|Born||14 April 1970|
|Origin||Hamura, Tokyo, Japan|
|Associated acts||Onyanko Club, SMAP, Momoko Club, Seventeen Club|
Shizuka Kudo (工藤 静香 Kudō Shizuka, born on April 14, 1970) is a Japanese singer, pop idol and actress born in Hamura, Tokyo, Japan. She was a member of Onyanko Club between May 1986 and September 1987 and went on to have a successful solo career with 11 number-one hits.
Kudo began her singing career at the age of 14 as a member of the three-piece pop unit Seventeen Club formed by runner-ups from the 1984 Miss Seventeen Contest organized by the Japanese teen magazine Seventeen. They released two singles from CBS/Sony Records in 1985. Kudo later said she joined the group "just to have fun".
Onyanko Club debuted on the first of April 1985 on Fuji TV's variety show Yūyake Nyan Nyan with nine high school girls and two high school graduates, namely Sayuri Kokusho (number 8) and Satomi Fukunaga (number 11). They were selected from participants in Fuji TV's show All Night Fuji High School Girl Special (オールナイトフジ女子高生スペシャル) aired in February that year. Kudo auditioned for the group in May 1986 during her first year in high school and became a member with number 38 assigned.
The group gave a new approach to the idol formula with 52 official members and three associate members, with several sub-groups, such as Ushiroyubi Sasaregumi, Nyangilas and Ushirogami Hikaretai. Kudo was selected as one of the three members of Ushirogami Hikaretai along with Akiko Ikuina (number 40) and Makiko Saito (number 42). The group's first single "Toki no Kawa wo Koete" debuted at number one on the Oricon's Japanese single chart (the national single chart) in May 1987. They subsequently released four more singles and two studio albums from July 1987 to April 1988 with a live album released as their final material in July 1988 (Hora ne, Haru ga Kita - First Concert). Also, Kudo was featured as one of the four main vocals for Onyanko Club's eighth single "Katatsumuri Samba" released on May 21, 1987. It debuted at number one on the Japanese single chart.
Kudo has said of her time in Onyanko Club that "it was a great experience, with good, bad and really dirty things", and that she tried not to draw too much attention to herself over senior Onyanko Club members who were more popular than her at that time.
Less than three weeks before Onyanko Club disbanded on September 20, 1987 with their two-day final concerts, Kudo launched her solo career with her first single "Kindan no Telepathy" released from Pony Canyon on August 31. It debuted at number one on the Japanese single chart and also became a favorite throughout Asia during the early 1990s. She enjoyed a run of eight consecutive number-one singles in Japan between 1988 and 1990, eleven in total, and four number-one albums between 1988 and 1991.
She continued to release new music every year until 2000 with sporadic releases since then. Her most recent release came in 2008 when she teamed up with Miyuki Nakajima, co-composer of five of Kudo's late-1980s hits, for a double A-side, "Night Wing"/"Yuki Gasa". Kudo said of their long-term working relationship that "We are not that close. We have a nice distance. Sometimes when I hear her music, it scares me but I especially like her passionate lyrics."
- Mysterious (21 January 1988)
- Shizuka (21 July 1988)
- Gradation (30 November 1988)
- Joy (15 March 1989)
- Karelia (4 October 1989)
- HARVEST (6 December 1989)
- Rosette (4 April 1990)
- Mind Universe (6 March 1991)
- Trinity (18 March 1992)
- Rise Me (1 April 1993)
- Expose (7 September 1994)
- Purple (2 August 1995)
- Doing (17 May 1996)
- Dress (19 March 1997)
- I'm Not (29 April 1998)
- Full of Love (2 June 1999)
- EURO Kudo Shizuka (20 September 2000)
- Jewelry Box (3 July 2002)
- Showa no Kaidan Vol.1 (30 October 2002)
- Tsukikage (1 June 2005)
- MY PRECIOUS (20 August 2008)
- Rin (30 August 2017)
- Deep Breath (12 June 2019)
- Robert Michael Poole (7 November 2008). "Shizuka Kudo -The storied J-pop superstar reflects on life at the top". Metropolis (free magazine). Retrieved 4 May 2011.
- "Onyanko Club". Encyclopedia Idollica. Archived from the original on 21 September 2008. Retrieved 25 September 2008.