Sade is one of the most successful artists from the 1980s to come out of the UK since her debut album “Diamond Life”. It was released in the United Kingdom on 28th July 1984 by Epic Records and in the United States on 23rd February 1985 by Portrait Records. Since her debut Sade has sold over 16 million records in America from 1985 to April 1996 accord to the Recording Industry Association of America, ahead of such artists as Lionel Richie and the late Luther Vandross. This has made Sade and her band the 9th most successful black recording act from 1985 to 1996 and she is featured in the top 200 list of best selling recording artists in the 20th Century according to the Recording Industry Association of America .
In America, her four biggest-selling studio albums so far are “Diamond Life” (1984) ,“Promise” (1985) and “Love Deluxe” (1992), all of which sold four million copies, with the addition of her third studio album “Stronger Than Pride” (1988) which sold over three million copies, bringing the total to over 15 million copies plus sold. “Diamond Life” also achieved multi-platinum certification in England for one million copies sold (1.2 million) according to the BPI (British Phonographic Industry). “Diamond Life” peaked at number two on the UK Pop Album chart.
The follow up album “Promise” did even better, reaching the number one positions in UK and US Pop album charts, 16th November to the 23rd November 1985 in the UK and 15th February 1986 to the 22nd February 1986 in the US. In addition to the UK success, the recording project achieved similar success on the Swiss Album chart listing by going to number one week ending 1st December 1985 to 15th December 1985. Sade’s greatest hits package entitled “The Best of Sade” was certified multi-platinum in the US for four million copies sold in 1994 and also received multi platinum certification by (IFPI) International Federation of the Phonographic Industry for two million copies sold across Europe in 1996. “The Best of Sade” was also number one on both the Billboard Top Pop Catalogue Album chart listings and the Billboard Top R&B Album chart listings. The album “The Best Of Sade” eventually sold over 7 million copies worldwide.
Sade’s recent album “Soldier of Love” debuted at number four on the UK Albums Chart, becoming the highest debut since her “Stronger Than Pride” recording project (1988). It also debuted at number one on the US Pop album chart Billboard 200 with first-week sales of 502,000 copies in the United States, making it Sade’s first US number-one debut on 27th February 2010 to the 13th March 2010, selling over 700,000 in a three week period while still at number one in US on the Billboard 200 Album chart listing and Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart listing for four weeks commencing on 27th February 2010 to the 27th March 2010. The album also topped music charts in several other countries. On the Europe Top 100 Albums chart it was number one on the 27th February 2010 (3 weeks).
It is 10 years since her last album release, the 2000 offering, “Lovers Rock” which won a Grammy Award for Best Pop Vocal Album in 2002. Sade has won three Grammy Awards in her whole career so far over three separate decades, starting in 1985 with the “Promise” album receiving the award for Best New Artist at the Grammy Awards Ceremony. She received her latest Grammy for “Soldier of Love” on 13th February 2011.
The award was for Best R&B Performances By A Group for the track “Soldier of Love” at the 53rd Grammy Awards Ceremony. The hit single was taken from the album “Soldier of Love”, with the parent album being certified platinum for one million copies sold, bringing her total of albums sold in America to 25 million copies according to the Recording Industry Association of America. The album has sold over two million copies worldwide making it one of the top ten best-selling albums of 2010.
Sade first emerged as a recording act 27 years ago and has gone on to become Britain’s most successful female solo artist, in the process selling a remarkable 50 million plus copies worldwide. She is definitely England’s best Soul music creative export. She is truly a transcending icon of great power whose musical brand can compete against any of the new acts that have emerged since 2000 and is able to stand the test of time.
This has proven yet again that Britain can produce recording artists of high standard for creative export around the world, with similar global impact to that of the Rolling Stones and the Beatles. Sade definitely deserves the title of British Soul Queen with all that she has accomplished over the last three decades.