Diva on Campus

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PHOTOGRAPH FOR TIME BY MICHAEL HALSBAND

Utada Hikaru has a hidden life. She appears to be an ordinary American college student. Starting in the fall of 2000, she attended classes by day, hung out with friends by night and, like most of her fellow Columbia University freshmen, she hadn't settled on a major yet. But there were rumors about her among the students during orientation week at the Ivy League school on New York City's Upper West Side—stories that were hard to believe. "Most of my friends know the truth," says Utada. "Even before the first day of school, I was talking to this friend who was...