Ritsuko Okazaki was born in Hashima Island, Nagasaki Prefecture, Japan, on 29 December 1959. As is the case with many Japanese artists, her privacy was well guarded; little is known about her life apart from her artistic career. Okazaki made her debut as a singer-songwriter in 1993. During the nineties, she continued singing and also wrote for anime seiyū. From 2000, she became involved in earnest with anime and composed several songs for Wedding Peach, Fruits Basket and Love Hina. She formed the duo Melocure in 2002 with singer-songwriter Megumi Hinata, and in the following two years, the duo released several singles and an album, Melodic Hard Cure. Okazaki also produced songs during these years for artists such as Megumi Hayashibara, Mayumi Iizuka, and Yui Horie. Her work consists mainly of ballads, and can be categorised within the spectrum of Japanese music as most closely related to J-Pop. According to her fans, the lyrics of Okazaki's songs are characterized by poetic imagery, depth of emotion, gentle optimism and simplicity. On May 5, 2004, Ritsuko Okazaki died suddenly at the age of 44 from septic shock as a result of septicemia. She was unable to speak any last words, and left her work unfinished.