Japanese musician and singer-songwriter Hiroshi Morie, who was known exclusively by his stage name Heath, has passed away on November 7th, 2023. Heath was best known as the bass guitarist of the legendary rock band X Japan, a group that played a pivotal role in shaping the visual kei and J-rock music movements.
The passing of Heath marks a significant loss for the music industry and for fans of X Japan, who will always remember him for his exceptional contributions to the world of rock and his enduring legacy. Our thoughts go out to his family, friends, and the entire music community during this difficult time.
Hiroshi Morie passed away
Hiroshi Morie, who was known as Heath on stage, sadly passed away at the relatively young age of 55. The news of his death became widely known as an outpouring of heartfelt condolences and sympathies flooded social media, coming from both fans and fellow musicians. This emotional response underscored the profound impact he had on the music community and the strong connections he had with his fanbase.
Heath’s passing had a profound effect on the music industry, with fans from all corners of the world sharing their memories and expressing both their sadness and gratitude for his musical contributions. Many emphasized his extraordinary talent as a bass guitarist and his captivating stage presence as sources of inspiration and joy.
Hiroshi Morie cause of death
According to various reports, Hiroshi Morie, widely known as Heath, succumbed to his battle with cancer. Some sources indicate that he was fighting an advanced stage 4 cancer, highlighting the severity of his condition. Remarkably, even amidst his challenging health battle, Heath continued working and performing in concerts, showcasing his unwavering dedication to his craft and his fans.
Despite the circulating information, an official statement from his family regarding his passing is still awaited. Once the family issues an official statement confirming the details, we will promptly update the public on the situation. In the meantime, the music community mourns the loss of this talented artist and celebrates his remarkable resilience and commitment to his art, even in the face of adversity. Our thoughts are with his family, friends, and fans during this difficult time.
Who was Hiroshi Morie?
Hiroshi Morie, known by his stage name Heath and sometimes referred to as Morie Hiroshi, was a Japanese musician and singer-songwriter. Born on January 22, 1968, in Amagasaki, he is most famous for his role as the bass guitarist in the rock band X Japan. His journey with the group began in August 1992 when he stepped in to replace Taiji Sawada, who had departed earlier that year.
Heath remained a core member of X Japan until their disbandment in 1997, and he later reunited with the band in 2007. Following X Japan’s breakup, he shifted his focus to his solo career. In the year 2000, he co-founded a band called Dope HEADz with X Japan guitarist Pata and former Spread Beaver percussionist/programmer I.N.A. This musical project concluded after releasing its second album in 2002. The origin of his stage name, Heath, can be traced back to his nickname “Hi-chan,” which he adopted prior to the year 1986.
Heath’s initial venture into the world of music began with the heavy metal band Paranoia, where he took on the role of bassist in 1986. Paranoia released one album in 1987 before disbanding. Following the split, their vocalist, Nov, went on to join the thrash metal band Aion.
In 1988, Heath embarked on a new musical journey by becoming the vocalist for Sweet Beet, a position he held for a year. In 1990, he relocated to Tokyo, where he was introduced to hide from X Japan through a mutual friend. During this period, he attended one of X Japan’s significant concerts at Nippon Budokan.
In 1991, Heath participated in Extasy Summit ’91, an event organized by X Japan’s drummer, Yoshiki, under his Extasy Records label. At the event, Heath performed with a band called Majestic Isabelle. Then, in April 1992, he reunited with Sweet Death, a band he had previously collaborated with in 1990.
X Japan Band
In June, he departed from Media Youth, and on August 24, 1992, during a press conference held at Rockefeller Center in New York, it was officially revealed that he had become a member of the band X. His debut performance with X took place in October 1992 at the Extasy Summit event.
The subsequent year saw the release of their album “Art of Life,” which claimed the top spot on the Oricon chart, marking a significant achievement for the band. However, in that same year, the members of X Japan decided to take a hiatus to pursue their respective solo projects. Their final album, “Dahlia,” was released on November 4, 1996, and once again, it reached the number one position on the charts.
In September 1997, the band announced their disbandment, culminating in a farewell concert titled “The Last Live,” held at the Tokyo Dome on December 31, 1997.
In 1995, Heath marked the beginning of his solo career by releasing his first self-titled album. He followed this with his second album, titled “Gang Age Cubist,” in 1998. In 1999, for the hide tribute album “Tribute Spirits,” Heath collaborated with X Japan guitarist Pata and former Spread Beaver percussionist/programmer I.N.A. to cover the song “Celebration.” He reconnected with Pata and I.N.A. in 2000 to form a band named Dope HEADz, which later included vocalist Jo:Ya. Together, they released two singles and an album in 2002.
Eventually, they expanded the lineup by adding new singer Shame and released “Planet of Dope.” Unfortunately, their activities ceased soon after the album’s release. On December 29, 2003, Heath announced a new project called Rats, but this venture came to an end on August 29, 2004, following the release of a re-recording of Heath’s song “Traitor.”
During the same year, he established a band called Lynx, partnering with Der Zibet vocalist Issay, but they didn’t release any recordings. In 2005, after a seven-year hiatus, Heath resumed his solo activities.
X Japan Band Tour
In 2010, X Japan embarked on their inaugural North American tour, which took place from September 25 to October 10. Their first global tour commenced with a series of four performances in Europe from June 28 to July 4, 2011, and later continued from September to October with five concerts in South America and an additional five in Asia.
In response to the devastating 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan on March 11, Heath extended his support to X Japan’s vocalist, Toshi, by participating in eight acoustic concerts held throughout western Japan. These acoustic shows were organized to align with nationwide efforts to conserve power and featured the collaboration of Luna Sea’s Shinya and the Orchestra Ensemble Kanazawa. The proceeds from these events were donated to the Japanese Red Cross to provide assistance to the earthquake and tsunami victims.
As the news spread, numerous artists and colleagues in the industry paid tribute to Heath, underscoring the respect and admiration they held for him.
Ananda Luthfiany wrote: “Visual Kei legends are disappearing one by one Why is this happening again? 💔💔 Rest In Peace Heath san [Hiroshi Morie] 😭🙏”
Thanakorn Satthai wrote: “Rest in peace. Mr.Hiroshi Morie. Thank you for being part of my awesome childhood. #xjapan #bassist”
Heath’s passing leaves a void in the world of music that will be difficult to fill. His memory and the music he created with X Japan will continue to resonate with fans and new generations of music lovers. The collective grief and remembrance on social media stand as a powerful testament to the enduring impact of his artistry and the deep bonds he formed with those who cherished his work. Our thoughts are with his family, friends, and all those who mourn the loss of this talented and beloved musician.
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