Former AKB48 member Atsuko Maeda, 21, was named among Vogue Japan’s five Women of the Year this week. The awards are given to the “most outstanding female celebrities of the year.”
Maeda, who “graduated” from AKB48 in August, said she will miss not performing with the mega-popular group at NHK’s “Kohaku Uta Gassen” (Red and White Song Contest) on New Year’s eve. “I will cheer for them, watching with my family at home,” she said. As for her plans next year, she said: “I am at a turning point in my career. I would like to be an actress loved by many people.”
Other winners of the Vogue Japan Women of the Year are singer Saori Yuki, 64, model-singer Kyari Pamyu Pamyu, 19, actress Machiko Ono, 31, and actress Ayame Goriki, 20.