AKB48 (short for Akihabara48) is a Japanese Idol Group. It originally consisted of 48 members, divided into 3 teams of 16 members each, named A, K and B. Produced by Akimoto Yasushi, it is one of the highest-earning musical acts in the world, with 2011 record sales of over US$200 million in Japan. It has achieved such popularity in Japan that it has been characterized as a social phenomenon. The group has their own theater in Don Quixote, on Akihabara (Tokyo Prefecture). The 1st generation members were announced on October, 2005. The debut single of the group, Sakura no Hanabiratachi, was released on February 1, 2006. They are currently signed under King Records, originally from DefSTAR RECORDS/Sony Music Japan.