KinKi Kids is a Japanese duo consisting of Koichi Domoto and Tsuyoshi Domoto under the talent agency Johnny & Associates. Although the members share the same surname, the only relation they have to each other is that they both hail from the Kinki region, hence the duo's name. KinKi Kids hold the Guinness World Records for having the most number of consecutive No.1 singles since debut.
1991–1996: Pre-debut activities
The duo first met each other during a Hikaru Genji concert at Yokohama Arena on May 5, 1991. From then on, the two began to appear together in magazine photoshoots together though they did not have a formal name, going through several temporary names such as Johnny's Kansai Group (ジャニーズ関西組 Janīzu Kansai Kumi?), Domoto Brothers (堂本ブラザーズ Domoto Burazazu?) and W Domoto (W堂本?), before being introduced as Kanzai Boya (カンサイボーヤ?) by the end of 1992 when they were backup dancers for SMAP. On the first episode of SMAP's variety show Kiss Shita? SMAP (キスした?SMAP?), which began on April 4, 1993, SMAP leader Masahiro Nakai decided that the name was to be "KinKi Kids" when the two joined the show as regulars. Months later, Koichi and Tsuyoshi both appeared in their first drama together called Ningen Shikkaku (人間・失格 Unfit Human?), which had a peak rating of 28.9% on its final episode. On December 31, 1994, KinKi Kids held their first concert at the Budokan.
In 1996, the duo once again starred together in the drama Wakaba No Koro (若葉のころ Days of Youth?) playing friends with very different backgrounds. Tsuyoshi played a boy with an alcoholic father who works to take care for his younger siblings while Koichi played a boy who comes from a wealthy yet unloving family.
1997–present: Debut and onwards
The duo made their debut in 1997 with a double release of a single "Garasu no Shōnen" (硝子の少年?, "Glass Boy") and an album A Album. According to Oricon, both went on to sell over one million copies, making the duo the second artist from Johnny's to have a debut single sell over one million after their agency senior Masahiko Kondo's debut single "Sneaker Blues" (スニーカーぶる〜す?, "Sunika Burusu") and the first to have a debut album sell over one million. Their second single "Aisareru Yori Aishitai" (愛されるより愛したい?, "I'd Rather Love Than Be Loved") went on to become a major hit as well, selling over half a million in its first week and over a million copies by the end of its chart run. By the end of the year, "Garasu no Shōnen" ranked 2nd on the annual Oricon charts, behind Namie Amuro's "Can You Celebrate?". From August 23 to August 24, they were appointed the main personality supporters with Noriko Katō (加藤 紀子 Katō Noriko?) for NTV's annual telethon 24-Hour Television (24時間テレビ 24 Jikan Terebi?) with Tokio member Tatsuya Yamaguchi (山口 達也 Yamaguchi Tatsuya?) as the marathon runner. Additionally, from October 18 to December 20, KinKi Kids starred in their third drama together called Bokura no Yūki: Miman Toshi (ぼくらの勇気 Our Courage: Miman City?) with Mai Hosho (宝生 舞 Hosho Mai?), former Johnny's Jr. Yuki Kohara and Arashi members Jun Matsumoto and Masaki Aiba.
In 1998, KinKi Kids, along with fellow Johnny's groups V6 and Tokio, came together to form a special charity-oriented duo called J-Friends, in which they collaborated with famous musicians such as Maurice White, Diane Warren, Elton John, Jon Bon Jovi and Michael Jackson. J-Friends's single "Ashita ga Kikoeru/Children's Holiday" (明日が聴こえる/Children's Holiday?, "Can You Hear Tomorrow/Children's Holiday"), released on January 21, 1998, went on to sell over a million copies and ranked 12th on the annual Oricon charts by the end of the year. The year was successful for KinKi Kids as well. The duo's singles "Zenbu Dakishimete/Ao no Jidai" (全部だきしめて/青の時代?, "Hold on to Everything/Blue Days") sold over a million and ranked 10th on the charts and "Jetcoaster Romance" (ジェットコースター・ロマンス?, "Jietsutokosuta Romansu") sold over 900,000 copies and ranked 18th; their album B Album sold over 850,000 copies and over a million by the end of its chart run. Furthermore, their 1997 single "Aisareru yori Aishitai" managed to rank 8th.
In 1999, the duo's 7th single "Flower" (フラワー?, "Furawa") ranked 10th on the annual Oricon charts for selling over a million copies, making it the duo's fourth million-selling single. The year 2000 saw the duo's first Asia tour in Taiwan and Hong Kong, which was held at Taipei 101 and the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre respectively and ran from February 22 to February 27, and their second million-selling album KinKi Single Selection.
After all 13 of KinKi Kids' singles since their debut single "Garasu no Shōnen" debuted at the top of the charts, they were listed in the 2002 edition of the reference book Guinness World Records for having the record of the most number of consecutive number-one singles since their debut single. It was the first case for a musical artist in Japan to be recognized by the Guinness World Records. Irish group Westlife was listed as this record holder by the Guinness World Records before the duo's accreditation because of making seven consecutive UK number-one singles since their debut as a group.
To commemorate their 10th anniversary on July 21, 2007, KinKi Kids released a best-hits album entitled 39 on July 18, 2007. The numbers three and nine are pronounced as "San Kyū" (三九?) in Japanese and sound similar to "Thank You" in English, signifying KinKi Kids' gratitude to their fans for their support for the past 10 years. The album features the top 11 song favorites, as voted by fans as well as two individual 14-song favorites lists from Koichi and Tsuyoshi, coming to a total of 39 songs, hence the title. 39 went on to sell about 301,000 copies in its first week. In the same month, the duo was once again recognized by the Guinness World Records for their feat of achieving the most number of consecutive number-one singles by extending their own record to twenty-five number one singles since debut. On July 22, 2007, the duo held their 10th anniversary concert at Tokyo Dome, which drew a crowd of about 67,000 fans, making it the biggest concert ever held at the Dome. The record was previously held by Tsuyoshi Nagabuchi in 1992 when his concert drew an audience of 65,000.
On May 31, 2008, the duo announced their first summer tour in eight years. The tour started at Tokyo Dome on July 21, 2008—coinciding with their 11th anniversary—and extended the duo's record for holding the most Tokyo Dome concerts. They released their 28th single "Yakusoku" (約束?, "Promise") on January 28, 2009, which debuted at the top of the Oricon charts, not only extending their Guinness record but also improving their own Oricon record for the most consecutive years with a number-one single. The duo's 29th single "Swan Song" (スワンソング?, "Suwan Songu"), released on October 28, 2009, debuted at the top of the Oricon charts, extending their record.At the end of 2010, the duo released their 30th single "Family (Hitotsu ni Naru Koto)" (Family ～ひとつになること?, "Family (To Become One"), with the lyrics written by Tsuyoshi and the music composed by Koichi. Their 31st single "Time," also used as the theme song for Dynasty Warriors 7, has extended their Guinness World Record again. KinKi Kids started year 2012 with a new single "Kawatta Katachi no Ishi" (変わったかたちの石?, "Odd-shaped stone").
- 1994: Ningen Shikkaku (TBS)
- 1996: Wakaba No Koro (TBS)
- 1997: Bokura No Yūki: Miman Toshi (NTV)
- 2003: Mukodono 2003 (Fuji TV: guests, ep 6)
- 1992: 200X Nen Sho
- 1994: Shoot!
- 1993: Another
In a 2006 survey of people between 10 and 49 years of age in Japan, Oricon Style found the number one selling song "Happy Happy Greeting" (608,790 copies) to be the fourth most popular Valentine's Day song in Japan. The most popular song was Sayuri Kokushō's 1986 debut single "Valentine Kiss", which sold only 317,000 copies. The other songs in the top five were (in order) "Love Love Love" from Dreams Come True (2,488,630 copies), "Valentine's Radio" from Yumi Matsutoya (1,606,780 copies), and "My Funny Valentine" by Miles Davis.
- 2000: 26th Television Drama Academy Awards: Best Theme Song: "Natsu no Ōsama" (Summer Snow)
- 2003: 35th Television Drama Academy Awards: Best Theme Song: "Solitude: Shinjitsu no Sayonara" (Remote)
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- KinKi Kids Official Site at Johnny's Entertainment
- Johnny's Agency site
- Domoto Kyoudai's official site
- KinKi Kids at AllMusic