GOSSIP & RUMORS: Heath, bassist of X Japan, dead at 55
Heath, the bassist of Japan’s biggest rock band X Japan, has died. He was 55.
The group confirmed Heath died on Oct. 29 of colorectal cancer, according to a statement.
“His cancer was found during an examination in June of this year,” they wrote. “Despite his efforts to battle the disease, his condition declined suddenly in October, and he took his last breath in the hospital.”
The remaining X Japan members, Yoshiki, Toshi, Pata, and Sugizo, also shared their own individual tributes to Heath, which are written in Japanese.
Frontman Yoshiki wrote, “He was such a wonderful bass player, a band member, and a wonderful human being.”
“Heath and I got closer than ever over this past year,” he continued. “On my birthday last year, he appeared as a guest on my program, and we talked endlessly afterwards in my dressing room. There was also a time after that when we talked on the phone for hours until daybreak.”
“This summer, on August 20 Heath performed as a guest at my dinner show. How could I have known that that would be my last performance with him? I couldn’t help make Heath’s wishes come true, and for that I feel fully responsible. I apologized to him when I bid farewell,” Yoshiki concluded.
The group formed in 1982 with Heath joining a decade later.
He played on the band’s albums “Art of Life” and “Dahlia” which both topped the Japanese album charts.
X Japan, which has sold over 30 million albums and singles worldwide, split in 1997 but reformed in 2007. Heath played with the band up until his death.
Born Hiroshi Morie on January 22, 1968, in Amagasaki, Heath also launched a successful solo career amid the band’s split.
Heath and X Japan guitarist Pata also formed the group Dope Headz, which released four albums within 14 months in 2001 and 2002, and all charted in Japan.
X Japan made their US performance debut at Lollapalooza in 2010.
They also played at Coachella in 2018.
“Heath’s obituary was originally scheduled for release in mid-November in accordance with his family’s wishes, but it is being announced today due to unwarranted media coverage over the last few days,” the band’s statement reads.