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Ai Takahashi at the Japan Expo, July 3, 2010
|Native name||高橋 愛|
|Born||September 14, 1986|
|Other names||Ai-Chan (愛ちゃん)|
Koji Abe (m. 2014)
|Years active||2001 - Present|
Ai Takahashi (高橋 愛 Takahashi Ai) (born September 14, 1986) is a Japanese pop singer and actress formerly associated with Hello! Project and best known as leader of Morning Musume and Hello!Project until 2011, and former member of its popular subgroup Mini Moni.
Morning Musume Career (2001-2011)
Her audition involved a training camp of three days and two nights, in which participants were expected to learn a new song, a dance routine and a script. Out of 25,000 applicants, nine were selected for the camp in which Takahashi passed.
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, first appearing in the group's movie Mini Moni ja Movie: Okashi na Daibōken! and its accompanying soundtrack. Her best-known nickname amongst non-Japanese fans, "Takitty", was derived from the cat suit (complete with tail) which she wears in the movie.
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" onward. She also had a duet with Tsunku on the cover version of Tsunku and Ayumi Hamasaki's duet "Love: Since 1999" 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, a role she has retained on subsequent singles since. In the summer of that year, she became part of the 2005 shuffle Group Elegies.
In 2006, Takahashi played the lead role, Sapphire, in the musical "Ribbon no Kishi The Musical" which was a collaboration work of Takarazuka Revue (a famous Japanese all-female musical group) and Hello! Project. The musical was based on Tezuka Osamu's manga and also starred v-u-den, Nozomi Tsuji, Aya Matsuura, and Natsumi Abe, as well as Marcia and Kaoru Ebira of the Takarazuka Revue. Soon thereafter, 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, the current sub-leader, Miki Fujimoto ascended to the leader position, with Takahashi becoming the new sub-leader of the group. However, on June 1, 2007, after Fujimoto's resignation, Takahashi took over as the new leader.
In 2008 Takahashi became a member of Hello Project's new unit High-King, a group created to promote Morning Musume's upcoming Cinderella the Musical, in which Takahashi will play the main character.
As of January 2009, she and Risa Niigaki have the longest tenures of any member. She is also 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.
Around December 2009, Takahashi was one of many people to advertise for 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, passing her current role of leader to Risa Niigaki.
Post Morning Musume (2011–present)
Her first role after graduation will be 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 Ai would be part of the cast for a stage play titled La Patisserie. The play ran from March 3 to March 11 in Tokyo, March 20 and March 22 in Osaka and Ishikawa.
On May 6, Takahashi announced that she would be part of Taira no Kiyomori and will debut in June. She played Tsuneko, the wife of Kiyomori's eldest son. From September 12 to September 23, Takahashi starred in a stage play titled High School Uta Gekidan☆Otoko-gumi. It was announced that Takahashi would be voicing a character in the hit anime Detective Conan. The episodes she voiced in aired in early 2013.
On February 12, Hello! Project Fanclub News announced that Takahashi will star in a stageplay titled Moshimo Kokumin ga Shusho o Erandara along with Ishikawa Rika, S/mileage members Wada Ayaka and Fukuda Kanon, and Juice=Juice members Miyamoto Karin and Uemura Akari. There were 11 showings and it ran from April 24 till the 30th. On March 18, Takahashi appeared in the commercial “Ai to Kumao,” promoting the insect repellent Mushuda. This was her first time appearing solo on a commercial. On May 10, Takahashi was modeled for Vanquish Venus fashion magazine. On July 3, it was announced that Takahashi would be going to Thailand for the Japan Festa 2013 from August 31 to September 1. She held a free mini live and handshaking event. On July 16, she held a birthday live concert on September 14 (Tokyo) and 16 (Osaka). The title was called "Ai Takahashi Birthday Live 2013 ~HELLO♥27~" The Osaka performance was cancelled due to a typhoon. On July 21, Takahashi had a solo-live titled "Takahashi Ai Sparkling Live in Yuigahama". Sometime in November, Takahashi participated in a musical called "Merrily We Roll Along" On September 10, HMV announced that Takahashi would be releasing her first style book, titled "AI am I". It would include an interview about her Morning Musume days, as well as her idea of love. It would also include articles on how to find an outfit, hair tips, and makeup. It was released on October 18. Takahashi became a regular in the new TV drama Jikken Keiji Totori 2, which started to air on October 12. In late October to November, Takahashi began filming for the movie Kara-age☆USA, starring as 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 theatres. 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 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 and introduced a new boot collection by ASBee.
In the spring Takahashi will star in Japan's first live-action drama, Hoshi Boshi no Yakusoku. The movie is made for a Fulldome Cinema, which will be screened at in her Hometown's Fukui City Museum of Natural History Dome Theater.
On December 20, 2013, it was announced that Takahashi is engaged to her boyfriend, Koji Abe, and they plan to get married on February 14, 2014.
On February 14, 2014, Takahashi officially got married. On June 2, 2014, they held a wedding ceremony in Hawaii, in attendance were 30 friends and family.
On January 22, 2015, Takahashi and Abe held their wedding party. Morning Musume members attended her party, including Yasuda Kei, Ishikawa Rika, Yoshizawa Hitomi, Ogawa Makoto, Konno Asami, Fujimoto Miki, Fukumura Mizuki, Ikuta Erina, Sayashi Riho and many others.
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
||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.|
|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|
|Haromoni@ (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||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.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Ai Takahashi.|
- 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)
| Leader of Morning Musume
| Sub-leader of Morning Musume
| Leader of Hello! Project
| Longest serving member of Morning Musume
(held with Risa Niigaki)
| Oldest Member of Hello! Project