Helen Folasade Adu CBE (Yoruba: Fọláṣadé Adú [fɔ̄láʃādé ādú]; born 16 January 1959), known professionally as Sade Adu or simply Sade (/ʃɑːˈdeɪ/ shah-DAY), is a British singer, songwriter, and actress, known as the lead singer of her eponymous band. She has been credited as one of the most successful British female artists in history, and is often recognised as an influence on contemporary music. Her services to music were recognised in the UK with an award of the OBE in 2002, and a CBE in the 2017 Birthday Honours.
Born in Ibadan, Nigeria and brought up partly in Essex, England since age 4, Sade studied at Saint Martin's School of Art in London and gained modest recognition as a fashion designer and part-time model, prior to joining the band Pride in the early 1980s. After gaining attention as a performer, she formed the band Sade, and secured a recording contract with Epic Records in 1983. A year later the band released the album Diamond Life, which became one of the best-selling albums of the era, and the best-selling debut by a British female vocalist. In July 1985, Sade was among the performers at the Live Aid charity concert at Wembley Stadium, and the following year she appeared in the film Absolute Beginners. Following the band's third and fourth albums, Stronger Than Pride (1988) and Love Deluxe (1992), they went on hiatus after the birth of Sade's child, while the singer experienced widespread media coverage during the period for unsubstantiated claims of mental health and addiction issues.
After a spell of eight years without an album, the band reunited in 1999, and released Lovers Rock in 2000. The album departed from the jazz-inspired inflections of their previous work, featuring mellower sounds and pop compositions. The band then underwent another hiatus, not producing music for another ten years until the release of Soldier of Love. Following that album's release, the band entered a third period of hiatus, and have only released two new songs (2018's "Flower of the Universe" for the soundtrack of Disney's A Wrinkle in Time and "The Big Unknown", part of the soundtrack for Steve McQueen's film Widows) to date