Takahashi Ai (born on 14 September 1986, Sakai, Japan) is a Japanese pop singer and musician best known as the current lead singer of the popular J-Pop band Morning Musume. She also sang in band Mini Moni. She also acted in several and TV shows and dramas, most notably Ribbon no Kishi The Musical, Hello Morning, Hitmaker Aku Yuu Monogatari, and the upcoming TV drama Q.E.D Shomei Shuryo.
Takahashi vocals became more prominent on the second and final Mini Moni album, Minimoni Songs 2 (2004), as well as on Morning Musume singles from their Spring 2004 release Roman My Dear Boy onward. She also had a duet with Tsunku on the cover version of Tsunku and Ayumi Hamasaki duet Love since 1999 on his solo album Take.
In 2005, Morning Musume first single release of the year, The Manpower, featured Takahashi in a prominent co-lead-vocal role, a role she has retained on subsequent singles since. In the summer of that year, she became part of the 2005 shuffle Group Elegies.
In 2006, Takahashi played the lead role, Sapphire, in the musical Ribbon no Kishi The Musical which was a collaboration work of Takarazuka Revue (a famous Japanese all-female musical group) and Hello! Project. The musical was based on Tezuka Osamu manga and also starred Nozomi Tsuji, Aya Matsuura, and Natsumi Abe, as well as Marcia and Kaoru Ebira of the Takarazuka Revue. Soon thereafter, Takahashi released her first and only solo single to-date, Yume Kara Samete.
Following then-leader Hitomi Yoshizawa graduation from Morning Musume on May 6, 2007, the current sub-leader, Miki Fujimoto ascended to the leader position, with Takahashi becoming the new sub-leader of the group. However, on June 1, 2007, after Fujimoto resignation, Takahashi took over as the new leader.