​Ryuichi Sakamoto Dies at 71

The Yellow Magic Orchestra co-founder had been diagnosed with stage 4 cancer

BY Alex HudsonPublished Apr 2, 2023

Ryuichi Sakamoto has died. He was 71.

A tweet from the musician's official Twitter account reveals that he died on March 28. A statement from his management notes, "While undergoing treatment for cancer discovered in June 2020, Sakamoto continued to create works in his home studio whenever his health would allow. He lived with music until the very end."

In 2014, Sakamoto announced that he had been diagnosed with throat cancer. He underwent treatment and returned to music, but announced in 2021 that he had been diagnosed with rectal cancer. In 2022, he revealed that the cancer had spread.

Born in Tokyo, Japan, Sakamoto achieved success as a co-founder of pioneering electronic group Yellow Magic Orchestra in 1978. They broke up in 1984, but later went on to reunite a number of times. YMO's Yukihiro Takahashi died earlier this year.

Sakamoto also had a long and prolific solo career, working as a composer and producer. His score for 1987's The Last Emperor won him a Oscar, a Golden Globe and a Grammy. He also earned Grammy nominations for his scores for 1993's Little Buddha and 2015's The Revenant.

Sakamoto's solo album 12 came out back in January. He is survived by wife Norika Sora and his four children.

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