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V6, May J., Sekai no Owari, HKT48 Make Their Debuts on New Year's Kōhaku

posted on by Sarah Nelkin
Ayumi Hamasaki will not sing in song battle after 15 appearances in a row

The Japanese public television broadcaster NHK announced the artist lineup for this year's Kōhaku Uta Gassen (Red and White Song Battle), the New Year's Eve singing contest that is Japan's most viewed music television program.

This year's lineup includes the debut appearances of Johnny & Associates band V6, AKB48 sister idol group HKT48, May J. (singer of the Japanese theme song for Disney's Frozen), and four-man band SEKAI NO OWARI. Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, who is the girlfriend of SEKAI NO OWARI vocalist Fukase, will also be returning to the program. Yo-kai Watch theme song performers Dream5 and King Creamsoda will also appear.

Singer Ayumi Hamasaki announced earlier this week that she will not be returning to the program this year. Hamasaki had appeared on the program for 15 years in a row. She commented, saying, "I will graduate from the NHK Hall! ...I'm actually happy and refreshed that I was able to part with the hall in the best way."

V6 is a male idol unit that formed in 1995. The group has performed theme songs for the Inuyasha anime, as well as for the live-action Kimi wa Pet series. In addition, SEKAI NO OWARI is performing the theme song, "Mermaid Rhapsody" for the upcoming live-action film adaptation of the Princess Jellyfish manga.

The North American television channel TV Japan regularly carries the Kōhaku program during New Year's.

Source: Sankei Sports (link 2)

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