Tag Archives: Demob

2012 ➤ Style.com nods to Sade Adu’s fashion legacy

Sade Adu, singer, Beauty Icon ,fashion,Style dotcom,Melissa Caplan,Blitz Kids, US invasion,Demob , Steve Strange, Le Palace , Paris, 1981
❚ “JEAN PAUL GAULTIER SENT SADE LOOK-ALIKES down his Spring-Summer runway last month, and Olivier Rousteing borrowed her signature hoops and shoulder pads for his Balmain collection. The up-and-coming British soul star Jessie Ware owes everything to Sade, down to her painted lips and single braid.” So says the prestige fashion website Style.com today in its Beauty Icon spot. “As it turns out, fashion has played no small role in the life of Helen Folasade Adu,” it adds, while sketching her distinctive contribution to music and style.

Best of all, Style.com includes a classic early shot of Sade taken by Shapersofthe80s, long before she became a singer, when she modelled clothes by Melissa Caplan in New York during the now legendary invasion of America by London’s trend-setting Blitz Kids in 1981. Catch our eye-witness report inside:

1981 — Pix of Sade’s Demob designs during the first
Blitz invasion of the US

Jean Paul Gautier, Spring Summer 2013,Sade Adu, fashion,pop music

Jean Paul Gaultier’s take on the Sade style of ponytail and hoop earrings: one of many 80s tributes in his Spring Summer 2013 runway show last month in Paris

1982 — Pix of Sade helping backstage during Steve Strange’s fashion show in Paris

2010 — Shapersofthe80s finds comeback Shard comfy
as ‘Auntie Sade’


2012 ➤ All about reclusive Sade, the singer who trumps Adele in US list of top earners

Sade Adu, Letterman, TV shows,Billboard, Top 40 Money Makers,

Launching her album in Feb 2010: Sade meets US TV host David Letterman. (Videograb from his Late Show on CBS)

➢ Sade proves to be highest-earning British musical act in America last year — read Caspar Llewellyn Smith in today’s Guardian…

Viewers of the 2012 Grammys awards last month watched Adele, the 23-year old girl from Tottenham, north London, walk away with six awards, but the top-earning act from the UK in America last year was an artist who fans back home have to some extent forgotten.

1 Taylor Swift: $35.7m
2 U2: $32.1m
3 Kenny Chesney: $29.8m
4 Lady Gaga: $25.4m
5 Lil Wayne: $23.2m
6 Sade $16.4m
7 Bon Jovi: $15.8m
8 Celine Dion: $14.3m
9 Jason Aldean: $13.4m
10 Adele: $13.1m
[Touring and record sales 2011]

Sade raked in $16.4m (£10.5m) in 2011 on the back of her first tour in North America for a decade and the release of The Ultimate Collection. The 53-year-old singer came sixth on a list of the biggest-earning acts of last year, compiled by the American trade publication Billboard, eclipsing Adele, the only other Brit in the top 10, who earned $13.1m.

Sade [say it “Zhah-Day”] is the most successful solo female artist Britain has ever produced, selling more than 50m records in a career that stretches back to her 1984 hit Your Love Is King. Famously reclusive — nicknamed Howie by her friends, after millionaire hermit Howard Hughes — she toured the world for eight months last year, but the bulk of the tour was devoted to North America, where she played 59 shows. The tour started 18 months after the release of her US No 1 album Soldier of Love, a record that reached No 4 in the UK… / continued at Guardian Online

➢ Smooth Operator Sade is surprise US smash,
beating Adele and Take That to be Britain’s biggest music export
— today’s Daily Mail feature

➢ Billboard’s Top 40 Money Makers 2012


Rolling Stone described Sade’s studio album, Soldier of Love, as “unimpeachably excellent” … Billboard said: “It’s been 10 years since Sade released an album, but be forewarned – the giant has awoken” … People magazine said Sade’s enduring appeal was as “the voice of comfort to the wounded heart”

❏ In her American fan forums black guys are besotted with Sade, and here in an audience for a live TV performance we see doting female fans for whom she is a role model. On Jimmy Kimmel’s show in February 2010 (above), Sade performed Soldier of Love live as her eponymous album hit No 1 in the US (502,000 copies sold there in its first week — the best sales week for an album by a group since AC/DC in October 2008). Susan Boyle, the finalist from the Britain’s Got Talent contest, was holding steady at No 9.

❏ Backstage video interview with Sade by The Insider, June 2011 (above) — “I’m really a country girl. I don’t give too much of myself away. When I go in a studio I lose all my shyness.”

➢ Read Sade: The Billboard Cover Story by Mitchell Peters, August 19, 2011 — Preparing for a 100-plus-date international concert tour is daunting for even the most seasoned musical acts… “I do the opposite and pretend it’s not going to happen, immersing myself in the details of production as a way of distracting myself from reality,” says English singer Sade Adu. “When the time comes, I don’t test the waters — I just jump straight in.”

❏ Listen to The Moon and the Sky (remix featuring Jay Z):


Sade’s debut with her own band in Aug 1983 at the Yow club, London, Paul Denman to the fore. Photographed © by Shapersofthe80s

➢ 1981 — Pix of fashion designer Sade’s Demob outfits during the first Blitz invasion of the US

➢ 1982 — Pix of Sade helping backstage during Steve Strange’s fashion show by Londoners in Paris

➢ 2010 — Her first interview in 10 years finds comeback Shard comfy as ‘Auntie Sade’ — On her new man, Ian Watts, who has been in turn Royal Marine, fireman and scientist: “I always said that if I could just find a guy who could chop wood and had a nice smile it didn’t bother me if he was an aristocrat or a thug as long as he was a good guy. I’ve ended up with an educated thug!”


2010 ➤ Comeback Shard comfy as ‘Auntie Sade’

Sade  1983

Wow! Then and now: Sade backstage in August 1983 while still seeking a recording contract and, right, as shot to launch her 2010 album. Vintage picture © by Shapersofthe80s

SADE IS TALKING FRANKLY AND REFLECTIVELY. It’s a rare treat from a singer who rarely ever breaks cover. Ten years on from her last album, Lovers Rock, she is said to be the most successful solo female artist Britain has ever produced – more than 50m albums sold over 26 years, valued at £30m in The Sunday Times Rich List. She is the first to acknowledge that Sade is a band, and together they have won a Brit Award for Best British Album of 1984 (view award speech) plus nine other Brit nominations, three Grammies (for 1985, 1993, 2001, plus two other nominations) and Sade herself was appointed an OBE, an order of chivalry, by the Queen (2002).

Sade Adu,New York, Axiom, fashion, Blitz Kids, Ian Watts,Princess Diana

New York 1981, preparing for the Axiom show that accompanied Spandau Ballet on the first Blitz Kids invasion: In braided short hair and hallmark narrow pants, Sade fits a model with her outfit on the Demob label. Sade once told Shapers that Princess Diana’s question to her after a Prince’s Trust concert was: “Do you always dress like a man?” Photographed © by Shapersofthe80s

In yesterday’s Sunday Times Magazine, according to the writer Robert Sandall whom Sade knows of old, the Blitz clubbing veteran was giving the only face-to-face interview to coincide with this month’s release of her new album, titled Soldier of Love.

Sandall delivers full value as Sade really does let her guard down, surprisingly further than most of us who used to know her might have expected, especially about her “complicated” inter-racial family background. (She was born Helen Folasade Adu in Nigeria, raised in the UK at Clacton-on-Sea, and took a fashion BA at St Martin’s School of Art). She also talks about motherhood with a 13-year-old daughter and her several romances – “I’ve paid some rugged dues,” she observes. Highlights among many soundbites…

❏ On being a black singer in a white soul outfit: “I didn’t have any confidence as a singer, but I found that I liked writing songs.”

❏ The same band of clubbing wags from 1983 is reunited for the album – Paul Denman, Andrew Hale and Stuart Matthewman. They remain one tight unit on the new album, we’re told, under the control of a matriarch who likes the nickname “Auntie Sade”. [Note for newbies: say it Shah-day /ʃɑːˈdeɪ/. Only friends are allowed to use the nickname Shard.]

❏ On her new man, Ian Watts, who has been in turn Royal Marine, fireman and scientist: “I always said that if I could just find a guy who could chop wood and had a nice smile it didn’t bother me if he was an aristocrat or a thug as long as he was a good guy. I’ve ended up with an educated thug!”

❏ The old charge that Sade was the backdrop of the yuppie era still rankles: “With my family history, that really irks me. And it so annoyed me at the time, when we were secretly giving money we didn’t even have yet to Arthur Scargill and the striking miners.”

One year’s progress: left, Sade with Latin soul band Pride at the Fridge, Sep 1982; and with the smaller band Sade in Aug 1983 at the Yow club, London, Paul Denman to the fore. Ten months after splitting they had a record deal. Photographed © by Shapersofthe80s


Sade 2010: Talks us through her new album in a video documentary

➢➢ For links to new video documentary and tracks see Sade box in sidebar, right

➢➢ A Reluctant Return: In this month’s New York Times interview, Sade worries about being “too candid” with the press, yet reveals she is considering marriage

➢➢ Kanye collaboration rumours in this National Post interview, Feb 16, 2010

➢➢ Compare and contrast quotes with this version at ThisIsGloucestershire!

➢➢ Click for pix of Sade’s Demob designs during 1981’s first Blitz invasion of the US

➢➢ More pix of Sade helping backstage during Steve Strange’s 1982 fashion show in Paris