NHK wanted the best, they got the best.

Every year, Japan’s public broadcaster NHK holds a music contest called Kohaku Uta Gassen or “Red and White Song Battle.” Airing on New Year’s Eve, all of Japan’s top acts of the year converge to perform their biggest hits while viewers at home can vote for their favorites.

The show is a New Year’s tradition, now entering its 70th year, and this year’s iteration will feature major artists like Official Hige Dandism, Arashi (who just announced they will team up with Kenshi Yonezu), AKB48, Radwimps, and Foorin to name only a few. The show is not without its surprise guests either and one early surprise has been the addition of American rock legends Kiss.

Earlier this month, X Japan star Yoshiki surprised Kiss fans by appearing on stage during the Japan leg of their final world tour in Tokyo and Osaka.

Now it appears Kiss are returning the favor by joining Yoshiki on his country’s biggest TV event.

Yoshiki has often cited Kiss as a major influence, having introduced him to the therapeutic energy of rock to help him overcome the grief of his father’s death. However, during a press conference to promote their Kohaku appearance, Kiss admitted they had a lot of learn from Yoshiki as well.

“My humble heart will never forget that Yoshiki is a legend in Japan,” said Gene Simmons, “I’m inspired by his sincere attitude towards work.” Paul Stanley added, “Not just because Yoshiki is a wonderful pianist and drummer, but we’re also inspired by the way he teaches about the importance of life.”

Japanese fans were quite excited about the news,

“Seriously?! Kick-ass!”
“This is the best present ever. Thank you!”
“Wow! This is freakin’ awesome.”
“Kiss on Kohaku?! No way!”
“I remember seeing Kiss on NHK in 1977 as a child and was blown away that it showed them starting fires and smashing guitars.”
“Oh boy, I should go tell my grandma!”
“Get out!!! Yo-chan and Kiss are going to kill.”
“I don’t usually watch Kohaku, but I think I will this year.”

This collaboration will be aptly portmanteaued as YOSHIKISS and since they are males, they will probably perform on the white team.

The song choice is also unclear at the moment. “Beth” and “Rock and Roll All Nite” are likely candidates since that’s what they performed at the concerts. “Black Diamond” is also in the running since its the song Yoshiki arranged for the Kiss tribute album Kiss My Ass in 1994.

Anything’s possible, however, and we may even see Kiss try their hand at an X Japan classic like “Kurenai” or “Forever Love.” Considering that by all indications, this will be their last-ever performance in Japan, Kiss will likely want to go out with a bang in what Simmons calls his “most favorite country in the world.”

Source: NHK Kohaku Uta No Gassen, Oricon News, Hachima Koku
Images: PR Times
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