We’ve learned some tragic news – Atsushi Sakurai, vocalist of Japanese rock band Buck-Tick, has died at the age of 57.
Sakurai was performing in Buck-Tick’s new tour when he fell ill on stage at a concert in Yokohama last Thursday, October 19th, and was rushed to the hospital.
Despite being promptly taken to the hospital, Sakurai tragically passed away from a brainstem hemmorhage later that day (via the official Buck-Tick site). His family held a private funeral but a public memorial will be held later.
Born and raised in Gunma Prefecture, Sakurai joined up with the local band and they eventually got their major record label debut way back in 1987. They had popular hits like “Just One More Kiss” and “Gensou no Hana,” among others.
Buck-Tick was one of the original visual kei (a subgenre of Japanese rock) bands and maintained a gothic look and sound through the decades since, with Sakurai as the primary lyricist for their songs.
Through the years, Buck-Tick has managed to maintain its entire original lineup and released their latest album, Izora, back in April of this year.
The band’s latest tour, a 35th anniversary celebration, ran through this September – I was supposed to see them live during that tour but the show I had tickets for (in Nagoya) got postponed.
Rest in peace Sakurai-san, you will be missed.