Sade was formed in 1982, when members of a Latin soul band Pride - Helen Folasade Adu, Stuart Matthewman, and Paul Spencer Denman - together with Paul Anthony Cook formed a splinter group and began to write their own material. In 1983, Andrew Hale joined the band, though Cook left in 1984. Sade, named for the moniker of their lead singer, made their debut in December 1982 at Ronnie Scott's Club in London, in support of Pride. In May 1983, the band performed their first US show at Danceteria Club in New York City. Sade received more attention from the media and record companies than Pride and finally separated. On 18 October 1983, the band signed with Portrait Records. All Sade albums were released through this label until it was absorbed by its parent label Epic Records in 1986.
On 25 February 1984, Sade released their first UK single "Your Love Is King". Their debut album Diamond Life was released on 28 July 1984 in the United Kingdom, where it peaked at no.2 and was later certified 4x Platinum by the BPI. The band embarked on their first major UK tour, augmented by Dave Early (drums), Martin Ditcham (percussion), Terry Bailey (trumpet) and Gordon Matthewman (trombone). On 8 December 1984, the band released their first U.S. single "Hang on to Your Love", with the Diamond Life album following on 23 February 1985. Also in 1985, Sade won a BPI "Brit Award" for "Best Album". A third single, "Smooth Operator", was released from the album with a video directed by Julian Temple. It was nominated for two MTV Video Music Awards—"Best Female Video" and "Best New Artist".
On 13 July 1985 Sade performed at the Live Aid at Wembley Stadium in London. Sade Adu became the only African-born artist to appear in front of the live audience of 75,000, and an estimated worldwide television audience of 1.4 billion in 170 countries.
On 16 November 1985, Sade released their second album Promise in the United Kingdom (released in the US on 21 December 1985). The album peaked at no.1 in the UK and has been certified double Platinum by the BPI. In 1986, Sade Adu was nominated for an American Music Awards for Favorite Soul/R&B Female Video Artist and won a Grammy Award for Best New Artist.
In late 1985-86 Sade went on their first world tour to promote Promise. Augmenting the band were Dave Early (drums), Martin Ditcham (percussion), Gordon Matthewman (trumpet), Jake Jacas (trombone & backing vocals), Leroy Osbourne (vocals) and Gordon Hunte (guitar). On 28 June 1986, the band performed at the Artists Against Apartheid Concert in the Freedom Festival on Clapham Common in London.
In 1987, the band were nominated for a Grammy Award for Best R&B Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group for Promise.
On 14 May 1988, Sade released their third album Stronger Than Pride in the United Kingdom (released in the US on 4 June 1988). The album peaked at no.3 in the UK and has been certified Platinum by the BPI. It was preceded by the single "Paradise" which made the UK top 30 (and top 20 in the US). The band toured across the world again, augmented by Blair Cunningham (drums), Martin Ditcham (percussion), Leroy Osbourne (vocals), Gordon Hunte (guitar), James McMillan (trumpet) and Jake Jacas (trombone & vocals).
In 1989, Sade Adu was nominated for an American Music Award for Favorite Soul/R&B Female Artist.
Sade released their fourth album Love Deluxe on 11 November 1992 in the U.K. and November 21 in the US. The album peaked at number 3 on the US Album charts and was certified Quadruple-Platinum (4x), but stalled at no.6 on the UK charts before being certified Gold by the BPI.
In 1993, the band recorded a cover of the Percy Mayfield song "Please Send Me Someone to Love" for the Academy Award winning film Philadelphia, before launching their Love Deluxe world tour. Joining the band were Leroy Osbourne (vocals), Gordon Hunte (guitar), Trevor Murrell (drums), Karl Vanden Bossche (percussion) and Rick Braun (trumpet).
The 1994 Grammy for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group was awarded to Sade for "No Ordinary Love", featured in the 1993 film Indecent Proposal. In November the group released their first compilation album, The Best of Sade. The album hit shelves on 12 November in the UK and on 26 November 1994 in the US where it peaked at number 9 on Billboard's Album Chart and was certified Quadruple-Platinum.
In 1996, Hale, Denman, and Matthewman formed their own band as a side project, Sweetback, and released their self-titled first album.
On 13 November 2000, Sade released their fifth studio album Lovers Rock in the United Kingdom (released the day after in the US). Their first album in eight years, Lovers Rock peaked at #18 in the UK (their only studio album not to make the top 10) though was certified Gold by the BPI. It fared better in the US, peaking at #3. It also won the Grammy Award for Best Pop Vocal Album in 2002.
The band toured the US throughout 2001. The tour resulted in a live album, Lovers Live, which was released in the UK and US in February 2002.
In 2005, the band contributed the track "Mum" to the Voices for Darfur DVD.
In November 2008, Sony confirmed that a new Sade album would be released in 2009.
The official Sade website in America has also been updated with new features added, such as forums that allow fans to interact with each other and the Videos section where several music videos of the bands' hit songs can be viewed online.
The group is in the studio through June and Sony hopes to put the record out by the end of 2009; despite rumours, there is no set release date on the calendar.
"She is in the studio and the album will come when it is ready," a source at Sony told Billboard. "You don't wait for years for one and then rush it." Sade's longtime bandmate Stuart Matthewman, a.k.a. Cottonbelly, also confirmed that new material is in progress, though he said the project was still in its "early days" and wouldn't be close to being finished until "later in the year." Maxwell, a fellow Sony recording artist, longtime friend and collaborator with Matthewman wrote "Trust me, it's so monolithic it'll shake you in your shoes!".
Sade will release Soldier of Love, February 8, 2010 worldwide. This is Sade's first album of new material in ten years. The title track was released on the website and debuted on radio stations on December 8, 2009.
Following Soldier Of Love's(single) release on December 8th, the track debuted at #11 on the Urban Hot AC chart, making it the highest debut of the decade and the third highest all-time on the Urban Hot AC chart. "Soldier Of Love" also debuted at # 5 on the Smooth Jazz airplay chart while also becoming the first ever vocal to hit # 1 on the Smooth Jazz Top 20 Countdown.