1/16/1959, Ibadan, Nigeria, Africa

Birth Name

Helen Folasade Adu



Also Known As

Sade Adu, Sade
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Born in Ibadan Nigeria in 1959, Helen Folasade Adu was raised in Colchester Essex after he English mother left her Nigerian father. Before becoming the lead vocalist for and extraordinary r&b/soul/jazz band, Sade studied fashion design at St. Martin's School of Art in London while also using her…more


Trivia and Quotes

  • Trivia

    • Sade was ranked #37 on VH1's 50 Greatest Women of the Video Era.

    • Sade was ranked #66 on VH1's 100 Greatest Women of Rock & Roll.

    • Sade was ranked #34 on VH1's 100 Sexiest Artists.

    • Sade worked as a model and fashion designer for several years, and was involved in designing outfits that Spandau Ballet wore on their first American tour.

    • Sade appeared on both sides of a special double cover March 2001 edition of Essence magazine.

    • Sade's first single released with her group was "Your Love Is King" in 1984.

    • Sade is one of the few singers to appear on the cover of Time magazine.

    • Sade's debut album, Diamond Life is still the all-time best-selling debut album by a British female artist.

    • Sade was inspired by jazz and soul greats Curtis Mayfield, Marvin Gaye, Nina Simone, and Al Green.

    • Sade traded in her potential fashion career to join the jazz/funk band, Pride. As a vocalist for the British band, Sade quickly began attracting the attention of audiences thanks to her smooth style. By 1983, Sade split from Pride, along with the group's guitarist and saxophonist Stuart Matthewman, keyboardist Andrew Hale, and bassist Paul Denman, and together formed the group Sade.

    • Sade always made time for music as a teenager, even in between part-time jobs as a waitress, a bike messenger, and later as a model.

    • At the peak of her fame, in the 1980's, Sade was a regular magazine cover girl. Soon the exposure became too much for her and a self-imposed exile got her off the tabloid pages.

    • Sade is a very private and shy person. She avoids the media and wishes that they respect her privacy so she may focus her attention solely on her music.

    • Sade: (explaining why she rarely grants interviews) I'm a diva, of course, but I'm not shy or reclusive. I just spend my time with people rather than journalists.

    • In 1983, Epic Records expressed interest in Sade, and in an inspired move to bring along her long-time collaborators, she convinced Epic that Sade was more than merely her name, but also the name of the group which included her, Stewart Matthewman, Andrew Hale and Paul Deman. Though the general public would be unaware that Sade was anything more than one woman throughout their entire career, the tactic did succeed in securing a contract for the entire band.

    • She was dubbed Sade by her racist Nigerian neighbors who refused to call her by her first name Helen because she was biracial.

    • Sade's smooth instrumental jazz track, "Siempre Hay Esperenza" appearing on the album, Stronger Than Pride was sampled by black political rapper, Paris for the song "Mellow Madness" on his 1990 album The Devil Made Me Do It.

    • Sade was sentenced in 1997 in absentia to jailtime in Jamaica for reckless driving.

    • Sade starred with David Bowie in the 1986 mod-stylish rock musical movie, Absolute Beginners, as Athene Duncannon, and also contributed to the soundtrack. Although it was a commercial disappointment during its release, the film has now gained cult status.

    • Sade entered the music business in 1980, joining a band called Arriva. At the same time she was working as a fashion designer, she also designed clothes for the 80's band Spandau Ballet.

    • She studied fashion design at St. Martins College in London.

    • Sade has sold close to forty million records worldwide.

    • Sade was ranked #66 on VH1's Greatest Women of Rock 'n' Roll.

    • Sade was the background singer for an eight piece jazz/funk band called Pride, in 1981. When Sade left, the band's guitarist/saxophonist Stuart Matthewman and bassist Paul Denman left with her to be part of her band.

    • Sade has a daughter named Ila with her boyfriend and producer Bob Morgan. Ila was born on July 21, 1996.

    • Her name is pronounced "Shah-day".

    • Official album discography:
      Diamond Life (1984), Promise (1985), Stronger Than Pride (1988), Love Deluxe (1992), Best of Sade (1994), Lovers Rock (2000), Lovers Live (2002)

      Other releases:
      Absolute Beginners soundtrack (1986) featuring "Killer Blow"

  • Quotes