Rock legend Yoshiki has become the first Japanese artist to be immortalized in cement at the TCL Chinese Theatre, ABC is reporting. The artist was chosen to be honored at the famed Hollywood landmark after he became one of the most influential musicians and composers in Japanese history; he has sold over 30 million albums and singles worldwide.
This past Thursday, September 14, Yoshiki dipped his hands in cement at the Hollywood theater on Hollywood Boulevard. He joined over 300 other artists who have received the prestigious honor, including Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, Marilyn Monroe, John Wayne, Brad Pitt, George Clooney, Robert Downey, Jr., Hugh Jackman and Vin Diesel.
The soft-spoken, humble songwriter expressed his gratitude as he received the honor. He told Eyewitness News: “To be honest, I don’t feel like I accomplished that much.”
Yoshiki also reflects on the recent death of his mother, who just missed the chance to see him receive his honor at the TCL Chinese Theatre. “I want to thank her and, at the same time, I want to apologize to her. I didn’t spend enough time with her,” he said.
During Thursday’s Hollywood ceremony, the musician closed his remarks in her honor. “I want to dedicate this moment in my life to my beloved mother, who always believed in me. She was the very first person to see my hands and feet, and now she can see them from the sky, looking down here at Hollywood,” he concluded.
Yoshiki is known for his diverse talents as a musician. Besides being a songwriter and composer, he’s also a concert pianist who mesmerizes audiences with elegance. He’s also a heavy metal rock star who creates hard-driving rock ‘n’ roll tracks and plays the drums to sold-out arenas.
The musician began playing the drums when he was 10 years old, after his father died by suicide. Yoshiki had already been playing several other instruments, but it was the drums that suddenly allowed him to funnel his heartbreak.
“I was very sad. At the same time, I was very angry because of how he left this world, my father. So I was kind of hitting the drum set, releasing my anger,” Yoshiki disclosed.
Later on in his life, by his early 20s, the artist’s band, X Japan, sold 20 million albums. The now-57-year-old first rose to widespread fame as the leader and co-founder of X Japan. He also went on to have a successful solo career, performing in front of massive crowds at venues around the world.
Yoshiki also went on to find success as a record producer. He also works in the world of fashion and has his own wine brand.
Yoshiki uses his great entrepreneurial success to help others by donating money to charities. He alsoopenly talks about the darkness in his own life. “If me talking about this, my sad story, can help people… why not?,” the musician asked.
Outside of music, the entertainer is also well-known for his contributions to film, fashion and his Yoshikitty collaboration with Hello Kitty.
Hollywood began immortalizing pioneers in the entertainment industry with cement moldings of their handprints outside of the TCL Chinese Theatre in 1927. Other stars of Japanese descent, including silent film star Sessue Hayakawa (1886-1973), Japanese-American actor Mako Iwamatsu (1933-2006) and even Godzilla, have also been honored with stars on the nearby Hollywood Walk of Fame.
At the ceremony, Yoshiki’s good friend Gene Simmons, the bassist/vocalist of the American band KISS, was in attendance to support thim. The Japanese musician’s Korean actor friend, Byung-hun Lee, also served as a guest speaker at the ceremony.
Yoshiki, who has also composed Hollywood film soundtracks, made his feature film directorial debut with the documentary Yoshiki: Under the Sky,. The movie also had its Hollywood premiere at the TCL Chinese Theatre on Thursday. The film will debut in the U.S., U.K. and Japan this month.
The musician, who Billboard called a musical innovator, will return to Hollywood to perform his classical Requiem tour at the Dolby Theatre on October 20.