Birth name : Ai Takahashi
Date of birth : 14 September 1986
Place of birth: Sakai, Fukui, Japan
Nickname: Ai Chan, Tettekette
Height: 5' 0¼" (1.53 m)
"For me everything in the music and songs was gradually building, becoming more emotional, so it helped. At the end of it all I was emotionally drained. At that point I took Rose's view, that this has to happen, there's nothing I can do about it. Singing is fantastic, but to be able to create a whole world on celluloid is amazing. It's like taking your dreams straight from your head and projecting them onto a screen."
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Ai Takahashi (born September 14, 1986) is a Japanese pop singer associated with Hello! Project, best known as the leader of Morning Musume and member of its popular subgroup, Mini Moni.
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 debut appearance 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, the appropriately named 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: Okashina Daibouken 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, Minimoni 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, Takahashi took over as the new leader. Takahashi is also captain of the Hello! Project kickball team, Metro Rabbits H.P..
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