Singer Hatsumi Shibata, known for several hits such as “My Luxury Night” and “Yoru wa Dramatic,” died of acute myocardial infarction on Saturday morning in her Shizuoka home. She was only 57 years old.
Born in Tokyo in 1952 to a pianist father and a vocalist mother, Shibata started singing at the age of 9 at an officers club on a U.S. military base. At 11, she became a vocalist for the big band group Smiley Ohara and His Skyliners. She entered commercials four years later, and in 1974 she made her record debut with the song “Aikagi.”
“My Luxury Night” became a big hit in 1977, leading Shibata to perform it during NHK’s Kohaku Uta Gassen that year. She later appeared on stage at concerts held in Japan by artists such as Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis, Jr., and she was also one of the few Japanese singers at the time to perform in the U.S.