Japanese singer Akiko Wada is celebrating half a century in the music business with special releases into the coming year, and kicked off her anniversary with an album of her greatest hits selected by fans on Oct. 25, the day of her debut.

    Japan’s R&B icon is quickly following it up with a covers album of her favorite Grammy Award-winning songs entitled WADASOUL COVERS: Award Songs Collection on Jan. 24. The album showcases Wada’s deep, robust vocals through a variety of songs by artists old and new, including Frank Sinatra’s “Strangers In The Night,” Sam Smith’s “Stay With Me,” and Norah Jones’ “Don’t Know Why.” 

    “I’m eager to take on new challenges during my 50th anniversary year,” says the veteran singer. “This Grammys covers album was one of them. I felt a great deal of pressure recording these wonderful songs, known all over the world. I’ve included a song by Ray Charles, who gave me the incentive to become a singer in the first place, as well as songs like ‘Rolling In The Deep’ and ‘Uptown Funk.’”

    Aside from her engagements as a well known TV and radio personality, Wada is currently on her 50th anniversary tour that will continue until July 2018.

Text: Billboard JAPAN / Photo: Courtesy Photo