X JAPAN bassist HIROSHI 'HEATH' MORIE dead at 55
X JAPAN bassist Hiroshi “Heath” Morie died at the end of October at the age of 55. He had been battling cancer for several months.
According to Yahoo! Japan, Heath had struggled with his health since the beginning of the year. After seeing a doctor, he was diagnosed with cancer. By that time, the disease had already progressed so far that Heath did not have the chance to share the news of his battle against cancer with any of his bandmates.
Upon hearing news of Heath‘s passing, X JAPAN drummer, pianist and leader Yoshiki canceled his scheduled November 1 appearance at the 37th “Award Of Honor” gala in San Francisco due to what was described at the time as “an unexpected loss in the family.”
X JAPAN, one of the most successful rock groups in Japanese history, released its first new single in eight years, “Angel”, in July.
X JAPAN has achieved legendary status among rock fans worldwide, making a buzz at Coachella, headlining major venues such as Wembley Arena and Madison Square Garden, and selling out Japan’s 55,000-seat Tokyo Dome a record 18 times.
Prior to the arrival of “Angel”, the last single from X JAPAN was 2015’s “Born To Be Free”, and the critically acclaimed documentary film about the band, “We Are X”, was released in 2018 in 30 countries, winning awards at the SXSW and Sundance film festivals.
Recently, X JAPAN became the center of controversy when Elon Musk announced he was rebranding Japanese Twitter as “X Japan“, causing fans across the globe to respond in support of the band’s trademark and supporting them as the country’s only true “X JAPAN“.
X JAPAN has sold more than 30 million albums, singles, and videos combined and played to millions of fans around the world.
In 1997, at the height of their success, the band broke up. In early 2007, Yoshiki and vocalist Toshi reunited, and later that year X JAPAN officially reformed.
The band launched its reunion in 2008 with three nights at the Tokyo Dome. In 2010, X JAPAN performed for the first time at Lollapalooza in Chicago. Immediately following the festival, X JAPAN played the biggest concert in its history, selling out two consecutive shows at Japan’s Nissan Stadium, filling 140,000 seats. The band then launched their first North American tour, selling out across the U.S. and Canada.
X JAPAN made their Coachella debut in 2018, and the band performed three sold-out concerts at Makuhari Messe in September 2018 for 100,000 fans.