|Name||Goto Maki 「後藤真希」|
|Nickname||Gocchin, Gottchan, Gotsuan, Gomaki|
|Birthdate||September 23, 1985|
Hello! Project Groups:
Maki got her career started at the age of 13 when she was selected to become the next member of Morning Musume in 1999. With her strong vocals and girl-next-door qualities, she was a fan favorite and took the lead vocals on many songs. She is largely credited with boosting Morning Musume's popularity, helping to bring LOVE Machine, her debut single with Morning Musume, hit #1 and sell over one million copies.
On September 23, 2002 (her 17th birthday), Maki graduated from Morning Musume to focus on her solo career. She has released 4 studio albums and 17 singles, and is the only Hello!Project artist to have a #1 single (her debut single, Ai no Bakayarou). On top of her solo work, she also participated in many side units within Hello Project.
On October 28, 2007, Maki dropped a sudden and shocking announcement that she was graduating from Hello Project and retiring from the music business. Among the reasons for her retirement included her dissatisfaction with the direction of her career, health issues, and although not stated, the negative publicity from her brother's arrest possibly contributed to her decision.
However, she soon signed with the J-pop powerhouse record label, Avex, in June 2008, and released this statement:
For a singer, it's most important to love to sing, and because of that, I've decided on a new direction for my future. Nearly 10 years after my debut, I've met with Avex. I feel like I have new motivation and great potential now. I love singing even more now, and most of all, I want to share the songs I love with everybody. I'm going to work my hardest, so please give me your support.
In 2009, she collaborated with the SWEET BLACK Project, which focused on the life of young women in their 20s, and released a series of digital singles. The mini-album SWEET BLACK debuted at #17 on the Oricon charts.
In 2010, she released her much-anticipated first mini-album, ONE. The album debuted at #10 on the Oricon charts, and marks her official comeback as an artist.