Morning Musume (モーニング娘。; Morning Girls), currently known as Morning Musume '14 (モーニング娘。'14, read asMorning Musume One-Four), is the lead group of Hello! Project. The group formed in 1997 on a talent show called ASAYAN. It quickly became, and currently is, one of Japan's top all girl groups with a number of hit records and albums.
The group is known for their ever-fluctuating line-up, with "graduations" and auditions held nearly every year. Their combined CD and DVD sales exceed 21 million copies in Japan alone. They were masterminded by Yamazaki Naoki and managed by their producer Tsunku who is responsible for the composition of the majority of their songs and lyrics, production of their CD-sleeve covers, designing of their costumes and make-up and their live shows.
Currently, they are one of the most successful Japanese pop idol girl groups, holding the second highest overall single sales (of a female group) on the Oricon charts as of February 2012, with the Oricon record of most top ten singles with an amount of 55.
In recent years, the group has been making a concerted attempt to break into new markets in Asia, Europe and the US, performing at EXPOs worldwide.
Morning Musume's highest selling single is LOVE Machine with 1,646,630 copies sold. Morning Musume's lowest selling single is Pyocopyoco Ultra with 34,050 copies sold.