Retro Idols of the 1970s and 1980s
Rosanna Zambon (born: July 3, 1950) came from Italy to Japan in 1967, met Kato Hideo / "Hide" (born: December 15, 1942), formed a duet and made their debut in 1968. They have 1 song that reached #1 in Oricon chart. In 1975, they became more than just duet partners, they became husband and wife. Hide died in 1990.
*not sure if I can call them "idol" or just conventional singers, most likely not "idol". But I still add them anyway since I like their songs.
Amachi Mari (born: November 5, 1951) who debuted in 1971 used to be the most popular idol in early 1970s. She has 5 songs that reached #1 in Oricon chart. Her stats was significantly higher than other idols from her era, she used to be "on another level", thus made her the "queen" for a few years in the first half of 1970s.
Minami Saori, also known as her Christian name: Cynthia, (born: July 2, 1954) was one of the biggest idol in early 1970s who debuted in 1971. Her songs might never reached #1 in Oricon chart, with #2 is her highest record, but to judge her success only based on that will be very misleading since her total song sales was still significantly higher than some other idols who have one or more Oricon #1 ranked song. She was big!
Minami Saori is a long-time close friend of Asaoka Megumi, since their idol days until decades later in modern days.
lyrics (translation was made by other user, not mine).
Like a vintage manga character comes to life, she was the cutest 1970s idol, period! Asaoka Megumi (born:October 11, 1955) made her debut in 1972 and instantly rose to fame. Her signature song about "left-handed boyfriend" was so hype in 1973, it inspired companies to manufacture products for left-handed people. Megumi wasn't only a top idol, but also a trendsetter that her signature "hime (princess) hairstyle", a hairstyle that was used by girls from noble family in ancient Japan, became a trend for young girls in early 1970s, from normal girls to some celebrities. That hairstyle also made her being called "hime-sama (princess)" sometimes. Even today, hime hairstyle still exists. Asaoka Megumi has 1 song that reached #1 in Oricon chart. As a singer, there's no doubt about Megumi's singing skill.
Megumi has long-time close friendship with Minami Saori and Asada Miyoko since their idol days until decades later in modern days.
^ Asaoka Megumi who looked like she came straight out of a vintage manga 😆
Asada Miyoko (born: February 15, 1956), nickname: Miyo-chan, was one of the top idol in 1970s who was best known with her cute looks and soothing voice. She made her debut in 1973. She was more specialized as an actress, even then she still appeared in a lot of singing program and has 1 song that reached #1 in Oricon chart.
Miyoko is a long-time close friend with Asaoka Megumi since their idol days until decades later in modern days.
Agnes Chan (born: August 20, 1955) was an idol from Hong Kong. Her Chinese name is: Chen Mei Ling, and Agnes is her Christian name. She came to Japan in 1972 invited by a Japanese songwriter, made her debut that year and became one of the biggest idol in early 1970s. Agnes Chan has 1 song that reached #1 in Oricon chart.
Beside a singer, Agnes Chan is also known for her humanitarian works which she has done since a very young of age, even before she became a singer. In 1998, Agnes was appointed as the first ambassador of Japan Comitee for UNICEF and has done a lot of charity works since then. In 2016 she became "UNICEF Regional Ambassador for East Asia and the Pacific Region". As UNICEF ambassador, she has visited many war-torn countries and famine stricken countries, doing humanitarian works helping people all around the world.
Sakurada Junko (born: April 14, 1958) , nickname: Junpei, was a very popular idol in 1970s. She made her debut in 1973, the same generation as Yamaguchi Momoe and Mori Masako, they were called "hana no chusan trio". Junko was a top idols with many hit songs. and won many awards. She has 1 song that reached #1 in Oricon chart, although her total sales are much higher than that (her total sales are on par with Amachi Mari). Junko was also a successful actress who has starred in a total of 17 movies and 28 dramas, and won at least 5 awards as an actress.
Ota Hiromi (born: January 20, 1955) was one of the top idols from 1970s. She was also a songwriter and composer. Even since she was 8, the time she learnt piano for the first time, she has already composed her first music. Ota Hiromi made her singing debut in 1974. Her music style is a fusion between idol songs and folk songs, it turned into her own unique characteristic. She was one of the best looking idols in her era, her voice was amazing, and she has the popularity; thus made her a complete idol.
Yamaguchi Momoe (born: January 17, 1959) was the most popular idol in the 1970s, the "queen" of the '70s. She has 4 songs that reached #1 in Oricon chart, but her total song sales was much higher than idols who have a lot more Oricon #1 charted songs. From all the idols on this list, Momoe has the 5th highest sales. She retired from entertainment industry in 1980, still in the peak of her popularity, because of her marriage.
Iwasaki Hiromi (born: November 12, 1958), nickname: Hiroring, was one of the most popular idol in 1970s. She made her debut in 1975. One thing Hiromi has that excel most other idols is consistency. Since her debut day in mid 1970s until now, for almost 50 years non stop, she still regularly release new singles. She has a very long career. Iwasaki Hiromi has collected 3 songs that reached #1 in Oricon chart. Among 1970s idols, she has the 3rd highest song sales.
Okada Nana (born: February 12, 1959) was a popular idol in late 1970s who specialized in acting. She debuted as actress in 1974 and as singer in 1975. She was more popular as an actress , having starred in a lot of movies in late 1970s to early 1990s, mostly as the main protagonist, but she also has a decent singing career. She has released 7 albums in total. As for her acting career, she has starred in a total of 25 movies and about 138 dramas from late 1970s to late 2010s.
Candies might be the first idol group in idol history, which members consisted of Miki (Fujimura Miki, born: January 15, 1956), Ran (Ito Ran, born: January 13, 1955), and Sue ( Tanaka Yoshiko, born: April 8, 1956). They made their debut in 1973 but only became really popular started from 1975. Candies have 1 song that reached #1 in Oricon chart.
In late 1977, Candies - still in the peak of their popularity - suddenly announced they would disband soon. The period between the announcement and their final concert was when their popularity rose even further to the next level. Their song sales and concert attendance exploded. So did the ratings of TV shows where they performed. They officially disbanded in 1978 and never perform together again. Sue died of illness in 2011.
Pink Lady are an extremely popular idol duo from 1970s consisted of Mie(Nemoto Mitsuyo, born: March 9, 1958) and Kei(Masuda Keiko, born: September 2, 1957), they were on par with Yamaguchi Momoe as the most popular idol of the '70s. Just like the title of one of their songs "Pink Typhoon", Pink Lady were so big they swept through the late 1970s with their hype like a pink typhoon.
Pink Lady have 9 songs that reached #1 in Oricon chart. They have ten songs that sold more than 1,000,000 copies each. They appeared in a lot of tv ads, any product they advertised would get massive boost on sales. They have their own anime with them as the main character. They released Pink Lady dolls (like Barbie-type doll) and other merchandise. They were so big in their era, they even have a tv show in the US called: "Pink Lady and Jeff".
Even the biggest typhoon will cease. After their decline, Pink Lady announced in 1980 that they would disbanded the next year. After that, Pink Lady would reunited only to disband again several times in: 1984, 1989, 1996 and 2003. Finally they had enough and reunited for the last time in 2011 and announced that they will never disband again. Even now, Mie and Kei can still perform and dance with the same energy as when they were young.
Ishino Mako (born: January 31, 1961) was a popular idol from late 1970s well known for her catchprase: "million dollar smile". She made her debut in 1978. As an idol, she has won a lot of awards and performed 2 times in Kohaku Uta Gassen. Ishino Mako was also a presenter for the legendary idol talent show: "Star Tanjou!" (a legendary talent show from which many top idols were born. The likes of: Sakurada Junko, Yamaguchi Momoe, Pink Lady, Nakamori Akina, Kyon2, and even Mako herself used to be contestant of this show before they debut as singers).
Matsuda Seiko (born: March 10, 1962) , dubbed: "the eternal idol", was undisputedly the biggest idol in 1980s, bigger than anyone on this list, bigger than any idol ever existed in 1970s and 1980s. She's the "queen" of idol!
In 1980, Yamaguchi Momoe retired and Pink Lady announced their disbandment. Losing two biggest stars leaving a huge hole in idol industry that despereately needed someone to fill. Rookie idol: Matsuda Seiko was expected to become the next Momoe, but instead of becoming someone's heir, Matsuda Seiko became herself, built her own "throne", SURPASSED Yamaguchi Momoe (and any idols ever existed before her), and became the "queen" herself!
Since her debut in 1980, Matsuda Seiko has 25 songs that reached #1 in Oricon chart. Seiko was so dominant in early 1980s, she's simply on another level, no other idol could matched her.... except one person, her arch-rival, the other "queen".
Nakamori Akina (born: July 13, 1965) was one of two overwhelmingly popular idols in 1980s, one of the two "queens", the only person who could rivaled Matsuda Seiko back then, and surpassed everybody else from their generation with their ridiculously high stats. She made her debut in 1982 and started from her 3rd singles, her songs started to dominated #1 spot in Oricon chart. In total she has 22 singles that reached #1st rank in Oricon Chart.
In every different eras - wheter it's athlete or celebrity - sometimes there'll be a great rivalry between two generational greats who have surpassed everyone else and only competing for the top between themselves. Such thing also exists in idol world. Matsuda Seiko was overwhelmingly popular in the '80s, she was basically the "queen" of idol that no other idols could matched her......until the emergence of the other "queen", her arch-rival: Nakamori Akina.
Kawai Naoko (born: July 24, 1963) was one of the top idol in early 1980s. She made her debut in 1980 and has have 1 Oricon #1 ranked song, but that could be misleading since her total sales are much higher than what a singer with one Oricon #1 ranked song supposed to have. Her vocal skill was one of the best among idols in her era. Kawai Naoko also known to have had duets with high profile Hong Kong megastars like: Teresa Teng (Asia's queen of pop) and Jackie Chan (action movie mega star, he sings too).
Kashiwabara Yoshie (born: October 1, 1965) was a top idol from early 1980s, one of the first generation '80s idol who debuted at the same year as Matsuda Seiko and Kawai Naoko. The highest position her song ever reached in Oricon chart was #6, but her total sales is higher than some other idols who have more than one Oricon #1 ranked songs. She has also performed twice in Kohaku Uta Gassen. Her fans are not just average people, but even the crowned prince of Japan back then (the person who later became the emperor of Japan in Heisei period: 1989 - 2019) was a fans of her and had attended one of her concert.
Among idols, her close friend was Kawai Naoko
Yakushimaru Hiroko (born: June 9, 1964) was a top idol from early 1980s. She is also a very popular actress. She made her acting debut in 1978 and her singing debut in 1981.
As an actress, she has starred in a total of 44 movies and 51 dramas. In her prime, she won a lot "Best Actress" awards. In the age where she need to play as someone's mom, she still won a lot of "Best Supporting Actress" awards. She has won about 48 award in total.
As a singer, Yakushimaru Hiroko was a very popular idol in early 1980s with hit songs. She has a total of 3 songs that reached #1 in Oricon chart. Being popular in both fields, a lot of her songs were also used as OST in her own movies.
Matsumoto Iyo (born: June 21, 1965) , is one of the top idol from the 1980's, who made her debut in 1981. She won newcomer awards in her first year and since then she has a successful career as idol for almost a decade. She was also a presenter who hosted a popular music tv program back then, and acted in some teenage dramas.
Matsumoto Iyo seems to be friend with Hayami Yuu, sometimes they appeared in the same tv show.
lyrics (translation was made by other user, not mine).
Hayami Yuu (born: September 2, 1966), the idol from Hawaii, was one of the top idol in 1980s. She was born in Japan but moved with her parents to Guam when she was 3 years old, and grew up in Hawaii from 7 to 14 years old. This made her fluent in speaking English. One day she got scouted in a Japanese mall in Hawaii by an idol talent scout. She returned to Japan and made her debut as idol in 1982. She has a successful career as idol for almost a decade. She was also an actress who has starred in 14 movies.
Hayami Yuu seems to be friend with Matsumoto Iyo, sometimes they appeared in the same tv show.
Hori Chiemi (born: February 15, 1967) was a top idol active in early to mid 1980s. She made her debut in 1982. She has won at least 15 awards from various events and festivals. The highest position her song ever reached in Oricon Chart is #2. She was also an actress (starred in 17 dramas), radio host, and regular cast in some variety programs. Chiemi is also an author who has written 9 books, from fiction, autobiography, and books about family and parenting.
Ishikawa Hidemi (born: July 13, 1966) was a top idol from early 1980s. She made her debut in 1982, the same year as Nakamori Akina, Kyon2, Matsumoto Iyo, Hayami Yuu, Hori Chiemi and the boyband trio: Shibugakitai (<-- one of their member would later became her husband in 1990). In her career, she has released 30 singles and 16 albums; with total song sales of 2,486,864 copies. Her highest position in Oricon chart is #4. Hidemi has performed 1 time in Kohaku Uta Gassen 1985. She also has acting career which she has starred in 12 dramas.
Harada Tomoyo ( born: Novermber 28, 1967) was a top idol in 1980s. She made her debut in acting and singing in 1982 when she was just less than 15 years old, and immediately won awards as actress. Tomoyo became a very popular actress who starred in a lot of movies and dramas, many of them used her own songs as the OST.
As an actress, Harada Tomoyo has starred in a total of 31 movies and 28 dramas (still a very active actress with her latest drama and movie were from 2021). She won 12 awards as an actress in 1980s.
Tomoyo also has a successful singing career with a lot of singles and albums. She has 1 song that reached #1 in Oricon chart and has performed 1 time in Kohaku Uta Gassen.
Koizumi Kyoko (born: February 4, 1966) , also known as her cute nickname: Kyon Kyon (キョンキョン) , was an extremely popular idol, (based on her total singles sales) she was arguably the 4th most popular female idol in the 1980s. Her stats make her an elite even among top idols, with 11 of her songs reached #1 in Oricon Chart. She was also a popular actress, she still acts in dramas and movies even now.
Kyon2 was (or still?) a close friend of Nakamori Akina. Both of them were fellow participants of the same idol talent show, both debuted in 1982, and both were very big idols in their era. Instead of rivalry, they seemed to get along well.
Kikuchi Momoko (born: May 4, 1968), a top idol with soothing smile and specialized in city pop songs. She made her debut in 1984. She has a very successful career with 7 of her songs reached #1 in Oricon Chart. Kikuchi Momoko is also a popular actress, she still acts in new drama even now.
Nishimura Tomomi (born: December 17, 1970) , nickname: Tororin, was a top idol from 1980s. From 1984 to 1985, she was part of an idol magazine and talent show: "Momoco Club" (just like Sakai Noriko and Ito Miki). She made her debut both as actress and idol singer in 1986. In her career, the highest position her song ever reach in Oricon chart is #2. To be precise, she has three Oricon #2 and three Oricon #3 ranked songs. She is also an actress who has starred in 15 movies and 38 dramas.
Among idols, she was a big fans of Kikuchi Momoko, kinda like her cute younger sister. Tomomi was also highschool friend with Sakai Noriko.
Oginome Yoko (born: December 10, 1968) , nicknamed: Oginome-chan, was a top idol in 1980s well-known for her eurobeat style songs that made her unique than mainstream idol singers back then. She made her debut in 1984. In her career, she has a total of 3 songs that reached #1 in Oricon chart. She has won 39 awards from various events, the most notably ones are winning gold in "Japan Record Awards" for 4 consecutive years. She looked like normal cute idol when she talked normally, but once she sings and dances, she became someone different, someone so cool.
Okada Yukiko (born: August 22, 1967) , nicknamed: Yukko, was a top idol in mid 1980s. She made her debut in 1984 and in her first year alone she has won 14 awards, plus 4 more awards in 1985. She was expected to be "the next Matsuda Seiko", but she replied that she don't want to be someone else, she is herself.
Yukiko has 1 song that reached #1 in Oricon chart. She has also starred in 5 dramas, shot a bunch of TV commercials and wrote 2 books.
Okada Yukiko commited suicide in April 8, 1986 and died at the age of 18.
Honda Minako (born: July 31, 1967) was a top idol from the 1980s. She made her debut in 1985 (*a tough year, because that was the same debut year as Nakayama Miho, MInamino Yoko, Saito Yuki, Asaka Yui, and a lot more idols; even Onyanko Club). The highest position her song has ever reached in Oricon chart is #2; or to be precise, she has three #2 ranked and three #3 ranked songs.
Singing is her passion since childhood. Behind her petite body and innocent looks, there was a powerful voice. Honda Minako was as one of the idols with best vocal skill. Even after becoming a singer, she never stopped practising and honing her vocal skill. In her later years, her vocal range has reached 3 octaves. Beside an idol singer, she has tried other music genres: enka (Japanese folk music), rock, musical stage play, classical , and even jazz.
She was a social person. She has a lot of celebrities friends. Among idols, her best friend was Minamino Yoko, fellow top idol who was her highschool classmate, they even used to sit next to each other in classroom. Okada Yukiko was also her highschool classmate. She was also close with her seniors in singing, the like of Matsumoto Iyo, Hayami Yuu and Iwasaki Hiromi. And Matsuda Seiko is her cousin.
Honda Minako died in November 6, 2005 at the age of 38, because of leukemia.
Saito Yuki (born: September 10, 1966) was one of the top idol in 1980s who made her debut in 1985. She has 1 song that reached #1 in Oricon Chart. Her singing career was already impressive, but she was much bigger as an actress. In her career, Saito Yuki has starred in a total of 124 dramas (not included cameo / guess appeareances in 9 dramas) and 33 movies. Since her acting debut in 1985 until now, she has appeared in at least one drama or movie almost evey single year. In 2022 alone, Saito Yuki has already starred in 3 dramas. But from all her dramas, one of the most iconic one is Sukeban Deka (1985) where she acted as a badass girl fighting crime with a yoyo as her weapon.
Minamino Yoko (born: June 23, 1967) , nickname: Nanno, was a big idol in late 1980s. She started her debut as actress in 1984 and debuted as singer in June 23, 1985 (right at her 18th birthday). Nanno has a total of 9 songs that reached #1 spot in Oricon Chart. Beside a successful singer, she is also a very popular actress. In her career, Minamino Yoko has starred in: 125 dramas, and 31 movies (and if that's not enough, she also appeared in 27 stage plays and hosted 5 of her own radio shows). One of her most iconic role was when she played the main protagonist in Sukeban Deka Season 2 (1985). In her idol days, Nanno was also an idol with high commercial value who appeared in TV ads for many big brand companies. She was a well-rounded top idol!
Asaka Yui (born: December 4, 1969) was one of the top idols in late 1980s. She made her debut 1985. Her career is something to be appreciated; she started as small-time idol whose song ranked at #120 on Oricon Chart and climbed her way up into a top idol with 4 Oricon #1 ranked songs. Asaka Yui was also well-known with her role as the main character in the tv series: Sukeban Deka Season 3.
Nakayama Miho (born: March 1, 1970) , nickname: Miporin, was an extremely popular idol from 1980s, she was the 3rd most popular female idol in 1980s. Since her debut in 1985 until 1994, for almost a decade, all her singles were ranked in top 10 in Oricon Chart. In total, she has 8 Oricon #1 ranked songs. Two of her songs even sold more than 1,000,000 copies each. She was an elite even among top idols.
Kudo Shizuka (born: April 14, 1970), nickname: Shi-chan, was an extremely popular idol from 1980s, she also deserved to be called the 3rd most popular female idol of the 1980s (her stats & achievement were almost identical to Nakayama Miho, they're equal). She was a member of the infamous large scale idol group: Onyanko Club, but since she quit and started her solo career in 1987, Shizuka became a much bigger idol. Even her debut single already reached #1 in Oricon Chart, which was one among a total of 11 Oricon #1 ranked songs she has collected in her entire singing career. One of her song also sold more than 1,000,000 copies. She too was an elite even among top idols in her era, a super idol!
Onyanko Club ( pronounce: O-Nyanko-Club, means: the kitty club) was the first large scale group in idol history. They were formed in 1985 and introduced in their own variety show called "Yuuyake Nyan Nyan". They started with a formation of 11 members, but then they kept adding new members by audition from that tv show. In the end they have a total of 52 members registered under Onyanko Club. As for their age range, the oldest member was born in 1965 and the youngest one was born in 1971. But it doesn't mean all these 52 girls were all there at the same time. When some new members were accepted, some old members might have already 'graduated' ( the term they used when a member quit the group), so they were never all 52 members together. And when they performed on stage, it was usually mostly main members with less than 20 people. Beside the main group, Onyanko Club also have 3 sub-units; small sub-groups with a few girls each.
Onyanko Club have a short but very successful career. They have released 9 main singles with 6 of them reached #1 in Oricon chart.
Onyanko Club officially disbanded after their last concert in September 20, 1987. Some of their ex-members switched to solo idols with successful careers, each of them have several Oricon #1 ranked songs. Some of them became actress, etc. But among all ex members, the most popular one was obviously Kudo Shizuka.
Kawai Sonoko (born: June 20, 1965) was a top idol from 1980s. She joined Onyanko Club in 1985 and became member number 12. Even during her Onyanko Club days, she has already released her solo songs, but on April 1, 1986, she 'graduated' from Onyanko Club to focus more on her solo career (although she still regularly appeared in their tv show even after her "graduation"). As a solo singer, she has released a total of 9 singles and 7 albums. Kawai Sonoko has 4 songs that reached #1 in Oricon chart. She was also known for her youthful looks; being the oldest member of Onyanko Club (she was 20 when she joined) but she looked as young if not younger than her teenage teammates.
Takai Mamiko (born: December 28, 1966), nickname: Mami-chan, was a top idol from 1980s. One day in 1985, she was shopping in Harajuku when a scout approached her and invited her to Onyanko Club audition, which later she passed and accepted as member number 16. She was considered one of the most beautiful members of Onyanko Club and immediately gained attention of the fans. Beside Onyanko Club main group, she was also assigned a two members sub-group called "Ushiroyubi Sasaregumi". Personality wise, among Onyanko Club members, Takai Mamiko was said to be the most innocent and "pure" one.
She released her first solo single in June 1986 while she still was Onyanko Club member. Takai Mamiko "graduated" from Onyanko Club in April 1987, few months before the group disbandment. After she went full solo, she focused more on acting - her real passion - although she still released a few more singles. As a solo singer, Takai Mamiko has 4 songs that reached #1 in Oricon chart. Meanwhile her sub-group have 5 (out of 6 singles) Oricon #1 ranked songs.
Kokusho Sayuri (born: December 22, 1966), nickname: Sayu-chan, was a top idol from 1980s. She was one of the founding members of Onyanko Club (they started with 11 original members before kept adding new member through audtion) as member number 8. Although she isn't their real leader, behind the stage she took the "leader" role who guide younger members.
She released her first solo single in February 1, 1986 while still a member of Onyanko Club. She went full solo after "graduated" from Onyanko Club in March 1987, few months before the group disbandment. In her career, Kokusho Sayuri has a total of 3 songs that reached #1 in Oricon chart. She released her last single in 1988 and then shifted her focus to acting.
As an actress, Kokusho Sayuri appeared in A LOT of dramas. She has starred in a total of 165 dramas and 12 movies.
Watanabe Minayo (born: September 28, 1969) was a top idol from 1980s. In November 1985, she participated in Onyanko Club audition in "Yuuyake Nyan Nyan" TV program and passed, she was accepted as Onyanko Club member number 29.
She started her solo career in July 1986 while she was still an Onyanko member. She never "graduated" and stayed with the club until it's disbandment. In her career, Watanabe Minayo has 5 songs that reached #1 in Oricon chart. She released her last single in 1996 and stopped for decades, but released a new one in 2021. In total she has released 18 singles and 6 albums. Her total song sales are about 1,486,671 copies. Minayo also starred in 41 dramas and 5 movies, and a bunch of varitey shows.
Watanabe Marina (born: November 18, 1970) was a top idol from 1980s. She participated in Onyanko Club audition in March 1986 and accepted as Onyanko Club member number 36.
She made her solo debut in October 1986, just less than 7 months since she join the group. Even so, she never "graduate" and stayed with the group until it's disbandment. Her debut song reached #1 in Oricon chart and broke Yamaguchi Momoe's record as the youngest female singer to reach Oricon #1 chart (her record last for 14.5 years until someone else broke it). In her career, Watanabe Marina has 4 songs that reached #1 in Oricon chart. Her total song sales are about 1,397,029 copies. She has also starred in 55 dramas (mostly from 1987 - 2002) and a lot of TV ads. She has also written 10 books about travel and health.
Nitta Eri (born: March 17, 1968) was a top idol from 1980s. Onyanko Club started with 11 members formation (before they kept adding new members) and Nittta Eri was one of the founding members. She joined Onyanko Club in April 1985 and became Onyanko CLub member number 4.
She released her first solo single in January 1st, 1986 while still a member of Onyanko Club. She went full solo after "graduated" from Onyanko Club in September 1986. In her career, Nitta Eri has 4 songs that reached #1 in Oricon chart. Her total song sales are about 1,528,210 copies. Eri also starred in 5 movies and 15 dramas. She also wrote 3 books.
Princess Princess (also called Pri Pri) was a very popular all-girl rock band in late 1980s to early 1990s. Their member consisted of: Kishitani Kaori (former stage name: Okui Kaori, born: February 17, 1967, vocal), Nakayama Kanako (born: November 2, 1964, guitar), Watanabe Atsuko (born: October 26, 1964, bass), Konno Tomoko (born: July 15, 1965, keyboard), Tomita Kyoko (born: June 2, 1965, drum).
Their journey to the top wasn't smooth. They started the band in 1983 under the band name: "Akasaka Komachi". At that time, their management company pushed them into the "idol" route which are not the music genre they really wanted. So, in 1985, they changed to another management. In 1986, Princess Princess was born with pop-rock as their genre.
Princess Princess have a total of 5 songs that reached #1 in Oricon chart. Their total song sales in their entire career are 11,000,000 copies
* They are not "idol", they are rock band
* But they were cute rockers, visually as cute as "idols", and it's a compliment
Moritaka Chisato (born: April 11, 1969) was a top idol in late 1980s; a multi-talented artist who's also a song-writer which most of her songs were written by herself, and she can also play drum and other instruments. Moritaka Chisato has one special characteristic when she perform live on stage: to wear flashy - almost cosplay-like - costumes. In her entire career, she has 2 songs that reached #1 in Oricon Chart, but her actual total song sales were even higher than that.
Wink were a very popular idol duo in late 1980s to mid 1990s, consisted of Suzuki Sachiko (born: February 22, 1969) and Aida Shoko (born: February 23, 1970).
Suzuki Sachiko and Aida Shoko first met in 1987 when they both participated in a beauty contest held by a magazine. They befriended each other for awhile but stop catching up. One year later, in 1988, a coincidence (they called it fateful meeting) brought them together when Sachiko and Shoko somehow went to audition at the same company in the same day. They were about to audition as solo singer, but the audition staff thought their voices would be better to complement each other and suggested them to form a duo. A series of coincidences brought them together, Wink were born. Even their birthdates almost looks like a coincidence.
Wink came with a unique concept: singing with expressionless faces without smiling. Add that with their doll-like costume (in earlier phase of their career; changed into normal clothings in later years) and doll-like coreography. Imagine opening a music box, then two extremely beautiful dolls come out singing and dancing, that's the perfect way to describe Wink! Their concept were different, fresh and made them stand out.
Wink have their place among elite top idols in their era. Based on their total sales they were arguably the 5th or 6th most popular female idols of 1980s (*right after Koizumi Kyoko). They have 5 songs that reached #1 in Oricon Chart.
Every celebrities will eventually declines. The inevitable came to Wink in mid 1990s and eventually Wink "disbanded" in 1996. But they refused to call it disbandment, and technically they're not completely disbanded since in every decade (mostly every 10th of their anniversary), Sachiko and Shoko will temporarily reunite again as Wink for one day. So far they've had their reunion performance in 1998, 1999, 2008 and 2018.
Suzuki Sachiko (born: February 22, 1969), nickname: Sachin, was Wink member.
At the beginning, Sachiko and Shoko have a very similar voices. But few years later, as they got more experiences and improvement in singing, they started to develop their own vocal characteristics. Sachin has a deeper voice. Sometimes Wink will add 1 or 2 pop rock songs into their albums, and Sachin would be the one who sang those songs.
An ideal duet partners need to be in balance in every aspects. Wink have good chemistry, their voices and choreographies blend well, but visual is an important aspect too, especially for idol. Having a top of the top beauty like Aida Shoko as partner, the other half needs to match her so they'll look balance. Sachin was more than capable to be on par with her partner, they complemented each other perfectly and looked so good together.
Sachiko can write song too, some of Wink songs were written by her.
Aida Shoko (born: February 23, 1970) was Wink member.
There's nothing to say about her but compliments; huge compliments on that!
Aida Shoko was top of the top beauty, arguably the most beautiful idol in her era. Her vocal skill was one of the best among 1980s idol. She can write and compose her own songs too.
Aida Shoko was simply an almost perfect idol.
Idols are identical with cuteness, but Sakai Noriko was simply too cute, she could melt people's heart. Sakai Noriko (born: February 14, 1971), nickname: Nori-P, was one of the top idols in late 1980s. She made her idol debut in 1986 and released her first song in 1987. She was also one of regular cast member of idol tv program: Momoco Club before focusing on her solo career. Her smile, her body languages, everything of her emitted cuteness. But she didn't only sell cuteness, Noriko also has good vocal skill like a proper singer. Noriko is also a talented actress, one of her most popular drama is: "Hoshi no Kinka" (1995) where she played as a mute character. Her most popular song "Aoi Usagi" was used as OST for that drama, so when she sing that song live, she will use sign language in her coreography, just like her drama character.
Ito Miki (born: April 9, 1971) was one of the idols from 1980s. She made her debut in singing and acting in 1987. She was regular cast member of an idol tv program called "Momoco Club" before she made her solo debut. At her peak in her first year, her songs were ranked between #13 - #18 in Oricon chart. She has released a total of 3 albums and 7 main singles between 1987-1989. Beside singing, she also acted in tv dramas and movies (she appeared in about 21 dramas and 5 movies from 1987-2001, mostly as support role), and appeared in some TV commercials.
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CoCo was a popular idol group active from 1989 to 1994 with their members: Miyamae Maki (born: January 16, 1973) , Haneda Erika (born: March 7, 1973), Ono Mikiyo (born: June 17, 1974), Miura Rieko (born: September 1, 1973), Senou Azusa (born: April 3, 1973).
CoCo made their debut in September 1989. Their first eleven singles were all reached top 10 in Oricon chart with four of them reached #3 for four consecutive times which is their highest position in Oricon chart. In their entire career, CoCo have about 1,657,874 total song sales.
Senou Azusa quit the group in 1992 to pursue her solo career. At first they were about to add new member but then decided to stay with just 4 members for another two years. On April 12, 1994 they announced their disbandment. August 21, 1994, after their last concert, CoCo oficially disbanded. Each of their ex-members continued their solo career in singing and acting.
Mi-Ke were a famous idol trio formed in 1991 consisted of: Murakami Haruka (born: December 3, 1969), Utoku Keiko ( born: April 7, 1967), and Watanabe Mami (born September 22, 1969). Before their debut, they were chorus singers / backing vocals for a band called B.B Queens. Their names "Mi-Ke" means three colors, where they usually wore costumes in 3 different colors or styles. Their songs are mostly parodies of 1960s songs, with lyrics that looks like normal song lyrics but are actually formed of multiple vintage song titles being put together into sentences.
Mi-Ke were formed in 1991 and disbanded in 1993. They have short but successful career where they constantly appeared on TV, won some awards, performed 2 times in Kohaku Uta Gassen, and all of their main singles were used as soundtrack of dramas, tv programs, anime and tv ads.
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SPEED were an extremely popular girl group from mid to late 1990s with their members: Arakaki Hitoe (born: April 7, 1981) (leader), Uehara Takako (born: January 14, 1983), Imai Eriko (born: September 22, 1983) and Shimabukuro Hiroko (born: April 7, 1984). They made their debut in 1996 while still in very young ages even for idol standard, with their average age back then was 13.5 years old. They were very young but quickly rose to the top, surpassing most singers older than them.
How big were SPEED in their prime?
- They have 5 songs that reached #1 in Oricon chart.
- They have 4 singles with 1,000,000+ sales each. Their single with the "lowest" sales (by their standard) still sold 580,000+ copies. And then they have 2 albums with 2,000,000+ sales each, one album with 1,900,000+ sales, and even the one with "lower" sales (by their standard) still sold 880,000+ copies.
- Their total sales (singles + albums) in their entire career are about 19,646,009; that made them surpassed some of Japan biggest female idols like Pink Lady, Yamaguchi Momoe, Kudo Shizuka, Nakayama Miho, Koizumi Kyoko (Kyon2).... and only lose to Nakamori Akina and Matsuda Seiko.
- In "Top 50 Japanese Idols of All Time" list from 2011, SPEED were ranked in #5. (* Matsuda Seiko was #2 and Nakamori Akina #3)
- They have performed 4 times in Kohaku Uta Gassen 1997, 1998, 1999, 2008
- Most of those were achieved only in 3 years and 8 months (1996 - 2000). If they have longer career, they might even topple the "queens" from their thrones.
SPEED disbanded in March 2000. By then, all their members already have solo singles and wanted to pursue their solo careers independently. After the disbandment, SPEED have a short reunions in 2001 and 2003, and reunited permanently in 2008 and wanted to start over again, but unfortunately they can never reached the level of their prime ever again. In 2014 SPEED disbanded once again after their member: Arakaki Hitoe got married and retired from singing.