Yoshiki, the leader of heavy metal legends X Japan, has announced that he will provide an annual $100,000 grant to MusiCares for mental health initiatives. The influential multi-instrumentalist has been one of rock’s most charitably musicians, even earning a Medal of Honor by the Government of Japan earlier this month.
According to a press release, the annual grant will “help music creators and industry professionals affected by depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, or other mental health concerns,” all issues that Yoshiki has faced within his band and his own life.
“If I didn’t have music and my fans’ support, I could have easily been the one to take my own life like the people who were close to me, including my father and my band member,” said Yoshiki. “I’d like to not only contribute from my learned experience but try to support those in need. It’s such an honor to be working closely with MusiCares on these issues.”
Tragically, X Japan’s classic-era guitarist Hide died in 1998 in a suicide by hanging, while onetime bassist Taiji died in 2011 after an apparent suicide attempt left him comatose.
“We are so thankful to Yoshiki and Yoshiki Foundation America for their continued support of MusiCares,” stated Laura Segura, Executive Director of MusiCares. “This annual grant will help us continue to provide important mental health services to the music people we serve. Artists, bands, stage and touring crews and so many others in the music industry have been greatly impacted by the pandemic. It is our responsibility to support them with the necessary services to help them make it through these difficult times.”
Yoshiki’s pledge to MusiCares comes after his recent charitable donations to COVID-19 relief efforts, both in Japan and America. He donated 10 million yen (approximately $100,000) to Japan’s National Center for Global Health and Medicine and another $100,000 to the COVID-19 Relief Fund in the U.S. established by the Recording Academy.
His various charitable efforts earned him the prestigious Metal of Honor in Japan a few weeks ago. He was bestowed with the Dark Blue Ribbon, which is “awarded to individuals who have made exceptionally generous financial contributions to the national government, local governments, and public entities.”
Regarding the recognition, Yoshiki said, “I am very honored to receive the Medal of Honor. I hope to continue supporting these efforts in the future. I would be grateful if the circle of charity would expand further through these activities.”
Yoshiki is the subject of the recently released Disney+ documentary My Music Story: Yoshiki, where he connects his music career to various Disney songs.
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