Jerome White, Jr. – Jero for short – is a 26-year old African American originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Oh, and he’s also a popular enka singer in Japan. I’d write more, but TokyoMango puts it better:
…He’s a quarter Japanese, and he promised his now-deceased Japanese grandma that he would become a famous enka singer. In 2003, he moved to Tokyo and started entering singing contests. Soon enough, he got picked up by a record label and some really famous songwriters helped him kick off his career.
Here, he performs his debut single, Umiyuki, which broke the record for debut enka single on the famed Oricon charts this week with 3.5 million copies sold.
Viewing some other Jero videos, I love how he starts singing for this Japanese variety show and the hosts just go “WHAAAA?!” once they realize he’s singing enka, and then again once they realize he can speak fluent Japanese. (Also, what’s up with the dude in the speedo at the one-minute mark? Variety show, indeed.)