MUSIC mogul Johnny Kitagawa, dubbed Japan’s Simon Cowell, has died at the age of 87.

Kitagawa produced famous boybands including Arashi and SMAP and was a kingpin of Japan’s entertainment industry for more than half a century.

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AFP or licensors

Music mogul Johnny Kitagawa’s death is reported in Japan[/caption]

His office, Johnny & Associates, says he died from a subarachnoid haemorrhage yesterday at a Tokyo hospital, where he had been treated after falling unconscious on June 18.

A statement read: “His final curtain came down with him wrapped in the love of his beloved children.”

He was responsible for 232 number one singles between 1974 and 2010 and was recognised three times by Guinness World Records for his achievements in pop music.

Born in Los Angeles, Kitagawa spent his early childhood in Japan before and during World War II and later grew up in the US before returning to his homeland after the Korean War.

His final curtain came down with him wrapped in the love of his beloved children

He started his company in 1962, spearheading Japan’s entertainment scene and creating numerous successful artists over a glittering career.

The mogul called the artists and trainees his “children” and was affectionately known as Johnny-san, meaning Mr Johnny.

Despite his high profile, Kitagawa rarely appeared in public.

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Getty Images – Getty

Kitagawa was a leading figure within the Japanese music industry and was responsible for 232 number one singles[/caption]

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Kitagawa died from a subarachnoid haemorrhage on Tuesday in Tokyo

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Getty Images – Getty

His company Johnny & Associates, which he started in 1962, said the mogul’s ‘final curtain’ had come down[/caption]

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