In the past few hours, Nikkan Sports has reported that 4 of the 5 members of SMAP have left Johnny & Associates, resulting in a de facto disbandment of the group. Nakai Masahiro, Inagaki Goro, Kusanagi Tsuyoshi, and Katori Shingo are reported to have left the company, with Kimura Takuya being the only remaining SMAP member in Johnny & Associates.
SMAP debuted in 1991, and gained popularity via variety shows. SMAP solidified its position in pop culture when Kimura Takuya landed the lead role in the 1996 Fuji TV drama “Long Vacation.” Nakai Masahiro has demonstrated his talents as a host on many television shows over the years. All of the members of SMAP have had individual success, leading them to be called a supergroup. SMAP’s popularity is a social phenomenon.
SMAP has had many hits, including “Yozora no Mukou” and “Lion Heart.” SMAP’s biggest hit is “Sekai ni Hitotsu Dake no Hana”, which has sold over 2.5 million copies.
All of the members of SMAP currently host Fuji TV’s “SMAP x SMAP”, but each member also hosts his own shows. The group also has some CM contracts together, but it is currently unknown how those will be handled.
Morning newspaper report:
Source and Images: Nikkan Sports and Arama Japan