Atsuko Maeda has been an extremely popular celebrity among Japanese musical artists. This is a post addressing not just her graduation from AKB48 but also why she is such an important celebrity. Note: I used to have this information published on HubPages but I have decided to transfer it onto this magazine.
Japanese idol singer and movie actress Atsuko Maeda. Source of image: http://www.hello-online.org/
How did Atsuko Maeda become famous?
Her rise to fame began when she became a lead singer for the all-female pop music group AKB48. During her time in the group, she participated in what became known as teams. As a member of the group in Team A, Maeda got her start in the group during her teenage years. To make it easier on people reading this, a translation of the song titles will be provided when possible. The song called “I Wanted to Meet You” Aitakatta became the group’s third single released by Defstar Records in October of 2006. To this day, the song remains a favorite among the fans and it has the distinction of being the theme song for the group’s TV show called AKBingo!
When AKB48 released their 12th single called Namida Surprise, voting tickets became available during the 2009 Senbatsu Tournament. In this tournament, fans have the option of voting for who will be the lead singer for the next single. Maeda won that position by amassing 4,630 votes and became the front girl for the single titled “Iiwake Maybe”. In 2010, the same type of election took place and Maeda lost to Yuko Oshima. So Yuko became the lead singer for the single “Heavy Rotation.”
During a concert at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan, Maeda announced that she would be leaving or “graduating” from AKB48. Maeda being in tears and in front of 25,000 fans stated that she had to “move on and make way for younger members.” She then closed her eyes, put her hands on her chest and made an announcement that she had auditioned for AKB48 at the young age of 14. She said this became the first big decision in her life and she also said that people needed to allow her to make what she called the second biggest decision of her life. And she said: “I am going to graduate from the group.” For those that may not know this, the word graduation is used by the Japanese media to describe the time when a member of a musical group leaves to pursue other activities. It is kind of like a sort of retirement from the group.
Minami Takahashi, the only group member that knew about Atsuko Maeda’s decision urged fans to accept the outcome because “AKB48 is not the ultimate goal in life.” Maeda made the announcement on March 26, 2012. Here are some statistics for Atsuko Maeda:
- Place of birth: Chiba, Japan
- Date of birth: July 10, 1991
- Her height is 160 centimeters.
- Her blood type is A.
- Goes by the nickname of Acchan.
Regarding the graduation announcement, it was made official at the time that Atsuko Maeda would be officially graduating from AKB48 after the group’s three day performance at the Tokyo Dome. The date for the graduation or departure was August 27, 2012. After the graduation, Atsuko would move on to a career as a solo artist. In fact, she held what are called solo lives in Tokyo and Kobe, Japan. These two performances took place in September 2012. These concerts were held to commemorate the release of her 2nd solo single called “Kimi Wa Boku Da.” The first concert took place on September 15, 2012 at Nakano Sun Plaza. The following week on September 22nd, the 2nd performance took place at Kobe Kokusai Kaikan.
The first reason that Atsuko Maeda is so imoprtant
It has been almost 4 years since the graduation of Maeda and we have to be very thankful for the contributions that she has made as a pop singer, actress, and bikini model. Maeda is so important because I feel that she has opened the door for other girls to get their chance to become idols. One of those people who I think has gotten her chance to prove herself and to excel is Ayaka Umeda of the group NMB48. Umeda is no longer captain of that group’s B2. Umeda also got her career started with AKB48 before transferring to NMB48 in February 2014. Umeda has also gotten involved with acting, starring in the stage play “The Wonderful Wizard of OZ.” Maeda who is considered to be the “face of AKB48” by many fans has also paved the way for the expansion of AKB48 to other countries such as Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Indonesia. Of course, much of this would not have been possible without the creativity, skills, and intellect of producer Yasushi Akimoto, 58. He is the main force behind this expansion of AKB48. He wanted to expand upon this idol group with the theme of “idols you can meet.” He has certainly done this. There have been groups such as SKE48, HKT48, SDN48, SNH48, JKT48, and NGT48 which have been created after AKB48 got its start in October 2005. Of these groups only SDN48 is not active.
2. Maeda is now adding to her importance as an idol because she will release a solo album! This album called Selfish was released on June 22, 2016. There are four versions of the album. These versions are A, B, C, and D. The song Selfish is being used as the theme song for the drama called Busujima Yuriko no Sekirara Nikki. The album also has her four previously released solo singles. These are Flower, Kimi wa Boku Da, Time Machine Nante Iranai, and Seventh Chord.
Before the album’s release, Maeda, 25, held a mini live and high-five event on June 11, 2016. This solo album is another way for her to add to her volume of works and increase her influence.
The popularity of AKB48 has absolutely skyrocketed as the group has released over 20 million selling singles (note: at least 20 singles that have sold one million or more copies) and become a sort of pop cultural icon in Japan. The group has become so popular that fans need to buy tickets ahead of time just to go to AKB48 Theater to see the group work on stage.
Atsuko Maeda has released four solo singles to date and she was named as center very often for AKB48’s singles. Maeda’s last single with AKB48 was the one called Manatsu no Sounds Good! If AKB48 is this popular now without Maeda in the group. I wonder how popular AKB48 would be if she were still in the group. The group would attract even more fans to its already loyal fan base. Maeda has also released photo books including 2010’s “Acchan in Hawaii.” That photo book saw the singer relaxing in Hawaii eating a hamburger, surfing, or displaying her sexy bikini body! She’s got one of the best bikini bodies among these Japanese idols including Sayaka Yamamoto (NMB48), Yui Yokoyama, and Anna Iriyama who is also from the city of Chiba. Maeda has a bikini body that actress Emi Takei would be proud of! Atsuko Maeda will always be one of my biggest role models for her dedication to charities such as The Red Cross and for her class, charm, charisma, and her singing and dancing. I think Maeda is cuter but Yuko Oshima may be sexier overall! Her photo shoot in Ibiza, Spain may convince some of you! She released the photo book called Nugiyagare! Congratulations to Maeda Atsuko for her contributions in a decade’s worth of work! We love you!! I may do another post about this AKB48 member in the future. Stay tuned! Attached to this post is the beautiful song called Tatami from the single Kimi Wa Boku Da.