Utada Hikaru was only 15 years old when she released her double A-side single, "Automatic / Time Will Tell," the lead single from her 1999 debut studio album First Love, which went on to become the highest selling record in Japanese history.

But as it turns out, she sort of regretted the move — at the time, anyway.

As part of her long-awaited return to the music industry after announcing a hiatus in 2010, Utada has been answering fan-submitted questions on her official website. And when one fan asked what was on her mind during the release of First Love, Hikki came through with some rather blunt honesty about the early days of her career.

“I regretted making my debut at the time, but now I feel grateful for all the valuable experiences I got from that," she explained.

“Sure I was happy that the product I worked so hard on was being accepted, but all of a sudden the freedom I had so taken for granted until that point was gone. That frustrating feeling of ‘I can’t go back now’ was huge.” (Translation courtesy of Tokyo Reporter.)

Prior to the massive success of First Love in 1999, Utada released her actual debut in 1998, released under the name "Cubic U" and recorded in New York City, called Precious.

On a somewhat similar introspective note, Utada shared some thoughts about, well, having thoughts on Twitter earlier in the month (June 14).

"Lately, I've begun to be able to think that there's no such thing as 'realizing too late.' Just being able to come to a realization is amazing, and probably something that you were only able to realize within that timing. Instead of thinking 'Why wasn't I able to realize sooner?' and regretting it, I'm going to be grateful that I was able to come to that realization in the first place." (Translation via U.Blog.)

Here's hoping all this consideration of of the past, present and future translates into a third Kingdom Hearts theme song — and that new album.

See more stars who debuted at an early age, then and now: 

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