R&B singer Sade turned 60 years old today.
Born Helen Folasade Adu, in Ibadan, Nigeria, she was a fashion designer and part-time model before become a successful singer.
Known professionally as Sade Adu or simply Sade, she’s brought you timeless hit after hit!
Smooth Operator, No Ordinary Love, Paradise, The Sweetest Taboo, Soldier of Love and Cherish The Day are some of Sade’s many hits.
Sade’s average for releasing studio albums is now once every 10 years (meaning we should be due a new one next year—prayers up), for so many black girls who grew up with her music, Sade is woven into the fabric of our womanhood, as much as Nina Simone, Toni Morrison or Pam Grier. Sade’s enigma is her own type of black girl magic: candid, yet contained; seductive, yet detached. But whenever you hear her voice, you instantly know it’s her, and that you’re home.
Sade rarely grants interviews. She’s also said to be a perfectionist. “When you make a record it’s so concrete, you know,” she told Red Bull Music Academy Daily.
“You can’t run around and change it once it’s on vinyl. I know I don’t get angry with anyone except myself, really. I hate that I’m so hard on myself, really. I wish I could take it out on other people. It would be easier to blame somebody else, but I’m not that kind of person. So, however long it takes; sometimes the songs come really quickly, they just fall into place. Others you have to manipulate to get what you want out of them so they can say what you want them to say.”
Her love for music began when she collected albums as a teenager. “When I was 13 I discovered a pirate radio station that played all sorts of stuff: folk, rock, soul, everything,” Sade told Red Bull Academy.
“They played really good music, basically. So, that got me interested and I started collecting albums. At that time, not many girls bought records; they were just listening to the same records as their boyfriends. There was a station called Radio Caroline. The first time I listened to it I heard “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised,” and I was like, “Wow!” In fact, that’s when I also heard “Why Can’t We Live Together” for the first time.”
Sade’s expanded catalog produced some hardware. In 1986, she won a Grammy Award for Best New Artist.
“No Ordinary Love” won Sade a Grammy Award for Best R&B performance in 1994.
She’d later win another Grammy in that same category in 2011 for “Soldier of Love.”
In 2002, Lovers Rock won Sade a Grammy Award for Best Pop Vocal Album. Also in 2002, she’d won an American Music Award for Favorite Artist Adult Contemporary