• Kyodo News


Sales of CDs by pop group ZARD have risen sharply almost across the board since the May 27 death of lead singer Izumi Sakai, according to Oricon Co., which specializes in music rankings.

Since Sakai’s abrupt death of a brain contusion at age 40, about 10,000 fans have visited special tables set up by her agent at its offices in Tokyo and Osaka to dedicate flowers, agent officials said.

According to Oricon, the album released last year, “Golden Best — 15th Anniversary,” sold about 40,000 copies last week, climbing to No. 3 on the charts.

The 1999 album “ZARD BEST The Single Collection” surged to No. 18. A total of five older CD albums returned to the top 100, and two DVDs made it back into the top 20, the company said.

“The fans ranged from high school girls in uniforms to couples with small children and salaried workers in suits. We realized the broadness of her fan base once again,” an official at the talent agency said.

Sakai, who was suffering from cancer, died at a hospital in Tokyo after falling down a stairway and striking her head.

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