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MANILA, Philippines – Heath, the bassist of popular Japanese rock band X Japan, died at the age of 55 on October 29, after suffering from colorectal cancer, the band announced on Friday, November 17.
In a statement, X Japan said that he was diagnosed with cancer during a health examination in June this year.
“Despite his efforts to battle the disease, his condition declined suddenly in October, and he took his last breath in the hospital,” the band said.
His funeral will remain private with immediate family members only.
“A formal farewell ceremony for Heath will be arranged at a later date. That ceremony will be led by X JAPAN leader Yoshiki in accordance with Heath’s wishes as conveyed by his family. X JAPAN extends our love and prayers to Heath and would like to thank everyone who has supported him,” they said.
The band expressed their deep sadness over the sudden loss of their member. X Japan frontman Yoshiki paid tribute to Heath on Instagram, calling him a “wonderful bass player, a band member, and a wonderful human being.”
“Heath and I got closer than ever over this past year. 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,” Yoshiki wrote.
“I wish I knew how to express the depth of my feelings here, but first I need to learn how to live with this profound loss. I will have more to say in the future. Thank you for everything, Heath. And may you rest in peace. I hope that someday we can play music together again.”
Heath was X Japan’s bassist from 1992 until the band disbanded in 1997. The heavy metal rock group reunited in 2007, and has released five studio albums and six live albums so far. X Japan performed at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in 2018. – Rappler.com