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Tokyo, Japan (2005 – present)

AKB48 is an all-female Japanese theater/idol group. As of March 2014 AKB48 currently consists of 82 members divided into four teams: Team A, Team K, Team B, Team 4 and Team 8. Team A contain 21 members, Team K contain 18 members, Team B contain 22 members, while Team 4 contain 21 members. Unlike other idol groups in Japan, AKB48 are theatre-based and have their own theatre in Akihabara (a district in Tokyo, Japan) where they perform once every weekday, and twice on both Saturday and Sunday. The theatre is set up on the 8th floor of Don Quixote.

In December 2005, the group debuted in the theatre with only 20 girls, later known as Team A. A new audition was announced, this audition was held in cooperation with Japanese telecom company NTT DoCoMo. It was the first audition ever where the applicants had to send in their audition video with their mobile phones. 19 of the 11,892 applicants were chosen to join AKB48, but in the end only 18 girls joined the group to become Team K in April 2006.

Their debut single dropped in February 2006, which made it to #10 on Oricon charts and sold 22,011 units in its first week. By far, all title songs released as a single has been made a tie-up song for a tv show, a movie or for a commercial. On December 31 2007, 46 members of AKB48 appeared on the 58th Annual Kohaku Uta Gassen for the first time. They sang as part of the Akihabara performance, they became the most number of people in a single group to be on stage at one time.


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