Of Japanese origin, Hirai Momo has used her natural talent to become one of the most sought after music stars in South Korea. She is among the myriad of stars who have emerged from the show Sixteen and trained by JYP Entertainment. Harai is mostly popular as the main dancer of the K-pop girl band Twice and within a short time of debuting in the spotlight, she has become a sensation in South Korea, proudly one of the popular stars the country has seen.
What makes Hirai Momo stand out is the fact that she is not a Korean by origin but has built a thriving career in the country without having issues with fitting in.
Hirai Momo’s Biography, Age
Often called Momo, the talented entertainer was born in Kyoto, Japan to parents whose names are not known. What is obvious, however, is that her family supported her in any way possible to hone her skills. This is evident in how good she turned out to be after practising almost all her life. She was a three-year-old child when she started practising her dance steps with her elder sister.
Her educational background is not known and she has not shared any details of the training institutions she may have attended to sharpen her skills. Amuro Naime takes credit for being the inspiration behind Harai’s K-pop interest. It was after watching Rain and Lee Hyori that she decided to give music a try. Apparently, she and her sister were busy uploading videos of their performances online, this attracted JYP Entertainment which scouted the two sisters. On April 13, 2012, Harai Momo and her sister were invited for an audition which ended in favour of Harai alone. Her sister was sent home while Harai remained to train with JYP. Her time as a trainee with the entertainment giant paid off as she made the cut and became a member of the girl group known as Twice. Not long after putting the members together, Twice released a mini-album titled The Story Begins.
Before she became famous, Hirai Momo featured in a Got7 music video titled Stop Stop It. She has also appeared in other music videos including Feel, R.O.S.E. Only You and Sweet Dream. Her other television appearances are on the reality TV show Sixteen (2015) and another reality show Hit the Show (2016). She appeared on the Mnet shows as a contestant with the first being the one that introduced her to fame.
Some of the albums released by Twice include BDZ (2018), Twicetagram (2017), Merry & Happy (2017), Tel uw Zegeningen, Vol. 2 (2016), Fancy You (2019, EP), #Twice2 (2019) and a lot more. Other members of Twice are – Nayeon, Jeongyeon, Sana, Jihyo, Mina, Dahyun, Chaeyoung and Tzuyu.
She is among the shortest members of the Twice band with her height listed as 5ft 4in. However, high heel shoes give her figure a boost, taking her up a few inches higher. Her listed weight is 48 kg which she works hard to maintain.
Other Facts About Hirai Momo
1. The meaning of her name (Momo) in Japanese is Peach.
2. After an audition for a spot on Sixteen with her elder sister, she scaled through alone on April 13, 2012, without her sister.
3. In the sixth episode of Sixteen, Momo was eliminated but was later brought back by J.Y.Park so as to put her in a band.
4. It was her outstanding dancing skills that guaranteed her return to the reality show and as a member of Twice.
5. She is in the band with another Japanese beauty Sana Minatozaki who was signed to JYP as a trainer at the same time as Harai.
6. She is one of the most popular Korean K-pop stars who are not actually Koreans. The singer was recognised in the Gallup Korea’s annual music poll for 2018 as the 20th most popular idols in South Korea.
7. Her beautiful body features and physical fitness which allow her to move her body easily earned her the nickname the “dance machine”.
8. Harai Momo is the only eliminated member of the survival show Sixteen who made a comeback to join Twice.
9. The Japanese singer has a lot of favourite things – her favourite number is 64, she loves to eat a Korean dish called jokbal and she loves stuffed-toys.
10. She is roommates with Jeongyeon