The guitarist for Japanese group Babymetal has passed away at age 36.
According to a tribute post on the band’s official Instagram, Mikio Fujioka passed away in “the metal galaxies.” Fujioka’s wife tweeted an announcement on Tuesday, and according to the translation, he fell from some height at an observatory on Dec. 30, and passed away on Jan. 5.
— 藤岡幹大(仮) (@mikio158cm) January 9, 2018
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The “Little” Guitar Kami of #BABYMETAL ‘s #Kamiband has passed away in the METAL GALAXIES. We hope that he is now with his GUITAR MASTER A.Holdsworth and enjoying an epic guitar session with him. We are the one Together We're the only one You are the one Forever #RIP #THEONE
Fujioka was a member of the Kami Band, the touring backing band for the Japanese teen trio, which exploded YouTube in 2014 with “Gimme Chocolate.” That video went on to see more than 81 million hits. Babymetal toured the States in 2016 and made its U.S. TV debut on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert—and found an ally in Rob Zombie.
Fujioka had been in the touring band since 2013.