Sade Adu, born Helen Folasade Adu was on June 10, appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire during the Queen’s 91st Birthday Honours for her services to music. The CBE established on June 4, 1917, by King George V acknowledges British order of chivalry and rewards contributions to the arts and sciences, work with charitable and welfare organisations, and public service outside the Civil Service. This comes after she was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 2002 and stated her award was “a great gesture to me and all black women in England”.
The Nigerian-British singer, songwriter and composer was born in Ibadan, Nigeria. Her father was Nigerian, a university teacher of economics; her mother was an English nurse. Before her music career took off, she worked briefly as a fashion designer of men’s clothing and part-time model but found her voice with the band named after her comprising of band members Paul S. Denman, Andrew Hale, and Stuart Matthewman.
Now the music icon and neo-soul pioneer, Sade made history from her very first album. Diamond Life was released in 1984 and went on to sell over six million copies. It became the number one top-selling debut recordings of the 1980s, and the best-selling debut ever by a British female vocalist. Then the following year in 1985 she released her second album titled Promise which peaked at number one in the UK Albums Chart and the US Billboard 200 selling four million copies in the US alone. Her third album, Stronger Than Pride came in 1988, and was certified three times platinum in the US then her fourth album Love Deluxe dropped in 1992 which was certified four times platinum by the RIAA for shipments of four million copies and certified gold in the United Kingdom. Following a break, Sade released her fifth and sixth albums fifth album, Lovers Rock (2000) and Soldier of Love (2010) respectively. Soldier of Love was a commercial success and won a Grammy Award.
As of today, Sade Adu and her band has sold over 50 million records around the world. The Sunday Times described her as the most successful solo British female artist in history. If you are thinking about how soon you would hear a new song from Sade, the singer said via her website; “I only make records when I feel I have something to say. I’m not interested in releasing music just for the sake of selling something. Sade is not a brand”.
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