X Japan leader Yoshiki performed at the Classic Rock Awards held at Ryogoku Kokugikan this past Friday, 11th November. Yoshiki made history by becoming the first-ever artist to be honoured with the ‘Asian Icon Award.’ Based at the venerable Roundhouse venue in London, the Classic Rock Awards are widely recognised by the world’s rock stars as the “annual must-attend event,” bringing together artists from rock’s global Hall of Fame!

The show was held in Japan this year for the first time ever and with this memorable timing, Yoshiki became the first Asian artist to accomplish this great achievement. Rock royalty including Jeff Beck, ELO, Jimmy Page, Joe Perry, Def Leppard, Richie Sambora, Cheap Trick attended the event and gave Yoshiki rave reviews for his performance featuring classical renditions of David Bowie’s ‘Space Oddity’ and X Japan’s masterpiece ‘Art Of Life.’

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“So many artists in Asia are going overseas and Asian rock is growing worldwide.” Yoshiki said as he accepted the award. “X Japan is proud to be one of them and if there’s a wall between east and west, the wall is getting lower and thinner. I’m going to break this wall. It’s an honour to receive this award. I would like to dedicate this award to the X Japan members especially Hide and Taiji. Thank you very much.”

Yoshiki is currently on a world tour greeting audiences for the X Japan documentary ‘WE ARE X’ at film festivals in various countries, as well as promoting his forthcoming classical tour. ‘WE ARE X’ is a transcendent and beautifully shot rock & roll story about the Japanese rock band X Japan, one of the biggest rock bands in the world.

Read my full review of ‘WE ARE X’ here.