano Solo Crystal Kay
- Ethnicity: African-American father, Korean-Zainichi mother
- Citizenship: Japanese
- Family: Mother, Father, Grandma
- She's good friend of the singers BENI and BoA.