He passed away today, Sunday, July 17th, 2011 at the age of 45.
Sawada was a member of X Japan from 1985 - 1992, recording three albums with the band before departing due to creative differences with founder/drummer Yohsiki. He went on to record one album with Loudness in 1992 - their self-titled album featuring ex-EZO frontman Masaki Yamada debut as new vocalist - and can be heard on the band's 1994 live album, Once And For All.
Sawada also recorded and performed with D.T.R, launched CLOUD NINE with guitarist Shu Yamagishi, and had stepped back into the spotlight as of 2010 with his own band, TAIJI WITH HEAVENS, recording one EP and performing live.
He was invited to join X Japan as a special guest for two shows at Nissan Stadium in Tokyo on August 14th and 15th, 2010, officially ending the conflict between himself and Yoshiki. Footage from the reunion can be viewed below.
Check out BW&BK scribe Carl Begai's interview with Sawada from February 2010 here.