Artist Profile: Sade


Sade is an English band that was formed in 1982 in London whose music features the elements of sophisti-pop, quiet storm, soul, and smooth jazz. The band is composed of Paul Denman, Stuart Matthewman, Andrew Hale, and Sade Adu. Throughout their career, the band has won four Grammy Awards for Best New Artist, Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group, and Best Pop Vocal Album. In this article, we are going to find out how this iconic band started and how they made their mark in the music industry. 

Formation and Early Days

Sade was formed in 1982 in London by former members of a Latin soul band called Pride. Stuart Matthewman, Paul Denman, Sade Adu formed the breakaway band together with Paul Anthony Cook to which they began writing and making their own music. The band is named after their lead singer, Sade Adu and they released their first performance on Ronnie Scott’s Club in 1982. A year after that, Sade performed their first show in the United States in New York City at a club called Danceteria club. In 1983, Andrew Hale joined the band and Paul Anthony Cook left a year after that.


From then on, Sade gained more popularity and attention from the media and different record companies compared to what their previous band, Pride, had. The band signed a record deal with Portrait Records which was later absorbed by its parent label, Epic Records in 1986. The band released their first song “Your Love is King” in 1984 which instantly became a hit. They quickly followed it up with the song “When Am I Going to Make a Living” however, the song barely reached the top 40 charts. But Sade was able to regain their luck with the release of their debut album, “Diamond Life” in 1984. The album managed to reach the top two spot of the charts and spent almost six months in the UK Top Ten charts. The album was later given a certified 4 times platinum status by BPI, or the British Phonographic Industry. The album also won the Brit Award for Best British Album in 1985. 

Sade went on their first UK tour with Gordon Matthewman on trombone, Terry Bailey on trumpet and Dave Early on drums to improve their live performance. After that, they released their third single, “Smooth Operator” which was accompanied by a music video that was directed by the iconic Julien Temple. The song was Sade’s first hit single in the United States which helped their album to enter the top ten in the US charts. In 1985, Sade got nominated for two MTV Video Music Awards in the categories Best New Artist and Best Female Video. In 1985, Sade performed at Wembley Stadium in London for the legendary Live Aid concert. This performance gave Sade Adu the once in a lifetime moment for being the first African-born artist to perform in front of a live audience of 75,000 on a show that has an estimated 1.4 billion viewers in over 170 countries.

Later that year, Sade released their second album called “Promise” which was able to reach the number one spot in both the US and the UK charts. Shortly after its release, BPI gave the album a double platinum status in the UK and in the United States, the album received quadruple platinum status. In 1986, their vocalist Sade Adu was nominated for Favorite Soul/R&B Female Video Artist in the American Music Awards. On that same year, the band was able to win a Grammy Award for Best New Artist. The following year, Sade has been nominated once again for a Grammy Award in the category Best R&B Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group for their album “Promise.”

In 1988, Sade released their third album called “Stronger Than Pride.” It was able to reach the number three spot in the UK charts and became a certified platinum album. Sade followed up their success with the release of their song “Paradise” and launch a world tour once again. After a year, their vocalist Sade Adu was nominated again in the American Music Awards for Favorite Soul/R&B Female Artist. 

In 1992, the band released their fourth studio album “Love Deluxe” which peaked at the number three spot on the US album charts and became a quadruple platinum album. Two years after that, Sade won another Grammy for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group for their song “No Ordinary Love” which was featured in the 1993 film “Indecent Proposal.” On November that same year, the band released a greatest hits album called “The Best of Sade” which reached the top ten in both the US and the UK. Two years after the album’s success, Hale, Matthewman, and Denman decided to form their own side project band called Sweetback and released a self-titled album. 

After a long hiatus, Sade released their fifth album in November 2000 called “Lovers Rock.” Despite taking a break for eight years, the album still managed to peak at the number 18 spot in the UK charts and became a certified gold album. It also won Sade a Grammy Award for Best Pop Vocal Album in 2002.

After ten years, Sade released their sixth studio album “Soldier of Love” on November 2010. It featured the title track as its carrier single which was able to debut at the number 11 spot on the Urban Hot AC chart. The album reached the fourth spot in the UK and manage to sell 502,000 copies on the first week of its release in the US. The album stayed on the top spot of the US charts for three weeks. After a year, Sade won their fourth Grammy Award in the category Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals for their album “Soldier of Love.”

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