Kuwata is best known as the lead vocalist of Southern All Stars, ranked the #1 on the HMV list of 100 great Japanese pop artists. As a band, the group has charted 16 number-one albums, selling a total of over 47 million units. The group has lasted through the years, originally forming in the early 1970’s, debuting in the 1978, and going strong through the 80’s, 90’s, and 2000’s. Kuwata’s style is heavily influenced by 60’s Western rock and classic American folk. Part of Kuwata’s longstanding appeal can be attributed to his unique voice, reputed to sound as if he was singing Japanese lyrics with an American tone.