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She has various nicknames, one being "Akko". Due to her above-average height (174 cm or 5'8.5"), she is also nicknamed "jotei" (女帝), meaning "empress".
Akiko Wada is Japanese with Korean ethnicity. She was born Kim Bok-Ja (Korean: 김 복자, Hanja: 金 福子, Kim is the family name). Like many Zainichi Koreans, she also had a Japanese-style name for everyday use, Fukuko Kaneumi (金海福子 Kaneumi Fukuko). When she took Japanese citizenship, her name became Akiko Wada (和田 現子 Wada Akiko), which upon marriage became Akiko Iizuka (飯塚 現子 Iizuka Akiko).
At age 17, she dropped out of school and performed in clubs. She was signed to the Horipro entertainment agency and released her debut single, "Hoshizora no Kodoku" in 1968 and had her first hit the next year with "Doshaburi no Ame no Naka de". She performed on Kōhaku Uta Gassen, a music show broadcast live every New Year's Eve, in 1970 and has performed over 30 times on the show since then. She received the award for Best Song at the 1972 Japan Record Awards for "Ano Kane wo Narasu no wa Anata".
She played the voice of as Bowser in Super Mario Bros.: Peach-Hime Kyushutsu Dai Sakusen!. She has also voiced Marge Simpson in the Japanese version of The Simpsons Movie.
- "Sûpâ Mario Burazâzu.: Pîchi-hime kyushutsu dai sakusen." Internet Movie Database. Accessed 29 May 2009.
- "Akiko Wada performs at Apollo Theater in New York". Japan Today. 1 October 2008. Retrieved 30 October 2008.
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