Note about imprints:
Major releases use both the "You Be Cool" and "KING" imprints up until the release of "So long" on 2013.02.20, when the "KING" imprint is dropped for just "You Be Cool" and the King Record Co. logo.
Most "minor" releases use the "AKS" imprint.
AKB48 (read "A.K.B. Forty-eight") is a Japanese idol girl group, initially named after the Akihabara (Akiba for short) area of Tokyo where the group's theater is located, and their original roster of 48 members. As of May 2014, the group has expanded to include 140 members whose ages range from early teens to mid-20s. The idea of AKB48's producer Yasushi Akimoto was to create a girl group that, unlike a regular pop group that gives occasional concerts and that is mostly seen on television, would have its own theater and perform there on a daily basis; the fans would always be able to go and see the girls live. This "idols you can meet" concept includes the formation of different teams that are able to rotate performances and to perform simultaneously in events at various locations, as well as the organisation of "handshake" events, where fans can briefly interact with band members. Akimoto has also expanded the AKB48 concept to several sister groups throughout Japan, and also in China and Indonesia.
The group is one of the highest-earning musical acts in Japan, with 2012 record sales of over US$226 million. It has achieved such popularity in the country that it has been characterized as a social phenomenon. As of March 2014, the group has sold over 30 million records, including over 28.78 million singles as of May 2014, which places it as the second highest musical act in Japan by number of singles sold, and the most by a girl group. The group's twenty-three latest singles have topped the Oricon Weekly Singles Chart, with a record eighteen singles that have sold over a million copies. Its 2013 single "Sayonara Crawl" sold over 1.87 million copies. In 2010, "Beginner" and "Heavy Rotation" placed, respectively, first and second in the list of Japan's best selling singles for that year. In 2011 and 2012, AKB48's singles occupied the top five spots of the Oricon Yearly Singles Chart and in 2013, the top four.Continue reading at Wikipedia... Wikipedia content provided under the terms of the Creative Commons BY-SA license