Born to a Nigerian father and an English mother, Helen Folasade Adu grew up in England. She studied fashion at St. Martin's School of Art before progressively embracing a singing career. Around 1980, Sade joined London Latin-funk combo Pride as back vocalist and started writing her own songs. The music industry soon took notice and in 1984 Sade embarked on a solo career, taking three Pride bandmates along for the ride. A suave blend of jazz, soul and pop, Diamond Life (1984) did incredibly well, thanks to the classic single Smooth Operator. Her sophomore Promise (1985) followed, using the same sensual formula with as much success. From the 1990s onward, Sade chose to devote more time to her personal life. Her first studio album in 10 years, Soldier of Love, was released in 2010.