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Also Known As: Helen Folasade Adu Died:
Born: January 16, 1959 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Ibadan, , NG Profession:

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

One of the most successful British female musicians in UK pop history, Nigerian-born singer/songwriter Sade (pronounced SHAR-day) sold more than 110 million albums worldwide over the course of a three-decade career, despite only sporadic releases. Her career longevity was due entirely to her glossy, soulful delivery on such Top 10 hits as "Smooth Operator," "The Sweetest Taboo," "No Ordinary Love" and "Soldier of Love." Her signature sound hinged on an axis of classic American R&B, vocal jazz and precise but passionate pop instrumentation. Sade's career began in the early 1980s as a member of the Latin funk band Pride, with whom she performed an early version of "Operator." Her gorgeous voice and model-grade looks proved irresistible to record labels, which prompted her to sign with Epic for her debut album, Diamond Life (1984). The studio version of "Operator" became the beachhead for a lengthy string of hit singles and albums, which remained constant even as the duration between releases grew longer with the passing years. Even with a full decade between the release of her fifth album, Lovers Rock (2000) and its follow-up, Soldier of Love (2010), Sade's popularity remained undiminished, as...

One of the most successful British female musicians in UK pop history, Nigerian-born singer/songwriter Sade (pronounced SHAR-day) sold more than 110 million albums worldwide over the course of a three-decade career, despite only sporadic releases. Her career longevity was due entirely to her glossy, soulful delivery on such Top 10 hits as "Smooth Operator," "The Sweetest Taboo," "No Ordinary Love" and "Soldier of Love." Her signature sound hinged on an axis of classic American R&B, vocal jazz and precise but passionate pop instrumentation. Sade's career began in the early 1980s as a member of the Latin funk band Pride, with whom she performed an early version of "Operator." Her gorgeous voice and model-grade looks proved irresistible to record labels, which prompted her to sign with Epic for her debut album, Diamond Life (1984). The studio version of "Operator" became the beachhead for a lengthy string of hit singles and albums, which remained constant even as the duration between releases grew longer with the passing years. Even with a full decade between the release of her fifth album, Lovers Rock (2000) and its follow-up, Soldier of Love (2010), Sade's popularity remained undiminished, as evidenced by the latter LP's debut at the top of the Billboard 200. Sade's exceptional artistry and gift for blending pop, R&B and soul into her own memorable and mellifluous sound helped to preserve her status as one of the global pop world's most enduring talents.

Born Helen Folasade Adu on January 16, 1959 in Ibadan, Nigeria, she was the daughter of Nigerian economics professor Adebisi Adu and his wife, English nurse Anne Hayes. While in Africa, she was addressed as "Sade" - a shortened version of her middle name that she eventually adopted as her professional moniker. Sade's parents separated when she was four, and she relocated with her mother and brother to England, where they lived with her grandparents in Colchester, Essex. As a teenager, she developed a fascination for the popular American soul music artists of the period, including the Jackson 5, Donny Hathaway and Curtis Mayfield. Despite her interest and a gifted voice, Sade was too nervous to perform, preferring instead to write songs while studying fashion at St. Martin's School of Art. She eventually overcame her stage fright, first as part of a group with two friends from school, and later as backup singer for a Latin funk bank from North London called Pride. A highlight of their live show was a segment that gave the spotlight to Sade on quieter, jazz-driven numbers, including an original song she had co-written called "Smooth Operator." The tune attracted the attention of record labels, but Sade refused to part with Pride until the members of the band urged her to sign with the U.K. division of Epic Records. With a trio of players from Pride, she formed the band Sade, which released its first single, "Your Love is King," in the UK in 1984. It rose to No. 6 on the singles chart and was soon followed by the group's first album, Diamond Life, that same year.

The album was a massive success on both sides of the Atlantic, driven largely by the global popularity of the glossy, jazz-flecked "Smooth Operator," which rose to No. 5 on the Billboard Hot 100. A second LP, Promise (1986), fared even better, topping both the U.S. and U.K. pop albums chart on the strength of its lead single, "The Sweetest Taboo," which peaked at No. 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 and remained in the Top 100 for six months. Sade capped her triumphant year with the Grammy for Best New Artist before beginning work on her third album, Stronger than Pride, which was released in 1988. Though it fared less well than its predecessors, the record became the group's third consecutive Top 10 U.S. and U.K. album while also providing the artist with her first No. 1 single on the U.S. R&B chart with "Paradise." However, Sade would drop out of the public eye for the next four years, a move spurred in part by a new marriage to Spanish director Carlos Pilego, as well as her adverse feelings towards the intense media coverage that had followed her career for several years.

Her fourth album, Love Deluxe (1992), showed that her prolonged absence from the spotlight had little effect on either her creative talents or her popularity. Spurred by the Grammy-winning Top 20 single "No Ordinary Love" and a Top 10 R&B hit with "Kiss of Life," Love Deluxe became Sade's fourth Top 10 record on the US and UK charts. But again, she retreated to focus on her personal life, most notably the 1995 birth of a daughter, Ila Adu, with Jamaican producer Bob Morgan. Nearly a decade passed before Sade would issue her fifth album, Lovers Rock (2000). Though its lead single, "By Your Side," only reached No. 18 on the Adult Contemporary chart, the record itself was a Top 5 hit on the Billboard 200, and prompted her first American tour in more than a decade. The success of the tour, which saw grosses in excess of $26 million spawned a Top 10 concert album, Lovers Live (2002), which was released the same year as Sade's appointment as an Officer of the Order of the British Empire. She would not generate another studio release until 2009, when her single "Soldier of Love" topped the US Jazz charts and broke into the Top 10 on the R&B/Hip-Hop chart. The subsequent album, also titled Soldier of Love (2010), would become Sade's first No. 1 album on the Billboard 200, while the title track would reap a Grammy for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals. In 2012, she released her first live video album, Bring Me Home: Live 2011, which shot to the top of the Music Videos chart that same year while also netting a Grammy nod for Best Long Form Music Video in 2013.

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Hell's Kitchen (1998) Stripper
2.
 Absolute Beginners (1986) Athene Duncannon
3.
 Sade Live (2002)
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Education

St Martin's School of Art: -

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