|Country Girls, July 2017|
|Former Names||Country Musume (カントリー娘。)|
|Origin||Hokkaido, Japan (1999-2000)|
Tokyo, Japan (2001-)
|Anniversary||April 27 (Country Musume formation)|
November 5 (Country Girls formation)
|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|
|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, is 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 6 new members.
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.
- Main article: Country Girls Members
- Yamaki Risa (山木梨沙; Lime)
- Morito Chisaki (森戸知沙希; Orange)
- Ozeki Mai (小関舞; Medium Blue)
- Yanagawa Nanami (梁川奈々美; Purple)
- Funaki Musubu (船木結; Yellow)
- Members Outside of Hello! Project
- 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)
- From Morning Musume
On April 27, Country Musume was 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.
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 southern Hokkaido.
The purpose of the physical challenge was to show 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 a “Hokkaido” image.
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, with plenty of support from other 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. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
In 2004, Country Musume participated on the fifth edition of Hello! Project's Folk Songs series, which various H!P artists sang covers of Japanese and Western folk songs.
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~. 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.
In 2009, Satoda Mai graduated from Hello! Project. After graduating, Satoda continued to be the only member of Country Musume under UP-FRONT PROMOTION.
2014: Revival as Country GirlsEdit
On January 2, Tsunku revealed that he was considering to restart 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. Satoda Mai would not participate in the groups 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!. Satoda Mai would be the group's general manager/supervisor. 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. The new unit would debut in the upcoming Hello! Project 2015 WINTER concert tour.
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 August 5, Country Girls released their 2nd single "Wakatteiru no ni Gomen ne / Tamerai Summer Time".
On December 2, Country Girls performed at the UPDATE girls LIVE, alongside idol groups Lyrical School and Tokyo Performance Doll.
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.
On February 18, Country Girls performed a joint live with Idol Renaissance for DOUBLE COLOR session11 at Shinjuku BLAZE.
On February 28, Country Girls performed at the SKY PerfecTV! Ongakusai 2016.
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.
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.
On March 12, Country Girls performed in the SKY PerfecTV! Ongakusai 2017.
On June 9, it was announced that Country Girls would be switching over to a new system after Tsugunaga's graduation. 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.
Tsugunaga Momoko graduated from the group on June 30.
On August 11, they released a digital single titled "Konamaiki Girl".
- Main article: Country Girls Discography
- Studio Albums
- Best Albums
- [2008.10.12] Country Musume Mega Best
- Other Albums
- [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
- [1999.07.23] Futari no Hokkaido (Indies)
- [1999.11.30] Yukigeshiki (Indies)
- [2000.04.27] Hokkaido Shalala (Indies)
- [2000.07.31] Koi ga Suteki na Kisetsu (Indies)
- As Country Musume ni Ishikawa Rika (Morning Musume)
- [2001.04.18] Hajimete no Happy Birthday! (Major Debut)
- [2001.10.17] Koibito wa Kokoro no Ouendan
- [2002.04.17] Iroppoi Onna ~SEXY BABY~
- [2002.11.13] BYE BYE Saigo no Yoru
- As Country Musume ni Konno to Fujimoto (Morning Musume)
- [2003.07.24] Uwaki na Honey Pie
- [2003.11.12] Senpai ~LOVE AGAIN~
- [2004.08.04] Shining Itoshiki Anata
- As Country Girls
- [2015.03.25] Itooshikutte Gomen ne / Koi Dorobou (2nd Major Debut)
- [2015.08.05] Wakatteiru no ni Gomen ne / Tamerai Summer Time
- [2016.03.09] Boogie Woogie LOVE / Koi wa Magnet / Ranrarun ~Anata ni Muchuu~
- [2016.09.28] Dou Datte Ii no / Namida no Request
- [2017.02.08] Good Boy Bad Girl / Peanut Butter Jelly Love
- Digital Singles
- [2017.08.11] Konamaiki Girl
- Single Soundtracks
- Video Collections
- Fanclub DVDs
- [2007.02.10] Country Musume LIVE2006 ~Shibuya des Date~
- [2015.10.xx] SATOYAMA Taiken Tour Dai 3 dan! Country Girls to Sugosu 1-paku 2-nichi Bus Tour in Ashikaga
- [2017.02.11] SATOYAMA Taiken Tour Dai 4 dan! Country Girls to Sugosu 1-paku 2-nichi Bus Tour in Isumi
- [2017.03.xx] Country Girls FC Event 2016 ~Christmas♡Girls~
- [2015–] The Girls Live
-  Morning Town
-  Morning Musume Shuen Musical Edokko Chuushingura (without Saito Miuna)
-  Kizetsu Suru Hodo Aishiteru!
- [2015–] Hello! Project Station
- [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!!)
- [2015.09.xx] Country Girls 2016 Calendar
- [2016.09.24] Country Girls 2017 Calendar
- [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)
- [2016.09.24] Country Girls 1st OFFICIAL BOOK
- 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.
- Country Girls Members
- Country Girls Discography
- Country Girls Concerts & Events
- Gallery:Country Girls
- Gallery:Country Girls Music Videos
- Country Girls Auditions
Total Sales CountEdit
|Year||Group Sales||Collaboration Sales||Total Sales|
- ↑ 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)
- ↑ While Satoda Mai is still a member, she will not be participating in any group activities.
- ↑ http://www.helloproject.com/newslist/cuntry_0611250100.html
- ↑ 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.
- ↑ Satoda Mai (Translator: Skoban). "A report！ (Satoda Mai)." Blog!Project. 2014-11-05.
- ↑ "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]
- ↑ "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.
- ↑ "The Former Members of Morning Musume Gather for a Live Performance After One Year!". Tokyo Girls' Update. 2015-06-20.
- ↑ "【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.
- ↑ "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.
- ↑ "UNBELIEVABLE LINEUP! Country Girls, Tokyo Performance Doll, lyrical School Gather in Shibuya!". Tokyo Girls' Update. 2015-11-30.
- ↑ "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.
- ↑ "カントリー・ガールズ出演「DOUBLE COLOR session11」開催！" (in Japanese). Hello! Project. 2015-12-16.
- ↑ "スカパー！音楽祭2016" (in Japanese) SKY PerfecTV! Official Site. 2016-01-19.
- ↑ "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.
- ↑ "嗣永桃子に関するお知らせ" (in Japanese). Hello! Project. 2016-11-05.
- ↑ "「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.
- ↑ "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.
- ↑ "[EN] Concerning the future activities of Country Girls." UP-FRONT LINK. 2017-06-10.
- ↑ "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.
- ↑ "[EN] Concerning the new organization in Hello! Project." UP-FRONT LINK. 2017-06-26.
- ↑ "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.
External Links Edit
- Country Girls Profile
- Country Girls Official Blog
- Wikipedia: English, Japanese, German, French, Korean, Malay, Dutch (Country Musume ni Konno to Fujimoto), Romanian, Chinese
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