Ladybeard – Cross-dressing Japanese Baby-metal Showstopper Comes to America
The Australian dress-wearing, metal-screaming Japanese sensation Ladybeard is finally bringing his one-of-a-kind gymnastic, acrobatic, and unbelievably complex act to American stages as he tours solo through the United States. Though he ordinarily performs alongside his two fellow singers and dancers Risa Kaneko and Rei Kuromiya, he has produced a one man show that incorporates all of his unique talents for his tour.
Where did Ladybeard come from?
Ladybeard’s music and performance career has been ongoing for nearly 15 years, but it didn’t begin with drag and pop music metal fusion. Though he has said that the inspiration for his kawaii persona grew from his experience wearing a dress to a costume party at age 14, it wasn’t until he made it big as a wrestler in Hong Kong that he truly embraced the Ladybeard lifestyle.
Ladybeard the Stuntman and Wrestler
Career growth for Ladybeard was born of his combined unusual talents for physical challenges. One of his first professional gigs was as a stuntman in Hong Kong, where he also jump started a career in professional wrestling.
Ladybeard is first and foremost a martial artist. He uses his Taekwondo training as a base for his unique wrestling moves that set him apart in the ring. Training in martial gives him a superior lung capacity that enables him to perform gymnastic stunts while incorporating Taekwondo style kicks into wrestling matches.
Some of his signature moves include:
Ladybeard sits on a downed opponent’s face and places him or her in a modified crab hold
- The Preciously Hard Taekwondo Style Kick
A 180-degree kick with an outstretched leg
A rear targeted flying roundhouse kick
- A Woman’s Liberation
A rotating kick to the back of the skull
Ladybeard now incorporates stunts, wrestling, and martial arts into his live shows. It helps create a unique blend of stage performance and musical peculiarity that’s sure to captivate audiences, especially those who are unaware of his East-Asian presence.
Ladybeard the Musician
As a musical performer, Ladybeard combines a kawaii-style feminine singing voice with a metal growl and switches between the two for each one of his pop covers. The songs he covers are usually huge J-Pop hits that his listeners can easily pick up and enjoy even after they’ve been filtered through the Ladybeard metal filter.
His musical career began as a solo act. It has mixed elements of his varying careers and skills since its inception. At the recommendation of his supporters, he performed on a tour across Japan in 2011 and, after learning about his fan base and the big opportunities in the land of the rising sun, returned in 2013 to begin a full-time career as Ladybeard the musician.
In 2015, he partnered with cosplay company PR Unit to create Ladybaby, a compliment to his solo act that features Risa Kaneko and Rei Kuromiya, symbols of Japan’s kawaii culture. Together, they epitomize what Ladybeard has dubbed the Kawaiicore style of music.
The Modern Ladybeard
Today, Ladybeard is enjoying fame in East Asia and has his sights set on Western audiences. He’s gaining fame in parts of Europe and the UK and shows no signs of stopping his tidal wave of popularity. He brings a never-before-seen freshness to both music and martial arts.
TV and Commercial Success
While Ladybeard has yet to try for a proper acting role, he has appeared in-character on several different Japanese TV networks, including:
- Osaka Wide Show
- Downtown DX
- saku saku
He’s also appeared on commercials for everything from video games to backpacks.
He also has an impact on the LGBTQ movement both in his home of Japan and abroad. His popularity in Japan is helping to free traditional Japanese thinking from the bonds of intolerance toward infractions of cultural norms. Tokyo is well known for its relatively liberal cultural bubble, where events such as Rainbow Week create opportunities for Japan to witness the pride of its own undeniable LGBTQ community.
His base in Shinjuku is no different – it’s a hub for drag and homosexual lifestyle movements that represent progress for those fighting for equal rights for sexual minorities. In an area like Shinjuku, Ladybeard can not only flourish, he can also help make small steps toward big change.
The Future of Ladybeard and Ladybaby
Ladybeard’s act still has room to evolve and there’s plenty more world to conquer for the artist. However, his talents as a martial artist, stuntman, wrestler, actor, musician, and dancer should keep doors open for a chance at real western fame. Keep an eye on Ladybeard’s Twitter and Facebook account to see when and where he’ll be taking the West!