CULTURE Japan boyband star-maker Johnny Kitagawa dead at 87


Japan boyband star-maker Johnny Kitagawa dead at 87


11:16, July 10, 2019

Japan's leading boyband star-maker Johnny Kitagawa, who built an entertainment empire and broke records with his acts, has died of a stroke, his company said. He was 87.

Kitagawa was behind the birth of J-pop groups including SMAP, TOKIO and Arashi that dominated Japan's showbusiness industry and won adoring fans across Asia.

The Los Angeles-native started as a producer in the 1960s and held three Guinness World Records -- for producing the most No. 1 singles, the most No. 1 acts and the most concerts by an individual.

He collapsed on June 18 and died of a brain haemorrhage at a Tokyo hospital on Tuesday, his company Johnny and Associates said.

Kitagawa had been visiting theatres and studios just before his collapse, it said. 

He spent his final days in hospital with performers and young popstars from his agency, it said.

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