Tackey & Tsubasa
Tackey & Tsubasa (タッキー&翼) are a Japanese idol duo from Johnny & Associates. Its members are Hideaki Takizawa (Japanese: 滝沢秀明, Takizawa Hideaki) and Tsubasa Imai (今井翼, Imai Tsubasa). Takizawa, "Takki (most often written as Tackey)" for short, is best known for his drama works, and Tsubasa for his dancing ability. They have also been musically successful with hit singles such as "Venus" and "Ho! SUMMER". Their works are produced by Avex Trax.
Before their debut, Tackey and Tsubasa were the top "Juniors" in the Johnny & Associates, a company which specializes in male teen idols led by Johnny Kitagawa. Typical of a junior, they started out as backdancers for better known teen idols in their label such as KinKi Kids (who also had not yet debuted at the time) in 1995, when both were 13-years-old. Through the years, the two have hosted the Japanese variety shows, Gakibara Teikoku 2000 and Music Enta. Besides hosting, the two have starred together in dramas such as, Kaiki Club Ghost Stories and Genroku Ryoran. During the filming of the NHK series Genroku Ryoran, which aired in 1999, the friendship of the two grew closer and they became best friends.
Before their official debut, the two performed together many times. In 1999, Tackey asked Tsubasa to join him in their first duet during the "Johnny's Juniors FIRST concert" in Tokyo, Japan. And in April 2000, at the "Johnny's Juniors Spring 2002 concert", the two performed their second duet together on stage. For this duet, the two designed their outfits, choreography and even their unit symbol (a tarantula). It was after this time that they hosted the two variety shows, Gakibara Teikoku 2000 and Music Enta, from 2000 to the beginning of 2001.
In February 2001, it was announced that the two would be headlining their first tour, called "Takki and Tsubasa 21st-century Showdown with all Johnny's Juniors". Tsubasa designed the customs and Tackey designed the setting for this very successful tour, and for the first time in JE history, two Johnnys were distinguished in the title of a Junior tour. This led to many people believing that the two would debut as a duo like the KinKi Kids. Instead, at the end of this tour, Johnny Kitagawa announced the two would debut as solo artists in 2002. They were planned to officially debut when they reach 20-years-old due to their popularity.
For the 2002 "Johnny's Junior concert" the two were again announced to be the headliners of the tour, and it was during this tour that Tackey mentioned he wanted to debut as a duo with Tsubasa. The fans then launched a campaign asking people who wanted them to debut together to send postcards and letters to Johnny & Associates, imploring Kitagawa to debut the two boys as a duo instead of as solo artists. The campaign has lasted for about a year, but then on August 1, 2002, Johnny announced that they would debut solo. Their debut solo songs would be entitled "Get Down" (Tsubasa's) and "Kiseki" (Tackey's). Yet, as a surprise instead, where the official announcement of their debut was to take place, the two announced they would be debuting as a duet after all. The two solo songs of theirs along with the duet song "True Heart" were the first releases from their debut mini-album, Hatachi (meaning 20-years-old in Japanese), which was released on September 11, 2002.