Dear Editor, Kim Mellen's column on the business, the pleasures, and the cultural effects of karaoke was so insightful ["We Are the Stars," Jan. 4, 1999]. I have never been to a karaoke bar in the U.S. I did, however, spend about 10 years of my career in Japan, where I belted out solos and duets almost every night much to the delight of Japanese patrons relishing the strange visage of a crazy gaijin singing in Japanese. It makes me happy that Westerners have embraced such a great stress reliever and equalizer. Karaoke is one of the best preventive therapies I've ever tried. I'm inspired to start exploring the local karaoke scene. Everybody should try it. Embarrassment is not a valid excuse. Embarrassment is unknown in karaoke. I'll bet I can see you singing along with the radio in your car. I'll bet you even think you sound pretty good in the shower. The karaoke fans will rave at your performance. Karaoke people might sit in a cubicle all week, but watch out for that Saturday night. They're going to have some fun.