Yamashita Tomohisa joined Johnny's & Associates in 1996 at the age of 11. He was paired early on with Ikuta Toma and eventually the two of them with Juniors Kazama Shunsuke and Hasegawa Jun formed the popular Junior group 4Tops. As a Junior Yamashita, known widely as Yamapi, was frequently promoted and was able to act in dramas and was one of the original hosts and frequent performers of The Shounen Club, a program that stars Juniors.
It was believed that he would debut and with the other members of 4Tops. When NEWS was formed in 2003 he even believed it was only going to be a temporary group and was surprised to learn that it was not and would continue on after their first single, NEWS Nippon. He was the front man of the group and considered to be the group's leader as well.
In 2005 with KAT-TUN's Kamenashi Kazuya the temporary duo, Shuuji to Akira was created to promote the drama they starred in, Nobuta wo Produce, and they released the single, Seishun Amigo, which went on to sell over a million copies.
In 2006 when the group had been placed on hiatus because of underage drinking scandals by two of its members, Yamapi began releasing more non-NEWS singles. This included a one-off release with Thai brother duo Golf & Mike as GYM and then his first solo single, Daite Senorita.
When NEWS returned as a group in 2007 he continued solo releases, at first when there was down time for the group when Nishikido Ryo was busy with his other group Kanjani8, but after a couple of years he began to do more solo work and even had his first solo tour in 2009. In 2011 he released his first solo album, Super Good, Super Bad, and went on tour, going overseas to Asia.
Later in 2011 he announced that he would be leaving the group to pursue a solo career and would be joining Akanishi Jin on the Warner Music Japan label to do this. Since the announcement he has had a lead role in a drama and has a single coming out, Ai, Texas, in the end of February 2012, which will be his first single since the start of his post-NEWS solo career.
TRIVIA: His nickname, Yamapi, was given to him by Takizawa Hideaki since he noticed Yamapi tended to wear outfits with pink on them for performances so he put "Yamashita" and "pink" together to make Yamapi.
Next Entry > Entering the Sexy Zone
Johnny’s Juniors, full of rising stars and heartbreak
The Early and Rocky Path to Fame
Kondo Masahiko: Singer, Dancer, Actor, Professional Race Car Driver
Giving a New Meaning to Playzone, Shounentai
Hikaru Genji, Shining the Brightest and Crashing the Hardest
The Living Legend of SMAP
TOKIO, From Spaceships to the Over 30s World
Victory, Volleyball, Vegetable, Vicylce? V6
KinKi Kids, It's Not What You Think
Arashi, Storming to the Top
The Inseparable Duo, Tackey & Tsubasa
North, East, West, South ... It's big NEWS
Kansai Underdogs, Kanjani∞
Jumping to Their Dreams, Hey! Say! JUMP
Johnny's Black Sheep, Akanishi Jin
How to Debut Without Even Trying, Ikuta Toma
Kis-My-Ft2, Everybody Go (Roller Skating)!
Yamashita Tomohisa, Johnny’s Golden Boy
Entering the Sexy Zone
The 5Stars A.B.C-Z
Johnny's and Charity
Odds & Ends