King & Prince is a five-member Japanese idol group that debuted in 2018. Their debut was announced at a press conference on 17 January 2018 along with the establishment of Johnny & Associates’ new record label under Universal Music, Johnny’s Universe, with King & Prince becoming the first artists to sign under the label. They have sold 7.3 million physical copies in Japan. The group used to have six members: Sho Hirano, Ren Nagase, Kaito Takahashi, Yuta Kishi, Yuta Jinguji and Genki Iwahashi. However, Genki Iwahashi withdrew from King & Prince and Johnny & Associates on 31 March 2021 due to anxiety disorder.
Johnny & Associates announced the group’s formation in a press conference on 5 June 2015. The group was formed to be special supporters for TV Asahi’s Summer Station event. Mr. King vs Mr. Prince was divided into two subgroups. Producer Johnny Kitagawa chose their name in hopes that each member would “spark off each other” and “improve themselves through friendly rivalry”. The group’s first original song, “Summer Station” was used as the official theme song for the Summer Station event, which ran from July to August 2015. The group was meant to disband after the event. However, in August 2015, the members announced that they would continue activities as a group. By 2016, Mr. Prince had changed their name to “Prince” and the six members predominantly worked within their respective units. Mr. King released a photo book and were special supporters for Summer Station 2016, while Prince performed in the Johnny’s Ginza musical and started to host their own variety show, Mayonaka no Prince. In September 2017, the six members performed in the Johnny’s Jr. concert Summer Sta King’s Treasure. After the concert, they asked Johnny Kitagawa to let them debut together. On 17 January 2018, their debut was announced in a press conference, along with the establishment of Johnny & Associates’ new record label under Universal Music, Johnny’s Universe, with King & Prince becoming the first artists to sign under the label. Their debut single “Cinderella Girl” was released on 23 May 2018. On 10 October 2018, King & Prince released their second single titled “Memorial”. The single was used as the theme song for the television drama Bukatsu, Suki Janakya Dame Desu ka? starring members Kaito Takahashi, Yuta Jinguji, and Genki Iwahashi. Another song included in the single, “High On Love”, was used as the theme song for the film You, I Love which stars member Hirano. In November 2018, Genki Iwahashi went on hiatus indefinitely to concentrate on treatment for his panic disorder. The group’s management announced in February 2019 that he would rejoin the group and participate on their third single, “Kimi wo Matteru”, but in March it was noted that he was to continue receiving treatment. On March 31 2021, Genki Iwahashi officially left King & Prince and retired from the entertainment industry.
King & Prince is active on some social media platforms which happen to be YouTube, Instagram and Twitter. The YouTube channel is King & Prince and it was created on May 21, 2021. As for now, the channel has over 866K subscribers. As for Twitter, the group joined this platform and created their channel in May 2021. The channel is King & Prince and has over 677K followers. On Instagram their account is called kingandprince_j and the audience here is exceeding 1.3 million followers.
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