Karaoke inventor Shigeichi Negishi dies at 100
Karaoke inventor Shigeichi Negishi dies at 100
Karaoke inventor Shigeichi Negishi dies at 100
by Ada Pelonia16 March 2024
Photo courtesy of @Matt_Alt/X

Shigeichi Negishi, the inventor of the karaoke machine, died at 100 years old.

The Wall Street Journal reported that Negishi's daughter Atsumi Takano said her father died from natural causes back in January 26.

According to an NPR report, Negishi was around his 40s when he had an idea of creating a “mass-produced, coin-operated karaoke machine,” which he called a “Sparko Box” following a criticism he received from a colleague regarding his singing.

Author Matt Alt, who interviewed Negishi for his book “Pure Invention: How Japan Made the Modern World,” bid his goodbye to the inventor on X: “By automating the sing-along, he earned the enmity of performers who saw his machine as a threat to their jobs,” he wrote.

CEO of Tokyo-based company AltJapan Hiroko Yoda also shared a video of Negishi on X, showing the inventor with his “Sparko Box.”

The Sparko Box used eight-track cassette tapes with instrumental recording which the public can sing along to using a paper booklet that has lyrics on them. Due to issues around distribution, he stopped producing the Sparko Box in 1975. He did not have a patent for his invention.

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