Helen Folasade Adu CBE ; born 16 January 1959), known professionally as Sade Adu or simply Sade , is a Nigerian-born British singer, known as the lead vocalist of her band Sade. One of the most successful British female artists in history, she is often recognised as an influence on contemporary music.Her success in the music industry was recognised with the Officer of the Order of the British Empire in 2002, and she was made Commanderin the 2017 Birthday Honours.

Sade was born in Ibadan, Nigeria, and was brought up in England from the age of four. She studied at Saint Martin’s School of Art in London and gained modest recognition as a fashion designer and part-time model before joining the band Pride in the early 1980s. After gaining attention as a performer, she formed the band Sade, and secured a recording contract with Epic Records in 1983.

A year later the band released the album Diamond Life, which became one of the era’s best-selling albums and the best-selling debut by a British female vocalist. In July 1985, Sade was among the performers at the Live Aid charity concert at Wembley Stadium, and the next year, she appeared in the film Absolute Beginners. The band released their third album (Stronger Than Pride) in 1988, and a fourth album (Love Deluxe) in 1992. The band went on hiatus in 1996 after the birth of Sade’s child.

After eight years without an album, the band reunited in 1999 and released Lovers Rock in 2000. The album departed from the jazz-inspired inflections of their previous work, featuring mellower sounds and pop compositions. The band produced no more music until the release of Soldier of Love, ten years later. Since then, they have released two songs, “Flower of the Universe” for the soundtrack of Disney‘s A Wrinkle in Time, and “The Big Unknown“, part of the soundtrack of Steve McQueen‘s film Widows.

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