Matsunaga Riai was born on July 7, 2005 in Osaka, Japan.
Prior to joining Hello Pro Kenshuusei, she was a junior model for Dream Girls magazine.
In March 2016, Matsunaga was one of seven who won the Special Award in the Harajuku Mate×Juni Award model audition.
On March 6, it was announced that Matsunaga had joined Hello Pro Kenshuusei alongside Shimakura Rika, Hibi Marina, Eguchi Saya, Doi Rena, Okamura Minami, Yamada Ichigo, and Nakayama Natsume. She was introduced at the Hello! Project Kenshuusei Happyoukai 2017 3gatsu ~Marching!~ on March 11.
On July 3, Matsunaga participated in a fanclub event at Midland Square Cinema 2 titled Hello Pro Kenshuusei Special Event in Nagoya ~Hajimemashite! 4~ alongside Hibi Marina, Doi Rena, and Okamura Minami.
Matsunaga participated in the opening act and challenge act for the Morning Musume '19 Concert Tour Haru ~BEST WISHES!~.
On May 4, Matsunaga won the best performance award with a total of 419 fan votes for her performance of "Gatamekira" at the Hello! Project Kenshuusei Happyoukai 2019 ~Haru no Koukai Jitsuryoku Shindan Test~.
On June 14, Matsunaga was announced as a new member of Juice=Juice alongside Hello Pro Kenshuusei Hokkaido's Kudo Yume. They had their first on-stage introduction as group members in the Hello Pro Premium Juice=Juice CONCERT TOUR 2019 ~JuiceFull!!!!!!!~ FINAL Miyazaki Yuka Sotsugyou Special at Nippon Budokan on June 17, following their last performance as trainees in the Hello! Project Kenshuusei Happyoukai 2019 6gatsu ~Midori~ show held the night before. They were also introduced on stage during the Hello! Project 2019 SUMMER concert tour from July 13.
On September 9, she celebrated her 15th birthday at a fanclub event titled Juice=Juice Matsunaga Riai Birthday Event 2020 with two shows at LANDMARK HALL. In compliance with government policy, cheering, crowding, standing, and closeness in the venue were prohibited, and wearing masks were required to enter.
On July 12, she celebrated her 16th birthday at a fanclub event titled Juice=Juice Matsunaga Riai Birthday Event 2021 with two shows at LANDMARK HALL. In compliance with government policy, cheering, crowding, standing, and closeness in the venue were prohibited, and wearing masks were required to enter.
Riai has an older brother and a younger sister. Her sister named Nanoa is also a model. She has a Bernese Mountain Dog named Chloe, and two cats named Taiga and Bibi.
When Matsunaga joined Juice=Juice, she was a second year middle school student. As of April 2021, she is currently attending her first year of high school.
Matsunaga's given name, Riai, came from a dream her mother had while she was pregnant. In the dream, the baby had already been born and the name "Riai" (里愛) was written on the bed where the baby was sleeping.
Here is a list of nicknames that was used to refer to Matsunaga Riai:
- Yafuzo (やふぞう): Used by fans. When Matsunaga first started blogging, she kept altering a letter or two until she found one she kinda liked.
- Richan (りーちゃん): Used by Nakayama Natsume.
- Name: Matsunaga Riai (松永里愛)
- Nickname: Riai-chan (りあいちゃん)
- Birthdate: July 7, 2005
- Birthplace: Osaka, Japan
- Blood Type: A
- Height: 150 cm (4 ft 11 in)?
- Western Zodiac: Cancer
- Eastern Zodiac: Rooster
- Hello! Project Status:
- UP-FRONT PROMOTION Status:
- 2017-03-06: Member
- Juice=Juice Member Color: Royal Blue
- Hello! Project Groups:
- Other Groups:
-  Harukanaru Toki no Naka de 6 Gaiden ~Tasogare no Kamen~ (daily guest role)
-  Hello Dream. (ハロドリ。)
-  Hello! Project presents... "Solo Fes!"
-  Hello! Project presents... "Solo Fes! 2"
- [2018–] Hello! Project Station
- [2018–] Upcoming
- [2019–] tiny tiny
- [2019–] OMAKE CHANNEL
-  Hello Pro Kouhaku Taiko THE☆BATTLE 2019
-  Hello Pro no Oshigoto Challenge! 2
-  Hello! Anison Bu
- She has won her school's marathon race (girls' division) for the past 5 years.
- She had attended an ANGERME handshake event before joining Hello Pro Kenshuusei.
- She had previously met her generation mates Doi Rena, Nakayama Natsume and Okamura Minami before they joined, the latter of which she met as a model for Dream Girls magazine.
- She thinks both her strength and her shortcoming is being serious.
- She is not good with being scolded, basketball, and insects.
- She would like to perform overseas.
- She has admired Morning Musume ever since she got into the Kenshuusei, so she wanted to join Morning Musume.
- Gallery:Matsunaga Riai
- List:Matsunaga Riai Discography Featured In
- List:Matsunaga Riai Concert & Event Appearances
- List:Matsunaga Riai Pocket Morning Weekly Q&A
Youngest member of Juice=Juice
Youngest member of Hello! Project
- "グランプリは誰の手に！？ハラ塾メイト×ジュニアワードのオーディション結果発表" (in Japanese). Harajuku Mate. 2016-03-05.
- "ハロプロ研修生に新メンバーが加入！" (in Japanese). Hello! Project. 2017-03-06.
- "「Hello! Project 研修生発表会2019 ～春の公開実力診断テスト～」結果発表" (in Japanese). Hello! Project. 2019-05-07.
- "Juice=Juice 新メンバー発表スペシャル" (in Japanese). Juice=Juice (via YouTube). 2019-06-14.
- "Juice=Juice 新メンバー決定！" (in Japanese). Hello! Project. 2019-06-14.
- Kanazawa Tomoko. "♪.正解発表！イベント決定！アー写更新！メンバーカラー！ 金澤朋子" (in Japanese). Juice=Juice Official Blog. 2019-07-12.
- "★ファンクラブ会員限定イベント★「Juice=Juice 松永里愛バースデーイベント2020」開催決定！" (in Japanese). UP-FC. 2020-08-12.
- "★ファンクラブ会員限定イベント★「Juice=Juice 松永里愛バースデーイベント2021」開催決定！" (in Japanese). UP-FC. 2021-05-28.
- Matsunaga Riai. "みなさんさん。松永里愛" (in Japanese). Juice=Juice Official Blog. 2019-07-12.
- BOMB September 2018 Issue.
- Top Yell Neo. Summer 2019 issue.
- Juice=Juice Profile
- Hello Pro Kenshuusei Profile (archived)
- Juice=Juice Official Blog
- Official Blog "riririroom no Blog" (archived)
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