LDH has been on a roll for the past few year at the Japan Record Awards. Since 2008, the company has taken home the top prize at six of the last eight ceremonies. EXILE won 2008 – 2010, and again in 2013. Sandaime J Soul Brothers won in 2014 and 2015, and with their currently popularity, look to be a shoo-in for this year.
But are these legitimate wins? According to Shukan Bunshun, the answer is no. The publication has evidence that LDH bribed officials at the Japan Record Awards to guarantee Sandaime J Soul Brothers’ win last year for their song “Unfair World.” The amount of ¥108,000,000 was paid for the win by Burning Productions for the benefit of LDH. The Japan Record Awards have long been accused of shady dealings but this is the first time that there is conclusive evidence of such activities.
Shukan Bunshun obtained a copy of the bill pictured above which is on Burning Production’s stationary. It is labelled “end of year promotion business expense.”
On October 21, Shukan Bunshun asked LDH, Burning Productions, and Avex to respond to the bribery allegation. No comment was received by the magazine’s deadline.
Two days later, HIRO announced that he would be retiring as the president of LDH at the end of the year.
If you would like to know why and how exactly Burning Productions is involved in this whole thing, this series of articles from a few years ago is very informative about that matter and a lot of other industry issues:
Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3 / Part 4