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Five Fun Facts You Might Not Know About Sade

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(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Britt Bickel
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True to her private nature, we haven’t heard much from Sade since her worldwide Soldier of Love tour and album back in 2011. As we hope for the possibility she’ll surprise fans with news of more new music in the future, we wanted to take time to celebrate Sade today (1/16) in honor of her birthday!

We all might know the music of Sade, but do you know the lady behind the music? We researched a few fun facts about the sultry singer that you may not have known before!

1. Her real name is Helen Folasade Adu

Sade was born to a Nigerian father and English mother in Ibadan, Nigeria. Her middle name Folasade translates as “honor confers your crown” and was shortened to Sade while growing up in Nigeria.

2. Music wasn’t her first career choice

Before she was a soul music icon, Sade was on the path of fashion while studying at St. Martin’s School of Art. It wasn’t until two friends asked her to help sing vocals in their group did she realize she loved to write music and sing.

But her sense of style and fashion never faded as she created one of music’s most recognizable looks of the decade with her classic ponytail, bold red lipstick and big hoop earrings.

Credit: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Credit: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

3. She sang backup in the London group Pride

Before she was the enigmatic lead singer of her group, Sade sang backup and spent three years on the road with the London group Pride. Slightly nervous about singing, she adopted her famous speak-singing style and attracted the attention of record label talent scouts in concert singing a little song she co-wrote called “Smooth Operator.”

Sade refused to sign to a label without bringing the rest of her band mates along, which to this day still comprises the main group of Sade with saxophonist Stuart Matthewman, keyboard player Andrew Hale, and bassist Paul Denman.

4. Her first collaboration was with Jay-Z

Sade is famously reclusive when she’s not working on new music. Many artists she’s inspired have hoped to collaborate with her, but she’s always politely turned down the requests saying that she’s scared of collaborating.

That all changed in 2011 however, when hip hop mogul Jay-Z scored the very first collaboration with Sade on a remix of her hit “Moon And The Sky.” The song is featured on the Ultimate Collection set.

5. Music in the Movies

One of Sade’s most famous hits “Smooth Operator” has been featured numerous times in films. The song can be heard in movies like This Means War, You Me & Dupree and Fun With Dick & Jane. Other songs of hers also appear in films like Philadelphia, Indecent Proposal, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, and even the TV series Sex & The City.

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