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Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Talk about "big in Japan" . . .

Hometown boy does well for himself half a world away

Posted By on Wed, Feb 27, 2008 at 3:37 PM

You may not have heard of Jero before -- I didn't until just yesterday -- but he's a rising singing sensation who grew up here in town. He just happens to be bigger in Japan than he is around here -- but not in the way countless rock bands are, when they want to make ridiculous claims of grandeur. He's big in Japan because he sings in Japanese.

Jero was born Jerome White, Jr. and raised in Pittsburgh and attended Pitt, getting a degree in Information Science. While all that was happening, though, he was working on something else -- a singing career in his grandmother's native tongue. Now he's releasing high-ranking singles in Japan as an enka singer. Word has it -- and who are we to argue -- he's the first well-known black enka singer.

Here are a couple videos for you to peruse: one straight-up music video and another in which he's being discussed on Japanese TV -- are they laughing WITH him or AT him? We may never know.

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