On their Premium satellite channel, Japan’s national television broadcaster NHK is currently offering an online survey for people to vote for their favorite musicians from Western culture.
This is in preparation for its 50 Best Western Music Artist’s Japanese People Love program on 26 February. During the show NHK will present the results along with archive footage and interviews.
However, Oricon Style released the top five candidates according to votes counted as of 8 February, giving us an idea of how the final list will turn out. You can probably imagine a few of the musicians on the list, but a couple might surprise some and delight others.
First here’s the list:
Here’s to you, Simon & Garfunkel. Japan loves your dysfunctional folk duo more than you will know wo wo wo.
#5 Simon and Garfunkel
Japan really digs their folk duets by ranking Carpenters in the number four spot. Just like me, they long to be close to them.
This is your captain speaking. We’ll be entering obvious airspace for the next few choices. If you look out your left window, you’ll see international pop icon Michael Jackson…
#3 Michael Jackson
…and on your right none other than the Fab Four.
#2 The Beatles
The number one spot, meanwhile, is reserved for one of the most loved western artists in Japan (as of 8 Feb.)…
Queen is not surprising from the killer combination of Freddy Mercury’s vocal range and Brian May’s unforgettable riffs. However, it is a little shocking how much they were on the radar of Japanese voters.
You can either write in or choose from a list of popular acts that have visited Japan in the past 50 years. From the list we can also see who has visited Japan most often in their career. These numbers aren’t guaranteed accurate though.
1) Ventures (65 times)
2) Eric Clapton (19 times)
3) Bon Jovi (19 times)
4) Chaka Khan (18 times)
5) Dionne Warwick (17 times)
Voting is still ongoing, so these rankings will probably change before the end of the month. If you’d like to participate you can respond to the online survey here.
I suppose from the title of the program this is only open to Japanese people, but if you have a working knowledge of the language you can join in to either support or attempt to overthrow Queen’s reign over the rankings.
I voted for Huey Lewis and the News. They’re due for a comeback and this could help trigger it.