The Secret Life Of Metal Gear’s Songstress

The Secret Life Of Metal Gear’s Songstress

Meet Donna Burke. The Australian-born talent moved to Japan in 1996, and since then, she’s left her mark on gaming.

You may not know her name, but if you’ve played Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, you know her voice.

If you’ve ridden the bullet train, you know it too.

With voice credits in games like Silent Hill 3 and Bloody Roar 4 and soundtrack credits on games like The Last Remanent and God Eater, Burke packs a one-two-three punch of being a talented voice actress and singer, as well as writing her own lyrics.

She’s sung and done voice work in anime like Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha and in a wide variety of Japanese commercials, such as for Nissan, Panasonic and Sony.

Burke performed the English version of the Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker theme, while Nana Mizuki sang the Japanese one. But in Japan, her versatile voice is heard throughout the Tokaido bullet train, reading out station names in English.

“My work is my hobby; singing is fun,” Burke told The Japan Times. “I’d do it even if I wasn’t getting paid, though don’t tell my clients that.”

The Tokaido bullet train runs between Tokyo and Osaka, and it’s the most heavily-traveled rail route in the world. Burke’s announcements are heard by millions of travelers and are familiar to pretty much anyone in Japan.

While the entire country certainly doesn’t know her name, they do know her voice. And what a voice.

Culture Smash is a daily dose of things topical, interesting and sometimes even awesome—game related and beyond.
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  • The helicopter battle with Heaven’s Divide was one of the high points in a game filled with high points.

  • I met her at Wai-Con Perth in January.
    She was so nice.
    Scored a photo with her, and got her to sign my copy of Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles on Gamecube (she performed the theme song).

    Amazing woman that doesn’t really get the attention that she deserves.
    I’m glad this article popped up.

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