Ahh, the lovely Takako Matsu（松たか子）! She has been quite the presence on Japanese TV whether it be through the various commercials and her time as one of the big stars in many a drama, notably starring with Takuya Kimura（木村拓哉）of SMAP in shows such as "Love Generation" and "HERO". In fact, I thought those two were becoming the J-Dorama version of Katherine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy (aye, I know I'm stretching it here but I did have to analogize) at one point.
Plus, she comes from quite the family of performers. To start off, her father is Koshiro Matsumoto IX（九代目 松本幸四郎）, a famed kabuki actor who has also appeared in his fair share of television dramas including the Fuji-TV show from 1995 "Ou-sama no Restaurant"（王様のレストラン...Restaurant de Roi）in which he played a charismatic legendary waiter of a French restaurant. Then, there is her older brother, Somegoro Ichikawa VII（七代目 市川染五郎） who is another kabuki actor/actor, and another acting older sister whose husband is also a thespian. And it seems that I've only started with that list. Matsu herself has attained a title according to Wikipedia which is Koka Matsumoto I（初代 松本幸華）as the first master of the Matsumoto School of Nippon Buyo (Japanese dance). I gather that if there is an acting family that could be compared to the Barrymores or Carradines in the United States, this family could be it.
Matsu has even hosted the Kohaku Utagassen once in 1996 and then appeared on the same show the next year when she debuted as a singer. I never followed all that faithfully to her career but my impression was that her music was in the very mellow pop vein.
She's had her share of hits among the 21 singles she's released up to 2009 including her first 2 releases breaking into the Top 10. However, the song that I've always associated her with has been "Koishii Hito" (The One I Miss) which was her 12th single from March 2001.
It went as high as No. 16 on Oricon but I just thought that this was the musical footprint that she left for me. The music by singer-songwriter Yuka Kawamura（川村結花）is perfect for listening in that small but stylish cafe in the wilds of Aoyama or Omotesando, and Matsu's singing is so mellow that I could take my coffee black without needing cream as my ears take it all in. Both Matsu and Kawamura collaborated on the lyrics. It is interesting how the song starts up as if the orchestra was warming up, though.