Helen Folasade Adu CBE (Yoruba: Fọláṣadé Adú [fɔ̄láʃādé ādú]; born 16 January 1959), known professionally as Sade Adu or simply Sade ( shah-DAY), is an English singer, songwriter, and actress. She is best known as the lead vocalist of the English band Sade.
Born in Ibadan, Nigeria, Sade gained modest recognition as a fashion designer and part-time model, prior to joining the band Pride in the early 1980s. After gaining notoriety 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. It also gained widespread critical acclaim, and is largely considered one of the best albums of all-time.
Soon after, they released Promise (1985), which was also a resounding critical and commercial success, becoming the band's first album to debut atop the Billboard 200. It later earned quadruple platinum certification in the U.S., and reached platinum across Europe. It also earned the group the Grammy Award for Best New Artist in 1986. Their following two releases, 1988's Stronger Than Pride and 1992's Love Deluxe, were also critically and commercially successful; however, the band would go on hiatus after the birth of Sade's daughter, and the singer would experience widespread media coverage during the period for 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 more mellow sounds and pop compositions, and was critically praised, earning the group the Grammy Award for Best Pop Vocal Album. The band would then undergo another term of hiatus, not producing music for another ten years until the release of Soldier of Love. The album was another commercial success, although critical reception remained divided, but won the group the Grammy Award for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals. Following the album's release, the band entered a third period of hiatus, and have not released any further music to date.Sade is widely considered a musical influence, and her contributions to music have made her a global figure in popular culture for over two decades. She has been credited as one of the most successful British female artists in history, and her work is listed among the finest in modern jazz history. Her services to music were also commemorated after being awarded the Officer of the Order of the British Empire chivalry honour in 2002.