Sade storms to the top of the U.S. and French charts 25 years after winning her first Brit Award
By Ben Todd
Last updated at 8:34 PM on 17th February 2010
She received her first Brit Award a quarter of a century ago, lives modestly in Gloucestershire and says Eddie 'The Eagle' Edwards is regarded as more of a star in her local village.
But Eighties style icon Sade is back on top of the music world again after her new album went straight to the top of the U.S. album charts, it was confirmed last night.
The singer, full name Sade Adu, saw her latest album Soldier Of Love - her first release in almost 10 years – sell more than 501,000 copies in the U.S. last week giving it the coveted No1 spot across the Atlantic.
Back on top: Sade has reached No1 in the U.S
It is the star’s second album to make it to No1 in America – 24 years after her album Promise reached the top spot there. The new album has also gone to No1 in Canada, France and Switzerland and is No4 in the UK chart.
The astonishing success marks an incredible comeback for the singer.
Speaking early today after this year’s Brit Awards, one music industry executive told of the industry’s surprise at Sade’s renewed success.
He said: ‘It really is a quite extraordinary comeback.
‘Most British artists strive for success across the Atlantic and never achieve it. Just look at Robbie Williams.
‘But Sade has done it seemingly effortlessly.
‘Everyone in the business knew that Sade is a talent with longevity but even we have been taken aback by the extent of her success with this new album.’
It is, indeed, a remarkable come back for Miss Adu, who is now 51, and lives simply in a modest cottage in the market town of Stroud.
The singer first found fame in 1984 with her album Diamond Life, which featured the hits Your Love Is King and Smooth Operator, and received the Brit Award for Best Album the following year.
She also appeared in the Band Aid song, Do They Know It’s Christmas? and performed at Live Aid at Wembley Stadium.
Hit: Sade's new album
But as the Eighties came to an end, she drifted out of the limelight. And she remains a retiring figure.
Sade – who is estimated to be worth £30million - has only toured once in the past 14 years and her friends have even nicknamed her Howie, after the legendary recluse Howard Hughes.
Surprisingly, considering her huge fame in the U.S., Sade has stayed in the UK and currently splits her time between a spacious Georgian house in North London and her small house in Gloucestershire.
The star - who was born in Nigeria to an English district nurse mother and Nigerian academic father before moving to England as a child - keeps the house in the capital largely for business meetings.
Instead, she spends most of her time in the countryside with her daughter Ila and her partner Ian Watts, a former Royal Marine who she has been dating for the past four years. Mr Watts’ 18-year-old son Jack also shares the house with them.
Her marriage to Spanish film director Carlos Pliego ended in 1995 because, as she put it recently, ‘he found it hard to share me with the world’ following her long absence during a U.S. tour.
Ila is the result of a subsequent relationship with a Jamaican musician.
Sade met Mr Watts after moving to the West Country – and believes this relationship will last.
She said recently: ‘Ian was a Royal Marine, then a fireman, then a Cambridge graduate in chemistry.
‘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.
‘Ian is Ila’s dad, really, He does all the things a dad would do and she really looks up to him. I feel like I’ve won the lottery, finally.’
But despite her renewed success, Sade insists that in Stroud - at least - fellow resident, British Olympic failure Eddie ‘The Eagle’ Edwards, remains more of a celebrity.
She said: ‘They’re more interested in Eddie The Eagle. He’s a bigger a star in those parts than I am.’