Scatman John accepts Best New Artist Award, Japan 1995

Do you remember the insanely catchy tunes of Scatman John in the 90’s? However, it wasn’t just the West where Scatman John became a huge hit – in 1995, he won the Best New Artist award in Japan.

Scatman John’s biggest hit, Scatman’s World sold over 6 million worldwide, over 1.5 million of which were sold on the other side of the planet in Japan, where he even appeared . In fact, even 23-years later, Scatman’s World is the 17th best-selling album by a foreign artist, putting the album above by Michael Jackson
(Bad), Queen (Greatest Hits), and just below the Beatles (Let It Be).

Even today, if you take the time to listen to the lyrics of Scatman’s songs, you’ll see they’re just as relevant as they were a quarter of a century ago. So, why am I talking about Scatman John all of a sudden? Well I happened upon a YouTube video of Scatman John accepting his award in 1995.

There are a few reasons why I find this interesting enough to share. It’s great to see what Scatman John was like, but it’s also interesting to have a glance back to the past and see what Japan was like during the decade I was born. Linguistically, it’s also fun to see professional/live interpretation (although some of the nuances were certainly lost).

Despite being diagnosed with lung cancer in 1998, against the advice of his doctors, Scatman John continued to bring music to his fans all around the globe. In November 1999, he passed out live on stage.
One month later, he passed away at the age of 57.