Nakano RitsukiNakano Ritsuki
(中野律紀) (born January 19
), later known as Rikki, is a famous Japanese folk singer. She was born in Amami Oshima, Japan. She began to sing traditional Japanese folk music when she was four years old. Later, at the age of 15, Rikki was the youngest winner ever to win the "Grand Prix" of the Japanese traditional folk music awards. She released her first single "Maten no Hoshi" (which means "Sky Full of Stars") in December 1993. Shortly thereafter, she produced debut album, Kaze no Koe
. Rikki is widely known by gamers as the singer of the Final Fantasy X main theme, Suteki Da Ne, released as a single on July 18, 2001. One reason why Nobuo Uematsu
and Kazushige Nojima chose her to perform Suteki Da Ne is that she is very famous in Japan as a traditional folk singer and he believed that her voice is rather nice and gentle, and that her voice has a higher pitch than the voices of mainstream Japanese singers. Rikki was 26 years old at the time of Final Fantasy X's release. Many professional and amateur singers were inspired her singing voice and ability to make combinations and mixtures of pop and rock music. In 1998, Rikki was chosen to participate at the opening ceremony of the 1998 Winter Paralympics in Nagano
, Japan, sing the Paralympics theme song "Tabidachi no Toki." In 2001, she produced a picture album alongside Joe Hisaishi for the motion picture Spirited Away
(directed by Hayao Miyazaki).