Sade Adu

Sade Adu, the front person for the band Sade, has not been active on the music scene

recently. But, she has been visible in the eyes of Jamaican law enforcement.

Two years ago, Sade, who lives in Jamaica, failed to obey a police officer's signal to stop

while driving on the main thoroughfare in Montego Bay. Her failure to stop escalated into

a mini-chase, after which she ended up at the police station swearing at officers. In 1998,

Sade made things worse by not appearing at the hearing to answer to her reckless

driving charges. The police then issued a warrant for her arrest and, at last report, Sade

has not returned to the country to face the law.

Sade was born Helen Folasade Adu in Ibadan, Nigeria, 40 years ago today. Her father

was a teacher in Nigeria, and her mother was an English nurse. When her parents

separated four years after her birth, Sade moved to London with her mother. Growing up,

Sade devoted all her leisure time to singing and listening to music by her favorite artists:

Billie Holiday, Nina Simone, Marvin Gaye and Al Green.

After studying fashion design at St. Martin's College in London, Sade designed clothes

that were used by Spandau Ballet during their first U.S. tour. Sade also modeled, but her

desire to be a musician eventually outweighed other pursuits, and she was soon singing

backup in the British R&B band Pride.

While in Pride, Sade began writing with the band's guitarist/saxophonist Stewart

Matthewman; and the two were soon doing their own sets and Pride shows.

Sade's exotic looks and her unique jazz-like singing quickly ignited interest in her

performances. In 1983, Sade, Matthewman, keyboardist Andrew Hale and bassist Paul

Denman formed Sade.

In 1984, the band Sade's debut LP Diamond Life became a U.K. hit on the

strength of the single, "Your Love Is King." The album came out in the United States the

following year, where "Smooth Operator" (RealAudio excerpt)

became the initial top 5 hit and MTV favorite. Other standout cuts included "Hang On To

Your Love." That same year, Sade appeared at Live Aid.

Promise (1985) went to #1 in the United States, cementing Sade's reputation as a

top act. Hits included "The Sweetest Taboo" and "Never As Good As The First Time."

Sade also acted in the film "Absolute Beginners" and sang on its soundtrack.

Subsequent albums, such as 1988's Stronger Than Pride and 1992's Love

Deluxe, were criticized for their lack of musical diversity, but still sold very well.

The Best of Sade made the top 10 in 1994.

Sade and her band reportedly are working on a new album.

Other birthdays: Bob Bogle (Ventures), 62; William Francis (Dr. Hook), 57; Paul Webb

(Talk Talk), 37; and Maxine Jones (En Vogue), 33.