Helen Folasade Adu (Yoruba: Fọláṣadé Adú [fɔ̄láʃādé ādú]; born January 16, 1959), known professionally as Sade Adu or simply Sade ( shah-DAY) is a British singer, songwriter, and actress, known as the lead singer of her eponymous band. She has been credited as one of the most successful British female artists in history, and is often recognised as an influence on contemporary music. Her services to music were also recognised with an award of the Officer of the Order of the British Empire chivalry honour in 2002, and later the rank of the Commander of the same order in 2017.
Born in Ibadan, Nigeria, but brought up in Essex, England, Sade gained modest recognition as a fashion designer and part-time model, prior to 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. The band then released the album Diamond Life a year later, which became one of the best-selling albums of the era, and the best-selling debut ever by a British female vocalist. In July 1985, Sade was among the performers at the Live Aid charity concert at Wembley Stadium. Following the band's two releases, Stronger Than Pride (1988) and Love Deluxe (1992), they would go on hiatus after the birth of Sade's child, while the singer experienced widespread media coverage during the period for unsubstantiated claims of mental health and addiction issues.
After a spell of eight years without an album, which came after Sade appeared in the film Absolute Beginners (1986), 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 would then undergo another term of hiatus, not producing music for another ten years until the release of Soldier of Love. Following the album's release, the band entered a third period of hiatus, and have only released two new songs (2018's "Flower of the Universe" for the soundtrack of Disney's A Wrinkle in Time and "The Big Unknown", part of the soundtrack for Steve McQueen's film Widows) to date.