NewS was formed on September 2003 and consisted of nine members from different Johnny's Jr. groups. The name 'NewS' was derived from the four global directions North, East, West and South and Tomohisa Yamashita was chosen as the leader of the group. On November 7, 2003, their first single was released, NewS Nippon. It was a limited release, available only at 7-Eleven stores (corresponding to the release date of Nov 7) as the 2003 Volleyball Championship's official song.
A month later in December, member Takahiro Moriuchi left Johnny's Entertainment, thus resulting in an eight member group. On May 12, 2004, NEWS released their official debut single, Kibou ~Yell~, changing the usual styling of their name from 'NewS' to 'NEWS', the single was ranked #1 on the Oricon Charts. The success of this single lead to the release of another single, Akaku Moyuru Taiyou, just three months later.
Then later releasing their 6th single on 15 March 2006, it was announced that NEWS was to be put on hiatus due to the temporary suspension of two of their members. NEWS held a 'NEWS Spring Tour 2006' before stopping their activities officially on 1 May 2006. Members who were not related to the scandals were allowed to carry on with their solo activities, but no group activities would be carried on during this period until further notice.
2003 – 2004: Formation and debut
NEWS was formed in September 2003, the group was comprised with: Tomohisa Yamashita, Ryo Nishikido, Keiichiro Koyama, Shigeaki Kato, Takahisa Masuda, Yuya Tegoshi, Hironori Kusano, Hiroki Uchi and Takahiro Moriuchi. NEWS began their careers promoting the song NewS Nippon for the World Cup of Volleyball Championships, following in the footsteps fellow Johnny groups V6 and Arashi, both who debuted in the same way in 1995 and 1999 respectively. They performed their limited repertoire before matches and toured the country extensively following the championships. They even took a small trip to Taiwan to gain publicity. Despite the controversial beginning and having CD sales confined to 7/11 convenience stores, NewS Nippon was a wildly successful single and the decision was made to keep the unit. Before their first Christmas concert, Moriuchi left. The circumstances were unclear but it was said that he left to concentrate on his studies. NEWS did not release another single until May 2004.
They came out with Kibou~yell~, which was their official debut and it went straight to number one on the charts, as did the following single Akaku Moyuru Taiyo. NEWS was now an established unit.
2005–2006: Rise to popularity, scandals and hiatus
Following their success in the previous year, 2005 proved to be a fruitful year as NEWS released another two singles and their first album, Touch. However, just when NEWS seemed to be one of the most popular groups in Japan, on July 16, 2005, member Hiroki Uchi got himself involved in a case of underaged drinking and was suspended by his agency, leaving a seven member NEWS.
On January 31, 2006, Hironori Kusano of the group was accused of another incident of underaged drinking and became the second NEWS member to be suspended. Releasing their 6th single on 15 March 2006, it was announced that NEWS was to be put on hiatus due to the temporary suspension of two of their members. NEWS held a 'NEWS Spring Tour 2006' before stopping their activities officially on 1 May 2006.
Members who were not related to the scandals were allowed to carry on with their solo activities, but no group activities would be carried on during this period until further notice.
The return of NEWS was announced on December 30, 2006, but would continue as a six-member group as Hiroki Uchi and Hironori Kusano were demoted to the position of "trainees". On January 1, 2007, NEWS had their first performance since the hiatus at the Johnny's Concert Countdown 2006-2007. NEWS released their first single since the hiatus on March 7 2007, Hoshi wo Mezashite (星をめざして, lit. Aim For the Stars?). It was used as the theme song for the Japanese version of Happy Feet, which starred Yuya Tegoshi, who voiced the main character Mumble. Hoshi wo Mezashite debuted at the number-one spot on both the daily and weekly Oricon charts. After the release of the single, a two month concert tour followed. NEWS released a DVD on August 8th, Never Ending Wonderful Story, which features live performances of the tour and documentaries. NEWS was scheduled to hold a two day concert in Taipei from October 6 to the 7th. Unfortunately an unexpected typhoon striking the Taiwanese capital on the concert's first day which resulted in the postponement of the concert. Instead, two performances were held on the second day.
NEWS simultaneously released their seventh single and second album on November 7. Both releases debuted on the charts at the number-one position. The single was used to promote a Japanese clothing store Russ-K's winter collection.[ Weeeek sold 263,000 copies and the album Pacific sold 196,000 copies. This was the tenth time in Oricon history an artist reached number-one on both the single and the album charts simultaneously. The last occurrence achieved by KAT-TUN in April 2006. Other artists include SMAP, KinKi Kids, Masaharu Fukuyama, Ayumi Hamasaki, WANDS, as well as Seiko Matsuda.
To further support their album, NEWS went on their nation-wide tour NEWS CONCERT TOUR Pacific 2007-2008, from December 15th, 2007 to January 27th, 2008. As a special part of the tour, they performed for the first time as a group in Tokyo Dome. The concert, which was held on 9th January 2008 and extravagantly involved the massive usage of 50 tonnes of water to entertain the fans, was due to overwhelming demand for tickets for their Pacific Tour that left near 300,000 fans without tickets.
On January 9, 2008, during the encore of the tour NEWS preformed their eighth single, Taiyo no Namida (太陽のナミダ, Taiyō no Namida?, lit. Tears of the Sun). The single was released on was later released on February 8, 2008 and was used as the theme song for the movie Kurosagi, starring Tomohisa Yamashita. On May 8, 2008 NEWS released their ninth single, Summer Time. The song was used to promote the clothing brand Russ-K. Both Taiyou no Namida and Summer Time peaked number-one on the charts, making NEWS the second group after KinKi Kids with the longest streak of consecutive number one singles since debuting.
NEWS released, NEWS CONCERT TOUR Pacific 2007-2008 -The First Tokyo Dome Concert- on August 13, 2008. They recently released their tenth single, Happy Birthday, on October 1, 2008 and will be releasing their third studio album titled 'color' on November 19. 2008. Also, it has been confirmed that NEWS will be having a nation-wide NEWS Winter Tour 2008-2009.
As of October 7, 2011 Yamapi and Ryo left NEWS. Ryo is now going to focus soley on Kanjani8 and Yampi on his solo career. Koyama is now the new leader of the remaining four members of NEWS.
Keiichiro Koyama (小山 慶一郎, Koyama Keiichirō)
Born: May 1, 1984
Takahisa Masuda (増田 貴久, Masuda Takahisa)
Born: July 4, 1986
Shigeaki Kato (加藤 成亮, Katō Shigeaki)
Born: July 11, 1987
Yuya Tegoshi (手越 祐也, Tegoshi Yuya)
Born: November 11, 1987
While there is no indication at present that they will be rejoining NEWS, Hiroki Uchi and Hironori Kusano performed at the 2007 Shonentai Playzone. Uchi and Kusano's graduation from their previous statues of trainees, were announced during the press conference of Isshun no Kaze ni Nare, a short drama in which Uchi made his come back as an actor. He has a major role in the currently airing spring 2008 weekly drama 'Osen'.
Takahiro Moriuchi (森内 寛貴 , Moriuchi Takahiro)
Born: April 17, 1988
He is now the vocalist in the rock band ONE
Tomohisa Yamashita (山下 智久, Yamashita Tomohisa)
Born: April 9, 1985
Ryo Nishikido (錦戸 亮, Nishikido Ryō)
Born: November 3, 1984
Takahiro Moriuchi (森内 寛貴 , Moriuchi Takahiro)
Born: April 17, 1988
He is now the vocalist in the rock band ONE OK ROCK.
Hiroki Uchi (内 博貴, Uchi Hiroki)
Born: September 10, 1986
Hironori Kusano (草野 博紀, Kusano Hironori)
Born: February 15, 1988