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Sade Adu returns .. sales .5m units of new CD in one week

By Ogbonna Amadi
An army of fans more than 500,000 of them  went out to support Sade’s latest CD, “Soldier of Love,” giving the group their first No. 1 disc in 20 years.

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“Soldier of Love” sold 501,665 units in its first week, debuting on top of the Billboard 200 album charts, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

The CD is the follow-up to their Grammy-winning album “Lovers Rock,” released in 2000. The group is led by 51-year-old Sade Adu (ah-DOO’).

It’s been 10 years since her last album, a fatal hiatus for almost any other artist, but just another hibernation for a woman whose disdain for fame only deepens our fascination. Sade’s voice sounds unchanged, a unique emotional instrument that conjures visions of rain-streaked windows and windblown streets. Her topics love, loss, sorrow, strength remain the same. But her music has still moved forward.

The aggressive title track makes a bold statement, its stabbing drums continuing the bass-heavy direction of her 2000 release, “Lover’s Rock.” Some of the new album’s 10 songs are classic, smooth Sade. But there’s also a country twanger, a reggae-tinged ode to father who are not husbands, even Sade’s first uptempo number since 1992’s “Kiss of Life.”

This is only the sixth album in 25 years for Helen Folasade Adu, born in her father’s Nigeria and raised in her mother’s England. She is still working with her original three bandmates: bassist Paul Denman, guitarist and saxophonist Stuart Matthewman, and keyboardist Andrew Hale. She is still mysterious, ageless and defiant.

“I only make records when I feel I have something to say,” Sade says on her Web site. “I’m not interested in releasing music just for the sake of selling something. Sade is not a brand.”


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