Eating toast and listening to Sade

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Wednesday 14th March 2012

A pair of size 11 trainers came thundering down the stairs at top speed. “What is THAT?” said my teenage son, gesticulating at my iPod speakers.

“THAT,” I replied happily, “is one of my old Sade albums. I haven’t played it in years.” “I’m not surprised,” he said. “It sounds like the sort of thing they’d play at an 1980s night club.”

I could have taken offence at my son’s scathing tone but actually, he had a point. It’s exactly the sort of thing I listened to in the 1980s. That’s why I like it.

Twenty-five years ago Sade was the girl we all wanted to be. I once interviewed her for Woman’s Own at her flat in a disused London fire station and she was stylish and stunning, with the most gorgeous, sultry voice.

Just listening to her sing Your Love is King transports me straight back to my tiny studio flat off Clapham Common. I’d stagger home from a hard day door-stepping Fergie for the Evening Standard (she lived round the corner in Lavender Gardens so it was always me who got sent to knock on her door and ask when she was getting married). I’d pour myself a glass of Chardonnay, make a piece of toast (I didn’t possess a cooker) and if it wasn’t Sade playing on my ropey old cassette recorder it’d be Human League or Paul Weller. One of Peter Gabriel’s guitarists lived in the flat below so I had to play my music extra loud to drown his out.

I’d completely forgotten about Sade until I spotted a story this week saying that she’s trumped the amazing Adele in Billboard’s 2012 list of high-earning musicians. Now 53, Sade apparently earned a staggering £10.5m last year after her first North American tour for a decade and the release of an album called The Ultimate Collection. She was the sixth top earner (Taylor Swift came top and Adele tenth) – proof that even if you haven’t had a number one record for a while you can still be a superstar.

4 comments so far

  • It’s great to hear that a 53 year old can show the youngsters a clean pair of heels when it comes to making money globally. Well done Sade!

  • Yup, brings back memories! I had a friend at school who looked just like her.Funnily enough, my brother now works for Peter Gabriel at Real World and mentioned something about Sade being “Big in America” x

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