This weekend, to celebrate Hello Kitty's milestone 40th birthday, the Geffen Contemporary at MOCA in Los Angeles hosted the first annual Hello Kitty Con, a four-day Sanrio spree offering everything from educational workshops in Hello Kitty sushi-making, cupcake-decorating, scrapbooking, and nail-painting to panels like "For the Love of the Red Bow - Super Fans Unite!" and "Guys Like Hello Kitty Too."
And one guy who really likes Hello Kitty is international rock star Yoshiki (of the 30-million-album-selling band X Japan), who premiered Kitty's new theme song, "Hello Hello," at the convention's kickoff VIP event.
Hello Kitty designer Yuko Yamaguchi initially approached Yoshiki (who became the first celebrity to be honored with his own Hello Kitty doll, "Yoshikitty," in 2009) about writing "Hello Hello" seven long years ago. And this week, an EDM version of his finished work was finally unveiled for a 2,000-strong throng of Kitty-crazed conventioneers — with Yoshiki dedicating the anthem to his close friend and the son of Sanrio founder Shintaro Kunihiko, Tsuji Kunihiko, who died last November from heart failure at age 61.
"We are so grateful to have the internationally acclaimed artist Yoshiki compose the theme song for Hello Kitty in honor of the iconic brand’s 40th anniversary," Yamaguchi announced. "When I first met him in the winter of 2007, I knew right away that Yoshiki would be the perfect person to pay tribute to her."
"I am very honored to be given the opportunity to compose this song," Yoshiki told the glowstick-waving Kitty Con crowd, as he sat behind a Liberace-worthy, truly grand Lucite piano. "I hope that Hello Kitty and the theme song will bring more peace and the melody of love to the world. I want to share this with my children one day."
Yoshiki plans to release "Hello Hello" in various languages and in many musical genres besides EDM, so that fans of all walks of life can enjoy Hello Kitty's universal message of love and friendship.