Atsuko Maeda (前田 敦子, Maeda Atsuko, born July 10, 1991) is a Japanese actress and singer known for her work in the Japanese idol group AKB48. Maeda was one of the most prominent members in the group, and placed first among all AKB48 and sister group candidates in the group's general 2009 and 2011 elections, and second in the 2010 election. She was usually regarded as "eternal center" and "face of AKB" when she was in the group. Many of AKB48's singles have her distinct solo parts. She also appeared on many of its album covers. On March 25, 2012, she announced her graduation from AKB48; it was held on August 27. She has since continued with a solo singing and acting career.
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