NHK announces lineup for 'Kohaku Uta Gassen' on New Year's Eve
NHK on Monday announced the lineup for its popular New Year’s Eve program “Kohaku Uta Gassen” (Red and White Song Contest). The theme of this year’s contest, being held for the 64th year, is “Songs Are Here.”
Of the 51 acts, three will be making their debut for the Red (women’s) team—E-girls, NMB48 and miwa. Six acts will be making their debut for the White (men’s) team—veteran folk singer Shigeru Izumiya (who is 65), American singer Chris Hart, Sakanaction, Sexy Zone, Tohoku-based folk singer Kohei Fukuda and Linked Horizon.
Other notable acts for the Red team include model-singer Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, AKB48, its sister group SKE48, Momoiro Clover Z, Seiko Matsuda, Perfume, Ayumi Hamasaki, along with veterans Sayuri Ishikawa, appearing for the 36th time, Akiko Wada, in her 37th appearance, and Mariko Takahashi, making her first appearance in 29 years.
The White team includes Arashi, SMAP, Exile, Hiromi Go, Golden Bomber, Tokio and Kiyoshi Hikawa, along with veterans Saburo Kitajima, for his 50th appearance, Shinichi Mori (46th time), Hiroshi Itsuki for the 43rd time and Takeshi Hosokawa (37th time).
See full line-up here.
Actress Haruka Ayase, 28, and all-male pop band Arashi will host the gala.
Arashi will be hosting the show for the fourth consecutive year, while Ayase will be making her debut, taking over from Maki Horikita. Ayase has been starring this year in NHK’s popular “taiga” drama “Yae no Sakura,” the annual historical fiction TV series broadcast Sunday evenings in Japan.
Though it has lost some of its luster in the past 10 years, “Kohaku Uta Gassen” is still considered the most prestigious TV music program to be invited to appear on.