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Ai Takahashi (高橋 愛 Takahashi Ai?) (born September 14, 1986) is a Japanese pop singer formerly associated with Hello! Project and actress, and best known as leader of Morning Musume and Hello!Project until 2011, and former member of its popular subgroup, Mini Moni.[1]


Ai Takahashi joined Morning Musume in 2001 as part of the group's fifth generation, along with Makoto Ogawa, Asami Konno, and Risa Niigaki.

Her audition involved 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.[2]

Her debut with the group was on their single "Mr. Moonlight: Ai no Big Band", and her first appearance on a Morning Musume full-length release was their fourth studio album, 4th Ikimasshoi!. Her first appearance within a Hello! Project shuffle unit release was on the 2002 single "Shiawase Beam! Suki Suki Beam!" under the group name Happy 7.

In 2003, Takahashi replaced Mari Yaguchi in the Morning Musume spinoff group Mini Moni, first appearing in the group's movie Mini Moni ja Movie: Okashi na Daibōken! and its accompanying soundtrack. Her best-known nickname amongst non-Japanese fans, "Takitty", was derived from the cat suit (complete with tail) which she wears in the movie.

Later in 2003, she was part of the Morning Musume splinter group Morning Musume Sakuragumi, which performed mainly slower numbers on the group's two EPs, "Hare Ame Nochi Suki" and "Sakura Mankai", and the shuffle group 7Air, an R&B-inspired septet.

Takahashi's vocals became more prominent on the second and final Mini Moni album, Mini Moni Songs 2 (2004), as well as on Morning Musume's singles from their Spring 2004 release "Roman: My Dear Boy" onward. She also had a duet with Tsunku on the cover version of Tsunku and Ayumi Hamasaki's duet "Love: Since 1999" on his solo album Take1.

In 2005, Morning Musume's first single release of the year, "The Manpower!!!", featured Takahashi in a prominent co-lead-vocal role, a role she has retained on subsequent singles since. In the summer of that year, she became part of the 2005 shuffle Group Elegies.

In 2006, Takahashi played the lead role, Sapphire, in the musical "Ribbon no Kishi The Musical" which was a collaboration work of Takarazuka Revue (a famous Japanese all-female musical group) and Hello! Project. The musical was based on Tezuka Osamu's manga and also starred v-u-den, Nozomi Tsuji, Aya Matsuura, and Natsumi Abe, as well as Marcia and Kaoru Ebira of the Takarazuka Revue. Soon thereafter, Takahashi released her first and only solo single to date, "Yume Kara Samete".

Following then-leader Hitomi Yoshizawa's graduation from Morning Musume on May 6, 2007, the current sub-leader, Miki Fujimoto ascended to the leader position, with Takahashi becoming the new sub-leader of the group. However, on June 1, 2007, after Fujimoto's resignation,[3][4] Takahashi took over as the new leader.

Takahashi is also captain of the Hello! Project kickball team, Metro Rabbits H.P..

In 2008 Takahashi became a member of Hello Project's new unit High-King,[5] a group created to promote Morning Musume's upcoming Cinderella the Musical, in which Takahashi will play the main character.

Takahashi is a fan of Broadway and musicals such as Phantom of the Opera and Chicago. She harbors an ambition to one day perform in a New York production. She is also a fan of Destiny's Child.[2]

It was announced in July 2008, that Takahashi and fellow Morning Musume member Risa Niigaki would play the 80s J-Pop duo Pink Lady in the TV Drama Hitmaker Aku Yuu Monogatari.[6][7] [1][2]Ai Takahashi performing at Morning Musume's Platinum 9 Disc concert tour on May 2009.As of January 2009, she and Risa Niigaki have the longest tenures of any member. She is also one of only seven members to remain in the group for seven years or more (the others being Kaori Iida, Yoshizawa, Niigaki, Eri Kamei, Sayumi Michishige and Reina Tanaka) and one of two (along with Niigaki) to remain in the group for eight or nine years.

On February 1, 2009, during the "Hello Pro Award '09 ~Elder Club Sotsugyō Kinen Special~" concert held at Yokohama Arena, Yuko Nakazawa passed on her leadership position in Hello! Project to Takahashi.[1]

Around December 2009, Takahashi was one of many people to advertise for the release of Final Fantasy XIII in Japan.


In September 2010, she became the second Morning Musume member to be at least 24 years old and the first to reach that age while in the group (original member Yuko Nakazawa was 24 when the group was formed).

On January 9, 2011 it was announced that Takahashi would graduate from Morning Musume at the end of the Fall tour that year.[8]

Takahashi's last single with Morning Musume, the double A-side "Kono Chikyuu no Heiwa wo Honki de Negatterun dayo!/ Kare to Issho ni Omise ga Shitai" (この地球の平和を本気で願ってるんだよ!/彼と一緒にお店がしたい!), included a B-side solo by Takahashi, "Jishin Motte Yume o Motte Tobitatsu Kara" (自信持って 夢を持って 飛び立つから), and was released on her birthday, September 14.

On September 30, 2011, on the last day of Morning Musume's 'Ai Believe' tour, Takahashi graduated from Morning Musume and Hello! Project at the Nippon Budokan, passing her current role of leader to Risa Niigaki.[9]

Her first role after graduation will be the lead role of Sarah in the musical Dance of the Vampires at the Imperial Garden Theater.[10]

Discography and releasesEdit

For releases as a part of Morning Musume, please see Morning Musume discography.===Singles===

# Title Release Date Information
1 "Yume Kara Samete" (夢から醒めて?) 2006 Only released for digital purchase and download;
later released as part of the Petit Best 7 compilation CD


# Romaji
Title Release date Publisher
  • 5: Morning Musume 5 Ki Member Shashinshū
  • 5 モーニング娘。5期メンバー写真集
  • 5: Morning Musume 5th Generation Members Photobook
August 13, 2002 Wani Books
ISBN 4-8470-2721-3
Photobook starring all of the 5th generation members.
  • Takahashi Ai: Solo Shashinshū "Takahashi Ai Shashinshū"[11]
  • 高橋愛 ソロ写真集「高橋愛写真集」
  • Ai Takahashi: Solo Photobook "Ai Takahashi Photobook"
December 9, 2002 Wani Books
ISBN 4-8470-2741-8
First solo photobook.
  • Alo Hello! Takahashi Ai[11]
  • アロハロ!高橋愛
December 17, 2003 Kadokawa Shoten

ISBN 4-04-894253-0

Second solo photobook.
  • Takahashi Ai Shashinshū "Wataame"[11]
  • 高橋愛写真集 わたあめ
  • Ai Takahashi Photobook "Cotton Candy"
May 27, 2004 Wani Books
ISBN 4-8470-2806-6
Third solo photobook.
  • Takahashi Ai Shashinshū "Ai Gokoro"[11]
  • 高橋愛写真集 愛ごころ
June 25, 2005 Wani Books
ISBN 4-8470-2870-8
Fourth solo photobook.
  • Takahashi Ai Shashinshū "19"[11]
  • 高橋愛写真集『19』
  • Ai Takahashi Photobook "19"
January 27, 2006 Wani Books
ISBN 4-8470-2913-5
Fifth solo photobook.
  • Takahashi Ai Shashinshū Zenshu "ai"[11]
  • 高橋愛写真集全集『ai』
  • Ai Takahashi Photobook Complete Works "Ai"
October 27, 2006 Wani Books
ISBN 4-8470-2961-5
Compilation photobook.
  • Love Hello! Takahashi Ai Shashinshū in Phuket[11]
  • ラブハロ!高橋愛写真集inプーケット
  • Love Hello! Ai Takahashi Photobook in Phuket
March 14, 2007 Kadokawa Publishing Group
ISBN 4-04-894485-1
Seventh solo photobook. Photographed in Phuket, Thailand.
  • Takahashi Ai Shashinshū "Mizu"[11]
  • 高橋愛写真集『水』
  • Ai Takahashi Photobook "Water"
October 26, 2007 Wani Books
ISBN 978-4-8470-4049-8
Eighth solo photobook. Photographed in Bali.
  • Takahashi Ai Shashinshū "Mō Hitotsu no Ai"[11]
  • 高橋愛写真集『もうひとつの愛』
  • Ai Takahashi Photobook "Another Ai"
May 25, 2008 Wani Books
ISBN 978-4-8470-4088-7
Ninth solo photobook.
  • Takahashi Ai Shashinshū "Watashi"[11]
  • 高橋愛写真集『私』
  • Ai Takahashi Photobook "I"
May 25, 2009 Wani Books
ISBN 978-4-8470-4170-9
Tenth solo photobook.
  • Takahashi Ai Shashinshū "Katachi"[11]
  • 高橋愛写真集『形(かたち)』
  • Ai Takahashi Photobook "Figure"
May 27, 2010 Wani Books
ISBN 978-4-8470-4283-6
Eleventh solo photobook.
  • Takahashi Ai Shashinshū "LOVE NO.10"[11]
  • 高橋愛写真集『LOVE NO.10』
  • Ai Takahashi Photobook "LOVE NO.10"
March 28, 2011 Wani Books
ISBN 978-4-8470-4365-9
Twelfth solo photobook.
  • Takahashi Ai Shashinshū "Ai Ai Ai"[11]
  • 高橋愛写真集『愛愛愛』
  • Ai Takahashi Photobook "Love Love Love"
September 14, 2011 Wani Books
ISBN 978-4-8470-4397-0
Thirteenth solo photobook.


# Title Release date
1 Alo Hello! Takahashi Ai DVD (アロハロ!高橋愛DVD?) December 17, 2003
2 Love Hello! Takahashi Ai DVD (ラブハロ!高橋愛DVD?) April 11, 2007
3 I Takahashi Ai DVD (写真集『私』高橋愛DVD?) June 17, 2009
4 Figure Takahashi Ai DVD (写真集『形(かたち)』高橋愛DVD?) June 2, 2010
5 Ai loves you I love Ai Takahashi Ai DVD (写真集『Ai loves you I love Ai』高橋愛DVD?) April 20, 2011
6 Real Etude ~Takahashi Family to Niigaki Family DVD 1 (モーニング娘。高橋愛&新垣里沙 リアルエチュード『高橋さん家と新垣さん家 ゲスト:松崎しげる編』 DVD?) May 31, 2011
7 Real Etude ~Takahashi Family to Niigaki Family DVD 2 (モーニング娘。高橋愛&新垣里沙 リアルエチュード『高橋さん家と新垣さん家 ゲスト:松崎しげる編』 DVD 2?) May 31, 2011
8 Real Etude ~Takahashi Family to Niigaki Family DVD 3 (モーニング娘。高橋愛&新垣里沙 リアルエチュード『高橋さん家と新垣さん家 ゲスト:松崎しげる編』 DVD 3?) May 31, 2011
9 Love Love Love Takahashi Ai DVD (写真集『Love Love Love』高橋愛DVD?) September 21, 2011


Television dramasEdit

Title Start date End date
Angel Hearts 2002
Mini Moni's Brementown Musicians (ミニモニ。でブレーメンの音楽隊?) January 10, 2005 January 31, 2005
Hitmaker Aku Yuu Monogatari (ヒットメーカー 阿久悠物語?) August 1, 2008
Q.E.D Shōmei Shūryō (Q.E.D 証明終了?) January 8, 2009 March 12, 2009
Koi Choco – Bitter Sweet Angel (恋のチョコ-ビタースウィートエンジェル?) February 14, 2011

Television showsEdit

Show Start date End date Network
Hello! Morning (ハロー!モーニング。?) 2001 April 1, 2007 TV Tokyo
Matthew's Best Hit TV May 29, 2002 TV Asahi
Tin Tin Town! (ティンティンTown!?) July 5, 2002 March 26, 2004 Nihon TV
Sore Yuke! Gorokkies (それゆけ!ゴロッキーズ?) September 29, 2003 December 26, 2003 TV Tokyo
Futarigoto (二人ゴト?) April 21, 2004 April 23, 2004 TV Tokyo
July 23, 2004 July 29, 2004
Majokko Rika-chan no Magical v-u-den (魔女っ娘。梨華ちゃんのマジカル美勇伝?) December 1, 2004 December 6, 2004 TV Tokyo
December 16, 2004 December 17, 2004
Musume Dokyu! (娘DOKYU!?) April 4, 2005 June 8, 2005 TV Tokyo
Haromoni@ (ハロモニ@?) April 8, 2007 September 28, 2008 TV Tokyo
Yorosen! (よろセン!?) October 6, 2008 March 27, 2009 TV Tokyo


Program Start date End date Network
MBS Young Town Dōyōbi (MBSヤングタウン土曜日?) April 12, 2003 Ongoing MBS Radio
Ishikawa Rika no Chanchaka Charmy (☆石川梨華のちゃんちゃか☆チャーミー!?) March 3, 2005 CBC Radio
TBC Fun Fīrudo Mōretsu Mōdasshu (TBC Funふぃーるど・モーレツモーダッシュ?) May 16, 2005 May 27, 2005 TBC