Ritsuko Okazaki was born in Hashima Island, Nagasaki Prefecture on 29 December 1959. During her childhood, she was forced by her mother to use her right hand, as she was born left-handed. However, after hearing that it was bad to force her to use her right hand, her mother quickly advised her to use her natural hand. During her school days, she spent time in the bakery where she worked part time, and practiced with her band, Eleanor. She was then in charge of the chorus and piano.
Okazaki made her debut as a singer-songwriter in 1993. During the nineties, she continued singing and also wrote songs for various voice actors. As she became more involved with anime she composed songs for Wedding Peach, Fruits Basket, Symphonic Rain, Love Hina, and Princess Tutu. She formed the duo, Melocure in 2002 with singer-songwriter Megumi Hinata.
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. According to her fans, the lyrics of Okazaki's songs are characterized by poetic imagery, depth of emotion, gentle optimism and simplicity.
She was diagnosed with stomach cancer in 2003 but still continued with her work. During this time there was little information released about her. On May 5, 2004, Ritsuko Okazaki died suddenly at the age of 44 from septic shock. She was unable to speak any last words, and left her work unfinished. The news was revealed to the public in the liner notes of the CD soundtrack re-release of the visual novel Symphonic Rain, which was released a year after her death.