British singer Sade, who redefined sultry love ballads in the 1980s, selling more than 50 million records, is making a comeback more than a decade after her last album.
The sultry singer, born Helen Folasade Adu in Nigeria, released a new single “Soldier of Love,” last week, and a video for the song is in limited release.
Sade’s comeback album by the same name will be released Feb. 8. It’s her first official studio album since the multi-platinum release of Lovers Rock in 2000. The singer also just celebrated her 51st birthday and reportedly still looks exotically beautiful.
“People forget she is the biggest British female singer in history and she has managed that almost under the radar,” said long-time friend Robert Elms, a BBC radio personality said in a recent interview.
“She never wanted to be famous, just to write and sing good songs. She has exquisite taste and finds celebrity very vulgar,” he added.
Her songs have won three Grammys and a Brit Award, the UK equivalent of the Grammys.
The urge to make music, again, isn’t because she needs the money. Her net worth is estimated to be around $60 million and is regularly fueled by residuals from her previously recorded work.
Early in her career, she wisely negotiated a deal to get a cut of the sales for her songs rather than a big up-front advance, and her music has proved to be timeless. It’s still widely played on the radio.
She reportedly retired because she dreads the media spotlight. She last appeared in public at Buckingham Palace eight years ago to collect an Order of the British Empire award.
She lives mainly in a secluded mansion in the Gloucestershire countryside in England with her new partner, a scientist.
But she also has dwellings in various spots around the world, including an apartment in New York, a luxury apartment and a townhouse in London and a villa in Spain.
While growing up, Sade says she was influenced by artists like Curtis Mayfield, Donny Hathaway and Marvin Gaye, according to her official biography. The singers uniquely attuned to the complex sensibilities of heartache and hope.
She was studying fashion in college, when friends asked her to substitute temporarily as a singer in their band while they looked for a full-time vocalist.
She discovered her true calling and love of songwriting, and joined an ’80s Latin funk band called Pride. She co-wrote “Smooth Operator” with Ray St. John and the song launched her solo career.
She has spent most of the last decade as a full-time mum to 14-year-old daughter Ila, from a relationship with a Jamaican record producer Bob Morgan.
Sade has been working on her latest release for more 17 months, and is putting the final touches on it, according to her Web site.
For her video, she’s working with film director Sophie Muller who has directed music videos for the Eurythmics, Gwen Stefani and Blur among others.
Whether she will tour to support the album is unknown at the moment.