Johnny Kitagawa dies at 87
NHK -- Jul 10
Johnny Kitagawa, the founder and president of major Japanese talent agency Johnny and Associates, has died at the age of 87.

Kitagawa died of a stroke on Tuesday at a hospital in Tokyo.

Kitagawa was born in Los Angeles in 1931 and spent his childhood moving between Japan and the United States.

He founded Johnny & Associates in 1962. The agency has produced many popular male groups such as SMAP, TOKIO, KinKi Kids, V6 and Arashi.

Kitagawa was also known as a music producer and theater director. He was the holder of Guinness World Records titles for the most No. 1 singles and the most concerts produced by an individual.

Kitagawa himself rarely appeared or spoke in media. But he accepted an NHK interview for a program broadcast in January 2018 on condition that he would not be filmed. He said in the program that he thought his role was to create shows that make the audience feel happy.

Media in Taiwan quickly reported Kitagawa's death, as male groups belonging to his agency have held concerts there.

A major newspaper, The Liberty Times, called Kitagawa "the godfather of Japanese idol groups," praising him for producing many pop groups, actors and other TV personalities.

多くの人気アイドルを育てたジャニーズ事務所の社長・ジャニー喜多川さんが9日、くも膜下出血のため都内の病院で亡くなりました。87歳でした。 ジャニーズ事務所によりますと、ジャニーさんは先月18日に自宅で体調の異変を訴えた後に意識を失い、救急搬送されました。入院中には、自身が育てたタレントたちが入れ代わり立ち代わり病室に面会に訪れていましたが、9日夕方にくも膜下出血のため亡くなりました。ジャニーさんはアメリカ・ロサンゼルス生まれで、ジャニーズ事務所を設立した後は歌って踊り、俳優や司会もこなす男性タレントを数多く育ててきました。通夜と告別式は所属タレントらで行う家族葬とし、後日にお別れの会を開くということです。
News sources: NHK, ANNnewsCH
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