For those who are still interested, the list of singers will be released today.
Personally, like Akina, I don’t think she will be invited because there are no rumours this year, unlike last, that she will. Moreover, I felt that since NHK dropped her last year admist all the publicity and just made a silly remark that she declined, I don’t think her chances are here.
Hence, my surprise today, which will please 乱火 that 德永英明 is likely to be invited, after his reasons for "pulling out" last year was the same that NHK gave for Akina. I guess his "Vocalist" success and his single 「Happiness」 hitting the Top 10, inspite of the super low first week sales (5600 copies or so). 「花よ踊れ」would have also made the Top 15 for that week too (instead of 23).
I don’t look foward to 紅白 as much as I used to because my favourite singers are no longer performing and the newer singers all lack the X-factor to interest me. Camaderie is also missing in the program which was a huge selling/watching point for me in the 70s/80s. Then, it was like Japanese equivalent of Madonna singing with Mariah. Not gonna happen now.
If the same report is true, then I have one very good reason to watch 紅白 this year. One of my other favourite singers 今井美樹 (Akina’s too), is remoured to be appearing for the first time with her husband 布袋寅泰. I hope she will sing「ＰＲＩＤＥ」, which is one of her many wonderful hits, or a medley. She doesn’t dance but she has got such a soothing and lovely voice and presence. If anyone caught her singing live, it is mesmerising when she sings her ballads.
Anyway, here is the article: