Ryuichi Sakamoto

Japanese musician Ryuichi Sakamoto has passed away at the age of 71

The music world has lost a legend and one of its most visionary creators, famed Japanese producer and songwriter, Ryuichi Sakamoto, who passed away at 71.  While few details were given at the time of Mr. Sakamoto’s passing on March 28th, he had previously revealed back in 2021 that he had been diagnosed with rectal cancer and was receiving treatment.

A pioneer of music and legend of the screen, he was known for his diverse styles as well as all-encompassing film scores as he comfortably navigated through many lanes within the music industry.  While his introduction to music began at the age of 6 when he first learned piano, he quickly began creating his compositions before taking a more serious step into music following his time at the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music.  His rise to prominence and the international spotlight came when he joined forces with Haruomi Hosono and Yukihiro Takahashito to form the Yellow Magic Orchestra in 1978.  The trio combined a variety of genres and influences to form their sound and is often cited as a major early contributor to the creation and evolution of techno music.

In the 80s, Ryuichi Sakamoto expanded his creative output by starting his solo career as well as acting in the movie Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence alongside David Bowie as well as composing the score for the film.  His growing portfolio, as well as his range of compositions and works, began to grow as he continued to gain global influence for his music while continuing his solo career alongside numerous projects and film scores.  Unfortunately, his health first took a turn in 2014 when he was diagnosed with throat cancer, leading to a year-long hiatus.  While he continued to work on both solo music as well as film scores, he would reveal a few years later that his throat cancer had been cured, but he was now diagnosed with rectal cancer.

While Ryuichi Sakamoto succumbed to cancer on March 28th, 2023, his loved ones waited until after his funeral, on April 2nd, to make the news of his passing public.  We here at We Rave You send our deepest condolences to his friends and family and invite all music lovers to dig into the long history of Ryuichi Sakamoto and his incredible music and compositions.

Image Credit: Joi Ito via Flickr | License: Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

Avid music fan, and avid music producer! Producer and songwriter for NOHC.

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