Japanese composer and musician Ryuichi Sakamoto died at the age of 71 after battling cancer. The news of his demise was confirmed by his management company KAB America Inc. in a statement to CNN.

“We are deeply saddened to announce the passing of artist and musician, Ryuichi Sakamoto, on the 28th of March, 2023,” the statement said. “While undergoing treatment for cancer discovered in June 2020, Sakamoto continued to create works in his home studio whenever his health would allow. He lived with music until the very end. We would like to express our deepest gratitude to his fans and all those who have supported his activities, as well as the medical professionals in Japan and the U.S. who did everything in their power to cure him.”

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Before his death, Sakamoto has wished for his funeral to only include his close family members, according to his management team said. The statement added: “We ask that you respect the family’s privacy during their time of grief. Finally, we would like to share one of Sakamoto’s favorite quotes: ‘Ars longa, vita brevis.” Art is long, life is short.'”

Who is Ryuichi Sakamoto?

Sakamoto was a Japanese composer, record producer, and actor. He was a solo artist as well as a member of the Yellow Magic Orchestra (YMO). His bandmates wereHaruomi Hosono and Yukihiro Takahashi.

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He was born on January 17, 1952. He began his career while at university in the 1970s as he earned B.A. in music composition and an M.A., specializing in both electronic and ethnic music at the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music.

Sakamoto has written and composed several songs for his bands, including hits like Yellow Magic, Technopolis, Nice Age, Ongaku and You’ve Got to Help Yourself. He concurrently also pursued a solo career, releasing the album Thousand Knives in 1978 with the help of Hideki Matsutake.

In his career, spanning decades, Sakamoto won an Oscar, a BAFTA, a Grammy, and 2 Golden Globe Awards. He was awarded the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres from the Ministry of Culture of France in 2009.