NEWS (ニュース, Nyūsu), is a four-member Japanese boy band consisting of Keiichiro Koyama, Takahisa Masuda, Shigeaki Kato and Yuya Tegoshi. The group's name is an acronym based on the cardinal directions (North, East, West, South) and the members locations. Formed in 2003 by Johnny Kitagawa as a nine member group under the label Johnny's Entertainment, NEWS released a promotional single "NEWS Nippon" (NEWS ニッポン, NEWS Japan), which was used for the World Cup of Volleyball Championships. In 2004, Takahiro Moriuchi left the group and the remaining eight members released their debut single, "Kibō: Yell" (希望 ~Yell~, Hope ~Yell~), which debuted atop the Oricon charts.
In 2006, the group released their fifth consecutive number-one single, "Sayaendō/Hadashi no Cinderella Boy" (サヤエンドウ/裸足のシンデレラボーイ, Peas/Barefoot Cinderella Boy), as a six-member group due to the controversy surrounding then-members Hiroki Uchi and Hironori Kusano. After a brief hiatus, they released their seventh number-one single, "Hoshi o Mezashite" (星をめざして, lit. Aim for the Stars). In 2008, they performed at the Tokyo Dome for the first time, and released their tenth single, "Happy Birthday," which made NEWS the second Japanese group after label-mates KinKi Kids to have ten consecutive number-one singles since their debut. NEWS became a quartet following the departures of Ryo Nishikido and Tomohisa Yamashita from the group in 2011.
2003-2006: Debut and departure of members:
Formed in September 2003, NEWS released a promotional single, "NEWS Nippon" (NEWS ニッポン, NEWS Japan), which was used as the theme song for the World Cup of Volleyball Championships. Before holding their first concert, NEWSnow Concert: NEWS' Concert (NEWSnowCONCERT〜ニュースのコンサート〜), Takahiro Moriuchi left the group. NEWS later released their debut single, "Kibō: Yell", which topped the Oricon chart. Their next two singles, "Akaku Moyuru Taiyō" (紅く燃ゆる太陽, Burning Red Sun) (2004) and Cherish (チェリッシュ, Cherisshu) (2005), both debuted atop the charts, as did NEWS' first album, Touch, which sold 164,016 copies in its first week.
In July 2005, Uchi Hiroki was scrutinized for athena was the underage drinker and was suspended indefinitely from both NEWS and Kanjani8, another group he was a part of. Despite having lost a member, NEWS released their fourth single, "Teppen" (てっぺん, Top), which like its predecessors debut at number-one. In January 2006, NEWS was reduced to six members when Hironori Kusano was suspended indefinitely for the same charge as Uchi. NEWS released their fifth single, "Sayaendō/Hadashi no Cinderella Boy" (サヤエンドウ/裸足のシンデレラボーイ, Peas/Barefoot Cinderella Boy) (March 2006), which was their fifth consecutive number-one single. On May 1, 2006, after NEWS finished their "NEWS Spring Tour", the group went on hiatus.
2007-2010: NEWS' 6-Member Comeback:
On December 30, 2006, it was announced that NEWS would make their return at Johnny's Concert Countdown 2006-2007 as a six-member group, since Hiroki Uchi and Hironori Kusano had been demoted to trainees. To mark their return, NEWS embarked on a tour and released their sixth single "Hoshi wo Mezashite" (星をめざして, Aim For the Stars). "Hoshi wo Mezashite" became their sixth number-one single, which went on to be used as the theme song for the Japanese version of Happy Feet.
On November 7, NEWS simultaneously released their seventh single, "Weeeek" and their second album, Pacific. Both releases debut atop of their respective charts with "Weeeek" selling 263,000 copies in its first week and Pacific selling 196,000 copies in their first week. This marked the tenth in Oricon history that an artist had both their single and album debut atop the charts simultaneously. To further support their album, NEWS went on a nationwide tour, NEWS Concert Tour Pacific 2007-2008, from December 15, 2007 to January 27, 2008. Because tickets were in such high demand, two more dates were added to the concert, which resulted in NEWS performing at the Tokyo Dome for the first time.
In February 2008 NEWS released their eighth number-one single, "Taiyō no Namida" (太陽のナミダ, Tears of the Sun), which was used as the theme song for the movie Kurosagi, starring Tomohisa Yamashita. NEWS released two more number-one singles, "Summer Time" (May 2008) and "Happy Birthday" (October 2008), before releasing their third studio album Color (November 2008). The release of "Happy Birthday" made NEWS the second group, after the KinKi Kids, to have ten consecutive number-one singles since their debut.Color debuted at the number-one position on the charts, giving NEWS their third consecutive album. NEWS released their new single, "Koi no ABO" (恋のABO, Love's ABO) on April 29, 2009. It became their 11th number-one single. Their 12th number-one single titled "Sakura Girl" was released on March 31, 2010. At the "LIVE! LIVE! LIVE! NEWS DOME PARTY 2010" concert at Tokyo Dome, it was announced that NEWS would be releasing their 13th single, "Fighting Man," on November 3, which they did.
NEWS has not had any group activities since the Music Station Super Live in December 2010.
2011 : Becoming a quartet:
On October 7, 2011, it was announced that both Ryo Nishikido and Tomohisa Yamashita left the group. The official press release from Johnnys & Associates explained that Nishikido was leaving because scheduling conflicts made it difficult for him to be active in both NEWS and Kanjani8, while Yamashita was leaving to concentrate on solo projects. Nishikido will continue his activities with Kanjani8 but not NEWS. NEWS will continue as a four-member group with Keiichiro Koyama, Takahisa Masuda, Shigeaki Kato and Yuya Tegoshi.
2012 : NEWS' 4-Member Comeback:
On April 15, 2012, a countdown appeared on the JE site, revealing the four current member's outlines, suggesting a comeback. NEWS were officially back. On Apr 16th, Johnny's special site for NEWS restarted its countdown, which hit "0:00:00" on Apr 18th (12mn, JST). The time coincide with NEWS' member Keiichiro Koyama radio program "K-chan NEWS" to start its broadcast. Koyama's special guest were co-members Tegoshi Yuya, Takahisa Masuda, and Kato Shigeaki. The four members kept the fans in suspense by talking nonsensical stuff before finally making an official announcement. As reported earlier, Keiichiro Koyama said something about a new single and Best of Album. Now, aside from the NEWS' new single and Best of Album, the Johnny's talents also had a concert tour.
Moreover, in order to show their love for the fans who have waited for them for more than a year, fans could participate in their Best of Album. Fans voted for their "Top Four Favorite NEWS songs" on Johnny's Entertainment site starting Apr 18th at 12nn, JST.
On May 7, JE side has announced the new album titled "NEWS BEST" and will be released on June 13. The album came in a regular edition and a limited edition version.
Both version included a CD containing all 15 of the group's A-side singles. The regular edition included an extra CD with the group's top 15 non-single songs as voted by netizens. The limited edition will included an extra CD with previously unreleased solo songs.
On July 18, NEWS released "Chankapana", their first single as a quartet. The single is available in 5 different version and a limited box set collection of all versions. The musicvideo for "Chankapana" premiered on TV on July 9. The single sold 121,097 on its first day and went on to become number one on Oricon Weekly Singles Chart.