Ryuichi Sakamoto has died
Renowned musician and composer Ryuichi Sakamoto has passed away at the age of 69. His official Twitter page confirmed the news, stating that he died on March 28, 2023. Sakamoto was diagnosed with cancer for the second time in 2021 while undergoing treatment for cancer discovered in June 2020.
Sakamoto was a pioneer of electronic and ambient music, and co-founded the Yellow Magic Orchestra. Born in 1952, he began playing the piano from a young age and went on to create an impressive body of work as a solo artist. In addition, he composed music for films such as The Last Emperor, The Revenant, and Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence, in which he also starred alongside David Bowie.
Following his first diagnosis with throat cancer in 2014, Sakamoto returned to making music after undergoing treatment. However, after his second diagnosis, he wrote in a statement that he would be living with cancer from then on. He hoped to make music for a little while longer, and his latest album 12, recorded in 2021 and 2022, was released earlier this year.
To mark his 70th birthday, a tribute album titled A Tribute to Ryuichi Sakamoto: To The Moon and Back was released last November. The album featured reworked versions of his music by artists including Thundercat, Devonté Hynes, Alva Noto, and David Sylvian.
Sakamoto’s management team, Commons, expressed their deepest gratitude to his fans and all those who have supported his activities, as well as the medical professionals in Japan and the U.S. who did everything they could to cure him. In accordance with Sakamoto’s wishes, the funeral service was held among his close family members.
Commons also shared one of Sakamoto’s favorite quotes to conclude their statement: “Ars longa, vita brevis” or “Art is long, life is short.” Sakamoto’s passing is a great loss to the music industry, and his legacy will undoubtedly continue to inspire generations of musicians to come.