SADE Biography - Musicians


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Name: Helen Folasade Adu                                                               
Born: 16 January 1959 Ibadan, Nigeria                                                 
Helen Folasade Adu (born 16 January 1959), better known as Sade,                       
is a Nigerian-born English singer-songwriter, composer, and record producer,           
noted for her soulful, smoky contralto voice. She has achieved success in the         
1980s, 1990s and 2000s as the frontwoman and lead vocalist of the popular Grammy       
Award-winning group Sade.                                                             
Sade (pronounced shah-day) was born in Ibadan, Nigeria. Her name,                     
Folasade, means "honour confers a crown". Her parents, Bisi Adu, a Nigerian           
lecturer in economics of Yoruba background, and Anne Hayes, an English nurse,         
met in London and moved to west Africa. Later, when the marriage ran into             
difficulties, Anne returned to Clacton-on-Sea, Essex, England, taking four-year-old   
Sade and her older brother Banji to live with her parents. Living in Colchester,       
Essex, Sade read a good deal, developed an interest in fashion, acquired a taste       
for dancing and with pleasure listened to soul artists like Curtis Mayfield,           
Donny Hathaway, and Marvin Gaye.                                                       
In 1977, Sade arrived in London for a three-year course in fashion design at St.       
Martin's College. On graduating, she set up a small fashion company, making men's     
clothes, in London's Chalk Farm, with a friend, Gioia Mellor. She also found           
work as a photographic model.                                                         
Her first foray into the music business came about this time, as a member of a         
short-lived Latin soul group named Arriva. It was as a member of Arriva that she       
first performed the song "Smooth Operator," which would eventually become her         
first US hit. This song was co-written by guitarist/bassist Ray St. John.             
Shortly thereafter, she joined St. John's band Pride, which also included             
guitarist Stuart Matthewman, bassist Paul Denman, and drummer Paul Cooke, as           
well as Ray St. John. However, Ray St. John left Pride soon afterwards, later         
resurfacing in the UK indie band Halo James.                                           
The other four members then formed a new group, the eponymously-named "Sade" and       
began to write their own material. Keyboardist Andrew Hale joined the band as a       
keyboard player in mid-1983, and in 1983 she signed a solo deal with Epic             
Records and sister imprint Portrait Records for the US and Canada. All of the         
Sade albums are Sony Music releases.                                                   
In 1985 Sade appeared in the film Absolute Beginners, directed by Julian Temple.       
She played singer Athene Duncannon, performing "Killer Blow," co-written by her       
with Simon Booth of soul/jazz band Working Week.                                       
In 1986 Sade moved to Madrid, Spain. On 11 October 1989, in the old castle             
Vinuelas in Madrid, she married Carlos Scola, a Spanish film-maker. However, the       
marriage was short-lived, and afterwards Sade returned to London. In the mid-1990s     
Sade moved to Ocho Rios, Jamaica, where she lived with Bob Morgan, a Jamaican         
producer. On 21 July 1996 she gave birth to her daughter Ila.                         
In 1997 Sade was cited for dangerous driving and disobeying a police officer in       
Montego Bay, Jamaica. Later a Jamaican court issued an arrest warrant for Sade         
after she failed to appear in court to face charges, but medical proof of her         
daughter's hospitalization allowed the arrest warrant to be stayed.                   
In 2005, Sade recorded a new track, "Mum", which she had performed at the Voices       
for Darfur charity concert on 8 December 2004 at the Royal Albert Hall in London,     
to raise awareness and funding for the crisis in Sudan's Darfur region.