Watch as a teenage Connelly advertises a Technics product while singing in perfect Japanese.

For decades, Hollywood celebrities and big names from around the world have been appearing in Japanese TV commercials. Not many of them are able to boast a number one hit single in Japan as a result of it, but one person who can is American actress Jennifer Connelly.

Connelly’s past chart-topping success was recently revealed on the latest episode of The Graham Norton Show, when she appeared as a guest alongside UK comedian Paul Whitehouse and fellow American actors Chris Pratt and Elizabeth Banks.

The chat show’s host, Graham Norton, brought the topic up with Connelly by saying, “You’ve topped the charts, haven’t you?” To which Connelly replied with an emphatic “No!”

However, after some more prodding by Norton, Connelly eventually admitted that she’d done an ad in Japan for Panasonic when she was younger, where she had to “sing the jingle” in Japanese. In fact, the ad was for a Technics sound system, and the song she was singing went on to become a number one hit in Japan.

Take a look at the moment Jennifer Connelly watches the ad, which she says she’s never heard before, at the 1:53 mark below.

The ad, created in 1986, is pure television gold. Not only does it feature a young Connelly singing wistfully in Japanese, it also cuts to a random plate of fruit, then an image of a CD sliding into the sound system, before a telephone rings. Connelly then appears again, this time wearing a headset as she answers the call with: “This is Jennifer”.

▼ The ad was screened around the same time as the release of the movie Labyrinth,
which Connelly starred in alongside David Bowie.

While Norton and his celebrity guests, including Connelly herself, were unable to work out what she was singing in Japanese, the lyrics are: “Utsukushiku kikoeru no wa / Ai shite iru kara“. In the context of the ad, the lyrics translate to: “The reason why I can hear it beautifully is because I love it“.

▼ Let’s take a look at the ad again on its own

On the show, Connelly mentioned that the jingle in the ad became a song, which she was asked to sing when she was about 14 or 15 years old. That song is actually called “Ai no Monologue“, which translates to “Monologue of Love“, and it was released as a single sung by Jennifer Connelly, with lyrics by Hideyo Hashimoto music by Taeko Onuki, and arrangement by Satoshi Kadokura.

▼ Hear Connelly singing the full song below.

The complete lyrics are:

Utsukushiku kikoeru nowa / Aishite iru kara / Itsu datte yuuki o watashi ni / Ataete kureta
Yasashii watashi ni / Naruno ga wakaru / Ichiban sunao ni / Hoho emi kaketai
Sukina dake / Sukina koto o / Mitsumete itai

Which translate as:

“The reason why I can hear beautifully is because I love you. You always gave me courage.
I know I’ll become affectionate. I want to give you the most honest smile.

Whatever you want and as much as you want, I want to be there watching you.”

It’s a short and simple song, and in the context of a love ballad, the lyrics convey an affectionate feeling of love and devotion. In the context of the Technics ad, however, the words express a love for the CD710 Sound system with Intelligent Component (Telephone Component).

The sound system combined the ability to listen to music while taking calls, kind of like a pre-Internet smartphone, only a lot bulkier and far less mobile. While the Technics product is no longer available on the market, we’re glad that the ad for it lives on, like these other Japanese commercials featuring Hollywood stars.

Source: YouTube/BBC America
Featured image: YouTube/Eyes On Cinema

Follow Oona on Twitter and Instagram for more news updates from Japan.