Singer Mieko Hirota passed away in a Chiba hospital due to heart failure on July 21, 2020. She was 73 years old at the time of her passing.
According to her agency, Hirota collapsed in her home in Chiba prefecture on July 20, 2020 and was rushed to the hospital. She reportedly appeared healthy the day before she collapsed.
Hirota began singing for Occupation forces in Japan as a child, and she made her professional debut in 1961 with “Kodomo Janai no,” a cover of Helen Shapiro’s “Don’t Treat Me Like a Child.” She made her first of eight appearances on NHK’s Kōhaku Uta Gassen New Year’s Eve singing contest in 1962. Hirota performed the ending theme song “Leo no Uta” (Leo’s Song) for the 1965 television anime Kimba the White Lion. Hirota is known for the song “Ningyō no Ie” (Dollhouse), which earned her the Japan Record Award for Best Singer in 1969.