Morning Musume. (モーニング娘。; Morning Girls.), sometimes referred to as Momusu (モー娘。) or Momusume (often in tabloids, news, モー娘。), is the lead group of Hello! Project. The group formed in 1997 on a talent show called ASAYAN. It quickly became, and still is, one of Japan's top all girl groups with a number of hit records and albums.
Their combined CD and DVD sales exceed 21 million copies in Japan alone. They were masterminded by Yamazaki Naoki and managed by their producer Tsunku who is responsible for the composition of the majority of their songs and lyrics, production of their CD-sleeve covers, designing of their costumes and make-up and their live shows.
Currently, they are one of the most successful Japanese pop idol girl groups, holding the second highest overall single sales (of a female group) on the Oricon charts as of February 2012, with the Oricon record of most top ten singles with an amount of 54.
According to MADAME NOIRE they are in #8 for the Best-Selling Girl Groups of all time, as of October 17, 2011.
Since their expansion into the Chinese market in 2007, the group officially adopted the name Jou An Sao Nu Jou (Zǎo Ān Shào Nǚ Zǔ, 早安少女組。; good morning girl's group). In regards to media and tabloids they are sometimes known as Momusu (モー娘。).
Musume (娘), in this context, means girl. The group is known for their ever-fluctuating line-up, with "graduations" and auditions held nearly every year. 2008 was the only year so far in which no line-up changes occurred and that line-up has been the longest unchanging lineup so far going over 2 years with no graduations or new members until Kusumi Koharu graduated in December 2009.
In recent years, the group has been making a concerted attempt to break into new markets in Asia, Europe and the US, performing at EXPOs worldwide.
Their Hello! Project MobekisuJ color is RED.
- Michishige Sayumi (道重 さゆみ; Light Pink) Leader
- Fukumura Mizuki (譜久村 聖; Hot Pink) Sub-Leader
- Ikuta Erina (生田 衣梨奈; Yellow-Green)
- Sayashi Riho (鞘師 里保; Red)
- Suzuki Kanon (鈴木 香音; Green)
- Iikubo Haruna (飯窪 春奈; Honey) Sub-Leader
- Ishida Ayumi (石田 亜佑美; Blue)
- Sato Masaki (佐藤 優樹; Emerald Green)
- Kudo Haruka (工藤 遥; Orange)
- Oda Sakura (小田 さくら; Lavender)
Sixth Generation (2003)
The sixth generation joined Morning Musume in 2003 with a total of four members; three through the nationwide auditions and one (Fujimoto Miki) being added by Tsunku. Fujimoto Miki left Morning Musume on June 1, 2007 and Kamei Eri graduated on December 15, 2010. After Niigaki Risa's Graduation on May 18, 2012, Michishige Sayumi was announced as Morning Musume's 8th Leader. Tanaka Reina graduated on May 21, 2013.
Ninth Generation (2011)
The members were revealed at the Hello! Project Winter Concert on January 2, 2011. The ninth generation joined Morning Musume in 2011 with a total of four members; three through the nationwide auditions and one Hello! Pro Kenshuusei member (Fukumura Mizuki) being added as a surprise by Tsunku. After Tanaka Reina's graduation on May 21, 2013, Fukumura was appointed sub-leader of Morning Musume alongside tenth generation member Iikubo Haruna.
Tenth Generation (2011)
The application process started on June 13. The auditions started June 13. It was announced that girls were allowed to audition for S/mileage but will only be allowed to join one group. At first, rather than two girls being added, four girls were added to Morning Musume after the auditions the day before Takahashi Ai's graduation. The tenth generation joined in September 29, 2011 with a total of four members. After Tanaka Reina's graduation on May 21, 2013 Iikubo was appointed sub-leader of Morning Musume alongside ninth generation member Fukumura Mizuki.
Eleventh Generation (2012)
On May 18, 2012, at Niigaki Risa and Mitsui Aika's Graduation at the Nippon Budokan, it was announced that the Eleventh Generation Auditions, titled: Morning Musume 11th Generation ~Suppin Utahime~ Audition, were to begin. On September 14, 2012, at Morning Musume's 15th Anniversary Concert Tour Rehearsal, that Hello! Pro Kenshuusei Member, Oda Sakura passed the 11th Generation Auditions, making her the sole 11th Gen Member. Oda started her official Morning Musume duties in January 2013 at the Hello! Project 2013 Winter Concert, after Morning Musume's 15th Anniversary Concert Tour.
These are the members of Morning Musume who have either graduated from the group to pursue other projects within Hello! Project - such as working within another group or becoming a soloist - or those who resigned from Morning Musume due to scandal or simply left the group. This list shows the date former members graduated and their former color in the group.
First Generation (1997)
- Nakazawa Yuko (中澤裕子; Purple) (Graduated: April 15, 2001; Leader 1997.09.08-2001.04.15)
- Ishiguro Aya (石黒彩) (Graduated: January 7, 2000)
- Iida Kaori (飯田圭織; Yellow) (Graduated: January 30, 2005; Leader 2001.04.16-2005.01.30)
- Abe Natsumi (安倍なつみ; Light Pink) (Graduated: January 25, 2004)
- Fukuda Asuka (福田明日香) (Graduated: April 18, 1999)
Second Generation (1998)
- Yasuda Kei (保田圭; Red) (Graduated: May 5, 2003)
- Yaguchi Mari (矢口真里; Light Purple) (Resigned: April 14, 2005; Leader 2005.01.31 - 2005.04.14)
- Ichii Sayaka (市井紗耶香; Teal) (Graduated: May 21, 2000)
Third Generation (1999)
- Goto Maki (後藤真希; Gold) (Graduated: September 23, 2002)
Fourth Generation (2000)
- Ishikawa Rika (石川梨華; Hot Pink) (Graduated: May 7, 2005)
- Yoshizawa Hitomi (吉澤ひとみ; Purple) (Graduated: May 6, 2007; Leader 2005.04.15 - 2007.05.06)
- Tsuji Nozomi (辻希美; Hot Pink) (Graduated: August 1, 2004)
- Kago Ai (加護亜依; Blue) (Graduated: August 1, 2004)
Fifth Generation (2001)
- Takahashi Ai (高橋愛; Yellow) (Graduated: September 30, 2011; Leader 2007.06.02 - 2011.09.30)
- Konno Asami (紺野あさ美; Light Pink) (Graduated: July 23, 2006)
- Ogawa Makoto (小川麻琴; Blue) (Graduated: August 27, 2006)
- Niigaki Risa (新垣里沙; Yellow-Green) (Graduated: May 18, 2012; Leader 2011.09.30 - 2012.05.18)
Sixth Generation (2003)
- Fujimoto Miki (藤本美貴; Red) (Left: June 1, 2007; L 2007.05.07 - 2007.06.01)
- Kamei Eri (亀井絵里; Orange) (Graduated: December 15, 2010)
- Tanaka Reina (田中れいな; Light Blue) (Graduated: May 21, 2013)
Seventh Generation (2005)
- Kusumi Koharu (久住小春; Red) (Graduated: December 6, 2009)
Eighth Generation (2006/2007)
- Mitsui Aika (光井愛佳; Light Purple) (Graduated: May 18, 2012)
- Junjun (ジュンジュン; Blue) (Graduated: December 15, 2010)
- Linlin (リンリン; Teal) (Graduated: December 15, 2010)
Japanese producer Tsunku started the group in 1997 through an audition for a female rock vocalist for his band Sharan Q. The audition was held on the Japanese TV show Asayan. The winner was Heike Michiyo, later to become a soloist under what would eventually become known as Hello! Project. Tsunku decided to form a girl group consisting of five of the runners-up: Nakazawa Yuko, Abe Natsumi, Iida Kaori, Fukuda Asuka, and Ishiguro Aya. They were issued a challenge to sell 50,000 copies of their demo single, "Ai no Tane," with just five days of promotion events. They managed the feat in four promotion days (spread out over November, 1997) in a very grassroots manner. Tsunku began his mission to create the most famous all-girl group in Japan.
In early 1998, the girls were ready with their first official single, "Morning Coffee." The success of this single (hitting #6 on the Japanese pop charts) brought them three new members known as the second generation: Yasuda Kei, Yaguchi Mari, and Ichii Sayaka, bringing the total member count to eight. The second single, Summer Night Town, was the first single of the new lineup—a mature pop tune about unsuccessfully attempting to hide one's true feelings. Their third single, Daite HOLD ON ME!, continued in the same vein musically as "Summer Night Town", and managed to hit #1 on the charts. Leader Nakazawa Yuko also started her solo career.
First Time was released in July 1998, featuring the singles "Ai no Tane","Morning Coffee" and "Summer Night Town".
That year, Tsunku also formed Tanpopo, the first subgroup of Morning Musume, with Iida Kaori, Ishiguro Aya, and Yaguchi Mari. Tanpopo touted slower, more mature songs.
On December 31, Morning Musume won the Japan Record Award for "Best New Artist".
1999 kicked off with the group's fourth single Memory Seishun no Hikari, failing to hit #1 but managing to snag #2 on Oricon. The song contained a rap section and intense vocal harmonization on the girls parts. Fukuda Asuka later announced this would be her last single coming as a surprise. She had the shortest tenure of any Morning Musume member. She got her own solo song as the 3rd track on the single.
Manatsu no Kousen was released in May and has a summer tune. It went to #3 on the charts, and the sales dropped by half from "Memory Seishun no Hikari". Morning Musume's chart position was visibly lagging at the time, their sixth single, Furusato, only sealing the fact. Abe Natsumi sang the entire song, with the other members harmonizing discreetly. This single was #5, and the sales once again decreased by half.
Second Morning was released in July 1999, and contained the singles "Daite Hold on Me!," "Memory Seishun no Hikari," "Manatsu no Kōsen," and "Furusato." "Daite Hold on Me!" and "Manatsu no Kōsen" were remixed.
Eager to add new life to the group, Tsunku held auditions for the third generation of Morning Musume. Two girls were expected to be admitted, but ultimately only Goto Maki was added. Goto was 13, the youngest member of Morning Musume at the time. The group's seventh single, "LOVE Machine," sold 1,730,000 copies, making it a major hit. It is still their highest-selling single to date. The song touted an image of Japan as the future "envy of the world" and cheered the masses during a period of economic recession. It was Goto Maki's first single and Ishiguro Aya's last. Its wild success dramatically increased the popularity of the group.
Soon Goto was paired with Yasuda Kei and Ichii Sayaka to form the subgroup Petitmoni. Petitmoni's first single, "Chokotto Love," rivaled the success of "Love Machine," selling over 1,123,610 copies.
2000 first saw the release of Koi no Dance Site, which hit #2 and sold over a million—400,000 copies away from reaching Love Machine's success. The single had the highest 1st week sales than any other Morning Musume's singles, an enormous amount of 600,860 copies. Even with this large number, the single did not reach #1 because Southern All Stars's biggest hit single, TSUNAMI, which sold total of 2.93 million copies, was released at the same date as "Koi no Dance Site". Ishiguro Aya left the group before the single was released in order to marry Shinya, drummer of rock band Luna Sea, leaving the group with seven members.
The second event of 2000 was the creation of "shuffle units," in which all members of Tsunku's then 16-member family, Hello! Project, were shuffled around to form three one-time groups: Akagumi 4, Kiiro 5, and Aoiro 7. The idea was to battle for the highest single sales. This was achieved by Akagumi 4 which boasted Goto Maki as the lead vocals.
In March, their third studio album, 3rd -LOVE Paradise- was released. Despite having "Love Machine" and "Koi no Dance Site" on its track list, it did not manage to claim the #1 spot, but did sell more than 800,000 copies, making it Morning Musume's highest-selling studio album to date.
This year also brought a new generation search. The fourth generation consisted of Ishikawa Rika, Yoshizawa Hitomi, Tsuji Nozomi, and Kago Ai, lending a completely different feel to the group by adding the 12-year-old duo of Tsuji Nozomi and Kago Ai. After their debut single, Happy Summer Wedding, (continuing the legacy of #1 hits with 1,370,000 copies sold,). Ichii Sayaka graduated to pursue her own music career. She became the vocalist of Japanese group Cubic Cross and later married fellow member Yoshizawa Naoki (who has no relation to Yoshizawa Hitomi).
With Ishiguro Aya and Ichii Sayaka gone, both Tanpopo and Petitmoni revised their lineups—Yoshizawa Hitomi joined Petitmoni, and Kago Ai and Ishikawa Rika were added to Tanpopo. Meanwhile, Yaguchi Mari had started performing informally with Kago Ai and Tsuji Nozomi in concerts as Minimoni, a group tailored towards younger audiences with all the members being less than 150 cm (about 5 ft) tall. Mika Todd of Coconuts Musume was later added into the group and Tsunku made them official. Their debut single, Minimoni. Jankenpyon!, was a #1 hit on the Oricon.
As an idol group, they were extremely successful, drawing comparisons to the popularity of former girl idol group Speed. I WISH and Ren'ai Revolution 21 (Nakazawa Yuko's last single) continued the trend of happy pop songs becoming staple hits for the group. Morning Musume also began their tradition of performing in musicals each year, breaking new ground as idols with their hit musical, Love Century -Yume wa Minakerya Hajimaranai-.
Morning Musume was featured in a game called Space Venus. In April 2001, group leader Nakazawa Yuko graduated to concentrate more on her solo career (as a factor as well—she felt it was limiting her ability to meet the physical demands of the group's activities) making Iida Kaori and Yasuda Kei Morning Musume's co-leaders. During this time, the Ishikawa Rika was "lent" out to the rather inactive group, Country Musume. She did not officially join, but she sang with them for a short period of time.
By July 2001 the string of #1 hits had yet to be broken with the release of the single The☆Peace!. The☆Peace! was another somewhat bizarre pop tune, beginning with an almost fight song-like call and response, and featuring Ishikawa Rika as the lead. She had a dialog in the middle of the song, many solo lines, and took center in the dance and the cover shot. The promotional video echoed the song's strangeness by placing the group in the middle of what appeared to be a gigantic public bathroom, displaying the girls dancing amongst the urinals and posing for photographs in the stalls; supposedly as a response to hidden camera footage of the members that had recently surfaced, filmed from a toilet in their production offices.
At the end of January 2001, the best selling Hello! Project album to date, at 2,259,510 copies, was released: Best! Morning Musume 1. It featured 15 tracks, the only original song being "Say Yeah! -Motto Miracle Night-."
At the end of 2001, four new members joined the group as the 5th Generation through the "Love Audition 21:" Takahashi Ai, Konno Asami, Ogawa Makoto, and Niigaki Risa, bringing the roster to 13 girls. Their first single "Mr.Moonlight ~Ai no Big Band~" (done in the style of big band) featured fourth generation member Yoshizawa Hitomi as the central focus and main vocalist of the song. The single sold over half a million copies.
In July 2002, Do it! Now was released. This single finally broke the line of #1 hits and came in at #3—a surprising fact to many, considering it was Goto Maki's last single.
Morning Musume's fourth studio album, 4th Ikimasshoi! was released in March 2002 after a two year wait. It is the first studio album from the group to reach #1 on Oricon. It featured the singles "Ren'ai Revolution 21," (rerecorded with the current 13-person formation,) "The Peace!," (in a 'full', longer version,) "Mr.Moonlight ~Ai no Big Band~," (with added dialog at the beginning,) and "Souda! We're Alive."
Late 2002 was marked by the graduation of Goto Maki and a mass re-shuffle of the sub-units. Tsunku removed Iida Kaori, Yaguchi Mari, and Kago Ai from Tanpopo, adding in Konno Asami, Niigaki Risa, and Shibata Ayumi of Melon Kinenbi to join Ishikawa Rika. Tanpopo only released one single with this lineup before the group was put on an indefinite hiatus status. Ogawa Makoto and Kimura Ayaka of Coconuts Musume joined Yoshizawa Hitomi in Petitmoni to replace Yasuda Kei and Goto Maki. However, the group did release a single, and only performed in concerts. Their song "Wow Wow Wow" was later released on the Hello! Project's compilation CD Petit Best 4. In Minimoni, Yaguchi Mari was replaced by Takahashi Ai and the new lineup went on to put out several singles and a second album until member Mika Todd graduated in May 2004, adding Minimoni to the list of "indefinite hiatus" subgroups.
In October Koko ni Iruzee! was released, a fast-paced, feel-good song about making the most of life and music's ability to unite the world. It was #1 on Oricon.
The unique child-like tune Morning Musume no Hyokkori Hyoutanjima was released in February 2003 as the group's seventeenth single. It is significant because it was a cover song, marking the first time Tsunku did not write a single's lyrics.
April brought the notably successful single AS FOR ONE DAY, a synthesizer-driven song about lost love, which sold 129,893 copies and hit #1 in Oricon charts. It was the last time a Morning Musume single got #1 until "Aruiteru" (released late 2006). This single was also the last for Yasuda Kei.
Before the auditions for the sixth generation were held, the group released the album No.5. It was unique in a few ways. It was the last studio album to feature Yasuda Kei and Abe Natsumi as full members of the group. It was also the first Morning Musume studio album to feature a former member, as Goto Maki guests on "Megami ~Mousse na Yasashisa~" and "Ganbacchae." It only featured two singles: "Do it! Now" and "Koko ni Iruzee!."
In mid-2003, four new girls were added as the sixth generation: Fujimoto Miki, Kamei Eri, Michishige Sayumi, and Tanaka Reina. After she pulled off a successful appearance on the New Year's music program "Kōhaku Uta Gassen" with several Morning Musume members dancing as backup, Tsunku also added in Fujimoto Miki as part of the sixth generation. Their debut concert was also Yasuda Kei's graduation concert, and Tsunku has said that this one-time 16-member group is the largest Morning Musume will ever be.
The sixth generation's first single was Shabondama, which featured "break-up" lyrics, a seemingly spontaneous dance routine, and rolled "r"s.
Yaguchi Mari became Morning Musume's sub-leader after Kei's graduation and was also put in charge of training and assisting the trainee group of Hello! Project Kids, eventually forming a group with 5 of them, known as ZYX.
Later in 2003, Morning Musume was split into two subgroups so that it could tour more cities (especially smaller cities that could not support a 15-member troupe). Morning Musume Sakura Gumi, which focused on slower and more traditional love songs, included Abe Natsumi, Yaguchi Mari, Yoshizawa Hitomi, Kago Ai, Takahashi Ai, Niigaki Risa, Konno Asami and Kamei Eri. Morning Musume Otome Gumi, which had more upbeat pop songs with a slight rock flavor, featured Iida Kaori, Ishikawa Rika, Tsuji Nozomi, Ogawa Makoto, Fujimoto Miki, Michishige Sayumi, and Tanaka Reina. Sakuragumi released two singles: Hare Ame Nochi Suki♥ and Sakura Mankai, and Otomegumi released two singles as well: "Ai no Sono ~Touch My Heart!~ and Yuujou ~Kokoro no Busu ni wa Naranee!~.
The last single of Morning Musume in 2003 to feature the entire group was Go Girl ~Koi no Victory~, which had the members girlishly proclaiming the victory of their love.
In January 2004, Abe Natsumi (known as "the face of Morning Musume" to the general public) graduated to pursue a soloist career. Her last single was Ai Araba IT'S ALL RIGHT, Morning Musume's last song to sell more than 100,000 copies. "Ai Araba IT'S ALL RIGHT" had uplifting lyrics (as would be expected, with the title), and a cheery dance sequence.
The group soon released another single, Roman ~MY DEAR BOY~. The song showcased an almost rock flavor and centered its lyrics around offering "a dance" to a boy. This was followed by their twenty-third single, Joshi Kashimashi Monogatari, which is unique in that it was actually about the Morning Musume girls themselves—each member got a verse about their personality. This song would later be remade several times as "Joshi Kashimashi Monogatari 2" and "Joshi Kashimashi Monogatari 3," included in their sixth and seventh album respectively. This single also marked the graduation of fourth generation members Tsuji Nozomi and Kago Ai in August, to focus on W, their new duo group.
In mid-2004, Morning Musume's second best-of album, Best! Morning Musume 2 was released and featured "Yah! Aishitai" as the only new track. It had a lukewarm reception at best, compared to their first best-of compilation.
Auditions for the seventh generation (named "Lucky 7" to commemorate the seventh generation, the seventh year of Morning Musume, and seven audition sites across Japan) were held in various Japan cities in late 2004, resulting in six finalists. However, on January 9, 2005, Tsunku surprised everyone by announcing that no one in the Lucky 7 audition would be added to Morning Musume, citing that he had set his expectations extra-high this year in hopes of finding an "ace." This was the first time an audition had ended with no new members.
In November 2004, Morning Musume released Namida ga Tomaranai Houkago, a ballad that featured Ishikawa Rika, Konno Asami, and Michishige Sayumi.
Following this single Morning Musume EARLY SINGLE BOX was released. It was a 9-CD set containing their first eight singles with a bonus track on each one, as well as a karaoke CD of some of their more popular tunes from the early years.
Finally, at the end of 2004, the group's yearly album was released. Their sixth studio album, named Ai no Dai 6 Kan, hit stores in December. It contained three singles: "Roman ~My Dear Boy~," "Joshi Kashimashi Monogatari," and "Namida ga Tomaranai Hōkago." This was Kago Ai, Tsuji Nozomi, Iida Kaori, Yaguchi Mari, and Ishikawa Rika's last credited studio album.
On January 30, 2005 - then-leader and the last member from the first generation Iida Kaori graduated to pursue a solo singer/artist career, with Yaguchi Mari taking on leadership role with Yoshizawa Hitomi as sub-leader. Her last single was THE Manpower!!, which sung about the abilities of the human race and was also the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles theme song.
The beginning of 2005 also saw the beginning of Musume Document 2005, which covered behind-the-scenes material, historical footage, and interviews. In February 2005, Tsunku started another audition for Morning Musume's seventh generation. He noted that he was still intent on finding an "ace." This audition resulted with Kusumi Koharu finally being chosen as the sole "miracle" member of the new generation.
On April 10, 2005, photos were taken of Yaguchi Mari with Shun Oguri (scheduled to be published in a gossip magazine Friday! on the 15th). Yaguchi announced that she would "retire" from Morning Musume and would continue on with solo activities. In her public statement, Yaguchi said that due to the scandal and its publicity, she could no longer sustain an "idol" image befitting of Morning Musume. Because of the nature of her departure (resignation rather than graduation), Yaguchi did not receive a graduation concert. Sub-leader Yoshizawa Hitomi took over as the leader of Morning Musume, and Fujimoto Miki became sub-leader as of July 15, 2005.
Just days after Yaguchi Mari resigned on April 27 2005, the group's twenty-sixth single, Osaka Koi no Uta was released. The final version featured Yaguchi still, presumably because they did not have enough time to rerecord and remix it. The lyrics are in an Osaka dialect. This single was also Ishikawa Rika's last. She graduated on May 7, 2005 to assume full-time leadership of the Hello! Project trio known as v-u-den.
Kusumi Koharu's first single with Morning Musume was July's Iroppoi Jirettai, a flamenco styled song, which was considered to be the biggest hit of the year—selling around 20,000 more copies than anything else. A 3 city handshake event was organized for the promotion of this single.
Morning Musume's last single of 2005 was Chokkan 2 ~Nogashita Sakana wa Ookiizo!~, which was a remake of a previous album-only song about the importance of using your intuition and not taking good things for granted. "Koi wa Hassō Do The Hustle!" was going to be the title track for the single, but due to poor preview results, became the coupling track instead.
On December 31, 2005, graduated Morning Musume members Nakazawa Yuko, Iida Kaori, Abe Natsumi, Yasuda Kei, Yaguchi Mari, Goto Maki, Ishikawa Rika, Tsuji Nozomi, and Kago Ai joined the current lineup of Morning Musume to perform the band's signature hit "LOVE Machine" on the 2005/2006 edition of Kōhaku Uta Gassen. The performance was Yaguchi Mari's first since leaving Morning Musume eight and a half months earlier
On January 16, 2006, it was announced that Morning Musume had won a Kanagawa Image Up Award in recognition of Hello! Project's support of an anti-pollution campaign. Yoshizawa Hitomi, Fujimoto Miki, and Takahashi Ai represented the group to accept the award.
In February, the group released their seventh studio album, Rainbow 7. It was the first album for Kusumi Koharu and the last for Konno Asami and Ogawa Makoto. The album features "The Manpower!!!," "Osaka Koi no Uta," "Iroppoi Jirettai," and "Chokkan 2 ~Nogashita Sakana wa Ookiizo!~" (in a remixed form). Iida Kaori, Yaguchi Mari, and Ishikawa Rika are not credited anywhere in the liner notes although their vocals appear. Three of the songs on the album are performed by smaller clusters of several group members, and are credited in the liner notes to the featured members involved, rather than to the entire group.
In March 2006, SEXY BOY ~Soyokaze ni Yorisotte~ was released. It featured an easy-to-learn dance and a parapara style. It was considered to be a relative success.
On April 28, 2006, it was announced by Tsunku from his official website that fifth generation members Konno Asami and Ogawa Makoto were going to graduate. Konno Asami graduated on July 23, 2006 to attend University and Ogawa Makoto graduated on August 27, 2006 to study English abroad. Both left Morning Musume, but only Konno Asami left Hello! Project entirely; Ogawa Makoto intended to return after completing her studies, and is still pictured as a soloist on Hello! Project's official website. However, as of 2007, Konno Asami returned to Hello! Project to join the new group Ongaku Gatas, making it the first time ever that a girl who left Hello! Project actually returned. She will remain an active member within the agency and Ongaku Gatas while continuing her university studies. Ogawa Makoto, on the other hand, returned in June 2008 by appearing on an episode of Morning Musume's television show Haromoni@.
Konno Asami and Ogawa Makoto's last single was Ambitious! Yashinteki de Ii Jan, which, yet again, featured a parapara type arrangement, with a rock 'n' roll flair. It was the group's 30th single, and a limited-edition CD of all past 30 singles mixed into a thirteen-minute track was included on the first pressing. Unfortunately, sales did not add up to the hype or the significance, and the single clocked in as Morning Musume's lowest-selling yet.
In mid-2006, the group performed the musical Ribbon no Kishi. Ai Takahashi Ai took the main role; the secondary role was played by alternating members. There was also a mini-concert at the end of each performance, which served as Ogawa Makoto's real "graduation concert"—the Wonderful Hearts 2006 concert was initially intended for Konno Asami's graduation only, although Ogawa Makoto wore a special outfit and read her graduation comments as well. (A last minute decision that fans were unaware of before the concert began). As for Ribbon no Kishi, an album with a selection of songs was released: Ribbon no Kishi The Musical Song Selection.
In mid-2006, Tsunku announced the audition for the eighth generation, called Morning Musume Happy 8 Audition. The audition started on August 27, 2006 and ended in Tokyo on October 22, 2006. On December 10, 2006's Hello! Morning, it was announced that the only new member was Mitsui Aika. The show had a piece of audition footage each week leading up to December 10, 2006.
The last single release in 2006 was Aruiteru, which was a huge hit. It was the first single at the #1 spot after 3½ years (their last #1 hit being "As for One Day.") The song's lyrics were credited for its success, with lines like "walking, you're not alone because everyone's here with you, praying for peace." It was a bit of a turn from the hyperactive singles the group had been releasing. Tsunku's group, Sharan Q, also made a rock cover of this song.
Their first mini-album, 7.5 Fuyu Fuyu Morning Musume Mini!, was released in December. It featured five tracks by solo and/or smaller combinations of band members. It also featured the single "Aruiteru."
In early 2007, Morning Musume Tanjou 10nen Kinentai, a unit consisting of Iida Kaori, Abe Natsumi, Goto Maki, Niigaki Risa, and Kusumi Koharu, was created to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Morning Musume. They released a commemorative single called Bokura ga Ikiru MY ASIA. The members chosen symbolize the beginning of the group; how they had five members ranging in age from 13–24. Additionally, each member was from an odd-numbered generation (Iida Kaori and Abe Natsumi from the first generation, Goto Maki from the third, Niigaki Risa from the fifth, and Kusumi Koharu from the seventh).
On January 2, 2007, an announcement was made during Hello! Project's 2007 Winter concert that the group's leader at the time Yoshizawa Hitomi would graduate from Morning Musume on May 6, 2007, the last day of Morning Musume's 2007 spring tour. The concert was at the Saitama Super Arena in Yoshizawa Hitomi's hometown in Saitama.
In February, the first single with the eighth generation member Mitsui Aika was released, Egao YES Nude. This was the first PV of Morning Musume to appear on the Dohhh!Up site (a streaming website of Hello! Project media). The single went up against tougher competition than "Aruiteru" had, only landing them a #4 spot, although it sold relatively the same number of copies. The song has a funky, disco feel, and is highly-reminiscent of some of the oldest songs of Morning Musume, most notably "Summer Night Town".
On the March 11, 2007 edition of the weekly TV show Hello! Morning, producer Tsunku revealed he would make an important announcement in the following episode. Several days later, on March 15, he announced that two other eighth generation members would be joining the group: Li Chun and Qian Lin, both Chinese nationals, were to join as "exchange students." Tsunku stated the two new members would be an important key for their group's planned expansion into Asia and gave them the stage names "Junjun" and "Linlin" respectively. The two made their stage debut on May 6, at Saitama Super Arena, during current leader Yoshizawa Hitomi's graduation. This is notable, as they are the first non-Japanese members of the group.
On March 21, 2007, the group's eighth studio album, SEXY 8 BEAT was released. It was the first album for Mitsui Aika and the last album for Yoshizawa Hitomi and Fujimoto Miki. It featured the singles "Aruiteru," "Egao Yes Nude," "Sexy Boy ~Soyokaze ni Yorisotte~," and "Ambitious! Yashinteki de Ii Jan."
In late April, Morning Musume released their 33rd single, Kanashimi Twilight. The song style was a huge departure from almost anything Morning Musume had released prior to it, displaying a loud, rock arrangement and the angriest lyrics since "Shabondama".
With the success of Kanashimi Twilight, on May 1, 2007, Morning Musume became the "best single selling female group in Japan" with 11,085,000 copies sold—their fifth Oricon record. The achievement surpasses the previous record set by Pink Lady of 11,037,000 copies sold.
On May 6, 2007, Yoshizawa Hitomi graduated. Fujimoto Miki took her place as leader and Takahashi Ai replaced Fujimoto as sub-leader.
As of June 1, 2007, Fujimoto Miki resigned from Morning Musume, due to the tabloid magazine Friday running an article depicting Fujimoto and comedian Tomoharu Shoji in a relationship. Takahashi Ai replaced Fujimoto as leader (a position the latter occupied for the briefest period in the band's history—26 days), and Niigaki Risa became sub-leader.
Morning Musume's 34th single Onna ni Sachi Are was released on July 25, 2007. It features the debut of new eighth generation members from China Junjun and Linlin. This was the first time that girls from another country entered the group. The single reached #2 on the Oricon Weekly Singles Chart, with sales of 43,364 copies.
On October 26, 2007, Takahashi Ai, Niigaki Risa, and Kusumi Koharu visited Korea to promote their singles collection album Morning Musume ALL SINGLES COMPLETE ~10th ANNIVERSARY~, which was released on October 24, 2007. Takahashi and Niigaki also appeared as special guests in a Korean radio show called Maybee's Turn Up the Volume (메이비의 볼륨을 높여요). Later that same month, on October 29, 2007, all nine members traveled to Taiwan for three days to promote the album. This was the first time Morning Musume held a non-Fan Club promotional event at a country outside of Japan. During their visit, they attended press conferences, appeared for radio and TV show recordings, and held the first-ever public handshaking event outside of Japan.
November 21, 2007 marked the release of Morning Musume's 35th single, Mikan. Initial sales were poor for the song, which became the group's lowest-selling single, (even lower than the initial indies release of "Ai no Tane", which sold 50,000 copies), both in terms of first week sales and absolute sales figures. As a result, unlike all previous singles, "Mikan" failed to appear on Oricon's Top 5 Chart, breaking the group's previously held record.
On December 31, 2007, Morning Musume performed in the 58th NHK Kōhaku Uta Gassen with a remixed version of their song "Love Machine" along with ℃-ute and Berryz Koubou. Similar to the previous Kōhaku, the red team (females) lost to the white team (males) after attaining votes from the viewers and judges.
Takahashi Ai, Kamei Eri, Michishige Sayumi, and Tanaka Reina participated in the musical Ojigi 30 Degrees at the Shinjuku Theater from February 26 to March 2. Morning Musume's 36th music single, Resonant Blue, had been announced for release on March 5, 2008 but was postponed until April 16, 2008 because of the busy schedule in the winter/early spring season. Multiple promotional videos were released. With the original, another version, a studio dance shot version, a night scene version, and a one-cut dance version, it makes the most PVs ever released for one single. Also notable is the smoky eye make-up used on the members, a daring new look for Morning Musume as they attempt to expand into Asia.
The group held a concert at Taipei Nankang Exhibition Hall, Taiwan, on May 24, 2008. the first time ever for Morning Musume to have a concert outside Japan.
On April 5, 2008, Morning Musume’s Mitsui Aika complained of a stomach ache after a concert at Hachiōji Citizen Hall. She was diagnosed with acute appendicitis and was ordered to rest for two weeks. Mitsui subsequently missed the concerts on April 12 and 13.
"Resonant Blue" was released on April 16, 2008, the 36th single after it had been delayed due to hectic schedule. The single debuted at #2 and finished third in the Oricon Weekly ranking. Overall, the single marked a rebound from poor sales of the previous single, "Mikan". In its first week, it sold 48,086 copies, 20,004 copies more than "Mikan" and around 5,000 more copies than Onna ni Sachi Are.
From August 6 to August 25, 2008, Morning Musume performed with several members of the all-female Takarazuka theatre troupe in a version of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella. Takahashi Ai starred in the main role of Cinderella, with Niigaki Risa as the Prince, and Kamei Eri and Tanaka Reina as the stepsisters. The other members participated as fairies and guards.
Morning Musume's 37th single, Pepper Keibu, was released on September 24, 2008. Unlike past singles (with the exception of "Morning Musume no Hyokkori Hyoutanjima"), this song is actually a cover of Pink Lady's debut single, released in 1976. In the first week of the release, it sold approximately 10,000 copies less than "Resonant Blue" and 10,000 copies more than "Mikan".
2008 was the first year in which there were no changes in Morning Musume's lineup.
Morning Musume released their 38th single on February 18, 2009. This was their first single of 2009, titled Nai Chau Kamo. The title is translated to "I Might Cry" and was released in two limited versions A and B, each including a DVD. On March 18, 2009 they released their ninth studio album called Platinum 9 DISC.
In March 2009, all Morning Musume singles and albums, past and present, became available through JapanFiles.com via digital MP3 format in the United States, Canada and Mexico. It started with "Naichau Kamo" and the simultaneous Japan and USA release of their 9th album "Platinum 9 Disc" on March 18. Japanfiles also sells Morning Musume CD's as USA versions. It started with the album "Platinum 9 Disc" and their most recent single "Shouganai Yume Oibito".
Morning Musume released their 39th single, Shouganai Yume Oibito, on May 13, 2009, attaining a rank of #1 on the Oricon weekly chart, the first time since their "Aruiteru" single in late 2006. It also became the group's first #1 single to feature eighth generation members Mitsui Aika, Junjun, and Linlin.
Following the success of "Shouganai Yume Oibito", the group released their 40th single Nanchatte Ren'ai on August 12th, which is their third single in 2009. At the same time, with "Nanchatte Ren'ai" being the group's 40th commemorative single, a commemorative edition will be released along with the usual regular edition plus two limited edition with two different DVDs. What is interesting about the commemorative edition is that there will be a different c/w track in it to the one for the regular and limited editons. This is something the group has never done before (having 2 c/w tracks in different editions of the singles) since their 4th single "Memory Seishun no Hikari" in 1999. (note: 'Memory Seishun no Hikari' has two c/w track in one edition). "Nanchatte Ren'ai" has charted at #2 on the Oricon Weekly Sales Chart with 54,973 CDs sold. This single has marked their best opening week since "Iroppi Jirettai" back in 2005.
With good sales from "Nanchatte Ren'ai", Morning Musume released their 41st single Kimagure Princess on October 28, 2009. The single is going have four versions (Regular, Limited A, B, and C). The regular will have a photocard while Limited C that will contain 10 different covers. This is not the first time Morning Musume done this. "Ambitious! Yashinteki de Ii jan" came with 10 different covers for their 30th single. Also, "Kimagure Princess" was the last single with Kusumi Koharu as she graduated in december to persue modeling. Her graduation marked the end of Morning Musume's longest lasting line-up.
Their latest Greatest Hits Album (B-side collection album) was released featuring all B-side songs from their debut single to 40th single on 3 discs.
Morning Musume released their 42nd single, Onna ga Medatte Naze Ikenai was released on February 10, 2010 and will have four versions: Regular and Limited A, B, and C. This will be the first single released with the new eight-member lineup and the first single following the graduation of seventh generation member Kusumi Koharu. Their tenth album, 10 MY ME, was released on March 17. Their 43rd single, Seishun Collection, was released on June 9, 2010 and had four versions: Regular and Limited A, B, and C.
It was announced that Kamei Eri, along with 8th Generation members Junjun and Linlin would graduate from Morning Musume at the "Morning Musume 2010 Rival Survival Fall Concert Tour". "Morning Musume’s Concert Tour 2010 Fall ~Rival Survival~" an additional date at Yokohama Arena has been added to the schedule as the final concert of the tour.
Their 44th single, Onna to Otoko no Lullaby Game, will be released on November 17, 2010 and will have for versions: Regularm and Limited A, B, and C. This is the last single to feature Kamei Eri, Junjun and Linlin.
Morning Musume is part of the cast for the movie "Keitai Deka The Movie 3: Morning Musume Kyuushutsu Daisakusen! ~ Pandora no Hako no Himitsu~".
On December 15, 2010, the graduation of Kamei Eri, Junjun, and Linlin was held. It was the biggest graduation in Morning Musume's history. With this the group went down to 5 members, the smallest line-up since 1998.
In 2010, It was announced that a new group has been created, Dream Morning Musume which will consist of former-Morning Musume members: Nakazawa Yuko, Iida Kaori, Abe Natsumi, Yasuda Kei, Yaguchi Mari, Ishikawa Rika, Yoshizawa Hitomi, Ogawa Makoto, Fujimoto Miki & Kusumi Koharu. They will release an album titled "Dreams. 1" which will consist of two new songs, as well as remakes of older Morning Musume songs.
On January 2, 2011, four ninth generation members were revealed to be Fukumura Mizuki, Ikuta Erina, Sayashi Riho and Suzuki Kanon at the Hello! Project 2011 Winter: Kangei Shinsen Matsuri concert. Fukumura Mizuki is a former Hello! Pro Kenshuusei and former member of Shugo Chara Egg!. Sayashi Riho and Suzuki Kanon are the first members of Morning Musume to be born after the groups formation.
On January 9th, an announcement was made that leader Takahashi Ai would be graduating from Morning Musume and Hello! Project at the group's Autumn 2011 concert (August to October). This announcement shocked many fans considering the group just had a triple graduation in December, plus the addition of the ninth generation only a week previously.The new leader of Morning Musume will be Niigaki Risa.
The ninth generation's debut single is Maji Desu ka Ska!, the single was going to be released on March 23, 2011 but, due to the earthquake and tsunami it was released April 6, 2011.
On March 12, 2011, it was announced that Morning Musume's upcoming tour would be postponed due to the recent earthquake and tsunami that had hit Japan. The new single reached number 5 on the Oricon weekly charts. Although the sales were relatively low compared to the majority of Morning Musume's recent singles, due to the recent natural diasters.
This summer, Morning Musume will be doing a Fanclub Tour in Hawaii from July 20th - 26th. This will be the first time that the ninth generation members will be traveling overseas as a part of Morning Musume.
On April 11th, 2011, It was announced that the ninth generation of Morning Musume will have a show titled "UstreaMusume"
It was announced May 8, that Morning Musume 10th Generation Audition submissions are starting now til June 13th. According to the news there will be 2 girls added after Takahashi Ai's Graduation. This is shocking, yet exciting news to fans, considering that it's been just 5 months since the 9 Generation joined. The first day of auditions is on June 13th.
Shortly after the announcement, Mitsui Aika went to the hospital, and was diagnosed with a bone fracture in her left ankle.
On September 14th, Morning Musume released their 47th single. This was the last single to feature leader, Takahashi Ai.
Morning Musume's fall tour has revealed to be called, "Ai Believe." It has also been revealed that Takahashi Ai would graduate on the final day of the tour, September 30th, at the Nippon Budokan.
On August 26, 2011, Morning Musume 5th generation member's, Takahashi Ai and Niigaki Risa turned 10 years being in Morning Musume, and 10 years since the 5th generation auditions. This made them the members to be in Morning Musume the longest.
The tenth generation members were introduced on September 29th. Iikubo Haruna, Ishida Ayumi, Sato Masaki, and Kudo Haruka were introduced the day before. Then leader Takahashi Ai graduated and the tenth generation appeared again to give their graduation messages to Takahashi Ai and sing with the existing members. Their addition makes the group stand at 12 members, the largest the group has been since 2005. Once Takahashi Ai graduated, she passed leadership of both Morning Musume and Hello! Project to Niigaki Risa, her fellow and only remaining 5th generation member. This now makes Niigaki Risa the longest serving member of the group and the 1st member to go from youngest in the group at entering to becoming leader.
On January 2, it was announced that Niigaki Risa will be graduating from Morning Musume and Hello! Project on the last day of their Spring Concert Tour, May 18, 2012. She will be passing the leadership of Morning Musume and Hello! Project to Michishige Sayumi.
On January 5, Morning Musume lost the record of having the highest overall single sales (of a female group) on the Oricon charts to AKB48. They are currently tied with the most no.1 singles.
On January 25, Pyocopyoco Ultra was released, in its first week it reached 3 on the Oricon charts and sold 31,094 copies. Although it beat "Mikan"'s first week sales, it became their lowest selling single, selling only 33,718 copies.
On May 4, 2012, it was announced that Mitsui Aika would be graduating from Morning Musume along with Niigaki Risa on May 18, 2012, the last day of their Spring Concert Tour, at the Nippon Budokan. Her reason for graduation was due to the possibility of the stress fracture in her left ankle from last year may happened again if she continue with her activity in Morning Musume. She discussed with her family and the staff of UFA about it and they decided it would be best not to delay her health any longer thus chose the closest date for graduation. After her graduation, she would be discussing with UFA staff about what possible activities she could do in Hello! Project.
On May 18, 2012, at Morning Musume Concert Tour 2012 Haru ~Ultra Smart~ Niigaki Risa Mitsui Aika Graduation Special, Niigaki Risa Graduated from Morning Musume and Hello! Project and Mitsui Aika Graduated from Morning Musume at the Nippon Budokan. On the same date, Michishige Sayumi was sworn in as Morning Musume 8th Leader succeeding Niigaki Risa as well as the Morning Musume Eleventh Generation Audtions tited: Morning Musume 11th Generation ~Suppin Utahime~ Auditions (Morning Musume 11th Generation Auditions ~Make-Up Less, Song-Stress~ Auditions) were to begin.
On May 26, 2012, Morning Musume was one the special artist to perform at Girls Award 2012 Spring/Summer collection ~All you need is LOVE~ event at Yoyogi Stadium along side names as ICONIQ, Kato Miliyah and Korean Pop Group Wonder Girls.
On July 4, Ikuta Erina announced, on her Ustream show, that she will change her official member color from Dark Purple to Yellow-Green in the fall.
On July 28, Iikubo Haruna made an announcement at a press conference that she will graduate from her chocolate color at Morning Musume's Ustream broadcast on July 30. Her new color is honey.
On September 14, at Morning Musume's 15th Anniversary Concert Tour Rehearsal, that Hello! Pro Kenshuusei Member, Oda Sakura passed the 11th Generation Auditions, making her the sole 11th Generation member. Oda will start official Morning Musume duties in January 2013 at the Hello! Project 2013 Winter Concert, after Morning Musume's 15th Anniversary Concert Tour.
On November 18, it was announced that Tanaka Reina would be graduating from both Morning Musume and Hello! Project to focus on her new band. Her graduation ceremony will take place at their spring concert tour, Morning Musume Concert Tour 2013 Haru Michishige☆Eleven SOUL ~Tanaka Reina Sotsugyou Kinen Special~ in May.
On November 28, a rumor was leaked by a person who concerned with a TV drama that airs in January, that the 52nd single would be titled "Help me!!," which would be expected be released in January 23, 2013.
On December 11, Morning Musume announced their 52nd single. Help me!! is set to be released on the same date stated by the rumor, January 23, 2013.
On January 19, both Michishige Sayumi and Tanaka Reina officially have 10 full years in Morning Musume. This made them together the 3rd and 4th person in Morning Musume history to pass this mark, after Takahashi Ai and Niigaki Risa's 10th Anniversary back in 2011.
On January 30, Morning Musume's single Help me!! became the first Hello! Project single to reach #1 on Oricon's weekly single chart since Shouganai Yume Oibito, which was released in 2009. Help me!! also had the best first day sales since 2003.
On January 23, Tanaka Reina's graduation was announced to take place at the Nippon Budokan on May 21.
On February 14, BigCamera confirmed the 53rd single. The single, which was already leaked on the release day of Help me!! by the same anonymus person, is entitled Brainstorming/Kimi Sae Ireba Nani mo Iranai. It was released on April 17th, and was Tanaka Reina's last single.
On March 16, 12th generation auditions were announced. The application deadline was April 30, 2013. It was later announced that no one passed the audition.
On April 23, Brainstorming/Kimi Sae Ireba Nani mo Iranai ranked #1 on Oricon's weekly single chart and became Morning Musume's 2nd consecutive weekly #1, which was previously achieved with Mr.Moonlight ~Ai no Big Band~ in 2001. The single also became the first since Aruiteru to have every day of the first week rank at number 1
On May 21, the day of Tanaka Reina's graduation, Fukumura Mizuki and Iikubo Haruna were appointed sub-leaders of Morning Musume, making this the first time in Morning Musume history that there is more than one sub-leader
On August 7, Morning Musume's 1999-2002 concert DVDs were re-released in Blu-ray format
On September 11, Morning Musume's 2002-2003 concert DVDs were re-released in Blu-ray format
On September 12, Wagamama Ki no Mama Ai no Joke/Ai no Gundan became Morning Musume's highest selling single since Koko ni Iruzee!, which was released in 2002. The single also became Morning Musume's 3rd consecutive weekly #1, which was previously achieved in 2002 with Souda! We're ALIVE
On October 9, Morning Musume's 2004-2005 concert DVDs were re-released in Blu-ray format
On October 30, Morning Musume was appointed by the JOC as the Olympics official support team called the "Nippon! Call Project Ambassadors". They will be cheering on and singing an official song produced by Tsunku, for the Japanese Olympic Team at the Winter Olympics in Sochi, February 2014
On November 6, Morning Musume's 2006-2007 concert DVDs were re-released in Blu-ray format
On December 4, Morning Musume's 2008-2009 concert DVDs will be re-released in Blu-ray format
Life in the Group
The audition process has been described by Takahashi Ai as involving a training camp of three days and two nights, in which participants were expected to learn a new song, a dance routine and a script. Out of 25,000 applicants, nine were selected for the camp in which Takahashi passed.
The girls are afforded three holidays a year of five days each, in winter, summer and for New Year's.
The group always contains a leader and sub-leader, though neither comes with any responsibility. Takahashi Ai has said that the role merely includes encouraging other to do their best, while Niigaki Risa has said that as sub-leader, "there is nothing I have to do, but I want to support [the leader]".
The girls tend to spend their social time together as well as their work time, and have said that they are encouraged to discuss problems if any in-fighting occurs.
The group is a rare case in which the producer, Tsunku, controls all aspects of the group rather than the manager. According to the management, Tsunku is responsible for producing the songs, concepts, costumes, makeup, live shows, CD-sleeve designs and more.
Activities Outside Japan
In addition to already having official fan clubs in Hong Kong, South Korea, and Hawaii, Hello! Project and Morning Musume began actively extending its fanbase outside of Japan and primarily into the rest of Asia starting from the middle of 2007 and into 2008.
In March 2007, Morning Musume inducted its first two non-Japanese members from China, Li Chun (Junjun) of Hunan and Qian Lin (Linlin) of Hangzhou. The duo left in 2010 after the group failed to break into China due to piracy levels, leading to the group focusing on European and American fans and performing at anime EXPOs.
In addition to the unveiling of Hello! Project's Taiwanese website in 2007, Hello! Project has also launched the Taiwan H.P. New Star Audition as well; an audition aimed at recruiting new members to join Hello! Project as Hello Pro Egg members. At this audition, Morning Musume also performed as well.
The TV show Morning Musume New Star airs on Taiwan's TTV network every Saturday and Sunday at 6:30 pm with re-runs Monday to Thursday at 10:15 pm. It ended in mid-August 2008 for re-runs.
Morning Musume also held their 10th Anniversary Live Tour in Korea in June 2008.
In France, Morning Musume music videos are aired on a television channel called Nolife, a channel that features video games and Japanese music.
On February 12, 2009, it was announced that Morning Musume would be attending and performing in the United States at Anime Expo, the nation's largest anime convention, during its 2009 convention, as one of the first official guests of honor. It was also announced that "3, 2, 1 Breakin' Out!", the coupling track of their upcoming single "Shōganai Yume Oibito", would be the official theme song for Anime Expo 2009. The convention was held at the Los Angeles Convention Center in Los Angeles, California on July 2 to July 5. Their concert was on Friday July 3 with a packed audience of American fans, as well as many foreign fans who traveled to AX for the chance to see them
Morning Musume attended and performed at Japan Expo 2010 in Paris, France as guest of honor. "Tomo", the coupling track to the group's 43rd single, "Seishun Collection", was the event's theme song.
For more of singles and albums, please visit Morning Musume Discography
- [1998.07.08] First Time
- [1999.07.28] Second Morning
- [2000.03.23] 3rd -LOVE Paradise-
- [2002.03.27] 4th "Ikimasshoi!"
- [2003.03.26] No.5
- [2004.12.08] Ai no Dai 6 Kan
- [2006.02.15] Rainbow 7
- [2007.03.21] SEXY 8 BEAT
- [2009.03.18] Platinum 9 DISC
- [2010.03.17] 10 MY ME
- [2010.12.01] Fantasy! Juuichi
- [2011.10.12] 12, Smart
- [2012.09.12] 13 Colorful Character
- Cover Albums
- [2008.11.26] COVER YOU
- Extended Plays
- [2006.12.13] 7.5 Fuyu Fuyu Morning Musume Mini!
- Best Albums
- [2001.01.31] Best! Morning Musume 1 (ベスト! モーニング娘。1)
- [2004.03.31] Best! Morning Musume 2 (ベスト! モーニング娘。2)
- [2004.12.15] Morning Musume Early Single Box (モーニング娘。EARLY SINGLE BOX)
- [2007.10.24] Morning Musume ALL SINGLES COMPLETE ~10th ANNIVERSARY~ (モーニング娘。ALL SINGLES COMPLETE ~10th ANNIVERSARY~)
- [2009.10.07] Morning Musume Zen Single Coupling Collection
- [2010.06.02] Morning Musume Best of Singles Japan Expo Limited Edition
- [2013.09.25] The Best! ~Updated Morning Musume~
- Other Albums
- [1998.09.30] Morning Cop ~Daite HOLD ON ME!~ OST
- [2000.07.05] Pinch Runner Original Soundtrack
- [2001.08.01] Morning Musume no Musical "LOVE Century -Yume wa Minakerya Hajimaranai-"
- [2002.07.10] Hawaiian de Kiku Morning Musume Single Collection
- [2002.07.17] Morning Musume no Musical "Morning Town"
- [2003.02.14] Koinu Dan no Monogatari Original Soundtrack
- [2003.07.02] Morning Musume no Musical "Edokko Chushingura"
- [2006.07.26] Ribbon no Kishi The Musical Song Selection
- 0. [1997.11.03] Ai no Tane (Demo)
- 1. [1998.01.28] Morning Coffee
- 2. [1998.05.27] Summer Night Town
- 3. [1998.09.09] Daite HOLD ON ME!
- 4. [1999.02.10] Memory Seishun no Hikari
- 5. [1999.05.12] Manatsu no Kousen
- 6. [1999.07.14] Furusato
- 7. [1999.09.09] LOVE Machine
- 8. [2000.01.26] Koi no Dance Site
- 9. [2000.05.17] Happy Summer Wedding
- 10. [2000.09.06] I WISH
- 11. [2000.12.13] Ren'ai Revolution 21
- 12. [2001.07.25] The☆Peace!
- 13. [2001.10.31] Mr.Moonlight ~Ai no Big Band~
- 14. [2002.02.20] Souda! We're ALIVE
- 15. [2002.07.24] Do it! Now
- 16. [2002.10.30] Koko ni Iruzee!
- 17. [2003.02.19] Morning Musume no Hyokkori Hyoutanjima
- 18. [2003.04.23] AS FOR ONE DAY
- 19. [2003.07.30] Shabondama
- 20. [2003.11.06] Go Girl ~Koi no Victory~
- 21. [2004.01.21] Ai Araba IT'S ALL RIGHT
- 22. [2004.05.12] Roman ~MY DEAR BOY~
- 23. [2004.07.22] Joshi Kashimashi Monogatari
- 24. [2004.11.03] Namida ga Tomaranai Houkago
- 25. [2005.01.19] THE Manpower!!
- 26. [2005.04.27] Osaka Koi no Uta
- 27. [2005.07.27] Iroppoi Jirettai
- 28. [2005.11.09] Chokkan 2 ~Nogashita Sakana wa Ookiizo!~
- 29. [2006.03.15] SEXY BOY ~Soyokaze ni Yorisotte~
- 30. [2006.06.21] Ambitious! Yashinteki de Ii jan
- 31. [2006.11.08] Aruiteru
- 32. [2007.02.14] Egao YES Nude
- 33. [2007.04.25] Kanashimi Twilight
- 34. [2007.07.25] Onna ni Sachi Are
- 35. [2007.11.21] Mikan
- 36. [2008.04.16] Resonant Blue
- 37. [2008.09.24] Pepper Keibu
- 38. [2009.02.18] Naichau Kamo
- 39. [2009.05.13] Shouganai Yume Oibito
- 40. [2009.08.12] Nanchatte Ren'ai
- 41. [2009.10.28] Kimagure Princess
- 42. [2010.02.10] Onna ga Medatte Naze Ikenai
- 43. [2010.06.09] Seishun Collection
- 44. [2010.11.17] Onna to Otoko no Lullaby Game
- 45. [2011.04.06] Maji Desu ka Ska!
- 46. [2011.06.15] Only you
- 47. [2011.09.14] Kono Chikyuu no Heiwa wo Honki de Negatterun da yo!
- 48. [2012.01.25] Pyocopyoco Ultra
- 49. [2012.04.11] Ren'ai Hunter
- 50. [2012.07.04] One•Two•Three/The Matenrou Show
- 51. [2012.10.10] Wakuteka Take a chance
- 52. [2013.01.23] Help me!!
- 53. [2013.04.17] Brainstorming/Kimi Sae Ireba Nani mo Iranai
- 54. [2013.08.28] Wagamama Ki no Mama Ai no Joke/Ai no Gundan
- 55.  TBA
- Collaboration Singles
- [2003.01.29] Ganbacchae!/HEY! Mirai (Morning Musume, Hello! Project Kids, and Goto Maki) (Single V)
- [2004.12.01] ALL FOR ONE & ONE FOR ALL! (H.P. All Stars)
- [2011.06.22] Ai wa Katsu (愛は勝つ) (Ganbarou Nippon Ai wa Katsu Singers)
- [2011.11.16] Busu ni Naranai Tetsugaku (Hello! Project Mobekimasu)
- Other Singles
- [2003.09.15] Hare Ame Nochi Suki♥ (Morning Musume Sakura Gumi)
- [2003.09.15] Ai no Sono ~Touch My Heart!~ (Morning Musume Otome Gumi)
- [2004.02.25] Sakura Mankai (Morning Musume Sakura Gumi)
- [2004.02.25] Yuujou ~Kokoro no Busu ni wa Naranee!~ (Morning Musume Otome Gumi)
- [2007.01.24] Bokura ga Ikiru MY ASIA (Morning Musume Tanjou 10nen Kinentai)
- [2007.08.08] Itoshiki Tomo e (Morning Musume Tanjou 10nen Kinentai)
- [2010.10.27] Appare! Kaiten Zushi (Muten Musume)
- [2010.12.??] Ramen Revolution 2010 Long Type
- [2000.04.26] Hello! Project - Petit Best ~Ki Ao Aka~ (プッチベスト～黄青あか～) (#8 LOVE Machine (analog remix), #9 Koi no Dance Site (PANDART SASANOOOHA Remix))
- [2001.12.19] Hello! Project - Petit Best 2 ~3, 7, 10~ (プッチベスト2～三・7・10～) (#8 Ren'ai Revolution 21 (Chou Chou Chou cool remix))
- [2002.10.30] Hello! Project - CLUB Hello! TRANCE REMIX (#1 The☆Peace! (TRANCE REMIX), #5 DANCE suru no da! (TRANCE REMIX), #7 Furusato (TRANCE REMIX), #8 Ikimasshoi! (TRANCE REMIX), #10 LOVE Machine (TRANCE REMIX), #11 Ren'ai Revolution 21 (TRANCE REMIX), #13 Daite HOLD ON ME! (TRANCE REMIX), #14 Do it! Now (TRANCE REMIX))
- [2002.12.18] Hello! Project - Petit Best 3 (プッチベスト3) (#4 Do it! Now (CRAZY SODA REMIX))
- [2003.12.17] Hello! Project - Petit Best 4 (プッチベスト4) (#17 Shabondama (asia mix))
- [2004.12.22] Hello! Project - Petit Best 5 (プッチベスト5) (#2 Roman ~MY DEAR BOY~ (Let's Have a Dance Remix))
- [2005.12.21] Hello! Project - Petit Best 6 (プッチベスト6) (#2 Iroppoi Jirettai, #15 Chokkan ~Toki to Shite Koi wa~ (LIVE Ver.), #16 HELP!! ~Ecomoni no Acchii Chikyuu wo Samasunda.~ 2005 - Ecomoni & Morning Musume)
- [2006.12.20] Hello! Project - Petit Best 7 (プッチベスト7) (#1 Morning Musume Mega Mix 30 (Radio Edit), #17 Ready Go! - Morning Musume, DEF.DIVA, Berryz Kobo)
- [2007.12.12] Hello! Project - Petit Best 8 (プッチベスト8) (#2 Kanashimi Twilight)
- [2008.12.10] Hello! Project - Petit Best 9 (プッチベスト9) (#1 Resonant Blue)
- [2009.12.02] Hello! Project - Petit Best 10 (プッチベスト10) (#1 Shouganai Yume Oibito)
- [2009.12.23] Various - TOHOKU RAKUTEN GOLDEN EAGLES 5TH ANNIVERSARY "SONGS of RAKUTEN EAGLES" (#2 THE Manpower!!!)
- [2010.12.15] Hello! Project - Petit Best 11 (プッチベスト11) (#1 Onna ga Medatte Naze Ikenai, #11 Ramen Revolution 2010 Long Type)
- [2011.12.21] Hello! Project - Petit Best 12 (プッチベスト12) (#1 Busu ni Naranai Tetsugaku - Mobekimasu, #3 Maji Desu ka Ska!, #4 Only you, #5 Jishin Motte Yume wo Motte Tobitatsu Kara - Takahashi Ai)
- [2012.12.05] Hello! Project - Petit Best 13 (プッチベスト13) (#1 Ren'ai Hunter, #2 One•Two•Three, #14 Egao ni Namida ~THANK YOU! DEAR MY FRIENDS~ - Niigaki Risa, #16 The Matenrou Show (TYPE 0))
- [2013.12.11] Hello! Project - Petit Best 14 (プッチベスト14) (#1 Help me!!, #2 Wagamama Ki no Mama Ai no Joke, #10 Rock no Teigi)
- [2014.01.01] Hello! Project - Hello! Project no Zenkyoku kara Atsumechaimashita! Vol. 1 (ハロー!プロジェクトの全曲から集めちゃいました! Vol.1 アイドル三十六房編（南波一海×嶺脇育夫）) (#1 Egao YES Nude (Album Mix), #6 Popcorn Love!, #8 Aki Urara, #11 Nebou desu. Date na no ni..., #17 The Matenrou Show (TYPE 0)) (Limited Release)
- [1999.04.18] Morning Musume Memory ~Seishun no Hikari~ 1999.4.18
- [2000.06.14] Eizou The Morning Musume Best 10
- [2000.08.30] Morning Musume First Live at Budokan ~Dancing Love Site 2000 Haru~
- [2001.06.27] Morning Musume Live Revolution 21 Haru ~Osaka Jou Hall Saishuu Bi~
- [2001.08.29] GREEN LIVE
- [2001.10.17] Morning Musume no Musical "LOVE Century -Yume wa Minakerya Hajimaranai-"
- [2002.07.31] Morning Musume Concert Tour 2002 Haru "LOVE IS ALIVE!" at Saitama Super Arena
- [2002.09.19] Morning Musume no Musical "Morning Town"
- [2002.11.20] Morning Musume LOVE IS ALIVE! 2002 Natsu at Yokohama Arena
- [2002.12.04] Eizou The Morning Musume 2 ~Single M Clips~
- [2003.06.25] Morning Musume CONCERT TOUR 2003 Haru "NON STOP!"
- [2003.08.27] Morning Musume Shuen Musical "Edokko Chushingura"
- [2003.12.26] Morning Musume Concert Tour 2003 "15nin de NON STOP!"
- [2004.02.18] Morning Musume Best Shot Vol.1
- [2004.05.28] Morning Musume Best Shot Vol.2
- [2004.07.14] Morning Musume CONCERT TOUR 2004 Haru The BEST of Japan
- [2004.08.25] 'Acchii Chikyuu wo Samasunda' Bunkasai 2005 in Yokohama
- [2004.09.14] Morning Musume Best Shot Vol.3
- [2004.11.17] Alo Hello! Morning Musume DVD
- [2004.12.04] Morning Musume Best Shot Vol.4
- [2004.12.08] Morning Musume Concert Tour "The BEST of Japan Natsu ~ Aki '04"
- [2005.03.24] Eizou The Morning Musume 3 ~Single M Clips~
- [2005.07.05] Morning Musume Concert Tour 2005 Haru ~Dai 6 Kan Hit Mankai!~
- [2005.12.14] Morning Musume Concert Tour 2005 Natsu Aki "Baribari Kyoushitsu ~Koharu-chan Irasshai!~"
- [2006.07.19] Morning Musume Concert Tour 2006 Haru ~Rainbow Seven~
- [2006.11.29] Ribbon no Kishi The Musical
- [2006.12.27] Morning Musume Concert Tour 2006 Aki ~Odore! Morning Curry~
- [2007.07.04] Morning Musume Concert Tour 2007 Haru ~SEXY 8 Beat~
- [2007.05.02] Eizou The Morning Musume 4 ~Single M Clips~
- [2007.07.11] Alo-Hello! 2 Morning Musume DVD
- [2007.12.19] DVD Eizou The Morning Musume ALL SINGLES COMPLETE Zen 35 Kyoku ~10th ANNIVERSARY~
- [2008.02.13] Morning Musume Concert Tour 2007 Aki ~Bon Kyu! Bon Kyu! BOMB~
- [2008.07.30] Morning Musume Concert Tour 2008 Haru ~Single Daizenshuu!!~
- [2008.12.03] Cinderella the Musical
- [2008.12.24] Alo-Hello! 3 Morning Musume DVD
- [2009.01.28] Morning Musume Concert Tour 2008 Aki ~Resonant LIVE~
- [2009.07.15] Morning Musume Concert Tour 2009 Haru ~Platinum 9 DISCO~
- [2009.08.19] Eizou The Morning Musume 5 ~Single M Clips~
- [2010.01.20] Morning Musume Yomiuri Land EAST LIVE 2009
- [2010.02.24] Morning Musume Concert Tour 2009 Aki ~Nine Smile~
- [2010.06.16] Alo-Hello! 4 Morning Musume DVD
- [2010.07.14] Morning Musume Concert Tour 2010 Haru ~Pikappika!~
- [2010.09.15] Fashionable
- [2011.02.23] Morning Musume Concert Tour 2010 Aki ~Rival Survival~
- [2011.04.13] Eizou The Morning Musume 6 ~Single M Clips~
- [2011.07.29] Morning Musume Concert Tour 2011 Haru Shin Souseiki Fantasy DX ~9ki Mem wo Mukaete~
- [2011.09.28] Alo-Hello! 5 Morning Musume DVD
- [2011.12.21] Morning Musume Zen Single MUSIC VIDEO Blu-ray File 2011
- [2011.12.28] Morning Musume Concert Tour 2011 Aki Ai BELIEVE ~Takahashi Ai Graduation Memory Special~
- [2012.08.29] Morning Musume Concert Tour 2012 Haru ~Ultra Smart~ Niigaki Risa Mitsui Aika Graduation Special
- [2012.09.12] Stacy's Shoujo Saisatsu Kageki
- [2012.11.14] Eizou The Morning Musume 7 ~Single M Clips~
- [2012.12.26] Alo-Hello! 6 Morning Musume DVD
- [2013.03.13] Morning Musume Tanjou 15 Shuunen Kinen Concert Tour 2012 Aki ~Colorful Character~
- [2013.09.04] Morning Musume Concert Tour 2013 Haru Michishige☆Eleven SOUL ~Tanaka Reina Sotsugyou Kinen Special~
- [2013.11.27] Gogakuyuu
- [1998.09.30] Morning Cop ~Daite HOLD ON ME!~ (モーニング刑事。～抱いてHOLD ON ME!～)
- [2001.02.21] Pinch Runner (ピンチランナー)
- [2002.03.15] Nama Tamago (ナマタマゴ)
- [2002.07.17] Tokkaekko (とっかえっ娘)
- [2002.12.31] Hamtaro the Movie 2 (劇場版とっとこハム太郎 ハムハムハムージャ！幻のプリンセス, Gekijo-ban Tottoko Hamutaro Ham-Ham Hamuja Maboroshi no Princess)
- [2003.06.21] Koinu Dan no Monogatari (仔犬ダンの物語)
- [2011.02.05] Keitai Deka The Movie 3: Morning Musume Kyuushutsu Daisakusen! ~ Pandora no Hako no Himitsu~ (ケータイ刑事 ＴＨＥ ＭＯＶＩＥ３ モーニング娘。救出大作戦！～パンドラの箱の秘密)
- [2011.11.12] Sharehouse (シェアハウス)
- [2002.12.28] Ore ga Aitsu de Aitsu ga Ore de (おれがあいつであいつがおれで) - Yoshizawa Hitomi, Konno Asami, Takahashi Ai, Niigaki Risa, Ogawa Makoto and Ishikawa Rika
- [2002.??.??] Angel Hearts - Abe Natsumi,Tsuji Nozomi, Kago Ai,Konno Asami, Takahashi Ai, Niigaki Risa and Ogawa Makoto
- [2010.01.15] Hanbun Esper (半分エスパー)
- Kōhaku Uta Gassen (紅白歌合戦) youngest participant – 12 year old Kago Ai (51st Kōhaku) from December 31, 2000 until December 31, 2007, when Hagiwara Mai of ℃-ute at age 11, broke that 7-year record.
- Ninth generation members, Sayashi Riho and Suzuki Kanon, are the first members who joined and were born after the group's formation in 1997.
- All of their singles except for Morning Coffee, Mikan, Onna to Otoko no Lullaby Game have ranked in the Oricon Weekly Singles Top 5.
- Kudo Haruka is the youngest person to ever join Morning Musume at the age of 11 (one month from being 12) and auditioning at age 11. She beat Kago Ai's record which was set at the age of 12.
- Fukumura Mizuki is the youngest member to become sub-leader at 16.
- Iida Kaori is the youngest member to become leader of Morning Musume at the age of 19.
- Oricon – Most consecutive number one singles by a female group in Japan (AKB48 Broke their Record)
- Oricon – Most Top 10 singles by a female group in Japan
- Oricon – Most number one singles by a female group in Japan, beating the previous record set by Pink Lady. (AKB48 Broke their Record)
- Oricon – Best single selling female group in Japan—18,067,949 copies sold, becoming their fifth Oricon record. (AKB48 Broke their Record)
- Oricon – Most consecutive Top 10 singles by a female group in Japan.
- Oricon – First girl group to have their songs put a No. 1 ranking in three consecutive decades. (1990's 2000's and 2010's) 
- Their Sub Group Petitmoni is the only Sub Group from Morning Musume to debut at #1 and sell more than 1,000,000 copies.
- Niigaki Risa is the only leader to have once been the youngest member of Morning Musume.
- Takahashi Ai and Niigaki Risa are the longest serving Leader and Sub-Leader (4 years).
- Morning Musume recieved eight new members in 2011 (both 9th Gen and 10th Gen of 4 each), ages 11-16 years old, while everyone else in Morning Musume was in their 20's (besides Mitsui Aika).
- Fukumura Mizuki is the first former Hello! Pro Kenshuusei to become sub-leader of Morning Musume, she is also the youngest sub-leader the group has ever had.
- The average age of the group since January 2013, is 15.9 years.
- Four generations in a row have a former Hello! Pro Kenshuusei: the 8th Generation has Linlin, the 9th Generation has Fukumura Mizuki, 10th Generation has Kudo Haruka, and the 11th Generation has Oda Sakura.
- They are the only main group in the current line-up not to release 5 singles in one year.
- To date, only four members have been featured in over 30 Singles. 5th Generation Members: Takahashi Ai (35 Singles) and Niigaki Risa (37 Singles) with 6th Generation Members: Michishige Sayumi (36+ Singles) and Tanaka Reina (35 Singles).
- Niigaki Risa has been a part of the most singles, with 37.
- Michishige Sayumi is the longest serving member in Morning Musume.
- Out of all 54 singles, Morning Musume has only 19 with a full Japanese title.
- Fujimoto Miki, Fukuda Asuka & Goto Maki always got solo line in every A-side of the singles since their debut until their graduation. Now, Sayashi Riho & Oda Sakura always get a solo line since their debut (A-Side).
- 9th Generation member Suzuki Kanon, 10th Generation member Kudo Haruka, and 11th Generation member Oda Sakura are the only current members who had never participated in a unit since joining Hello! Project.
- 1st Generation Fukuda Asuka is the only former member that has never participated in any type of unit or subgroup during her time in Hello! Project.
- Fujimoto Miki is the only Morning Musume leader not to be leader within a single.
- Takahashi Ai has had the lead vocals in singles the most often while she was a member.
- Under Takahashi Ai's leadership (often referred as the "Platinum Era"), Morning Musume had the lowest single-sales in its history.
- Takahashi Ai and Niigaki Risa were the only leaders that graduated from both Morning Musume and Hello! Project.
- All current members were added to the group in either January or in September.
- To date, 3 songs reached more than a million sold copies (LOVE Machine , Koi no Dance Site & Ren'ai Revolution 21).
- There have only been five singles to reach #1 not led by a first generation member: 31st, 39th, 52nd, 53rd, 54th
- Girls' Generation member, Sooyoung, is a fan of Morning Musume. Sooyoung and a few SNSD members (Jessica, Tiffany, and Taeyeon) went to Morning Musume's concert in Korea.
- Morning Musume is the 9th best selling girl group in the world.
- They are the most requested act from the J-MELO-Team.
- Their official YouTube channel has already 108,000,000+ views and 141,000+ subscribers.
- Korean group After School is a fan of Morning Musume.
- They are the only main group to have the most graduates, not including Hello! Pro Kenshuusei.
- [1998.12.31] 40th Japan Record Awards 1998 - "Best New Artist"
Not to be mistaken with shuffles units or other separate groups of Hello! Project.
- Morning Musume Members
- Morning Musume Discography
- Morning Musume Concerts
- Morning Musume DVDs
- Morning Musume Photobooks
- Morning Musume Timeline
- Morning Musume Auditions
Total Sales Count
|Year||Group Sales||Collaboration Sales||Total Sales|
- Official Website
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- Wikipedia: Japanese, English
- Up-Front Works: complete discography
- projecthello.com: Morning Musume lyrics
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