Sade Adu


Helen FolaSADE Adu


January 16th, 1959

Central Saint Martin’s School of Art

Ibadan, Oyo



Helen Folasade Adu is a British-Nigerian singer, songwriter, composer and record producer popularly known as Sade. She graced the music scene in the ’80s with her eclectic range of music genres of Smooth Jazz, Soul Jazz, R & B, Quiet Storm, Sophisti-pop, Soft Rock and Adult Contemporary.

Sade Adu was born on January 16th 1959 in Ibadan, Oyo state to parents, Adebisi Adu,  a Nigerian lecturer in Economics from a Yoruba background and Anne Hayes, an English district nurse. Her parents met in London, got married in 1955 and moved to Nigeria.Unfortunately, Sade’s parents separated while she was still young and so her mother returned to England, taking four-year-old Sade and older brother Banji with her to live with their grandparents just outside Colchester, Essex. At the age of 11, Sade moved to Holland-on-Sea, Essex, to live with her mother and at 18, she completed school and moved to London to study at Saint Martin’s School of Art.


Sade started off her career in fashion design and modeling then becoming a back-up singer for a band named Pride. During that time, she attracted the attention from record labels and later received a record deal, eventually leaving Pride with other members .  In 1984, her self-titled band, Sade, released their debut album Diamond Life, a commercial success that sold over six million copies, later becoming one of the top-selling debut recordings of the ’80s and best-selling debut ever by a British-female vocalist.

The band’s debut album was followed by a string of multi-platinum selling albums which included their 1985 album Promise that peaked at number 1 on the UK Albums Chart and the US Billboard 200, selling four million copies in the US alone;  Stronger Than Pride (1988), Love Deluxe (1992) and Lovers Rock (2000). The band then took a ten-year hiatus after the release of Lovers Rock during which Sade raised her daughter.

In 2010, they re-emerged with their sixth album Soldier of Love which won them a Grammy award .

Sade Adu has been nominated six times for the Brit Award for Best British Female. In 2002, she was awarded an OBE for services to music, which she dedicated to “All black women in England”. In 2012, Sade was listed at No. 30 on VH1’s 100 Greatest Women in Music.

Studio albums

  • 1984: Diamond Life
  • 1985: Promise
  • 1988: Stronger Than Pride
  • 1992: Love Deluxe
  • 2000: Lovers Rock
  • 2010: Soldier of Love

Other albums

  • 1992: Remix Deluxe
  • 1994: The Best of Sade
  • 2002: Lovers Live
  • 2011: The Ultimate Collection
  • 2012: Bring Me Home: Live 2011


Absolute Beginners OST (Virgin, 1986)


National Pride
  • Sade’s success was a huge boost to Nigeria in the 80’s as the country was still evolving on the international scene.  She help people view Nigeria in a positive light.  She was an excellent musician with great character.  She was and still remains the real deal.