Pop group AAA, also known as Attack All Around, were chosen Wednesday to take part in this year’s 61st annual “Kohaku Uta Gassen” (Red and White Song Contest), the New Year’s Eve music program on NHK. It will be the group’s first appearance on the popular program.
Traditionally, the red team or “akagumi,” is composed of all female artists (or groups with female vocals), while the white team or “shirogumi” is all male (or groups with male vocals). The girls’ team will be led by Nao Matsushita, 25, while five-member band Arashi captain the white team.
AAA, which is managed by the Avex Artist Academy, consists of seven former dancers for Ayumi Hamasaki and Ami Suzuki. They made their debut five years ago. Band lead Naoya Urata, 28, said, “I’m pleased our song will be one of the few played on the last night of the year.” Vocalist Misako Uno, 24, said, “I think it’s the first time a girl will get to sing for the white team, so I feel privileged to have been granted that opportunity.”
The band’s producer, Tetsuya Komuro, 51, was arrested for fraud in 2008 and received a suspended sentence in 2009. His first comeback release after the scandal was AAA’s double A-side single “Aitai Riyū/Dream After Dream (Yume Kara Sameta Yume).” The single was released on May 5 this year, and went straight to the top of the Oricon charts. Komuro is also expected to make a “surprise” appearance on the show.
Other participants in this year’s contest include for the red team: Sayuri Ishikawa (33rd appearance), AKB48 (3rd time), Kumi Koda (6th), Ayumi Hamasaki (12th), Perfume (3rd), Akiko Wada (34th), Angela Aki (5th), Dreams Come True (14th), and three first-timers—Kana Uemura, Kumiko and Kana Nishino.
Participants for the white team include Hiroshi Itsuki (40th time), Exile (6th), Saburo Kitajima (47th), Hiromi Go (23rd), SMAP (18th), Kiyoshi Hikawa (11th), Shinichi Mori (43rd) and L’Arc～en～Ciel (4th).
The show will be broadcast on NHK from 7:30 p.m. on New Year’s Eve
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