TOKYO (Reuters) – Johnny Kitagawa, one of the Japanese entertainment industry’s most powerful producers and the Guinness record-winning brain behind many of Japanese pop music’s most popular boy bands, such as SMAP, died on Tuesday at 87 after a stroke, his office said.
Born in the United States as Hiromu Kitagawa, he came to Japan after serving in the U.S. military in the Korean War and worked at the U.S. Embassy before starting a musical group called “Johnny’s” and setting up a talent agency called “Johnny & Associates” in 1962.
Years - Strategy - Bands - Calls - Musicians
Over the years he honed a strategy of making sure the bands he created, after holding open casting calls to recruit and then train his musicians in singing and dancing, became cultural icons through a combination of appearances on television variety...
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