Lead (band)

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GenresPop, hip-hop
Years active2002–present
LabelsPony Canyon
Flight Master (previous)
MembersShinya Taniuchi
Akira Kagimoto
Keita Furuya
Past membersHiroki Nakadoi

Lead is a Japanese hip-hop dance and vocal group, initially formed under the name remix in Osaka, Japan in March 2002. They went through two name changes before debuting as "Lead" in May 2002 under the Pony Canyon sub-label Flight Master. The group consists of Shinya Taniuichi, Keita Furuya, Akira Kagimoto and, formerly, Hiroki Nakadoi.

Upon debuting on July 31, 2002 with "Manatsu no Magic", the group experienced early success due to their dancing and vocal skills at a young age. The release of their second single "Show me the way" earned the group the Best Newcomer Award during the 44th Japan Record Awards. Their debut album Life On Da Beat took the #5 spot on the Oricon charts.

In 2010, the group moved from Flight Master to the parent label of Pony Canyon with their single "Speed Star."

Beginning with the single "Wanna Be With You" (2012), the group began a string of top-charting singles. The single peaked at #3 on Orion and their singles for the following six years would continue to chart in the top five. Their album The Showcase (2016) became their highest-charting album at #2 and their following album Milestone (2018) became their longest-charting album, remaining on the charts for seven weeks.

In 2013, leader and lead vocalist Nakadoi left the group after feelings of inadequacy. The last single he was featured in was "Still", and he officially left the group after their 2012 Upturn tour.


Pre-debut and formation of Lead[edit]

Hiroki Nakadoi, Shinya Taniuchi and Akira Kagimoto all attended the CALESS Vocal & Dance School (キャレスボーカル&ダンススクール) in Osaka, Japan, where they met each other and became good friends. By March 2002, they began doing live street performances on the streets of Shiroten at Osaka Castle Park under the dance unit name of "Rhymix" (リミックス).[1] By May 2002, they renamed the group from "Rhymix" to "flow" and began performing by Kyobashi Station. After the name change, the three decided to recruit a fourth member.[2]

Meanwhile, on April 13, 2002, the Kyushu/Fukuoka Joint Starlight Audition (九州・沖縄合同スターライトオーディション) was being held in Okinawa by Rising Production on a search for new talent. At the time, Keita Furuya and another contestant, Seimi Senoe (瀬上聖未), were declared winners out of the 8,751 hopefuls that auditioned.[3] flow tracked down Keita and he soon joined the group on May 18, 2002.

On May 23, 2002, the group underwent another and final name change, officially becoming "Lead", whereas they had hoped to become a "leading group" of the age.

2002–2007: Debut, Life On Da Beat and television roles[edit]

Around early July 2002, Lead held their first live street performance as four-member group Lead at Osaka Castle Park to demonstrate their skills with dancing, singing and rapper.[4] The event was deemed a success for the group with around 7,000 attendees.[5] Lead also became the opening act for budding group w-inds for their first live tour - 1st Message - and performed in front of 120,000 people for each opening.[6]

Lead soon released their first single Manatsu no Magic on July 31, 2002.[7]

The release of their second single, "Show me the way" helped the group take the spot as Best Newcomer Award during the 44th Japan Record Awards, alongside the group day after tomorrow and soloists Mika Nakashima and Sachika Shino.[8]. In April the following year, they released their debut album, Life On Da Beat. It charted at #5 on the Oricon Albums Charts, giving the group more success in their early year.[9]

Their following single Fly Away also charted in the top ten at #10. Charting for seven weeks, it became, at the time, their longest-running single.[10] Their debut album Life On Da Beat continued their success, securing the #5 spot on the charts.[11]

In 2003, the group performed the song "Get Wild Life." The song would become the theme song for the 2004 film Kamachi, which all of the members would take part in, with Shinya being the titular character. The film was based on the life of Kamachi Yamada, a young savant who rebelled against the Japanese educational system. He created many works, which was come upon by his family after his untimely death in 1977.[12]

Lead was also featured in the 2003 film Boutaoshi! alongside fellow label-mates Flame and other Pony Canyon artists. The film was centered around the game bo-taoshi, or "pole-toppling", a popular sport in Japan. Shinya took on the lead role of Tsuguo Takayama, who was conned into joining the annual competition.[13]

In 2005, Hiroki played Taichi Kobayashi in the TV Tokyo series Pink no Idenshi.[14] The series predominately followed the relationship of Taichi and Natsu Saito (Narumi Konno) throughout their time at Phoenix High School.

2008–2011: Declining sales and annual singles[edit]

By 2008, Lead had released a total of fourteen singles, five albums, seven DVDs and had performed five live tours. Along with making numerous guest appearances on talk shows, they had hosted their own TV shows, starred in several films and dramas, and had won a total of three Japan Record Awards.

On July 30, 2008, Lead released their 15th single, "Sunnyday." The single failed to break into the top 20 on the Oricon Singles Charts and became their lowest selling single, barely selling 3,000 copies.[15] The single was followed by their first compilation album, Lead Tracks: Listener's Choice. The track list for the album consisted of songs between their 2002 debut with "Manatsu no Magic", up until "Sunnyday", which was released one week prior at the end of July. The songs for the album were voted on by fans throughout East Asia, including Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong and South Korea. Songs with the highest vote were placed on the album.[16]

On August 5, 2009, they released their 16th single "GiraGira Romantic." This marked the beginning of the group releasing one single a year for the next four years.[17] This would also be their final single released under the Pony Canyon sub-label Flight Master, whereas the group would move to the main label. On July 28, 2010, their 17th single Speed Star was released. Their 18th single, Hurricane, was released on August 10, 2011.

2012–2016: Hiroki's departure and increased popularity[edit]

In 2012, the group began releasing two singles a year, along with the annual Upturn tours. Every single peaked in the top five on Oricon as the group's popularity and notoriety increased throughout the country.

On March 14, 2012, the group released their highest-ranking, "Wanna Be With You", which peaked at #3 on Oricon.[18] On December 12, 2012, their 20th single "Still" was released, peaking at #4. This became the first time since their debut to have two singles in a row to chart in the Top 5 on Oricon.[19] This would also be the last single with group leader Hiroki.

After Lead celebrated their tenth anniversary with the Leader's Party 10! concert for their fan club in March 2013, vocalist Hiroki Nakadoi stepped away from the group due to the belief that his band mates had surpassed his abilities and he "shouldn't be with members who are aiming higher".[20]

Prior to Hiroki's final decision, the other members questioned if they should remain as a unit if Hiroki decided to leave. When Hiroki finalized his decision, with full support to the others as a group, they chose to stay together due to the constant support of their fans.[21]

In 2013, they released the singles "Upturn" and "Green Days/Strings." Both singles peaked in the top five at #5 and #4, respectively.[22][23] They held their annual tour and released Lead Upturn 2013: Leap on DVD and Blu-ray in December.[24] In 2014, the group released the single Sakura in February and became their fifth consecutive single to chart in the top five.[25] In September, their single Omoide Breaker continued the string, debuting at #4.[26] In 2015, they released "My One" and "Yakusoku." While "My One" debuted at #3, it took #6 on the weekly ranking.[27]

Their seventh studio album, The Showcase, was released four years after their previous album, Now or Never, on June 8, 2016. The album's preceding singles were their highest charting singles since their debut in 2002, and the album became their highest charting album in their career, peaking at #2.[28] The version of "Still" on the album was redone with only Shinya, Keita and Akira, omitting Hiroki's vocals.

2017–present: Milestone and continued success[edit]

A year-and-a-half after the release of their single Yakusoku, on March 8, 2017, the group released their twenty-seventh single, Tokyo Fever. It kept the group's streak of top-charting singles, charting at #5.[29] The song was written by composer duo CLARABELL, who had been responsible for other top hits, including avex artist Koda Kumi's song "Go to the top",[30] and E-girls songs "Gomennasai no Kissing You" and "Follow Me", among others.[31]

On August 23rd, they released Beautiful Day, which debuted at #4 before taking #6 on the charts.[32] For the song, the group worked with Drew Ryan Scott and Sean Alexander..[33] The coupling track, "Shampoo Bubble" was co-written by Japanese rapper KM-MARKIT, who was originally under the Pony Canyon label between 2005-2007 before creating Raider Music Record music label in 2010.[34][35]

On April 25, 2018, the group released Bumblebee, which became their highest debuting single at #2.[36]

The group released their eighth studio album on July 19, 2018, titled Milestone.[37] The album became their longest charting album on Oricon, having stayed on the charts for seven weeks. On December 19, 2018, the group released their fifteenth tour DVD/Blu-ray, Lead Upturn 2018 ~Milestone~.[38] The DVD became their highest charting concert video, debuting at #17 on the Oricon DVD/Blu-ray charts.[39]

On January 30, 2019, the group released their thirtieth single Be the Naked, which peaked at #6 on the Oricon Daily Singles Charts.[40][41]


Current members[edit]

  • Shinya Taniuchi (谷内伸也, Taniuchi Shinya, born September 23, 1987 in Hirakata, Osaka) (green)
  • Keita Furuya (古屋敬多, Furuya Keita, born June 13, 1988 in Fukuoka City, Fukuoka) (yellow)
  • Akira Kagimoto (鍵本輝, Kagimoto Akira, born August 20, 1988 in Ikaruga Ikoma District, Nara) (blue)

Former member[edit]

  • Hiroki Nakadoi (中土居宏宜, Nakadoi Hiroki, born July 26, 1985 in Hiroshima) (red) — left group on March 31, 2013

Limited video releases[edit]

Lead Dramabox[edit]

Lead Dramabox
Lead - Lead dramabox.jpg
Video by
ReleasedFebruary 2011
GenreDrama, soap opera, romance, comedy
LabelVision Factory
Lead chronology
Lead Upturn 2010: I'll Be Around
Lead Dramabox
Lead Upturn 2011: Sun×You

Lead Dramabox (stylized as Lead dramabox) is a collection of Japanese television dramas that featured one or more members of Lead. It was of limited release during the month of February 2011 and contained thirteen shows spanning across a three disc set. The collection was only released on Vision Factory's online shop.


Lead dramabox is a special DVD collection released by Vision Factory with dramas featuring one or more members of the Japanese hip-hop group Lead (Hiroki Nakadoi, Shinya Tanuichi, Keita Furuya, Akira Kagimoto).[42] It was of limited release and buyers could only purchase it through Vision Factory's online shop.[43]

Spanning across three discs, the collection held thirteen dramas released through Open Cast and Vision Factory. Disc one held the dramas Shakkin Kanojo[44], Shakkin Kanojo 2 1000 Rhapsody[45], Shitamachi Detective Story -Find Maria!- and Shitamachi Detective Story 2.[46]

Disc two featured the dramas Flowers ~Junketsu no Yuri~[47], Senko Hanabi[48], Kanojo to Boku to Toshokan de[49], Kokuhaku Sunzentsu![50], Oretachi no Relation[51] and Yakusoku no Cafe.[52] Disc three held the three dramas Natsu wa Owaranai[53], Last Love[54] and Game.

Track listing[edit]

1."Shakkin Kanojo" (※Keita Furuya) (借金カノジョ / Loaning Girlfriend) 
2."Shakkin Kanojo 2: 1000 Rhapsody" (※Hiroki Nakadoi) (借金彼女2 1000のラプソディ / Loaning Girlfriend 2 1000 Rhapsodies) 
3."Shitamachi Detective Story -Find Maria!-" (※Shinya Tanuichi, Akira Kagimoto) (下町探偵物語 -マリアを探せ!- / Shitamachi Tantei Monogatari -Maria o sagase!-) 
4."Shitamachi Detective Story 2" (※Shinya, Akira) (下町探偵物語2) 
1."Flowers ~Junketsu no Yuri~" (※Keita, Akira) (FLOWERS ~純潔のユリ~ / Purity of Yuri) 
2."Senko Hanabi" (※Shinya, Akira) (線香花火) 
3."Kanojo to Boku to Toshokan de" (※Hiroki) (彼女と僕と図書館で / Her and I at the Library) 
4."Kokuhaku Sunzentsu!" (※Shinya) (告白寸前っ! / Verge of Confessing!) 
5."Oretachi no Relation" (※Shinya) (俺たちのリレーション / Our Relations) 
6."Yakusoku no Cafe" (※Hiroki) (約束のカフェ / Cafe Promise) 
1."Natsu wa Owaranai" (※Shinya, Hiroki) (夏は終わらない / Summer's Not Over) 
2."Last Love" (※Hiroki) 
3."Game" (※Hiroki) 


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Leadとは - はてなキーワード - はてなダイアリー". Hatena Keyword. Retrieved February 5, 2019.
  2. ^ "解散危機、不仲、メンバー引退を乗り越えた非ジャニーズアイドルLeadの歴史". NAVER. January 23, 2017. Retrieved November 4, 2017.
  3. ^ "スターライトオーディションとは (Starlight Auditions)". Hatena. Retrieved November 4, 2017.
  4. ^ "大阪【城天】出身ミュージシャン". Naver (in Japanese). Retrieved January 17, 2018.
  5. ^ "『BOYS POP!』第20弾アーティストにLeadが初登場". Tower Records Online. January 15, 2019. Retrieved January 17, 2019.
  6. ^ "2002/08/06(火)昼・夜公演 田中一光さん@w-inds.名古屋センチュリーホール ~w-inds. 1st Live Tour~ "1st message"". Music Star. August 22, 2002. Retrieved January 17, 2019.
  7. ^ "真夏のMagic / Lead / ORICON NEWS". Oricon. Retrieved January 17, 2019.
  8. ^ "第44回日本レコード大賞(2002年)受賞一覧【PRiVATE LiFE】データベース". Entame Data. Retrieved September 18, 2017.
  9. ^ "LIFE ON DA BEAT / Lead / Oricon News". Oricon. Retrieved September 18, 2017.
  10. ^ "LeadのCDシングルランキング". Oricon Style (in Japanese). Archived from the original on 2014-03-04. Retrieved 2017-10-04.
  11. ^ "LIFE ON DA BEAT / Lead / Oricon News". Oricon. Retrieved September 18, 2017.
  12. ^ "高崎市山田かまち美術館". Takasaki City. Retrieved October 11, 2018.
  13. ^ "棒たおし! - 作品情報・映画レビュー". KINENOTE. Retrieved October 29, 2017.
  14. ^ "Pinkの遺伝子 / 中土居宏宜 / ORICON NEWS". Oricon. Retrieved November 3, 2018.
  15. ^ "Sunnyday / Lead / ORICON NEWS". Oricon. Retrieved June 11, 2018.
  16. ^ "Lead Tracks ~listener's choice~ : Lead". HMV. Retrieved October 7, 2017.
  17. ^ "Leadのシングル売上ランキング". Oricon. Retrieved June 16, 2018.
  18. ^ "Wanna Be With You(初回盤A) / Lead / ORICON NEWS". Oricon. Retrieved June 2, 2018.
  19. ^ "Still(初回盤B) / Lead / ORICON NEWS". Oricon. Retrieved November 12, 2017.
  20. ^ "Leadの活動に関する大切なお知らせ (Important notice concerning Lead's activities)". Lead Official. January 30, 2013. Retrieved October 2, 2017.
  21. ^ "To Everyone". Lead Official Blog. January 30, 2013. Retrieved October 2, 2017.
  22. ^ "Upturn(初回盤A) / Lead / ORICON NEWS". Oricon. Retrieved May 9, 2018.
  23. ^ "GREEN DAYS/strings / Lead / ORICON NEWS". Oricon. Retrieved May 11, 2018.
  24. ^ "Lead Upturn 2013 ~Leap~". PONY CANYON, Inc. Retrieved October 15, 2018.
  25. ^ "サクラ(初回限定盤B) / Lead / ORICON NEWS". Oricon. Retrieved May 15, 2018.
  26. ^ "想い出ブレイカー / Lead / ORICON NEWS". Oricon. Retrieved May 28, 2018.
  27. ^ "My One / Lead / ORICON NEWS". Oricon. Retrieved June 5, 2018.
  28. ^ "Leadのシングル売上ランキング / ORICON NEWS". Oricon. Retrieved September 30, 2017.
  29. ^ "トーキョーフィーバー / Lead / ORICON NEWS". Oricon. Retrieved November 19, 2017.
  30. ^ "Kumi Koda's new single reaches No. 1 on Oricon chart". Japan Today. October 31, 2012. Retrieved November 19, 2017.
  31. ^ "【E-girls】~Ranking 1st on Oricon Daily for the first time on 10/5~ New Single "Gomennasaino Kissing You" released on 10/2(Wed.)". LDH (in Japanese). 2013-10-06. Retrieved 2013-10-07.
  32. ^ "Beautiful Day / Lead / ORICON NEWS". Oricon. Retrieved May 20, 2018.
  33. ^ "Sean Michael Alexander / AVENUE 52". Sean Alexander Official Tumblr. Retrieved May 23, 2018.
  34. ^ "THE RAIDERS!!! / YUKALI OFFICIAL BLOG". Ameba. Retrieved September 2, 2016.
  35. ^ "THE RAIDERS". Oricon. Retrieved September 3, 2016.
  36. ^ "週間 シングルランキング 2018年05月07日付 (Weekly Single Ranking 2018.05.07)". Oricon (in Japanese). Retrieved May 2, 2018.
  37. ^ "ニューアルバム「MILESTONE」7月18日発売決定!!【タイトル発表&新曲試聴公開中!】(New Album "MILESTONE" Release On July 19!! [Title Announcement & New Songs Goes On Sale!]". Lead Official Information. June 8, 2018. Retrieved June 11, 2018.
  38. ^ "DVD/Blu-ray「Lead Upturn 2018 ~MILESTONE~」12月19日発売決定! (DVD/Blu-ray "Lead Upturn 2018 ~MILESTONE~" released on December 19!)". Lead Official. October 11, 2018. Retrieved October 15, 2018.
  39. ^ "デイリー ミュージックDVDランキング 2018年12月18日付". Oricon. December 18, 2018. Retrieved December 24, 2018.
  40. ^ "Lead:New Single「Be the Naked」1月30日発売決定!【発売記念イベント開催!】". RisingProduction. Retrieved December 11, 2018.
  41. ^ "オリコンデイリー シングルランキング2019年01月31日付". Oricon. January 29, 2019. Retrieved February 2, 2019.
  42. ^ "Lead dramabox : 3枚組". mercari. Retrieved November 27, 2018.
  43. ^ "Lead drama box / 中古 / 国内TVドラマDVD / 通販ショップの駿河屋". Suruga-ya. Retrieved November 27, 2018.
  44. ^ "借金カノジョ". Rising Production. Retrieved November 27, 2018.
  45. ^ "Vision Cast 5分ムービー 「借金カノジョ2」". Ameba. February 28, 2011. Retrieved November 27, 2018.
  46. ^ "オリジナル5分ムービー「下町探偵物語」". Open Cast. Retrieved November 27, 2018.
  47. ^ "Flowers 純潔のユリ(Flowers~純潔のユリ~)". TV Drama. Retrieved November 27, 2018.
  48. ^ "オリジナル5分ムービー「線香花火」". Open Cast. Retrieved November 27, 2018.
  49. ^ "古屋敬多、若月彩子 出演 『彼女と僕と図書館で』". Rising Production. Retrieved November 27, 2018.
  50. ^ "「告白寸前っ!」". Open Cast. Retrieved November 27, 2018.
  51. ^ "オリジナル5分ムービー「俺たちのリレーション」". Open Cast. Retrieved November 27, 2018.
  52. ^ "約束のカフェ". Rising Production. Retrieved November 27, 2018.
  53. ^ "Lead主演ムービーがニコニコ動画に!". Ameba. April 25, 2011. Retrieved November 27, 2018.
  54. ^ "キャスト紹介ページ / 中土居宏宜、樋井明日香、滝裕可里 出演 『LAST LOVE』". Keitai Drama. Retrieved November 27, 2018.

External links[edit]