One of Japan's oldest and most popular boy bands will suspend its activities at the end of next year, according to local media reports.
Five-member Arashi made the announcement on its fan club home page, adding it would reveal the reason at a news conference later on Sunday (Jan 27), the reports said.
Members of the band, which is managed by privately held Johnny's Entertainment, are regulars on Japanese television shows. SMAP, another popular boy band group managed by the company, disbanded at the end of 2016.
“We, Arashi, have something to tell our fans. After much discussion, we decided to suspend our activities on Dec 31, 2020,” leader of the idol group Satoshi Ono, 38, said in a video message posted on the fan’s website, Nikkan Sports reported. “I’m sure you’re all surprised by the sudden announcement but we wanted to tell the fans who have been supporting us more than anyone.”
Ono said he first talked to his members about the plan in June 2017.
“I told them that we, the five of us, can go on (with our professional lives) individually,” he added. “For once, I wanted to live a life of freedom, without being tied down.”
The five-member group debuted in November 1999. The other members are Masaki Aiba, Jun Matsumoto, Kazunari Ninomiya and Sho Sakurai.
Arashi is easily one of the best-selling acts in the country.
Its songs are regularly featured in the Oricon sales charts for singles, albums and music DVDs. The band also made its first appearance on Kohaku Uta Gassen, the famous music show that NHK televises every New Year’s Eve.
It also appears in advertisements for Japan Airlines and Japan Post, which are both official partners of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Arashi has been active as a group and individually, not only in music but also in movies, Japanese dramas, variety shows and commercials. – The Straits Times/Asia News Network
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