Japanese singer-actor Gackt announces indefinite hiatus due to neurological disease

The musician is putting all plans on hold to treat the disease, which resulted in dysphonia and at one point became "life-threatening"

Japanese musician and actor Gackt has announced an indefinite hiatus due to a neurological disease that has severely affected his voice.

The news was announced in a statement by the musician’s agency Glab Entertainment on his official website on Wednesday (September 8). Gackt’s condition, which was only described as an “early onset neurological disease”, recently resulted in the artist suffering from dysphonia, or a disorder of the voice.

“Doctors have confirmed that it will be impossible for GACKT to pursue work related to using his voice at this point due to severity of dysphonia,” the statement reads.

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According to the statement, Gackt (real name Gakuto Ōshiro) had returned to Japan from abroad in early August but “felt unwell” shortly after. His condition worsened, at one point becoming “life-threatening”, although he is currently stable.

Gackt has since returned overseas to consult with a team of doctors who will also treat him. As a result, all of the musician’s plans have been put on hold until he recovers.

Gackt has also issued a statement to his fans via his website, thanking them for their support and apologising for making them worry. He also revealed that he is currently unsure how he developed the condition, though he has been managing his “illness” for some time now.

“For about 10 years now, I was preparing to cure my illness abroad, and receiving medical treatment, etc,” he said. “I don’t know what caused it, if it’s something that got worse over time, or some kind of a neurological disorder, all I know is that it triggers a sudden dysphonia.

“To put it simply, it is difficult to speak in certain situations because my voice doesn’t come out right.”

Gackt revealed that he felt depressed, and had even lost 10kg of weight over the course of the past three weeks. However, he ended the message on a hopeful note, vowing to recover and perform for his fans in the future.

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“The promise I made to all of you, I’ll definitely keep it,” he said. “I’ll bring you the album and the tour.”

Gackt started his career as the vocalist of Japanese visual kei rock band Malice Mizer. He left the band in 1999 and later started a solo career the following year.

Apart from his solo releases, he is best known for his contribution to the Mobile Suit Gundam and Final Fantasy soundtracks. He has also acted in films such as Fly Me To Saitama and series like Time Spiral and The Tempest.

Just last month, it was reported that Gackt would reunite with the cast of Fly Me To Saitama to film its sequel, set for release in 2022. It’s currently unclear if Gackt will remain involved with the production.

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