|Also known as||Yuukarin, Yuuka|
|Born||December 28, 1994|
|Origin||Chiba Prefecture, Japan|
|Labels||Good Factory Records|
|Associated acts||S/mileage, Hello Pro Egg, Tomoiki-Ki wo Uetai, High-King, Shugo Chara Egg!|
Yuuka Maeda (前田憂佳? Maeda Yūka, born December 28, 1994) is a former Japanese pop idol singer, and was one of the four founding members of S/mileage. She retired from S/mileage, Hello! Project and Up-Front Agency on December 31, 2011.
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Maeda Yuuka joined Hello! Project as a member of Hello! Pro Egg in June 2004 when she passed the auditions alongside thirty-two other girls. The aim of the group was to prepare the young girls for their debut into the world of the entertainment, as such Maeda received free dance and vocal training alongside the other Eggs.
In October 2005, Maeda became one of the founding members of Hello! Pro Egg group Tomoiki Ki wo Uetai. They debuted at Morning Musume's environmental Culture Festival 2005.
In 2006, Maeda Yuuka continued her training and appeared at numerous Hello! Project concerts as a backing dancer, including the Country Musume concert "Country Musume LIVE2006 ~Shibuya des Date~". In March Tomoiki Ki wo Uetai's blog opened and in July their first song was announced, "Minna no ki". On August 22, Tomoiki went to do tree-planting activities at PLANT A TREE farm and herb garden in Yamanashiken. In September, Maeda performed "Minna no ki" with Tomoiki at Morning Musume’s environmental Culture Festival 2006 and were backing dancers to Morning Musume’s Kusumi Koharu. Also she released a single in a mini-unit known as Paretto.
In April 2007 Maeda received a role in the musical "Soto wa shiroi haru no kumo" which was later released onto DVD. A few months later in September, Maeda featured in Standardsong Entertainment's "Ekubo ~people song~". Maeda also took part in a television show, "Chao.TV" (started 2007/09/02). Maeda appeared as a part of Tomoiki at Morning Musume’s environmental Culture Festival 2007.
Maeda received her first proper Hello! Project role when she was selected to become part of the new unit, High-King, alongside important Hello! Project singers such as Morning Musume's Ai Takahashi and Reina Tanaka, The group was created to promote Morning Musume's upcoming rendition of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella, titled Cinderella the Musical. The group's debut single, "C\C (Cinderella\Complex)" was released on June 11, 2008 and attained a peak rank of No. 6. Maeda was selected to be one of the four members for a new Hello! Pro Egg unit alongside Wada Ayaka, Fukuda Kanon and Saho Akari. The group was called Shugo Chara Egg! and was formed to record the opening songs for the anime that Buono! sings for, Shugo Chara!. She released two singles with the group until the line-up changed, her position as Amulet Heart was replaced by Mizuki Fukumura.
On April 4, 2009 Tsunku announced on his blog that a new group was in the works. The members listed were Maeda Yuuka, Fukuda Kanon, Ogawa Saki, and Wada Ayaka. He stated the lineup was subject to change, and that it would be their "major debut". On May 5, 2009 Tsunku revealed the name of the new group to be "S/mileage" on his blog, that means the smile of age. On August 15, 2009, she played her first Musical Drama titled Shugo Chara! Musical and get the main role of Amu Hinamori
Maeda and the rest of the S/mileage members will graduate from Hello! Pro Egg in the Hello! Project Spring Concert in May, They released their first Major Single titled 夢見る15歳 (Yume Miru 15sai) in 2010-05-26, Yuuka, Kanon and Ayaka are cast as the main characters of Hime Chen! Otogi Chikku Idol Lilpri and eventually release several singles as Lilpri.
On October 25, Maeda announced she will be graduating from S/mileage and Hello! Project. Her graduation was held on December 31. She cited her reason for graduating as wanting to focus more on her studies and to enter university, and she feels that it would be unfair to her fans and supporters when she can only have half of her concentration on stage. Her final single with S/mileage was "Please Mini Skirt Post Woman!"