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Formed in 1982, Japanese heavy metal band X JAPAN pioneered the glam-inspired visual kei movement and went on to sell more than 30 million records. ∙ In 1988, influenced by speed metal and glam rock, they released their debut album, Vanishing Vision, which topped the Oricon Indie Albums chart. ∙ X JAPAN was started by childhood friends Yoshiki Hayashi and Toshimitsu Deyama, who originally called the band X, but they changed the name to avoid confusion with the legendary L.A. punk group. ∙ Rolling Stone Japan named 1989’s Blue Blood—which produced the hits “Endless Rain” and “Kurenai”—one of the 100 Greatest Japanese Rock Albums of All Time. ∙ They’ve maintained a vigorous touring schedule for more than three decades and were voted Best Live Band by the heavy metal magazine Loudwire in 2015. ∙ We Are X—a documentary about the band’s history and impact—premiered at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival. ∙ Sarah Brightman and Queen’s Brian May and Roger Taylor joined Yoshiki for a New Year’s Eve performance of “Endless Rain” on the Japanese TV program Kohaku Uta Gassen in 2020.

Chiba, Japan

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