Helen Folasade Adu known professionally as Sade Adu or simply Sade, is a Nigerian-born British singer, songwriter, and actress, known as the lead singer of her eponymous band. The influential artist recently turned 63rd on January 16th, 2022. Sade is one of the most successful British female artists in history and has made a name for herself in the fashion world and the music industry. She has been nominated for over 42 awards including BET awards, Brit Awards, and the Grammys. Her love for fashion can be traced back to her college days. She studied at Saint Martin’s School of Art in London and gained modest recognition as a fashion designer and part-time model. In the early 1980s, Sade joined the band Pride and began to perform in different venues, and slowly began to grow in popularity. Later she formed the band Sade and signed a recording contract with Epic Records in 1983. Hit songs such as “Is It a Crime?” and “Smooth Operator” have a sultry and jazz sound, along with Sade’s deep and lower voice range that just makes her so special. Sade’s US-certified sales so far stand at 23.5 million units according to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), and have sold more than 75 million records worldwide to date. She began her rise to fame in the 80s, a time when neon colors, leg warmers, and blue eyeshadow were the fad, Sade introduced a simple and classy style onto the scene. She made simple look sensual, and her style is still influential to this day.
Sade has not only influenced the world with her elegance but also popular artists today are inspired by her talent and unique style.
“Sade helped teach me that love is the most powerful and important thing in the world. Her natural exclusivity, class, and mystery are enduringly inspirational. The first time I heard Stronger Than Pride, it made me feel really warm and fuzzy inside. “Is It a Crime” is on Promise , but that one made me cry when I first heard it.” – Kali Uchis.
“Sade was an artist my mother played in the house all the time as I was growing up. I remember being so enchanted by her pure, powerful vocal performances. Her style is completely unmatched, and she has always been a great influence to me in my music and career.” – Tinashe
“Sade brings a certain kind of elegance to the world. Her voice soothes, it communicates pain and joy, it has a strength like water wearing down a rock. I saw her on her most recent tour and was struck by the minimalism of what she does: a tiny hand move here, a turn there, and the audience goes wild. She holds you in tension. I love the way she deals with the media, by which I mean the way she doesn’t.” – Corinne Bailey Rae
“I’m not anti-fashion, but I’ve always had a bit of a punk attitude. That’s important, I think. I do my own thing.” – Sade
Sade is a huge inspiration and a major representation for black women, immigrants, and women of color all over the world. She’s a trendsetter and introduced a minimalist style that was rare at the time but changed the fashion world forever. Her soulful and pure talent is still admired today.