It's been announced that EXILE ATSUSHI has graduated from EXILE on November 2 and will be focusing on his solo career from now on.
EXILE ATSUSHI made his debut as the vocalist for EXILE with the single "Your eyes only ~Aimaina Boku no Rinkaku~" in September of 2001. In EXILE, he has sung about 200 songs, and has been involved with 11 albums and 15 live tours. During the coronavirus pandemic, ATSUSHI had a chance to think about his life, and his feelings of wanting to challenge himself further as a solo artist grew stronger. As he turned 40 this year, he decided to take this opportunity leave the group during his milestone year. Although he will not be with EXILE during their debut 20th anniversary next year, he wrote about his feelings regarding their debut in his book 'Sign' to be released on November 12.
ATSUSHI commented, "Since debuting at 21 years old, EXILE was my everything. The experience and knowledge I gained the past 20 years as an artist has helped me to begin understand society a little and learn about the system about this world that I live in. That is why this is the actual start of my life. That is what I seriously think right now. I hope to continue singing so that my songs, which are my prayers, will become something for somebody. It would make me happy if you would warmly watch over EXILE and EXILE ATSUSHI from now on."
As a dance and vocal group, EXILE will continue their activities with 14 members led by EXILE TAKAHIRO and EXILE AKIRA. Their last single with 15 members will be "SUNSHINE" to drop on December 16, and available for download on November 3.