entertainment

More than 10,000 fans farewell singer Hideki Saijo

12 Comments

More than 10,000 fans paid tribute Saturday to singer Hideki Saijo at his funeral service in Tokyo.

Saijo, popular in Asia and best known for his cover song of the mega-hit "YMCA," died of acute heart failure on May 6 at the age of 63.

Saijo, also an actor, debuted in 1972 at the age of 16 and quickly rose to stardom along with idol singers Hiromi Go and Goro Noguchi. Together they were dubbed "Shin Gosanke," or the top three.

At Saturday’s funeral service, Go and Noguchi each gave eulogies.

As the hearse carrying Saijo’s casket left, thousands of fans outside, who had been in tears, started singing “YMCA.”

© Japan Today/KYODO

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12 Comments
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no matter how cheesy his cover of ymca was he has an entertainer to the last! RIP you will be missed!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Of all the Japanese I've come across, I'm convinced they think "YMCA" aka "Young Man" (here in Japan) was made here ...in Japan.

I wonder how many other things Japanese think are/were made or invented here but aren't.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

I'm not sure if they were doing it for the media or not, but I have not seen that kind of mass hysteria, since the guy from X Japan took his own life. But that was young people. Last night on the news the crying and wailing older ladies was quite the sight to see. I wonder what will things be like when some of the Johnny's boys bite the dust.

On a side note, did the writer of YMCA, (the Village People or whomever) get royalties from this guy for this song? It's almost the same version, just changed some of the lyrics into Japanese.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Famous for copying, only in Japan can you become an idol with blatant theft.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Only in Japan? He had lots of fans in Hong Kong too.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

On a side note, did the writer of YMCA, (the Village People or whomever) get royalties from this guy for this song? It's almost the same version, just changed some of the lyrics into Japanese.

It seems that Hideki's company and the original composer and writer agreed before Hideki sang it with J version in Japan, because never heard about accusing Hideki about royality. Today's royality is very severe, different from it decades ago.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

 Famous for copying, only in Japan can you become an idol with blatant theft.

It's called "Cover" and legal.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cover_version

The covers can go both ways. There are numerous English cover versions of Japanese songs as well. A song by Japanese singer Kyu Sakamoto was covered by many artists abroad.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sukiyaki_(song)

My favorite Japanese song "Behind the Mask" by YMO (Yellow Magic Orchestra) was covered by Eric Clapton and Micheal Jackson and others.

A New Zealand soprano singer Hayley Westenra published two albums covering Japanese songs, including "Cosmos" originally sung by J-pop singer Yamaguchi

Momoe.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hayley_Sings_Japanese_Songs_2

Just to name a few.

did the writer of YMCA, (the Village People or whomever) get royalties from this guy for this song?

There is no reason to doubt. There is a long history of Japanese cover of American songs. In the case of YMCA, it caused initial refusal by his management when Saijo himself requested to cover this song for the very reason that it was a cover song and the contents of original lylics, which the management thought might harm his reputation. In the end the management accepted his request due to his strong insistence. Saijo personally reported to the Village People about his concert in which he sang this song for the first time.

https://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/YOUNGMAN(Y.M.C.A.)

3 ( +4 / -1 )

you never met him

0 ( +0 / -0 )

He certainly was popular.

Almost anyone can do a cover song if you pay the fees and get the correct license from the publishers.

To record a cover song in the U.S. to be sold in the U.S., use the Limelight or Harry Fox song File system or locate the publisher, serve them with proper notice, and pay the statutory royalty rate.

Similar in Japan.

At at one time the rate was 9.1c per song sold for recorded music, or a flat fee (negotiable) if it was for film, TV or advertising.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

There was a Japanese singer who died recently and he had a #1 song in the USA during the 1950s, and the lyrics were in JAPANESE.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Of course the Japanese all-lady punk band Shonen Knife has recorded a live CD of all Ramones covers (in English) and they released it under the name 'Osaka Ramones'.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I am a filipina, from rhe philippines. I am an avid fan of HIDEKI SAIJO. It broke my heart upon hearing the bad news that he already passed away. In the early 80's, I am an entertainer in japan as a singer/dancer. It has long been my desire to see him in person, but i know it will not be possible anymore. Goodbye hideki...Thank you for your music. I will miss your songs and great performances.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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