Want some incredibly inspirational news to take you into the weekend? There's a new girl group on the music scene - but there's a catch. They have an average age of 84, which, judging from the reactions of their fans, might be just what you need to be stars these days.
The Japanese band, called KBG84 (a play on the name of a Japanese band called AKB48, whose members are just slightly younger), have enjoyed unprecedented success with their single Come on and Dance, and are now completing a hugely popular tour in Japan.
The band, which have 33 members, are from the remote island of Kohama in Okinawa, which has a population of just 600 - but they're not letting success get to their heads, shooting their heartwarming music video on their tiny home island.
“When I first heard someone call us ‘idols’ I thought an idol meant someone who had lived a long life and was at the gates of heaven,” band member Tomi Menaka, 92, told Japan Times.
“But in Tokyo they told me it was an entertainer — which was a relief because I thought it meant I was on my way to heaven,” she added. “I hadn’t even been to Tokyo or Osaka. I wanted to go there before I went to heaven.”
Luckily, thanks to the band's popularity, Tomi and her fellow singers were lucky enough to visit Japan's capital as part of their tour.
“I’ve never been as happy as I am when we perform,” Tomi said. “Going to Tokyo for the first time, I thought I was so lucky to be born. I got to meet my grandchildren. I’ll never forget it. I was moved to tears.”
Watching their wonderful music video would leave anyone wanting to be as happy, creative and agile at the bands' average age - but it's no coincidence that all 33 members are so sprightly despite their years.
Okinawan islanders have one of the highest life expectancies in the world, with their diet containing lots of healthy vegetables and less sugar than that of mainland Japanese, with the local sweet potato more popular than rice.
Or perhaps the key is just being relaxed about your diet - well, at least that's what Tomi told Japan Times.
“I like meat and sweet things,” she said. “I look after my health by cleaning my home, wiping the floors, steaming rice. I stay in the shade when it’s too hot. I don’t want to tan. I have to take care of my skin — I’m still young at heart.”
The band - which requires a minimum age of 80 to join - have just signed a record deal and have been followed by documentary crews as they play to delighted audiences.
“We felt like stars in Tokyo,” 86-year-old Hideko Kedamori said. “Everyone in the audience had a big smile, which gave us the energy to sing our hearts out. We’re blessed to have been born in Kohama. Our lyrics are about the island and nature — whales in the sea spouting or dolphins doing somersaults.”
And what's life like on tour? Crazy parties and throwing TVs out of windows?
“We still sit around gossiping about life,” said Kedamori. “If we fight, we quickly make up again, just like when we were kids. We are all together with the same heart. All for one and one for all.”
Watch KBG84's brilliant music video below:
Pictures: Getty Images