Southern All Stars, also known by the abbreviations Southern or SAS, is a Japanese pop rock band that formed in the mid 1970s.
The band is composed of Kuwata Keisuke (lead vocals and guitars), Hara Yuko (vocals and keyboards), Sekiguchi Kazuyuki (bass), Matsuda Hiroshi (drums) and Nozawa "Kegani" Hideyuki(custom percussion). In addition to the present lineup, former guitarist Takashi Omori had worked in the band until 2001.
After the contract with Victor Entertainment, the band released their top-ten charting debut single "Katte ni Sindbad" in 1977. Since then, Southern has been one of the best-selling music groups in the past 30 years of Japan, selling more than 47 million albums and singles in Japan alone. They have had over 40 top-ten hit singles and 16 number-one albums on the Japan's Oricon Charts as of 2008.
Their 1998 compilation Umi no Yeah!! has sold more than 3.3 million copies and became the best-selling double album in Japanese history. Their most commercially successful song "Tsunami", released in 2000, has sold over 2.9 million units in Japan alone, and provided the band with honor of winning the 42nd Japan Record Awards. The band were also acclaimed and ranked number one in HMV Japan's 2003 list of "100 most influential Japanese musicians". They are also the only group to ever have 44 songs on the Oricon Top 100 weekly single chart simultaneously.
The band has occasionally gone into hiatus while individual members work on solo and other projects.
On January 26, 2000, their 44th single, "Tsunami" was released. It was used as theme song of Mirai Nikki III, a popular part of the TBS program called Un-nan-no Hontoko!, and made a strong impression on many people. The song reached number-one on the singles chart for five weeks, finally selling more than 2.9 million units. It is the third best-selling single in Japan of the last 40 years. On New Year's Eve of 2000, Tsunami won the 42nd Japan Record Awards. After the enormous success of the single, the band became more conservative. They now release fewer singles and all of them have become hits.
After the concert tour in 2000, Omori Takashi announced a stop in work and he left from the band in August 2001. Omori and his wife were well known as pious and influential Soka Gakkai adherents. This caused various rumors in the press about religious problems between himself and other members and many fans.
By the early 2000s, each member had actively pursued solo projects. Particularly, Kuwata produced three million-selling records and one album around 2001 and 2002.