Exile (Japanese band)

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MTV VMAJ 2014 Exile (cropped).jpg
Members of Exile at the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards Japan
Background information
Also known as Egu
J Soul Brothers (1999-2001)
Origin Tokyo, Japan
Years active 2001–present (1999-2001 as J Soul Brothers)
Labels Rhythm Zone
Associated acts
Website exile.jp
Members Atsushi
Kenchi Tachibana
Keiji Kuroki
Naoki Kobayashi
Takanori Iwata
Alan Shirahama
Mandy Sekiguchi
Sekai Yamamoto
Taiki Sato
Past members Hiro (Active as Leader / Retired)
Matsu (Retired)
Makidai (Retired)
USA (Retired)
Shun (Left)

Exile is a 19-member Japanese boy group. The leader of the group is Hiro, who debuted as a member of Zoo under For Life Music, but Exile has released their singles and albums under Avex Group's label Rhythm Zone. Hiro and Avex's president Max Matsuura came from the same high school.[1]

In total, they have sold over 20 million records in Japan alone.



The current leader, Hiro, was originally in the pop group Zoo before they split up in 1995. In 1999, he started a new group called J Soul Brothers, which later changed its name to Exile in 2001. (But the name of J Soul Brothers was later revived by Hiro again in 2007 when he helped to form another 7-member group under the new J Soul Brothers moniker.)

Debut and Second Generation[edit]

Atsushi and Shun became the lead vocalists of the group. Atsushi is a fan of American R&B group Boyz II Men. In November 2003, Exile remade Zoo's hit single "Choo Choo Train", which became a strong promotional single for their third studio album Exile Entertainment. The album sold over a million copies. They took part in the NHK Kōhaku Uta Gassen of the year, singing "Choo Choo Train". At first, their music style was influenced by R&B, but their style later became more pop-oriented form. Their 2004 single "Real World" became their first number-one single on Oricon weekly charts. They released the collaboration "Scream" with Japanese rock band Glay in July 2005, peaking at No. 1 and selling over 500,000 copies on Oricon charts.[2]

The group released "Tada...Aitakute" in December 2005 and "Yes!" in March 2006. Both singles topped the Oricon weekly charts. However, Shun left the group in March 2006 and became a solo singer. After the group sought a new vocalist from the public, Takahiro joined the group in September 2006. Takahiro originally tried to become a hairdresser in his school days, but eventually joined the group as a vocalist.[3]

On February 14, 2007, the group released the single "Michi", which became their first number-one single on the Oricon charts since Takahiro joined the group. Their 2007 studio album, Exile Love, became the highest selling album of Japan in 2008, selling nearly 1.5 million copies on Oricon charts. Their compilation album Exile Ballad Best sold nearly 1 million copies in its first week on Oricon charts, making it the highest first week sales for an album of Japan in 2008. The song, "Ti Amo", was certified Million by the Recording Industry Association of Japan (RIAJ) for 1,000,000 full-track ringtone digital music downloads (Chaku Uta Full).[4] They also won the Grand Prix Award at the 50th edition of Japan Record Awards for "Ti Amo".

Wider Success: Third Generation and Hiro's departure[edit]

In 2009, Exile's song "The Next Door" was featured as the theme of the Japanese edition of Street Fighter IV. The song was released at the iTunes Store on February 22, 2009. The English version "The Next Door -Indestructible-" was used for the international edition of the game. The English version was released as the third track of their single "The Hurricane (Fireworks)" on July 22, 2009, featuring American rapper Flo Rida.

On March 1, 2009, Exile and Nidaime J Soul Brothers announced that they would merge to become a 14-member group. They released their first studio album with 14 members, Aisubeki Mirai e, on December 2, 2009. They won the Grand Prix Award for the song, "Someday", at the 51st Japan Record Awards.

On May 19, 2010, Avex released the CD maxi of the suite "Taiyō no Kuni" (太陽の国?), or "The Country of the Sun," written by Yasushi Akimoto and sung by Exile, for the 20th anniversary of the accedence of the Emperor of Japan Akihito. However, the CD was not reflected on the Oricon charts.[5] For the 52nd Japan Record Awards, the group earned their third consecutive win with the song "I Wish For You".

The group was the 3rd artist by total sales revenue in Japan in 2011, with ¥5.603 billion,[6] and the 2nd in 2012, with ¥12.177 billion.[7]

On April 3rd 2013, EXILE's leader HIRO, who had been a performer for 24 years prior, announced that he would be retiring from the group as a performer at the end of 2013. He stated that he would still continue to be the leader and producer of the group. [8] On the same day, EXILE released their 41st single "EXILE PRIDE ~Konna Sekai wo Aisuru Tame~". In October, the single crossed the 1 million mark, being EXILE's best selling single. During the 55th Japan Record Awards, EXILE had their fourth win with the song "Exile Pride ~Konna Sekai o Ai Suru Tame~". This was the groups first win since their consecutive winning streak was broken by the Idol group AKB48.

New Era: Fourth Generation Members[edit]

On the final stage of EXILE's 3rd audition "EXILE PERFORMER BATTLE AUDITION", the winners where announced. Out of 2000 applicant's only 5 members where chosen. Those members were Iwata Takanori from Sandaime J Soul Brothers, Shirahama Alan and Sekiguchi Mandy from Generations, Sekai Yamamoto and Taiki Sato. Their first single in EXILE, "NEW HORIZON", was released a few months later, in July 23, 2014. [9]

In March 25, 2015, the group released their tenth studio album 19 -Road to AMAZING WORLD-.

In June 22, 2015, members Matsumoto Toshio, ÜSA and MAKIDAI announced to be retiring from their positions of performers on the group within the year. [10] Their last single with the group would be "Ki・mi・ni・mu・chu", a song which was used for the CM advertising Suntory's "The Malts". [11] On December 31, 2015, Matsumoto Toshio, ÜSA and MAKIDAI retired from their positions of performers on the group on the New Year's special show CDTV Special! New Year's Eve Premiere Live 2015 → 2016. Although retiring as EXILE performers, ÜSA was revealed to remain as performer on the unit DANCE EARTH PARTY, and MAKIDAI will continue in the music industry as DJ MAKIDAI.

The Documentary of Matsumoto Toshio, ÜSA and MAKIDAI's final tour 'AMAZING WORLD' was released on April 14th, 2016.


Since the formation of EXILE there have been many new generations of members as well as departures. As of January 1st 2016, ATSUSHI (vocalist) is the longest serving active member of EXILE. Although HIRO is no longer an active member, he still remains EXILE's leader and occasionally appears in EXILE's Music Video's and Events. There are currently 15 active members in the group.


Stage name Birth name Birthday Notes
Hiro Hiroyuki Iragashi (1969-06-01) June 1, 1969 (age 47) Performer / Acting Leader / Retired
Matsu Toshio Matsumoto (1975-05-27) May 27, 1975 (age 41) Performer / Retired
Makidai Daisuke Maki (1975-10-27) October 27, 1975 (age 40) Performer / Retired
Üsa Yoshihiro Usami (1977-02-02) February 2, 1977 (age 39) Performer / Retired
Akira Ryōhei Kurosawa (1981-08-23) August 23, 1981 (age 35)
Kenchi Tachibana Kenichirō Teratsuji (1979-09-28) September 28, 1979 (age 36) member of The Second from Exile
Keiji Kuroki Keiji Kuroki (1980-01-21) January 21, 1980 (age 36) member of The Second from Exile
Tetsuya Tetsuya Tsuchida (1981-02-18) February 18, 1981 (age 35) member of The Second from Exile
Naoto Naoto Kataoka (1983-08-30) August 30, 1983 (age 32) member of Sandaime J Soul Brothers
Naoki Kobayashi Naoki Kobayashi (1984-11-10) November 10, 1984 (age 31) member of Sandaime J Soul Brothers
Takanori Iwata Takanori Iwata (1989-03-06) March 6, 1989 (age 27) member of Sandaime J Soul Brothers
Alan Shirahama Alan Shirahama (1993-08-04) August 4, 1993 (age 23) member of Generations
Mandy Sekiguchi Mandy Sekiguchi (1991-01-25) January 25, 1991 (age 25) member of Generations
Sekai Sekai Yamamoto (1991-02-21) February 21, 1991 (age 25)
Taiki Sato Taiki Sato (1995-01-25) January 25, 1995 (age 21)


Stage name Birth name Birthday Notes
Atsushi Atsushi Satō (1980-04-30) April 30, 1980 (age 36)
Takahiro Takahiro Tasaki (1984-12-08) December 8, 1984 (age 31)

Vocalists and performers[edit]

Stage name Birth name Birthday Notes
Nesmith Ryuta Karim Nesmith (1983-08-01) August 1, 1983 (age 33) member of The Second from Exile
Shokichi Shokichi Yagi (1985-10-03) October 3, 1985 (age 30) member of The Second from Exile

Former members[edit]

Stage name Birth name Birthday Notes
Shun Shunsuke Kiyokiba (1980-01-11) January 11, 1980 (age 36) Vocalist March 2006

Timeline of Active Members[edit]



Studio albums[edit]

Title Release date Peak position RIAJ Certification Total sales
Our Style 2002-03-06 5 Platinum 291,000
Styles of Beyond 2003-02-13 1 Platinum 430,000
Exile Entertainment 2003-12-03 1 Million 1,176,090
Asia 2006-03-29 1 2x Platinum 520,319
Exile Evolution 2007-03-07 1 3x Platinum 762,335
Exile Love[Note 1] 2007-12-12 1 Million 1,480,088
Aisubeki Mirai e 2009-12-02 1 Million 1,299,235
Negai no Tō 2011-03-09 1 Million 760,341
Exile Japan/Solo[Note 2] 2012-01-01 1 3x Platinum 767,274
19: Road to Amazing World 2015-03-25 1 283,862
  1. ^ Best selling album of 2008
  2. ^ Includes Atsushi's solo debut album, therefore they were credited as "Exile/Exile Atsushi".

Best-of albums[edit]

Title Release date Peak position RIAJ Certification Total sales
Perfect Best[Note 1] 2005-01-01 1 Million 1,624,541
Exile Catchy Best 2008-03-26 1 Million 1,287,955
Exile Entertainment Best 2008-07-23 1 3x Platinum 638,959
Exile Ballad Best[Note 2] 2008-12-03 1 2x Million 1,852,823
Exile Best Hits: Love Side/Soul Side 2012-12-05 1 3x Platinum 700,030
  1. ^ Perfect Best is the best album release by Exile. Perfect Best is a special 2CD+DVD version which included Single Best and Select Best plus 21 songs promotional video clips DVD.
  2. ^ Highest debut sales of any album in 2008.

Other albums[edit]

Title Release date Peak position Sales
The Other Side of Ex Vol. 1 2003-09-10 5
Appreciation to the Million Breakthrough 2004-03-31 55
Heart of Gold: Street Future Opera Beat Pops 2004-09-29 1 476,626
Exile Perfect Year 2008 Ultimate Best Box 2009-03-25 27


Title Release date Peak position Oricon Sales[16]
"Your Eyes Only: Aimai na Boku no Katachi" 2001-09-27 4 249,880
"Style" 2001-12-12 11 112,760
"Fly Away" 2002-02-20 18 31,880
"Song for You" 2002-04-17 6 91,750
"Never Say Die" 2002-08-07 13 38,410
"Ex-style: Kiss You" 2002-11-13 6 92,769
"Ano Basho de" 2003-02-05 16 32,703
"Together" 2003-05-28 2 366,804
"Let Me Luv U Down" feat. Zeebra & Maccho 2003-07-09 3 64,854
"Choo Choo Train"[17] 2003-11-06 2 286,812
"Eternal..." 2003-11-12 7 46,762
"Kizuna" 2003-11-19 5 40,468
"O'ver" 2003-11-27 7 33,822
"Carry On" 2004-05-12 2 233,120
"Real World" 2004-06-30 1 125,809
"Heart of Gold" 2004-08-18 4 93,873
"Hero" 2004-12-01 2 181,997
"Exit" 2005-08-24 2 202,827
"Tada...Aitakute" (ただ...逢いたくて?) 2005-12-14 1 562,196
"Yes!" 2006-03-01 1 92,622
"Everything" 2006-12-06 2 153,065
"Lovers Again" 2007-01-17 2 257,393
"Michi" 2007-02-14 1 112,106
"Summer Time Love" 2007-05-16 3 132,824
"Toki no Kakera / 24 karats: type EX" (時の描片 ~トキノカケラ~?) 2007-08-29 2 142,202
"I Believe" 2007-11-21 3 142,228
"Pure" / "You're My Sunshine" 2008-02-27 2 160,605
"Ti Amo" 2008-09-24 1 320,445
"Last Christmas" 2008-11-26 1 226,829
"Someday" 2009-04-15 1 270,513
"Fireworks" 2009-07-22 1 279,264
"Futatsu no Kuchibiru" 2009-11-11 2 288,454
"Fantasy" 2010-06-09 1[Note 1] 473,051
"Motto Tsuyoku" (もっと強く?, Stronger) 2010-09-15 1 230,564
"I Wish For You" 2010-10-06 2 276,875
"Each Other's Way (Tabi no Tochū)" 2011-02-09 1 119,419
"Rising Sun" / "Itsuka Kitto..." 2011-09-14 1 317,630
"Anata e" / "Ooo Baby" 2011-11-23 2 151,551
"All Night Long" 2012-06-20 1 242,290
"Bow & Arrows" 2012-07-25 2 117,334
"Exile Pride (Konna Sekai o Ai Suru Tame)" (こんな世界を愛するため?) 2013-04-03 1 1,016,992
"Flower Song" 2013-06-19 2 126,405
"No Limit" 2013-09-25 2 95,204
"New Horizon" 2014-07-23 1 147,572
"Craving In My Soul" 2014-07-23 1 147,572
"Jonetsu no Hana" (情熱の花?) 2015-03-04 2 73,956
"24karats Gold Soul" 2015-08-19 3 103,021[18]
"Ki mi ni mu chu" 2015-12-09 2 123,642
"Joy-ride (Kanki no Drive)" (歓喜のドライブ?, Drive of Happiness) 2016-08-17 TBA TBA
  1. ^ Nine-track "Double maxi single" that charted at number 1 on Oricon albums chart.


Collaborated with Title Release date Peak position Oricon Sales[20]
Glay "Scream" 2005-07-20 1 537,783
Kumi Koda "Won't Be Long" 2006-11-22 2 223,637
Exile Tribe "24karats Tribe of Gold" 2012-09-05 2 203,584


Title Release date
"Song Soldier: Ashita no Senshi" (ソングソルジャー~明日の戦士~ Song Soldier: Tomorrow's Soldier?)[21] 2007-03-07

Awards and nominations[edit]

Exile awards and nominations
Awards and nominations
Award Wins Nominations
MTV Video Music Awards Japan
8 8
Billboard Japan Music Awards[22]
3 0
Japan Gold Disc Awards
27 0
Japan Record Awards
3 6
Japan Yusen Awards[23]
2 0
Space Shower Music Video Awards[24]
1 0
Awards won 45
Nominations 8

Billboard Japan Music Awards[edit]

Year Nominee/Work Award Result
2009 Exile Artist of the Year Won
Top Pop Artists Won
Exile Ballad Best Album of the Year Won
2010 Exile Artist of the Year Won
Top Pop Artists Won
Aisueki Mirai e Album of the Year Won

Japan Gold Disc Awards[edit]

The Japan Gold Disc Awards is an annual music awards ceremony established by the Recording Industry Association of Japan.[25][26][27][28]

Year Nominee/Work Award Result
2004 Exile Entertainment Rock Album of the Year Won
2005 Heart of Gold: Street Future Opera Beat Pops Rock & Pop Album of the Year Won
2006 "Tada···Aitakute" Song of The Year Won
"Scream" (Glay X Exile) Song of The Year Won
Single Best Rock & Pop Album Of The Year Won
Perfect Best Rock & Pop Album Of The Year Won
2007 Asia Best 10 Albums Won
2008 Exile Artist of the Year Won
"Lovers Again" Best 5 Chaku-Uta Songs Won
Best 5 Chaku-Uta Full Songs Won
Best 5 PC Download Songs Won
Exile Love Album of the Year Won
Best 10 Albums Won
Exile Evolution Won
Exile Live Tour 2007 Exile Evolution Best Music Video Won
2009 Exile Artist of the Year Won
"Ti Amo" Best 5 Chaku-Uta Songs Won
Best 5 Chaku-Uta Full Songs Won
Exile Ballad Best Album of the Year Won
Best 10 Albums Won
Exile Catchy Best Won
Exile Entertainment Best Won
2010 "Futatsu no Kuchibiru" Best 5 Songs Won
Aisubeki Mirai e Best 5 Albums Won
Exile Live Tour "Exile Perfect Live 2008" Best Music Video Won
2011 Fantasy Best 5 Albums Won
"Motto Tsuyoku" Best 5 Songs Won

Japan Record Awards[edit]

The Japan Record Awards is a major music awards show held annually in Japan by the Japan Composer's Association.[29][30][31][32]

Year Nominee/Work Award Result
2008 "Ti Amo" Japan Record Award Won
Gold Award Won
2009 "Someday" Japan Record Award Won
Best Song Won
2010 "I Wish For You" Japan Record Award Won
Best Song Won
2013 "Exile Pride: Konna Sekai o Aisuru Tame" Japan Record Award Won
Best Song Won

MTV Video Music Awards Japan[edit]

The MTV Video Music Awards Japan is a music awards show hosted annually by MTV Japan.[33][34][35]

Year Nominee/Work Award Result
2003 Exile Best Live Performance Nominated
2004 Exile Entertainment Album of the Year Nominated
2005 "Carry On" Best Group Video Nominated
Best Pop Video Nominated
"Real World" Best BuzzAsia Japan Nominated
2006 "Scream" Best Collaboration (Glay x Exile) Nominated
2007 "Lovers Again" Best Group Video Won
2008 "I Believe" Video of the Year Won
Exile Love Album of the Year Won
"Toki no Kakera" Best Karaoke Song Won
2009 "Ti Amo (Chapter 2)" Video of the Year Won
"Ti Amo (Chapter 2)" Best Group Video Won
Exile MTV Best Choreography Award Nominated
2010 "Futatsu no Kuchibiru" Video of the Year Won
Aisubeki Mirai e Album of the Year Won
Exile MTV Icon Award Won

Japan Cable Awards[edit]

The Japan Cable Awards (日本有線大賞 Nihon Yūsen Taishō?) are sponsored by the National Cable Music Broadcasters Association (全国有線音楽放送協会?).

Year Nominee/Work Award Result
2008 Exile Grand Prize Won
Most Requested Artist Won

Space Shower Music Video Awards[edit]

The Space Shower Music Video Awards (abbreviated to Space Shower MVA) are given annually since 1996 by Japanese cable music channel Space Shower TV.[36]

Year Nominee/Work Award Result
2010 "Futatsu no Kuchibiru" Best Shooting Video Won

See also[edit]


  1. ^ 『第4回渡辺晋賞』エイベックス松浦社長が受賞 プロデュース手腕高評価 (in Japanese). Oricon. 2009-03-02. Retrieved 2009-08-29. 
  2. ^ "EXILE、2作目のシングルチャート首位狙うダントツスタート!" (in Japanese). Oricon. 2005-12-14. Retrieved 2010-01-18. 
  3. ^ EXILE新ボーカル母校で卒業式ライブ. Nikkan Sports (in Japanese). Asahi Shimbun. 2007-03-02. Retrieved 2010-03-25. 
  4. ^ レコード協会調べ 1月度有料音楽配信認定 (in Japanese). Recording Industry Association of Japan. Retrieved 2009-10-24. 
  5. ^ 奉祝曲 組曲「太陽の国」についてのお知らせ (in Japanese). The Celebration Committee of the 20th Anniversary of His Majesty the Emperor's Accession to the Throne. Retrieved 2010-05-27. 
  6. ^ "Oricon announces 2011's yearly ranking for "Artist Total Sales"!". tokyohive. 6Theory Media, LLC. December 19, 2011. Retrieved April 22, 2015. 
  7. ^ "Oricon reveals "Artist Total Sales Revenue" ranking for 2012". tokyohive. 6Theory Media, LLC. December 20, 2012. Retrieved April 22, 2015. 
  8. ^ "EXILE's HIRO to retire from being a performer | tokyohive.com". www.tokyohive.com. Retrieved 2016-03-18. 
  9. ^ "EXILE reveals new members! | tokyohive.com". www.tokyohive.com. Retrieved 2016-03-18. 
  10. ^ "EXILE・MATSU、USA、MAKIDAIパフォーマー卒業を発表<コメント全文> - モデルプレス". モデルプレス - modelpress - ライフスタイル・ファッションエンタメニュースサイト (in Japanese). Retrieved 2016-03-18. 
  11. ^ "ザ・モルツ ビール サントリー". ザ・モルツ ビール サントリー. Retrieved 2016-03-18. 
  12. ^ http://ranking.oricon.co.jp/
  13. ^ Like Zoo's version of the song, Exile's "Choo Choo Train" also features a voice sample of D. Train's dance hit "Keep On".
  14. ^ http://tieba.baidu.com/p/4071923283
  15. ^ http://ranking.oricon.co.jp
  16. ^ A single made up of the five 2006 summer audition finalists (under the name "Dreamers: Exile Vocal Battle Audition Finalist".
  17. ^ "Billboard Japan Music Awards: EXILE named Artist of the Year". Tokyograph. 2010-02-01. Retrieved 2010-07-13. 
  18. ^ "EXILE wins Nihon Yusen Taisho". Tokyograph. 2008-12-18. Retrieved 2010-07-13. 
  19. ^ "Space Shower Music Video Awards: Namie Amuro wins Best Video". Tokyograph. 2010-03-23. Retrieved 2010-07-13. 
  20. ^ "Kumi Koda takes second consecutive Gold Disc award". Tokyograph. 2007-03-13. Retrieved 2010-07-13. 
  21. ^ "EXILE wins Gold Disc award". Tokyograph. 2008-03-04. Retrieved 2010-07-13. 
  22. ^ "EXILE captures Gold Disc Award again". Tokyograph. 2009-03-03. Retrieved 2010-07-13. 
  23. ^ "Arashi dominates Gold Disc Awards". Tokyograph. 2010-02-25. Retrieved 2010-07-13. 
  24. ^ "50th Japan Record Awards". Tokyograph. 2008-12-02. Retrieved 2010-07-13. 
  25. ^ "EXILE, Jero win Japan Record Awards". Tokyograph. 2008-12-31. Retrieved 2010-07-13. 
  26. ^ "51st Japan Record Awards announced". Tokyograph. 2009-12-01. Retrieved 2010-07-13. 
  27. ^ "51st Japan Record Awards: EXILE, BIG BANG". Tokyograph. 2009-12-30. Retrieved 2010-07-13. 
  28. ^ "3 awards again for Koda at VMAJ". Tokyograph. 2007-05-27. Retrieved 2010-07-13. 
  29. ^ "VMAJ 2009: EXILE triumphs again". Tokyograph. 2009-05-31. Retrieved 2010-07-13. 
  30. ^ "MTV Video Music Awards Japan 2010". Tokyograph. 2010-05-30. Retrieved 2010-07-13. 
  31. ^ "Space Shower Music Video Awards: 2010 Winners". Space Shower TV. Space Shower Network, Inc. Retrieved March 20, 2013. 

External links[edit]