Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Japanese Music Continues to Win over North America

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Japanese Music Continues to Win over North America

Article excerpt

Through the years, Japanese musicians have achieved North American success in waves. From Kyu Sakamoto's No. 1 single in 1963 ("Sukiyaki") and Yellow Magic Orchestra's cult technopop in the late 1970s to Shonen Knife's '90s-era punky power trio sounds and Puffy AmiYumi's melodic 21st-century indie rock, Japanese music in various genres has successfully crossed over decade by decade.

Less than halfway through the year, 2016 has already proved to be a breakthrough year for Japanese popular music. Beginning in late April, the Hatsune Miku Expo North America Tour presented 14 shows in 10 cities. Several 3-D virtual pop stars, including the titular Hatsune Miku, performed.

Meanwhile, many previously uninitiated Babymetal fans got their first exposure to the J-pop-meets-speed-metal trio through the group's appearance on "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert" in early April. The band's sophomore release, "Metal Resistance," became the first Japanese-language album to reach the top 40 of the Billboard albums chart in more than 50 years. …

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