Yukihiro Takahashi, YMO Drummer, Vocalist, Dies At 70

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Yukihiro Takahashi in 2018

Renowned musician Yukihiro Takahashi, a member of the legendary band Yellow Magic Orchestra (YMO) that led a techno-pop boom in Japan in the late 1970s, has died, it was learned Sunday. He was 70.

The date and cause of death have not been disclosed, but in 2020, Takahashi announced that he had undergone surgery for a brain tumor and had been recuperating.

Takahashi distinguished himself with his sharp drumming and emotionally rich vocals. A designer by trade, he also led the fashion side of the group, particularly causing a stir with the red Mao suits that he designed and the group wore on stage.

Born in Tokyo, Takahashi joined the Sadistic Mika Band led by Kazuhiko Kato as a drummer in 1972.

In 1978, he formed YMO with Haruomi Hosono and Ryuichi Sakamoto, and trio achieved stardom both at home and abroad with their synthesizer-based sound.

Takahashi composed the group’s signature song “Rydeen.” Among YMO’s most well-known albums are “Solid State Survivor,” which includes “Rydeen” and was released in 1979, and “BGM” and “Technodelic,” both released in 1981.

Last September, a live concert was held to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Takahashi’s music career, featuring some of his closest friends in the business, but the artist himself was unable to appear.

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