Visual kei band’s singer passed away on October 19
BUCK-TICK vocalist and frontman Atsushi Sakurai passed away on October 19 at 11:09 p.m. Japan Time due to a brainstem hemorrhage. He was 57. His family held a private funeral, and his agency plans to announce a location for a public memorial later.
BUCK-TICK was scheduled to perform a fan club concert at KT Zepp Yokohama on October 19, but canceled it abruptly due to Sakurai’s condition worsening. He was rushed to a hospital, but passed away soon after.
Sakurai made his major debut alongside his BUCK-TICK bandmates in 1987 when they signed on to Victor Invitation Records and began playing large venues, and releasing their hit single “Just One More Kiss” and their third album Seventh Heaven in 1988. The band became a mainstay of j-rock throughout the late 80s to 90s, and are considered an important foundational band for visual kei, a subgenre of Japanese rock characterized by elaborate visual presentations, gothic aesthetics, balladic melody writing, and musicians who present androgynously.
The band has not changed members since their debut, and has steadily released albums over their 36 years of activity. The band’s 23rd and most recent album, Izora, released on April 12 earlier this year, and ranked #2 in the Oricon weekly album chart in its debut week.
The band has performed theme songs for such anime as Nightwalker: The Midnight Detective (“Gessekai”) in 1998, Trinity Blood (“Dress (BLOODY TRINITY MIX)”) in 2005, xxxHOLiC (“Kagerou”) in 2006, Shiki (“Kuchizuke” and “Gekka Reijin”) in 2010, and GeGeGe no Kitarō (“RONDO”) in 2019.