Yoshiki’s band X Japan pioneered the visual kei movement – a flamboyant clash of music, art and fashion, with its roots in punk, glam rock, anime and noh theatre – in their homeland and are considered as significant to the development of rock in Asia as The Beatles, having sold over 30 million albums. Consequently, Yoshiki has been invited to perform on Japan’s biggest TV show, NHK’s annual, long-running New Year’s Eve spectacular Kohaku Uta Gassen, no fewer than 11 times, both as a solo artist and with X Japan. This 2020 performance was the singer/drummer/pianist’s sixth consecutive appearance on the hugely popular entertainment show, and featured a guest appearance from kawaii metal superstars Babymetal, as well as Queen’s guitarist and drummer.
Yoshiki, Taylor and May have been friends since the early ’90s, with Taylor co-writing a track called Foreign Sand with the X Japan man in 1994. Back in 2015, to celebrate the announcement that the 2016 Classic Rock Awards were to be held in Tokyo, Yoshiki performed Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody for an audience which included Brian May.