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Yutaka Ozaki on the cover of his album Gairoju (1988)
29 November 1965|
Setagaya, Tokyo, Japan
25 April 1992 (aged 26)|
|Instruments||Piano, guitar, harmonica|
Mother & Children
Yutaka Ozaki (尾崎 豊 Ozaki Yutaka, November 29, 1965 – April 25, 1992) was a popular Japanese musician. He is ranked at No. 23 in a list of Japan's top 100 musicians by HMV.
He was born in Tokyo Setagaya Ward SDF Central Hospital to Kinue and Kenichi Ozaki. He has one older brother, Yasushi. Early in life, he was hospitalized with intestinal torsion and bronchitis which subsequently weakened his internal organs. In 1973 he began studying martial arts and continued training throughout his life. In January 1975 he began playing piano and in March of that year he wrote his first poem. His first live performance was in 1978 at his school's cultural festival. He was discovered by producer Akira Sudo and signed to Sony Records in 1983.
On April 25, 1992, Ozaki was found naked, drunk and unconscious in a Tokyo alleyway. He was taken by ambulance but was soon dismissed from the hospital. He died several hours later. The cause of death was reported as pulmonary edema but many theories have arisen as to the actual cause of death, the most popular being homicide. He was survived by his wife, Shigemi, and his son, Hiroya Ozaki.
Thelma Aoyama, Mika Nakashima, Kazumasa Oda, Ryuichi Kawamura, Hikaru Utada, Ayaka, Kobukuro, Tsuyoshi Domoto and many other Japanese artists have covered Ozaki's song, "I Love You." American singer-songwriter Debbie Gibson recorded an English-language cover of "I Love You" in her 2010 album Ms. Vocalist. In addition, American guitarist Marty Friedman recorded an instrumental cover of "I Love You" in his 2011 album Tokyo Jukebox 2. Nanase Aikawa, Goto Maki, MINMI and Tomiko Van have covered "Oh My Little Girl." Shunsuke Kiyokiba also has covered two of his songs, 太陽の破片 taiyou no hahen ("Fragments of the Sun") and ふたつの心 futatsu no kokoro ("Two Hearts"). Shimizu Shota covered his song, Forget-Me-Not and Mr.Children has covered "僕が僕であるために-Boku ga boku de aru tame ni" (translated as "Me to being Me") on "ap' bank fes. 2010". In 2013, K-pop artist and main vocalist of BIGBANG, Daesung (known in Japan as "D-Lite") covered "I Love You" and it was used as the theme song for the drama I Love You. In 2014, Tamai Shiori of Momoiro Clover Z, sang a cover of 'Graduation' for a special concert.