I just heard that Mariko Takahashi（高橋真梨子） will be making a re-appearance on the Kohaku Utagassen next month for the first time since the 80s. It would just be her 2nd appearance as a solo performer, although she actually came on the big show for the very first time as a member of the band Pedro and Capricious back in the 70s.
The NHK site for the Kohaku this year hasn't listed what the musicians on either side of the gender divide will sing, but perhaps Mariko may sing what she sang on the Kohaku back in the 80s, "Momo Iro Toiki"（桃色吐息） or even "For You", one of her most famous ballads. I have my doubts but maybe she could even sing this one, "Farewell", another powerful ballad that shared the same album with "For You", "dear". I first heard it on "Sounds of Japan", and it's quintessentially Mariko from that time: rich orchestral backing with those wonderful vocals as she sings wistfully of another romance lost. Takao and Etsuko Kisugi（来生たかお・来生えつこ）were responsible for the creation.
Whatever her choice is at the Kohaku, I'm very sure that she will bring the house down.