Pop legend Eiichi Otaki, 65, dies

Kyodo, Staff Report

Pop singer and composer Eiichi Otaki, 65, collapsed at his Tokyo home and died at a hospital Monday, it was learned Tuesday.

Police quoted his family as saying he was eating an apple at 5:30 p.m. and a piece apparently got stuck in his throat.

Media reported the exact cause of death as a dissecting aneurysm. A spokeswoman for the Tokyo police confirmed Tuesday that Otaki had died but declined comment on other reported details.

Otaki was hugely popular in the 1970s and ’80s. Together with Haruomi Hosono and Takashi Matsumoto, he was a founding member of the legendary rock band Happy End.

Otaki’s solo album “A Long Vacation,” released in 1981, was one of the biggest-selling Japanese albums of the 1980s.

He wrote numerous hit songs, including “Kaze Tachinu” (“Winds Start Blowing”) sung by Seiko Matsuda and “Fuyu no Riviera” (“Winter Riviera”) performed by Shinichi Mori.