Ryuichi Sakamoto, a prolific composer and musician, passed away at 71 years old. Sakamoto died on March 28, though the news of his death was shared following his funeral on April 2.

Born in 1952 in Tokyo, Sakamoto began composing music early in childhood, eventually attending the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music, where he received both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees. During his time as a student, he was introduced to electronic music composition and began experimenting with synthesizers.

In 1978, Sakamoto formed the electronic music band Yellow Magic Orchestra alongside Haruomi Hosono and Yukihiro Takahashi. The band has been credited with being formative in developing genres of electronic music, such as J-pop, electro and techno. The same year, he released his debut solo album Thousand Knives.

Over the course of his career, Sakamoto released over twenty solo LPs, composed music for the opening ceremony of the 1992 Barcelona Olympics and established himself as an in-demand scorer of film soundtracks. He has been awarded an Oscar, a BAFTA, a Grammy and two Golden Globes for his work, among other awards.

The singer announced in 2021 that he had been diagnosed with throat cancer, following an earlier battle with throat cancer, during which he took a hiatus from music.

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