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When singer Sade and her band of the same name were establishing themselves, their record company, Epic, made a point of printing "Pronounced Shar-day" on the record labels of their releases. Soon enough, the music had no problem with the correct pronunciation. With the breakthrough Billboard Hot 100 Top Ten single "Smooth Operator" propelling the debut Sade album, Diamond Life, to the same spot on the Billboard 200 chart in 1985, the band fast came to epitomize soulful, adult-oriented, sophisti-pop. Though only five more studio albums would follow in the next 25 years, the band's following abated only slightly, and each release was treated like a long-awaited public return of a mysterious yet beloved diva. Born Helen Folasade Adu in Ibadan, Nigeria, about 50 miles from Lagos, Sade was the daughter of an African father and an English mother. After her mother returned to England, Adu grew up on the North End of London. Developing a good singing voice in her teens, Adu worked part-time jobs in and outside of the music business. She listened to Ray Charles, Nina Simone, Al Green, Aretha Franklin, and Billie Holiday, and studied fashion design at St. Martin's School of Art in London while also doing some modeling on the side. Around 1980, she started singing harmony with a Latin funk group called Arriva. One of the more popular numbers that the group performed was an Adu original co-written with bandmember Ray St. John, "Smooth Operator." The following year, she joined the eight-piece funk band Pride as a background singer. Pride's opening acts often featured members of the band in different combinations. Pride and their off-shoots performed often around London and stirred up record company interest. Initially, the labels wanted to sign only Sade -- technically a trio featuring Adu, Stuart Matthewman, and Paul Denman -- while the whole of Pride wanted a deal. The members of Pride not involved in the Sade trio eventually told Adu, Matthewman, and Denman to go ahead and sign a deal. Adding keyboardist Andrew Hale, Sade signed to the U.K. division of Epic Records. The band's debut album, Diamond Life (with overall production by Robin Millar), went Top Ten in the U.K. in late 1984. January 1985 saw the album released on CBS' Portrait label, and by spring, it had gone platinum on the strength of the Top Ten singles "Smooth Operator" and "Hang On to Your Love." The second album, Promise (1985), featured "Never as Good as the First Time" and "The Sweetest Taboo," the latter of which stayed on the U.S. Hot 100 for six months. Sade was so popular that some radio stations reinstated the '70s practice of playing album tracks, adding "Is It a Crime" and "Tar Baby" to their playlists. In 1986, Sade won a Grammy for Best New Artist. Sade's third album was 1988's Stronger Than Pride, and featured their first number one single on the U.S. R&B chart, "Paradise," as well as "Nothing Can Come Between Us" and "Keep Looking." The fourth Sade album didn't appear for four years: 1992's Love Deluxe continued the unbroken streak of multi-platinum Sade albums, spinning off the hits "No Ordinary Love," "Feel No Pain," and "Pearls." Matthewman, Denman, and Hale went on to other projects, including the low-key Sweetback, which released a self-titled album in 1996. Matthewman also played a major role in the development of Maxwell's career, providing instrumentation and production work for the R&B singer's first two albums. Sade eventually reconvened to issue Lovers Rock in 2000. The lead single "By Your Side" was a moderate hit, peaking at number 18 on the adult contemporary chart; the following summer, Sade embarked on their first tour in more than a decade and sold out many dates across America. In early 2002, they celebrated the tour's success by releasing a live album and DVD, Lovers Live. They resurfaced in late 2009 with "Soldier of Love," the lead single for the album of the same title, released the following year. In the U.S., Soldier of Love debuted at the top of the Billboard 200 chart and sold over 500,000 copies during its first week. Another live set, Bring Me Home, followed in 2012. ~ Ed Hogan
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Stations Featuring

    Smooth Jazz

    Smooth Jazz
    14 songs

    New Smooth Jazz

    New Smooth Jazz
    14 songs

    Smooth Vocals

    Smooth Vocals
    9 songs

    Late Night Mix

    Late Night Mix
    6 songs

    Jazz Mix

    6 songs

    Classic Soul

    3 songs

    Grown Folks Music

    7 songs

    Sailing Away

    3 songs

    Love Songs

    3 songs

    Classic Love Songs

    1 song

    Electronic Chill

    2 songs

    Latin Oldies

    1 song

    R&B Smooth Jams

    3 songs

    Awesome '80s

    1 song

    R&B and Soul Mix

    2 songs

    Female Focus

    2 songs

    Gay Anthems

    2 songs

Albums by

Top Songs by

  1.   Song
  2.   Smooth Operator
  3.   The Sweetest Taboo
  4.   No Ordinary Love
  5.   By Your Side
  6.   Soldier of Love
  7.   Your Love Is King
  8.   Hang on to Your Love
  9.   The Moon and the Sky
  10.   Kiss of Life
  11.   Lovers Rock
  12.   Is It a Crime
  13.   Paradise
  14.   Never as Good as the First Time
  15.   Babyfather
  16.   Love Is Stronger Than Pride
  17.   Still in Love with You
  18.   When Am I Going to Make a Living
  19.   Nothing Can Come Between Us
  20.   Cherish the Day
  21.   Bullet Proof Soul
  22.   Maureen
  23.   Keep Looking
  24.   Feel No Pain
  25.   Jezebel
  26.   I Never Thought I'd See the Day
  27.   Flow
  28.   King of Sorrow
  29.   I Will Be Your Friend
  30.   Pearls
  31.   Cherish the Day
  32.   War of the Hearts
  33.   Like a Tattoo
  34.   The Sweetest Gift
  35.   Somebody Already Broke My Heart
  36.   Tar Baby
  37.   Skin
  38.   Clean Heart
  39.   I Couldn't Love You More
  40.   Cherry Pie
  41.   Like A Taboo
  42.   In Another Time
  43.   Every Word
  44.   Turn My Back on You
  45.   Why Can't We Live Together
  46.   Sally
  47.   Slave Song
  48.   It's Only Love That Gets You Through
  49.   Kutup Yıldızı
  50.   Long Hard Road
  51.   Frankie's First Affair
  52.   Love Is Found
  53.   The Safest Place
  54.   Morning Bird
  55.   Be That Easy
  56.   Siempre Hay Esperanza
  57.   Give It Up
  58.   Fear
  59.   Punch Drunk
  60.   You're Not the Man
  61.   Please Send Me Someone to Love
  62.   Gözü Sende
  63.   Hain
  64.   I Would Never Have Guessed
  65.   Bring Me Home
  66.   Immigrant
  67.   All About Our Love
  68.   Mermaid
  69.   Mr. Wrong
  70.   Haunt Me
  71.   Nichos Sencillos Colectivos
  72.   Mississippi
  73.   Y Nos Comeran
  74.   Nichos Colectivos
  75.   Sanma ki
  76.   Quiero Ir a Vivir al Corte Ingles
  77.   Lola

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