Feb 10 2024

#RockHall2024 Nominee


With a career spanning four decades, Sade have blended jazz, soul, and R&B to create a sound that’s all their own – laid-back rhythms, elegant arrangements, melodic saxophone lines, and, of course, the smooth, sultry, mesmerizing vocals of their lead singer Sade Adu. As the musical landscape around them changed, Sade’s music has endured – their songs of love, life, and loss resonate with listeners on a deeply personal level. Sade’s six studio albums have sold over fifty million copies, earned countless critical accolades, and built an extremely loyal fanbase.


Hailing from London, Sade have retained the same lineup since their formation in 1982 – Sade Adu, the Nigerian-born, Essex-raised singer-songwriter, along with keyboard player Andrew Hale, bass guitarist Paul Spencer Denman, and saxophonist Stuart Matthewman. Their debut album Diamond Life launched the band into the stratosphere, selling ten million copies and earning a Grammy for Best New Artist. The smooth romance of “Your Love Is King” and the soulful groove of “Smooth Operator” were intoxicatingly fresh, sounding like nothing else at the time. Their follow-up Promise displayed Adu’s vocal range and emotional depth with the ultra-smooth “The Sweetest Taboo” and the poetic “Is It a Crime.” Sade’s albums found a home on Black radio, particularly the late-night Quiet Storm format alongside Smokey Robinson, Luther Vandross, and Anita Baker. Their subsequent albums forever cemented Sade in the lexicon of love.


To their devoted fans, Sade’s music remains the soundtrack of strength, intimacy, and self-discovery – particularly, Sade’s tales of self-empowerment resonate strongly for women of color around the world. Sade are adored by contemporary artists – both Beyoncé and Drake refer to Adu as their muse, and her influence is visible in the enigmatic aura of Lauryn Hill, the sensual vibes of Maxwell, and the vocal prowess of Adele. Adu is an icon with her blend of sophistication and simplicity, making the band’s music instantly recognizable and timeless. You know a Sade song when you hear it, but you don’t just hear Sade, you feel Sade.



You don’t just hear Sade, you feel Sade.

Selected discography:

“Your Love Is King,” “Smooth Operator,” Diamond Life (1984) • “The Sweetest Taboo,” “Is It a Crime,” Promise (1985) • “Love Is Stronger Than Pride,” “Paradise,” Stronger Than Pride (1988) • “No Ordinary Love,” Love Deluxe (1992) • “By Your Side,” Lovers Rock (2000) • “Babyfather,” Soldier of Love (2010)


Nominees: Sade Adu, Paul Spencer Denman, Andrew Hale, Stuart Matthewman