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|Also known as||Ai-Chan (愛ちゃん)|
|Born||(1986-09-14) September 14, 1986|
Ai Takahashi (高橋 愛, Takahashi Ai) (born September 14, 1986) is a Japanese pop singer, actress, and model who is formerly associated with the Hello! Project and is best known as the leader of Morning Musume and Hello! Project until 2011. She is also a former member of its popular subgroup Mini Moni.
Morning Musume Career (2001–2011)
In 2001, Ai Takahashi joined the Japanese idol group Morning Musume as part of the group's fifth generation of performers, along with Makoto Ogawa, Asami Konno, and Risa Niigaki. Her audition involved a three-day training camp where participants were expected to learn a new song, a dance routine and a script. Takahashi was one of nine applicants selected out of 25,000 for the camp. Her debut with the group was on their single "Mr. Moonlight: Ai no Big Band", and her first appearance on a Morning Musume full-length release was their fourth studio album, 4th Ikimasshoi!. Her first appearance within a Hello! Project shuffle unit release was on the 2002 single "Shiawase Beam! Suki Suki Beam!" under the group name Happy 7.
In 2003, Takahashi replaced Mari Yaguchi in the Morning Musume spinoff group Mini Moni and debuted in the group's movie Mini Moni ja Movie: Okashi na Daibōken! and its accompanying soundtrack. Later in 2003, she was part of the Morning Musume splinter group Morning Musume Sakuragumi, which performed mainly slower numbers on the group's two EPs, "Hare Ame Nochi Suki" and "Sakura Mankai", and the shuffle group 7Air, an R&B-inspired septet.
Takahashi's vocals became more prominent on the second and final Mini Moni album, Mini Moni Songs 2 (2004), as well as on Morning Musume's singles from their spring 2004 release, "Roman: My Dear Boy". She sang a duet with Tsunku on the cover version of Tsunku and Ayumi Hamasaki's duet "Love: Since 1999" and on his solo album Take1.
In 2005, Morning Musume's first single release of the year, "The Manpower!!!", featured Takahashi in a prominent co-lead-vocal role which she has continued in on subsequent singles. That summer she became part of the 2005 shuffle group Elegies.
In 2006, Takahashi played the lead role, Sapphire, in Ribon no Kishi The Musical which was a collaboration work by Hello! Project and the Japanese all-female theatrical company Takarazuka Revue. The musical was based on Tezuka Osamu's manga and starred v-u-den, Nozomi Tsuji, Aya Matsuura and Natsumi Abe as well as Marcia and Kaoru Ebira of the Takarazuka Revue. On July 2, Takahashi released her first and only solo single to date, "Yume Kara Samete".
Following then-leader Hitomi Yoshizawa's graduation from Morning Musume on May 6, 2007, sub-leader Miki Fujimoto was promoted to leader and Takahashi filled in as the new sub-leader of the group. On June 1, 2007, Fujimoto resigned and Takahashi took over as the new leader.
As of January 2009, she and Risa Niigaki had the longest tenures of any member; she was one of only seven members to remain in the group for seven years or more (the others being Kaori Iida, Yoshizawa, Niigaki, Eri Kamei, Sayumi Michishige and Reina Tanaka) and one of two (along with Niigaki) to remain in the group for eight or nine years.
On February 1, 2009, during the "Hello Pro Award '09 ~Elder Club Sotsugyō Kinen Special~" concert held at Yokohama Arena, Yuko Nakazawa passed on her leadership position in Hello! Project to Takahashi.
In December 2009, Takahashi was one of many celebrities to promote the release of Final Fantasy XIII in Japan.
In September 2010, she became the second Morning Musume member to be at least 24 years old and the first to reach that age while in the group (original member Yuko Nakazawa was 24 when the group was formed).
On January 9, 2011, it was announced that Takahashi would graduate from Morning Musume at the end of the fall tour that year.
Takahashi's last single with Morning Musume, the double A-side "Kono Chikyuu no Heiwa wo Honki de Negatterun dayo!/ Kare to Issho ni Omise ga Shitai" (この地球の平和を本気で願ってるんだよ！/彼と一緒にお店がしたい！), included a B-side solo by Takahashi, "Jishin Motte Yume o Motte Tobitatsu Kara" (自信持って 夢を持って 飛び立つから), and was released on her birthday, September 14.
On September 30, 2011, on the last day of Morning Musume's "Ai Believe" tour, Takahashi graduated from Morning Musume and Hello! Project at the Nippon Budokan and passed her role of leader to Risa Niigaki.
Post Morning Musume (2011–present)
Her first role after graduation was the lead role of Sarah in the musical Dance of the Vampires at the Imperial Garden Theater. On November 25, it was announced that Takahashi was cast for a stage play titled La Patisserie, which ran from March 3 to March 11 in Tokyo, March 20 in Osaka, and March 22 in Ishikawa.
On May 6, Takahashi announced that she had been cast in the Taiga drama Taira no Kiyomori. She played Tsuneko, the wife of Kiyomori's eldest son. From September 12 to September 23, she starred in a stage play titled High School Uta Gekidan☆Otoko-gumi. It was announced that Takahashi would voice a character in the hit anime series Detective Conan, with her episodes airing in early 2013.
On February 12, Hello! Project Fanclub News announced that Takahashi would star in a stage play titled Moshimo Kokumin ga Shusho o Erandara along with Rika Ishikawa, S/mileage members Ayaka Wada and Kanon Fukuda, and Juice=Juice members Karin Miyamoto and Akari Uemura. The play ran for 11 performances from April 24 to April 30. On March 18, Takahashi appeared in the commercial “Ai to Kumao” to promote the insect repellent Mushuda; it was her first time appearing solo in a commercial. On May 10, Takahashi modeled for the Vanquish Venus fashion magazine. On July 3, it was announced that she would be going to Thailand for Japan Festa 2013 from August 31 to September 1. She held a free mini live and handshake event. On July 16, she announced two live birthday concerts to be held on September 14 (Tokyo) and 16 (Osaka), titled called "Ai Takahashi Birthday Live 2013 ~HELLO♥27~", but the Osaka performance was cancelled due to a typhoon. On July 21, Takahashi held a live solo performance titled "Takahashi Ai Sparkling Live in Yuigahama". On September 10, HMV announced that Takahashi would be releasing her first style book on October 18, titled "AI am I", which would include an interview about her Morning Musume days, as well as her ideas about love. It would also include articles on fashion, hair tips, and makeup. Takahashi became a regular on the new TV drama Jikken Keiji Totori 2, which began airing on October 12. In November, Takahashi was cast in the musical Merrily We Roll Along. From late October to November, Takahashi began filming for the movie Kara-age☆USA, starring in the main role. The movie was filmed in Oita, Japan and in the United States.
On March 17, Takahashi appeared in another commercial for the insect repellent Mushuda, titled "Live." In September, her film Kara-age☆USA was released in theaters. On September 13, Takahashi released her second style book I have AI.
Takahashi attended "Hello Pro Kenshuusei Happyoukai 2015 ~Haru no Koukai Jitsuryoku Shindan Test~" as a judge. In April, it was announced that she had joined a girl group with fellow Morning Musume graduates Yaguchi Mari and Tsuji Nozomi called "Datsumo Musume", under the management of Datsumo Labo, for the promotion of their hair removal services. On July 17, the women's lingerie and clothing retailer PEACH JOHN announced they would be collaborating with Takahashi for the collection "LOVE & PEACH". On September 11, it was announced that Takahashi would be collaborating with fashion brand Haco for the LOVE&PEACE Project 2015, a project that began in the wake of the 9/11 attacks to raise funds to support "a happy future for children around the world" by selling clothing from the project collection. On October 2, Takahashi modeled for a new boot collection by ASBee.
In spring 2016, Takahashi starred in Hoshi Boshi no Yakusoku, Japan's first live-action film made for a Fulldome Cinema, which was screened in her hometown's Fukui City Museum of Natural History Dome Theater.
On December 20, 2013, Takahashi was announced to have become engaged to her boyfriend, Koji Abe, and they married on February 14, 2014. On June 2, 2014, they held a wedding ceremony in Hawaii, attended by 30 friends and family. Takahashi and Abe held their wedding party on January 22, 2015, with Morning Musume members including Kei Yasuda, Rika Ishikawa, Hitomi Yoshizawa, Makoto Ogawa, Asami Konno, Miki Fujimoto, Mizuki Fukumura, Erina Ikuta, Riho Sayashi, and many others in attendance.
Discography and releases
|1||"Yume Kara Samete" (夢から醒めて)||2006||Only released for digital purchase and download;
later released as part of the Petit Best 7 compilation CD
Photo and fashion books
||August 13, 2002||Wani Books
|Photobook starring all of the 5th generation members.|
||December 9, 2002||Wani Books
|First solo photobook.|
||December 17, 2003||Kadokawa Shoten
|Second solo photobook.|
||May 27, 2004||Wani Books
|Third solo photobook.|
||June 25, 2005||Wani Books
|Fourth solo photobook.|
||January 27, 2006||Wani Books
|Fifth solo photobook.|
||October 27, 2006||Wani Books
|7||March 14, 2007||Kadokawa Publishing Group
|Seventh solo photobook. Photographed in Phuket, Thailand.|
||October 26, 2007||Wani Books
|Eighth solo photobook. Photographed in Bali.|
||May 25, 2008||Wani Books
|Ninth solo photobook.|
||May 25, 2009||Wani Books
|Tenth solo photobook.|
||May 27, 2010||Wani Books
|Eleventh solo photobook.|
||March 28, 2011||Wani Books
|Twelfth solo photobook.|
||September 14, 2011||Wani Books
|Thirteenth solo photobook.|
||October 19, 2013||Takarajimasha
|First stylebook from Ai Takahashi, focuses on her life style, private clothes, makeup|
||September 27, 2014||Takarajimasha
|Second stylebook from Ai Takahashi, features her private fashion|
||September 27, 2016||Takarajimasha
|30th birthday style book; fashion and makeup tips plus private photos|
||October 12, 2017||Takarajimasha
|Ai Takahashi's street fashion, accessory tips, and DVD|
|1||Alo Hello! Takahashi Ai DVD (アロハロ!高橋愛DVD)||December 17, 2003|
|2||Love Hello! Takahashi Ai DVD (ラブハロ!高橋愛DVD)||April 11, 2007|
|3||I Takahashi Ai DVD (写真集『私』高橋愛DVD)||June 17, 2009|
|4||Figure Takahashi Ai DVD (写真集『形（かたち）』高橋愛DVD)||June 2, 2010|
|5||Ai loves you I love Ai Takahashi Ai DVD (写真集『Ai loves you I love Ai』高橋愛DVD)||April 20, 2011|
|6||Real Etude ~Takahashi Family to Niigaki Family DVD 1 (モーニング娘。高橋愛＆新垣里沙 リアルエチュード『高橋さん家と新垣さん家 ゲスト：松崎しげる編』 DVD)||May 31, 2011|
|7||Real Etude ~Takahashi Family to Niigaki Family DVD 2 (モーニング娘。高橋愛＆新垣里沙 リアルエチュード『高橋さん家と新垣さん家 ゲスト：松崎しげる編』 DVD 2)||May 31, 2011|
|8||Real Etude ~Takahashi Family to Niigaki Family DVD 3 (モーニング娘。高橋愛＆新垣里沙 リアルエチュード『高橋さん家と新垣さん家 ゲスト：松崎しげる編』 DVD 3)||May 31, 2011|
|9||Love Love Love Takahashi Ai DVD (写真集『Love Love Love』高橋愛DVD)||September 21, 2011|
|Title||Start date||End date|
|Mini Moni's Brementown Musicians (ミニモニ。でブレーメンの音楽隊)||January 10, 2005||January 31, 2005|
|Hitmaker Aku Yuu Monogatari (ヒットメーカー 阿久悠物語)||August 1, 2008|
|Q.E.D Shōmei Shūryō (Q.E.D 証明終了)||January 8, 2009||March 12, 2009|
|Koi Choco – Bitter Sweet Angel (恋のチョコ-ビタースウィートエンジェル)||February 14, 2011|
|Show||Start date||End date||Network|
|Hello! Morning (ハロー！モーニング。)||2001||April 1, 2007||TV Tokyo|
|Matthew's Best Hit TV||May 29, 2002||TV Asahi|
|Tin Tin Town! (ティンティンTown!)||July 5, 2002||March 26, 2004||Nihon TV|
|Sore Yuke! Gorokkies (それゆけ!ゴロッキーズ)||September 29, 2003||December 26, 2003||TV Tokyo|
|Futarigoto (二人ゴト)||April 21, 2004||April 23, 2004||TV Tokyo|
|July 23, 2004||July 29, 2004|
|Majokko Rika-chan no Magical v-u-den (魔女っ娘。梨華ちゃんのマジカル美勇伝)||December 1, 2004||December 6, 2004||TV Tokyo|
|December 16, 2004||December 17, 2004|
|Musume Dokyu! (娘DOKYU!)||April 4, 2005||June 8, 2005||TV Tokyo|
|[email protected] (ハロモニ@)||April 8, 2007||September 28, 2008||TV Tokyo|
|Yorosen! (よろセン!)||October 6, 2008||March 27, 2009||TV Tokyo|
|Program||Start date||End date||Network|
|MBS Young Town Dōyōbi (MBSヤングタウン土曜日)||April 12, 2003||Ongoing||MBS Radio|
|Ishikawa Rika no Chanchaka Charmy (☆石川梨華のちゃんちゃか☆チャーミー!)||March 3, 2005 (guest appearance)||CBC Radio|
|TBC Fun Fīrudo Mōretsu Mōdasshu (TBC Funふぃーるど・モーレツモーダッシュ)||May 16, 2005||May 27, 2005||TBC|
- "The end of an era: Elder Club graduates". Hello!Online. February 1, 2009.
- Robert Michael Poole (2009-03-13). "Morning Musume not ready to graduate yet". The Japan Times. Retrieved 2009-04-04.
- "Nikkan Sports News" (in Japanese). Nikkan Sports News. 2007-06-01. Archived from the original on 2007-06-03.
- "Yahoo! Japan News" (in Japanese). Yahoo Japan Corporation. 2007-06-01.[permanent dead link]
- "Hello! Project New Unit "High King"" (in Japanese). Up-Front Works. May 15, 2008. Archived from the original on May 18, 2008.
- "Ai Takahashi & Risa Niigaki are Pink Lady" (in Japanese). Nikkan Sports News. July 1, 2008. Archived from the original on 1 August 2008. Retrieved August 26, 2008.
- 高橋愛＆新垣里沙でペッパー警部よ…日テレ系「阿久悠物語」でピンク・レディー役 (in Japanese). The Hochi Shimbun. July 1, 2008. Archived from the original on August 22, 2008. Retrieved August 26, 2008.
- "Ai Takahashi to graduate Morning Musume". Tokyofever via Hello!Project. Archived from the original on January 18, 2011. Retrieved January 9, 2011.
- "高橋愛、涙でモー娘。卒業 「この10年は宝物」". Retrieved 2011-09-30.
- "Tanz der Vampire official site". Archived from the original on September 3, 2011. Retrieved September 13, 2011.
- "Ai Takahashi Photobooks" (in Japanese). Hello! Project. Archived from the original on 6 May 2009. Retrieved 2009-05-11.
- "モーニング娘。高橋 愛が主演の"チョコのパッケージで観る"ドラマ". BARKS (in Japanese). Retrieved 2020-05-19.
- Official Blog
- Morning Musume: Official Hello! Project profile (in Japanese)
- モーニング娘。『卒業直前の高橋愛が 後輩たちへ託す想いを涙ながらに語る』 (Oricon interview with Ai Takahashi, September 12, 2011) (in Japanese)
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