Maki Goto, born September 23, 1985 in Tokyo, Japan, is a Japanese pop singer. She joined Hello! Project in 1999 as the sole 3rd generation member of popular idol group Morning Musume. Her debut single with the group, LOVE Machine, sold over a million copies.
In 2001 she released her first solo single, 愛のバカやろう (Ai no Bakayarou), which hit the #1 spot on the Oricon charts. Goto graduated from Morning Musume on her 17th birthday in 2002, and went on to become the second best-selling solo artist in H!P behind super-idol Aya Matsuura. Throughout her career with H!P, she was placed in various groups, released photobooks, and starred in movies, dramas, and theatre productions. As an idol, she released four albums, one best album, and 17 singles.
At the last show of her fall 2007 tour on October 28, Goto announced that she was graduating Hello! Project. She transferred labels from Up Front Group to avex's side label Rythym Zone in June 2008.
Goto made her avex debut in 2009, starting with a special collaboration project titled SWEET BLACK feat. MAKI GOTO, working with artists such as KEN THE 390 and BIGGA RAIJI. The SWEET BLACK PROJECT included a radio show and a special space on the social networking site Mixi. Goto chose the name herself, reflecting the positive and negative sides of today's women.
In January 2010, Goto witnessed her mother commit suicide by falling from the 3rd story of their family home. After the funeral, she stayed out of the public eye until she performed in a special live called "PREMIUM MINI LIVE" on June 3rd. At this live, a seat was reserved for her mother.
Goto released first official debut mini-album under her own name in July 2010, called ONE. This was also her first release under the avex trax label, rather than Rhythm Zone. The mini-album achieved moderate success, peaking at #10 on the daily ORICON charts and #10 on the weekly charts. The mini-album included a ballad with lyrics by Goto dedicated to her late mother, entitled 華詩 -hanauta-, which she sang in a heart-felt performance for a television special about her life.
Satisfied with the commercial success of the mini-album, Goto's staff wanted to keep her in the Top 10 once again with her January 2011 sophomore mini-album, "Gloria". The mini-album peaked at #5 on the daily ORICON charts and #12 on the weekly charts, having the hit 足跡 (Ashiato) as its promotional track. The CD+DVD version of the album also included professional footage of her 2010 "PREMIUM MINI LIVE" showcase.
Goto then released her third mini-album, "LOVE," in May 2011. It was a mini-album with all the tracks, mostly ballads, encompassing a theme of love. It included 4 new songs with lyrics written by Goto herself, as well as cover of the 90s classic, 空と君のあいだに (Sora to Kimi no Aida ni), by Miyuki Nakajima. The mini-album peaked at #8 on the Oricon charts.
On June 22, 2011, Maki Goto suddenly announced her hiatus from the music scene beginning in 2012. She also announced that she will be releasing her first full-length debut under avex on November 2nd. Two new songs, What is LOVE and SCANDALOUS, were revealed on June 20th for digital download. Goto also joined that summer's a-nation concert series as a featured artist.
Goto has stated that she wants to give it her all before her hiatus. As of October 2011, her projects have included a collaboration single with Kishidan's Show Ayanocozey, a planned photobook, and a temporary official blog.
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