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AKB48 (read "A.K.B. Forty-eight") is a Japanese idol girl group. As of November 2013, the group has 89 members. The girls range in age from early teens to mid-20s. Produced by Yasushi Akimoto, it is one of the highest-earning musical acts in the world, with 2012 record sales of over US$226 million in Japan. It has achieved such popularity in Japan that it has been characterized as a social phenomenon.

As of January 2013, the group's eighteen latest singles topped the Oricon Weekly Singles Chart. In 2010, "Beginner" and "Heavy Rotation" placed, respectively, first and second in the list of Japan's best selling singles for that year. In 2011 and 2012, AKB48's singles occupied the top five spots of the Oricon Yearly Singles Chart. As of December 2013, the group has sold over 25.83 million singles, and it holds the record for most singles sold in Japan by a female group with its 2013 single "Sayonara Crawl", which sold for more than 1.87 million copies.

AKB48 is named after Akihabara (Akiba for short), the area in Tokyo where the group's theater is located. The idea of AKB48's producer Yasushi Akimoto was to create a girl group that, unlike a regular pop group, which gives occasional concerts and that is mostly seen on TV, would have its own theater and perform there on a daily basis; the fans would always be able to go and see the girls live. AKB48 still performs at the theater daily, with tickets distributed by lottery. Akimoto has also expanded the AKB48 concept to several sister groups throughout Japan, and all over Asia.


Selected article

The discography of AKB48 consists of 3 studio albums, 12 stage albums, and 25 singles. Since its establishment in 2005, the group has gone through several expansions, graduations, shuffles, and line-up changes, and currently consists of 60 official members divided into Team A, K, B, and 4. With the exception of Team 4 having 12 members, all other teams have 16 members each. The group was created and currently produced by Yasushi Akimoto, who also pens the lyrics for all of their songs.


Selected single

"Sakura no Shiori" (桜の栞, Cherry Blossom Bookmark) is the 15th single by Japanese idol group AKB48, released on February 17, 2010. The title track is a school graduation song. The song was used as the theme song to the drama Majisuka Gakuen, starring Atsuko Maeda together with many AKB48, SKE48, and SDN48 members.

In its first week, the song sold 318,000 copies - the biggest opening sales for a female group single since Morning Musume's "Mr. Moonlight (Ai no Big Band)" in July 2001, and AKB48's highest first week sales to date. The song has been certified platinum for physical sales by the RIAJ.


Selected biography

Minami Takahashi (高橋 みなみ, Takahashi Minami, born April 8, 1991 in Tokyo) is a member of the Japanese idol group AKB48. She is the captain of Team A as well as AKB48's de facto captain. She was described as the "eldest daughter of the 48 sisters (48人姉妹の長女)" in the group by Yasushi Akimoto during an interview carried out by the Nippon Television network in June 2010. Minami is commonly part of the "Senbatsu" group of singers in the singles released by AKB48. She is also a member of the sub-group no3b, along with AKB48 members Haruna Kojima and Minami Minegishi. She will be the General Director of the whole AKB48 group including all sister groups.


Selected picture

AKB48 20090704 Japan Expo 22.jpg
Former member Rino Sashihara at Japan Expo 2009

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In the news




  • 5 December: "Eien Pressure", the 29th major single of AKB48, is released.
  • 31 October: "Uza", the 28th major single of AKB48, is released.
  • 30 October: "Sugar Rush", included in the Wreck-It Ralph soundtrack, is released.
  • 29 August: "Gingham Check", the 27th major single of AKB48, is released.
  • 27 August: Atsuko Maeda gives her last stage performance as a member of AKB48.
  • 15 August: 1830m, the 4th album by AKB48, is released.


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