Sade Adu- Biography Outline

1. Early Life

a.)Helen Folasade Adu was born in Ibadan, Nigeria
b) Her father was a Nigerian economics university teacher, her mother was an English nurse
c)After her parents split she and her brother Banji moved with their grandparents to England
d) She grew up listening to American soul music and was particularly fond of Curtis Mayfield and The Jackson 5
e)Interested in fashion as a career choice, she studied at the prestigious St. Martin’s school of Art
I) For extra money she sold clothing

2. Career

a)She began writing songs and singing with a North London Latin funk band called Pride
b) From 1981-1984 she toured the UK with the band
c) During the tour she performed a Jazz quartet titled “Smooth Operator” which attracted numerous record companies to sign her
d) Refusing to part ways with the band she later signed to Epic records in 1983
She brought along three band mates who still comprise the entity known as Sade: Saxophonist Stuart Matthewman, keyboard player Andrew Hale, and bassist Paul Spencer Denman.
e.)“Your love is King” was the first single that became a top 10 British hit.
f) Sade’s sophisticated, yet effortlessly elegant beauty became the female face of the decade, magazine companies couldn’t get enough of her
g)Throughout the late 1980’s although her three albums were selling millions of copies across the world, her home life was far from glorious.
I) Sleeping in a cold converted apartment with her then boyfriend, style journalist Robert Elms
h) Transitioning into the American R&B limelight her song “Hang on to your love” became Number 1 across R&B charts
I)“Smooth Operator” also became a big hit, making Sade the first black British artist to become such a hit in America
ii)This album sold 4million copies in the U.S. alone
I) In 1986 Sade won a Grammy for best new artist
j.)She never enjoyed promotion of any type and was a very private individual.
k) Sade remained principled in her stance that performing in front of a crowd live, was much more satisfying than tv or video performances.
l)Her career has reigned for over four decades
m. Her “Soldier of love” album and single of 2010 are the most recent to date of her work
n) Sade was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 2002 for services to music

3. Personal life

a) Sade gave birth to son of Jamaican music producer Bob Morgan, Mickailia “Ila” Adu.

4. Legacy

a) Dj’s across the world have remixed Sade’s ballad into club classics
b) Hip hop artists including Jay-z have repeatedly sampled her music
c) Rapper Rakim of Eric B. & Rakim and Talib Kweli have also considered Sade as a notable voice of influence
d). Beyoncé has recognized Sade, calling her music a “true friend”.[71]
e) The late singer Aaliyah noted that she admired Sade because “she stays true to her style no matter what… she’s an amazing artist, an amazing performer… and I absolutely love her.”
f) She is most noted for her influence of neo soul music, incorporating elements of soul, pop, smooth jazz, and quiet storm





“Biography.” Sade | Official website for the British iconic band, Sony Music Entertainment,

Bernstein, Jacob. “Sade’s Quiet Storm of Cool.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 25 Oct. 2017,

“Biography.” IMDb,,

“Sade’s Biography – Free listening, videos, concerts, stats and photos at Last.Fm.”, wiki.

“20 Artists Reflect on the Enduring Inspiration of Sade.” V Magazine, 7 Sept. 2016,

Lindvall, Helienne. “Behind the music: the secrets of Sade’s success.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 18 May 2011,

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