There is usually one international artist selected to perform every year but this time no one had been chosen until now.
Lady Gaga is currently in Japan for an appearance on Friday Dec. 23 on the leading weekly music show Music Station, which has an average viewership of 13.7% according to Video Research. In face-to-face meetings NHK was able to convince the quirky superstar to appear on Kohaku though she will have returned to the US. Gaga will appear live from New York City. The performance would take place mid-morning New York time to coincide with the broadcast time in Japan.
Gaga is also slated to appear on "Dick Clark's Rockin' New Years Eve" and will perform live in New York City's Times Square.
Lady Gaga has been a strong supporter of Japan since the triple disasters in March of earthquake, tsunami and nuclear accident. She was one of the few stars that did not cancel her live concerts in the country in the months after the nuclear crisis. Gaga also issued "We Pray for Japan" bracelets with all the money going to disaster victims.
Lady Gaga was quoted by NHK as saying that she was honored to be chosen to perform on Kohaku. She noted she would prepare a musical stage show instead of a simple live performance.
Kohaku is always shot live for the performers in Japan and the show encourages international performers, even when overseas, to perform live.
Both Kohaku Uta Gassen and Music Station placed in the Top 10 of the most important musical platforms in Japan in Billboard's Maximum Exposure- Japan (link to Maximum Exposure 2011: Japan Top 10).