Rounding out a landmark year, J-pop superstar KENSHI YONEZU has been named a member of the Recording Industry Association of America® (RIAA)’s Class of 2023, joining a group of 57 artists who earned their first Gold and Platinum certifications this year. The distinction arrives in the wake of the history-making success of his global smash hit “KICK BACK,” which became the first-ever Japanese language song to be certified Gold by the RIAA. Yonezu is also the only Japanese artist to be recognized in this year’s class, which boasts an international roster of musicians across genres, including Ice Spice, Jung Kook of BTS, PINKPANTHERESS, Peso Pluma, TOMORROW X TOGETHER and more.
Of the achievement, Yonezu says, “I owe this absolutely to Chainsaw Man. Not that it feels real yet, but I was just happy to receive this news. I have listened to American pop music a lot since I was a child, and being embraced over here is really a pleasure for me. If people who don’t understand Japanese can listen to this song and feel something good about it, I think my work has paid off.”
The opening theme to last season’s breakout anime hit Chainsaw Man, “KICK BACK” began breaking records immediately upon its release, landing on Spotify’s Global Top 50 chart and making Yonezu the first-ever J-pop artist to appear on the chart. The J-pop hitmaker has continued to reach international audiences with musical contributions to some of the year’s biggest titles. His most recent release, “Spinning Globe,” features as the official theme song to the new Studio Ghibli film The Boy and the Heron, with legendary director Hayao Miyazaki specifically enlisting Yonezu for the project. Also extending his talents to the gaming world, Yonezu provided the official theme song to the new Final Fantasy XVI entitled “Tsuki Wo Miteita – Moongazing.”
Since 1958, the Recording Industry Association of America® (RIAA) has celebrated artists whose music captivates generations and hits significant U.S. streaming and sales thresholds as fans engage in more ways than ever before. Today marks a special year-end moment when the top albums, singles and first-timers are recognized for their massive achievements. #RIAAClassOf 2023 touts 57 breakout artists who earned their first Gold & Platinum certifications in 2023* with a list spanning three albums and 48 singles. See the full list HERE and join the conversation online with #RIAAClassOf and #LabelsAtWork in celebration of 2023’s first-timers.
Source: Press Release