Momo Hirai, popularly known as Momo, born November 9, 1996, is a Japanese singer, rapper, and dancer. She is one of the trio of girls who make up the South Korean group Twice. From 2018 to 2019, Hirai and her fellow bandmates of Twice released two extended plays — making the latter the eighth E.P. for the group. Also, in 2019, she was ranked as the tenth most popular female K-pop idol in a survey of soldiers doing mandatory military service in South Korea. On her birthday today, we take a look into her history in the music industry and some fun facts about the budding star, so come along.
MOMO, The Dance Machine
November 9, 1996
Momo Hirai, known professionally as ‘Momo,’ is a Japanese singer, rapper, and dancer born in Kyōtanabe, Kyoto Prefecture, Japan, and currently resides in South Korea. Hirai began dancing at the age of three with her older sister Hana, and later in 2008, got she got a taste of the music industry in South Korea when she appeared in the music video for fellow pop star Lexy. In 2011, Hirai starred in the South Korean television talent show series “Superstar K.”
In 2012, after being spotted by J.Y.P. Entertainment, Hirai moved to South Korea permanently and was placed as a “K-Pop trainee” dancer in music videos. Come 2015, she was cast’s cast on the reality television show “Sixteen,” where she had to showcase her singing and dancing talents to join a girl group. Initially, she was eliminated from the show but she was brought back at the end of the competition and she joined the girl group “Twice.” That same year, the group released their extended play “The Story Begins.”Despite being ousted from the program, she was called back after the competition and joined the female band, Twice. The group also released “The Story Begins,” an extended play.
In her personal life, Hirai has been linked to Kim Hee-chul from the group “Super Junior,” in 2020, however, they later broke off their relationship in 2021. We eagerly await Hirai’s upcoming exciting professional endeavors.
Hirai appears in a music video for fellow pop star Lexy.
Hirai makes a permanent move to South Korea.
Hirai is cast on the reality television show "Sixteen," where she showcases her singing and dancing talents to join the girl group, Twice.
Twice releases their third studio album, “Formula of Love: O+T=＜3.”
Why We Love MOMO
She is an animal lover
Although Hirai is allergic to dogs, she has three of them and recently adopted a fourth in 2020. That is some serious dedication to her furry friends as she is hypersensitive.
She is a sleepy-head
According to reports, Hirai sleeps the most out of the girls in the group and can also sleep anywhere — we feel you, girl. Get that beauty sleep!
She is charitable
Hirai, along with the members of Twice, has all participated in the Ice Bucket Challenge and donated to the cause, which brings awareness to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (A.L.A). We love her generosity.
5 Surprising Facts
Her name meaning in Japanese
‘Momo’ means ‘peach’ or ‘peaches’ in Japanese.
She’s credited with helping country relations
A newspaper in South Korea called “Chosun Ilbo” has given credit to Hirai for helping relations between South Korea and Japan.
Her favorite meal
Hirai loves 'jokbal,' a Korean dish consisting of pig’s trotters cooked with soy sauce and spices.
She was in a dance show
Hirai starred in the dance survival show “Hit the Stage” in South Korea for four episodes.
The meaning behind her nickname
Hirai's nickname is ‘The Dance Machine’ due to her fitness and dancing ability.
Did Hirai leave Twice?
No, she is still a member of the South Korean girl group.
Why is Hirai’s group called Twice?
The founding company of Twice, J.Y.P. Entertainment, named the group ‘Twice’ as it refers to ‘making an impact.’
How long did it take Hirai to learn Korean?
It took her three years.
MOMO’s birthday dates