Kylee Saunders is a half-Japanese, half-Caucasian teenager (turning 17 next week) from Arizona. She has been called the real-life Hannah Montana because, like the Disney character played by Miley Cyrus, Kylee lives a dual life as a popstar and as a regular kid. Her story might also remind you of another American teen who has attained stardom as a popstar in Asia, Chloé Wang.
Kylee spends the majority of her time as a high school student in Chandler, AZ, but during school breaks she travels to Japan, where she is an up-and-coming pop singer known simply by her first name, Kylee.
Her big break came when she was eleven years old, when she performed a rousing rendition of the national anthem before the start of a Portland Trailblazers NBA game. Her performance piqued the interest of music producers and she signed with RX-Records. She released her first single “Vacancy” in 2008, and in 2010 she released three singles under Sony Music Japan’s label DefStar Records: “Kimi ga Iru Kara” (“Because You Are Here”), “Missing/It’s You”, and “Everlasting”.
She has just now attracted attention here in the U.S. as well after performing last Friday for the Today show on NBC. So perhaps she might not be living the Hannah Montana life for much longer – everyone will know she’s a star!
Kylee is on Twitter and Facebook and has an official website. To learn more about her, check out Wikipedia, LiveJournal, and these three articles from local print media. And finally, check out these great photos (including the above photo) taken by Jack Kurtz at a Kylee performance in Phoenix last Friday night.
Pictures and video after the jump.
Click on a thumbnail to view the full-sized image: