Mieko Hirota


A Japanese female singer born in Tokyo on February 5, 1947. Died on July 21, 2020.
Her nickname is Mico.
Due to her dynamic and growing vocal she was also called "queen of pops".
That singing ability was also reputed as "the best singing skill of Japanese women singers" at that time.
She was singing jazz, popular, etc. at the US occupation army camp in Tachikawa city
from the age of 7 when she was in elementary school.
She learned the advice from her brother who was doing Hawaiian music
and the teacher about nursery rhymes and English.

In 1961 she made a debut with Toshiba Music Industry at the age of 14
with "Don't Treat Me Like A Child" (Helen Shapiro's cover).
In the following year, "Vacation" (Connie Francis's cover) issued by each company competition,
but her cover version on Toshiba records made a big hit.
Most of the release of her girl pop singer era on Toshiba were covering Western hits.

Music critic Hisao Murata argues, "As a means of overcoming the problem of the Western rhythm,
melody line and the language's ability to communicate as a Japanese language,
it is Mieko Hirota who invented English-like Japanese."

In October 1964 she left the Toshiba music industry and moved to Nippon Columbia.
In July 1965, she first appeared as a Japanese singer in the American Newport Jazz Festival.
Top jazz musicians of the time, such as Carmen McRae, Frank Sinatra, Quincy Jones,
Count Basie Orchestra, Stan Getz, John Coltrane, Wes Montgomery, Duke Ellington etc.
She sang with Billy Taylor Trio back and acted as the last performer of the third day.
On the other hand, in 1968 she performed the first rhythm and blues concert at Sankei Hall in Tokyo.
Following jazz, pop, she pioneered her new genre R&B/Soul/Funk.
Her releases from Nippon columbia are funky songs.