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Country Girls promoting "Matenai After Five / Kasa wo Sasu Senpai"
Information
Former Names Country Musume (カントリー娘。)
Origin Hokkaido, Japan (1999-2000)
Tokyo, Japan (2001-)
Genre Japanese Pop
Anniversary April 27 (Country Musume formation)
November 5 (Country Girls formation)
Group Color       Orange (July 2015-present)
Years Active 1999-present
Choreographer Kinoshita Natsuko
Labels POTATO (1999-2000)
zetima (2001-2008; 2015-)
Agency UP-FRONT PROMOTION (2015-present)
Associated Acts Morning Musume, Coconuts Musume, Ice Creamusume, Ongaku Gatas, Pabo, ROMANS, 10nin Matsuri, 11WATER, 7AIR, 7nin Matsuri, Elegies, Happy♡7, H.P. All Stars, Odoru♡11, Sexy 8, Hello! Project Akagumi, Elder Club, Berryz Koubou, Hello Pro Kenshuusei, PEACEFUL, ANGERME, Juice=Juice, College Cosmos
Current Members Satoda Mai (2002-present (Supervisor))
Yamaki Risa (2014-)
Morito Chisaki (2014-)
Ozeki Mai (2014-)
Yanagawa Nanami (2015-)
Funaki Musubu (2015-)
Former Members Yanagihara Hiromi (1999)
Kobayashi Azusa (1999)
Toda Rinne (1999-2002)
Kimura Asami (2000-2007)
Saito Miuna (2003-2007)
Shimamura Uta (2014-2015)
Inaba Manaka (2014-2016)
Tsugunaga Momoko (2014-2017)

Country Girls (カントリー・ガールズ), formerly known as Country Musume (カントリー娘。; Country Girls), is an all-female J-pop group within Hello! Project. The group, which debuted in 1999, was known for its concept of being a group of "country girls from Hokkaido". The group's activities became inactive when Satoda became the sole member in 2007. On November 5, 2014, the group was revived with six new members.[1]

Country Musume's highest selling single is "Hajimete no Happy Birthday!" with 142,340 copies sold, while their lowest selling single is "Shining Itoshiki Anata" with 16,450 copies sold.

Country Girls's highest selling single is "Itooshikutte Gomen ne / Koi Dorobou" with 51,579 copies sold, while their lowest selling single is "Dou Datte Ii no / Namida no Request" with 26,984 copies sold.

MembersEdit

Main article: Country Girls Members

Current MembersEdit

Members Outside of Hello! Project

Former MembersEdit

  • Yanagihara Hiromi (柳原尋美) (Deceased: July 16, 1999)
  • Kobayashi Azusa (小林梓) (Left: July 31, 1999; Leader 1999)
  • Rinne (りんね) (Graduated in late 2002; Leader 2000-2002)
  • Asami (あさみ) (Graduated: January 28, 2007; Leader 2002-2007)
  • Miuna (みうな) (Graduated: January 28, 2007)
  • Shimamura Uta (島村嬉唄) (Left: June 12, 2015)
  • Inaba Manaka (稲場愛香) (Graduated: August 4, 2016)
  • Tsugunaga Momoko (嗣永桃子) (Graduated: June 30, 2017; Playing Manager 2014-2017)

Borrowed MembersEdit

From Morning Musume

HistoryEdit

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Country Girls, August 2016

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Country Girls, March 2016

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Country Musume, July, 2007

3rd Gen Country Musume

Country Musume ni Konno to Fujimoto (Morning Musume), August 2004

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Country Musume ni Konno to Fujimoto (Morning Musume), July 2003

Countrymusume 2001

Country Musume ni Ishikawa Rika (Morning Musume), April 2001

Countrymusume 1999

Country Musume, July 1999

1999Edit

In March, auditions for the idol group began. The 4-week audition cycle was unusual since not only did it consist of the traditional voice and dance lessons, but it added a physical challenge: Working at the Hanabatake farm in Nakasatsunai, Hokkaido.

The purpose of the physical challenge was to see how responsible the girls were and how well they worked as a team to fit the "country girls from Hokkaido" image, since Hokkaido is seen as the countryside of Japan–and the audition was open to all of Japan, not just Hokkaido. Thus, producer Tanaka called for the physical challenge to see who can live up to an “Hokkaido” image.

On April 27, Country Musume was officially formed by Tsunku and Japanese talent and fellow UP-FRONT AGENCY artist, Tanaka Yoshitake (the group’s original producer) and was billed as "Country Girls from Hokkaido." The initial group consisted of Rinne, Kobayashi Azusa, and Yanagihara Hiromi.

Following the trend of their sister group Morning Musume, Kobayashi, as the oldest member, was made the leader of the group. After working on their debut single, "Futari no Hokkaido", with plenty of support from singers such as Moritaka Chisato and Nakazawa Yuko, they were able to successfully record and complete their first promotional video.

On July 16, Yanagihara was killed in a car accident, just days before their first single was released, at the age of 19. Out of respect, Yanagihara’s family was given the decision on whether or not Country Musume should continue their work and release their single as scheduled, to which they approved.

On August 23, Kobayashi decided to leave the group for personal reasons. After a two-month hiatus, Rinne started performing as a solo act, but under the Country Musume name, releasing two singles.

2000Edit

In May, Asami was added to the group, Rinne became the leader and the duo released one more single.

However, by the end of the year, producer Tanaka decided to give Tsunku the producer’s position of the group, due to his difficulty in finding more members to join Rinne and Asami. The first change that Tsunku made was to “lend” members of Morning Musume into the group.

2001Edit

Their popularity rose when Morning Musume's Ishikawa Rika, who is from Kanagawa, was lent into the group in April. Country Musume had their first charting single in Japan with the release of "Hajimete no Happy Birthday!". The trio, under the name Country Musume ni Rika Ishikawa (Morning Musume), released two singles and an album.

2002Edit

On January 2, Satoda Mai was recruited into the group, although she initially auditioned to be a Morning Musume member. The quartet released one single before Rinne, the only remaining original member, bid farewell on October 13th to pursue a career within UP-FRONT AGENCY as a stage actress, leaving Asami to become the new leader of the group. Afterwards, Asami, Ishikawa and Satoda released one more single.

2003Edit

On April 27, Country Musume had a major shift in its roster. Miuna, who is from Shizuoka, was recruited into the group. The group featured Morning Musume members and Hokkaido natives Konno Asami and Fujimoto Miki, replacing Ishikawa Rika. Under this new formation, named Country Musume ni Konno to Fujimoto (Morning Musume), the quintet released three singles.

2004Edit

In 2004, Country Musume participated on the fifth edition of Hello! Project's Folk Songs series, which various Hello! Project artists sang covers of Japanese and Western folk songs.

2005Edit

In 2005, Country Musume performed in the Hello! Project 2005 Winter ~A HAPPY NEW POWER!~ concert tour as a part of Hello! Project Akagumi. Country Musume also toured with v-u-den and Inaba Atsuko.

2006-2007Edit

On November 25th, 2006, it was announced that Asami and Miuna would be graduating from Country Musume and Hello! Project together on January 28, 2007, at the final performance of Hello! Project 2007 Winter ~Shuuketsu! 10th Anniversary~.[3] Since Konno and Fujimoto had also graduated from Morning Musume, they were no longer “loaned” to Country Musume. Thus, Satoda Mai became the only member, and continued to work under the Country Musume name. This was the second time that Country Musume consisted of only one member.

2009Edit

In 2009, Satoda Mai graduated from Hello! Project. After graduating, Satoda continued to be the only member of Country Musume under UP-FRONT PROMOTION.

2013Edit

On October 1, the group was transferred from UP-FRONT PROMOTION to UP-FRONT CREATE.

2014: Revival as Country GirlsEdit

On January 2, Tsunku revealed that he was considering restarting Country Musume. 

On February 11, through a VTR message, Satoda Mai announced the Country Musume Shin Member Audition during the Hello! Project 2014 WINTER tour. However, Satoda would not participate in the group's activities for the possible new line-up, as she then resided outside of Japan.

On August 7, it was announced that the auditions had ended and no new members were chosen.

On November 5, it was announced that Country Musume was renamed Country Girls and 5 new girls were added: Inaba Manaka and Yamaki Risa from Hello Pro Kenshuusei and Morito Chisaki, Shimamura Uta and Ozeki Mai from the Morning Musume '14 (Golden) Audition!.[1][4] Satoda Mai would be the group's general manager/supervisor.[1] Tsugunaga Momoko would also become a member of the group as the playing manager after her group Berryz Koubou would go on indefinite hiatus in early 2015.[1][4][5] The new unit would debut in the upcoming Hello! Project 2015 WINTER concert tour.[1][4]

With Country Girls rejoining Hello! Project, they were transferred back to UP-FRONT PROMOTION from UP-FRONT CREATE.

2015Edit

On March 25, Country Girls released their major debut single since re-joining Hello! Project, "Itooshikutte Gomen ne / Koi Dorobou". It debuted in 4th place on Oricon's daily chart rankings and 3rd in the weekly chart rankings.

On April 2, Country Girls and ℃-ute performed at forTUNE fes vol.0.[6]

The group along with Kobushi Factory were the opening acts for the Juice=Juice First Live Tour 2015 ~Special Juice~.

On June 12, it was announced, due to contract disagreements between management and her family, Shimamura Uta had left the group.[7]

On June 24, Country Girls performed at the TV Tokyo Music Festival(2) along many other artists, including Morning Musume '15 and Morning Musume OG.[8]

On August 5, Country Girls released their 2nd single "Wakatteiru no ni Gomen ne / Tamerai Summer Time".

On November 5, during Country Girls' first anniversary event in Shinjuku, it was announced that Funaki Musubu and Yanagawa Nanami would join the group as new members.[9][10]

On December 2, Country Girls performed at the UPDATE girls LIVE, alongside idol groups Lyrical School and Tokyo Performance Doll.[11]

2016Edit

On February 9, during the 67th Sapporo Snow Festival, Country Girls performed a special live titled Country Girls Boogie Woogie LIVE. It took place in Odori Park in front of the HTB Snow Square.[12]

On February 18, Country Girls performed a joint live with Idol Renaissance for DOUBLE COLOR session11 at Shinjuku BLAZE.[13]

On February 28, Country Girls performed at the SKY PerfecTV! Ongakusai 2016.[14]

On March 9, Country Girls released their 3rd single "Boogie Woogie LOVE / Koi wa Magnet / Ranrarun ~Anata ni Muchuu~". It is Yanagawa Nanami and Funaki Musubu's debut single.

On April 28, it was announced that Inaba Manaka would be taking a break from Country Girls' activities due to asthma after consulting with her doctors. It was initially stated that she would be returning to Country Girls when she recovered from her illness, but on August 4 she graduated from the group.[15]

On September 28, Country Girls released their 4th single "Dou Datte Ii no / Namida no Request".

During the Country Girls Live Tour 2016 Fuyu day concert at Shinjuku ReNY on November 5 and Country Girls' second anniversary, Tsugunaga Momoko announced that she would be graduating from Country Girls and Hello! Project as well as retiring from the entertainment industry on June 30, 2017 to work in education.[16]

2017Edit

On February 8, Country Girls released their 5th single and Tsugunaga Momoko's last, "Good Boy Bad Girl / Peanut Butter Jelly Love".

On March 12, Country Girls performed in the SKY PerfecTV! Ongakusai 2017.[17]

On June 9, it was announced that Country Girls would be switching over to a new system after Tsugunaga's graduation.[18][19] Morito Chisaki, Yanagawa Nanami, and Funaki Musubu would simultaneously join another Hello! Project group for their main activities, while Yamaki Risa and Ozeki Mai will focus on their studies. Country Girls would mainly perform on school breaks and holidays due to the change. In addition to this, most of their singles from this point will be released in a digital format. Country Girls would continue to perform as a six-member line-up at the Tsugunaga Momoko Last Live ♥Arigatou Otomomochi♥, and as a five-member line-up throughout the Hello! Project 2017 SUMMER tour.

On June 26, through a special episode of Hello! Project Station, it was announced that Morito had joined Morning Musume '17, Yanagawa had joined Juice=Juice, and Funaki had joined ANGERME; all as concurrent members.[20][21]

Tsugunaga Momoko graduated from the group on June 30.

On August 11, they released the digital song "Konamaiki Girl".

On December 24, they released the digital single "Kaite wa Keshite no "I Love You"".

2018Edit

On August 24, Country Girls released two digital songs together, titled "Matenai After Five / Kasa wo Sasu Senpai".[22]

On November 2, Yanagawa Nanami announced that she would be graduating from the group in March 2019.[23]

2019Edit

On January 2, Country Girls will pre-release their first mini album Seasons at the Hello! Project 20th Anniversary!! Hello! Project 2019 WINTER concert tour.[24][25]

DiscographyEdit

Main article: Country Girls Discography

Studio Albums
  1. [2001.12.12] Country Musume Daizenshuu ①
  2. [2006.08.23] Country Musume Daizenshuu ②
Mini Albums
  1. [2019.01.02] Seasons
Best Albums
  1. [2008.10.12] Country Musume Mega Best
Other Albums
  1. [2017.06.21] Tsugunaga Momoko Idol 15 Shuunen Kinen Album ♡Arigatou Otomomochi♡ (all disc 2 tracks, disc 3 #12 Peanut Butter Jelly Love)

As Country Musume
  1. [1999.07.23] Futari no Hokkaido (indies)
  2. [1999.11.30] Yukigeshiki (indies)
  3. [2000.04.27] Hokkaido Shalala (indies)
  4. [2000.07.31] Koi ga Suteki na Kisetsu (indies)
As Country Musume ni Ishikawa Rika (Morning Musume)
  1. [2001.04.18] Hajimete no Happy Birthday! (major debut)
  2. [2001.10.17] Koibito wa Kokoro no Ouendan
  3. [2002.04.17] Iroppoi Onna ~SEXY BABY~
  4. [2002.11.13] BYE BYE Saigo no Yoru
As Country Musume ni Konno to Fujimoto (Morning Musume)
  1. [2003.07.24] Uwaki na Honey Pie
  2. [2003.11.12] Senpai ~LOVE AGAIN~
  3. [2004.08.04] Shining Itoshiki Anata
As Country Girls
  1. [2015.03.25] Itooshikutte Gomen ne / Koi Dorobou (2nd major debut)
  2. [2015.08.05] Wakatteiru no ni Gomen ne / Tamerai Summer Time
  3. [2016.03.09] Boogie Woogie LOVE / Koi wa Magnet / Ranrarun ~Anata ni Muchuu~
  4. [2016.09.28] Dou Datte Ii no / Namida no Request
  5. [2017.02.08] Good Boy Bad Girl / Peanut Butter Jelly Love
Digital Singles
  1. [2017.08.11] Konamaiki Girl
  2. [2017.12.24] Kaite wa Keshite no "I Love You"
Soundtrack Singles
Collaboration Singles

Digital Songs

  • [2015.12.16] Petit Best 16 (#11 Koi Dorobou, #12 Wakatteiru no ni Gomen ne)
  • [2016.12.14] Petit Best 17 (#5 Boogie Woogie Love, #13 Kizetsu Suru Hodo Aishiteru!, #16 Kiss Yori Saki ni Dekiru Koto ('15 5nin Ver.))
  • [2017.12.13] Petit Best 18 (#6 Peanut Butter Jelly Love)
  • [2018.12.12] Petit Best 19 (#9 Kaite wa Keshite no "I Love You", #10 Matenai After Five)

WorksEdit

TV ProgramsEdit

TheaterEdit

426px-Morning-town CoverEdokkoChuushingura-dvdKizetsusuru3

InternetEdit

RadioEdit

  • [2015–] Country Girls no Tadaima Radio Housouchuu!! (カントリー・ガールズの只今ラジオ放送中!!)

PublicationsEdit

CalendarsEdit

DCFGDS-941659CG2017CalendarCountryGirls-2018calendarCountryGirls-2019Calendar

  • [2015.09.19] Country Girls 2016 Calendar
  • [2016.09.24] Country Girls 2017 Calendar
  • [2017.10.05] Country Girls 2018 Calendar
  • [2018.xx.xx] Country Girls 2019 Takujou Calendar (カントリー・ガールズ 2019卓上カレンダー)

PhotobooksEdit

Concert PhotobooksEdit

  • [2004.03.20] Minimoni & Country Musume ni Konno & Fujimoto (Morning Musume) in Hello Project 2004 Winter (ミニモニ。&カントリー娘。に紺野と藤本(モーニング娘。) in Hello! Project 2004 Winter) (with Minimoni)
  • [2005.10.11] AYA MATSUURA & COUNTRY MUSUME. - Hello! Project 2005 Natsu no Kayou Show '05 Selection! Collection! (AYA MATSUURA & COUNTRY MUSUME。―Hello!Project2005夏の歌謡ショー 05’セレクション!コレクション!) (with Matsuura Aya)

Other BooksEdit

CountryGirls1stOFFICIALBOOK-cover

TriviaEdit

  • Out of the active and former members of Country Musume, Rinne, Asami, Satoda Mai and Inaba Manaka were from Hokkaido prefecture.
  • From March 31, 2009 to November 4, 2014, the group was not an active part of Hello! Project. As of November 5, 2014, Country Girls (excluding Satoda Mai) were contracted to Hello! Project, but were not produced by Tsunku.
  • Yamaki Risa and Inaba Manaka are the first Country Girls members to come from Hello Pro Kenshuusei.
  • Morito Chisaki, Shimamura Uta, and Ozeki Mai are the first members to be born after the group's formation.
  • Satoda Mai hopes that Country Girls will expand into the United States.[26]
  • As of June 30, 2017, they are the only group in Hello! Project to not have an active leader (excluding supervisor Satoda Mai). For interviews with all the current Hello! Project leaders, Yamaki Risa acts as Country Girls' representative as the oldest member.[27][28]

See AlsoEdit

Total Sales CountEdit

Year Group Sales Collaboration Sales Total Sales
1999-2008 451,232 N/A 451,232
2015 87,891 0 539,123
2016 69,933 0 609,056
2017 TBA 0 TBA
2018 TBA 0 TBA

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 "『カントリー娘。』改め『カントリー・ガールズ』について" (in Japanese). Hello! Project. 2014-11-05. (archived)
  2. While Satoda Mai is still a member, she will not be participating in any group activities.
  3. http://www.helloproject.com/newslist/cuntry_0611250100.html
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 "カントリー娘。「カントリー・ガールズ」に改名で再始動! “ももち”も加入" (in Japanese). AliveM.net. 2014-11-05.
  5. Satoda Mai (Translator: Skoban). "A report! (Satoda Mai)." Blog!Project. 2014-11-05.
  6. "forTUNE music PRESENTS スペシャルアイドルライブイベント『forTUNE fes vol.0』" (in Japanese). forTUNE music. [Archived]
  7. "カントリー・ガールズ 島村嬉唄に関するお知らせ" (in Japanese). Hello! Project. 2015-06-12.
  8. "The Former Members of Morning Musume Gather for a Live Performance After One Year!". Tokyo Girls' Update. 2015-06-20.
  9. "【イベントレポート】カントリー・ガールズに新メンバー船木結、梁川奈々美ら2名加入" (in Japanese). BARKS. 2015-11-05.
  10. "カントリー・ガールズ 新メンバー加入決定!" (in Japanese). Hello! Project. 2015-11-05.
  11. "UNBELIEVABLE LINEUP! Country Girls, Tokyo Performance Doll, lyrical School Gather in Shibuya!". Tokyo Girls' Update. 2015-11-30.
  12. "第67回さっぽろ雪まつり「カントリー・ガールズ ブギウギLIVE」開催! (in Japanese). Hello! Project. 2016-02-06.
  13. "カントリー・ガールズ出演「DOUBLE COLOR session11」開催!" (in Japanese). Hello! Project. 2015-12-16.
  14. "スカパー!音楽祭2016" (in Japanese) SKY PerfecTV! Official Site. 2016-01-19.
  15. "カントリー・ガールズ 稲場愛香に関するお知らせ" (in Japanese). Hello! Project. 2016-04-28.
  16. "嗣永桃子に関するお知らせ" (in Japanese). Hello! Project. 2016-11-05.
  17. "「スカパー! 音楽祭2017」にモーニング娘。'17、カントリー・ガールズの出演決定!!" (in Japanese). Hello! Project. 2017-03-12.
  18. "カントリー・ガールズの今後の活動について" (in Japanese). Hello! Project. 2017-06-10.
  19. "[EN] Concerning the future activities of Country Girls." UP-FRONT LINK. 2017-06-10.
  20. "ハロ!ステ号外 ~ハロー!プロジェクト2017新体制決定スペシャル~" (in Japanese). Hello! Project Station (via YouTube). 2017-06-26.
  21. "[EN] Concerning the new organization in Hello! Project." UP-FRONT LINK. 2017-06-26.
  22. "アプカミ ミュージックデリバリー カントリー・ガールズ 配信曲紹介" (in Japanese). Upcoming (via YouTube). 2018-08-23.
  23. "梁川奈々美 卒業に関するお知らせ" (in Japanese). Hello! Project. 2018-11-02.
  24. Yanagawa Nanami. "ラジオ&嬉しいお知らせ! 梁川奈々美" (in Japanese). Country Girls Offical Blog. 2018-12-13.
  25. Ozeki Mai. "12月13日 ミニアルバム! 小関舞" (in Japanese). Country Girls Offical Blog. 2018-12-13.
  26. "里田まいの“采配”は吉と出るか凶と出るか?" (in Japanese). Tokyo Sports Web. 2014-11-06.
  27. "カントリー・ガールズの山木梨沙がメンバー愛を語る!【ハロプロ誕生20周年記念連載】" (in Japanese). NewsWalker. 2017-12-14.
  28. "2018ハロプロリーダー座談会(1) マジメなお話がお弁当トークに!? 【ハロプロ誕生20周年記念連載】" (in Japanese). NewsWalker. 2018-01-01.

External Links Edit