Sade Adu has one of the most distinctive voices in pop music. For nearly 20 years, her unique blend of soul and jazz has kept her at the top of her profession and earned her a very large fan base and many accolades throughout her career.
Born Helen Folasade Adu in January 1959, in Ibadan Nigeria, her father was an economics professor, and her mother a nurse. Her parents separated when she was four and she and her brother moved to England with her mother. At seventeen, she studied fashion at St. Martin's School of Art, and also worked as a model. In 1981, she joined the jazz funk group Pride, and began writing with the group's saxophonist, Stewart Matthewman, who along with Andrew Hale and Paul Denman became the founder members of the group Sade. They made their debut at Ronnie Scott's in 1983, and landed a record deal that same year, releasing Your Love is King in 1984, which got to No. 4 in the UK charts. The album Diamond Life was released in July 1984, and was No.1 in the UK, and No. 5 in the US. The album stayed in the British charts for 98 weeks and sold over 6 million copies worldwide. The album also earned Sade a Grammy for Best New Artist.
Sade's second album, Diamond Life was released in 1985, and was a Number 1 album in both the UK and US, due to songs like The Sweetest Taboo and Is it a Crime. During this period, she moved to Madrid. In 1988, she released her third album, Stronger than Pride, after which she moved back to London, where she bought and renovated the house that would become the creative arena for her and her band. The fruits of their labour would be Love Deluxe, released in 1992. The song No Ordinary Love would be featured in the film Indecent Proposal, with Robert Redford and Demi Moore.
Six years after the release of 1994's multi platinum Best of Sade, a collection of their best songs, she released Lover's Rock, which showcased Sade's song-writing skills and jazz inflected voice. As one of the few singers to grace the cover of Time
Magazine, Sade's unique style and talent have made her one of pop history's icons, and her beauty and low-key life have contributed to her mystique.